Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Humans and Foxes

We get foxes round our neighbourhood. We had a skulk of youngsters visit our garden every evening this summer and we'd sit at the kitchen window in the twilight watching them dodge in and out of the hedges at the back and play their curious game with my son's football. A few times they stole shoes from outside the door and dropped them around the surrounding gardens until we learned to bring them in at the end of the day. As the cubs matured, they became less bold and by autumn they'd stopped coming round to play, preferring to roam the streets alone.

I started this piece by saying that we get foxes round our way, but the more I think about it, we don't get foxes at all.

Humans and Foxes

I was walking home midnight last
Thinking about the day
When a shape creeps along the path
And doesn’t know what to say
I see how he turns his head
And the way that he holds his tail
And I’m wondering how he’s feeing
Cos he doesn’t give much away.

I look into his curious face
I ask him to give me a clue
I don’t get what it means to be me
I say, what does it mean to be you?
He says he’s just looking for food
I say why don’t I bring you a feast
You can share with your vulpine kin,
Take my burdens and leave me some peace?

Well that’s what I thought we agreed
But when I go back he’s away
So I sit by the side of the road,
Finish the chocolate soufflé.
Well maybe he didn’t believe
When I said I’d bring something to eat
There are things that get lost in translation
When humans and foxes meet
Humans and foxes meet
Humans and foxes meet
Humans and foxes.

October 2016

Friday, 24 June 2016

Light Up Gaza

Proceeds from the sales of the Thirteen Pianos EP are going to help the Light Up Gaza project. This week I donated £156 to this fund, and I'd like to raise more.

House fires are a real risk to homes in the Gaza Strip because families are being forced to use candles during the frequent power cuts. Lives are being lost. The 4444 Project has identified 4444 such homes and to date have installed 100 battery powered lamps, designed and built by a local youth startup called Sketch. These lamps can be charged when electricity is available and used to keep families safe during the blackouts. This is a simple idea which can save lives and give young people a job and a purpose.

Will you buy a CD or download the songs and donate to this worthy cause?

To find out more and to have a listen, please visit my online shop.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

At Beekeeper's Corner

For the last few years I've been going along to an annual Songwriting Weekend at Friar's Carse in Dumfries. It's the loveliest place to write a song and to catch up with songwriting friends from all over. Last year's song from that weekend was called Then I Remember the Bees and it was inspired by a place close to my house, where a beekeeper used to live. He's no longer there, and his cottage isn't either but the garden is wonderfully overgrown and every time I pass by, I think of the bees and wonder how they're doing. Perhaps some day I'll do a quick recording of that song and add it here, but in the meantime, here's a brand new song about the same place. This one's called At Beekeeper's Corner. Neither song is about bees really.

At Beekeeper's Corner

At Beekeeper’s Corner just down from my house
Is a gap where the beekeeper’s house used to be
I always remember the bees when I pass
But today, it’s mostly the gap that I see

Cos gaps are neglected and misunderstood
They shift in the shadows, through cracks in the stones
And when we’re not looking they alter their shape
Between things that matter and others that don’t

We’re highly suspicious of gaps when they form
So we fill them with houses, then up on the walls
We hang pictures of landscapes so open and free
And repeat, until there are no gaps to see
And repeat, until there are no gaps at all

And the beekeeper offers some ghostly advice
That the gaps are a gift in a world full of stuff
But the bees at the corner just down from my house
Know that everything - everything isn’t enough

May 2016

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Thirteen Pianos Out Now

To find out more and to have a listen, please visit my online shop.

All proceeds from the sale of the Thirteen Pianos E.P. are being donated to FundingLab, a Scottish charity that works in the Gaza Strip to support young people. FundingLab seeks to empower communities by creating opportunities to develop their own business ideas, especially in areas where funding for startup projects is difficult to access. For more information please visit the website:

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Footprints Never Linger

I was thinking lately about all the stuff that we accumulate throughout our lives. I wondered if I could go round my house and gather up all the things I consider to be my own personal possessions and move them into one pile. What would that look like? How much space would it occupy? It would force me to evaluate every item in the house. Maybe it would help me detach.

Footprints Never Linger

A footprint in the snow
So deep and bright and yet
I know another blizzard’s going to blow
So footprints from today won’t show tomorrow
But hey, perhaps it’s only right and just
That footprints never linger any longer than they must

I have a thousand photographs
Perhaps as many books
A towering pile of records
(I used to have my looks)
And stuff that might be useful come tomorrow
But hey, perhaps it’s only right and just
That footprints never linger any longer than they must

And when the window opens
I might just fly away
And then I guess I’ll understand
How birds feel every day

We’ll ever want for nothing
We’re gainfully employed
We build our children’s legacies to fill ancestral voids
Collecting chattels like there’s no tomorrow
But hey, perhaps it’s only right and just
That footprints never linger any longer than they must

April 2016

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Thirteen Pianos

I recorded a handful of songs a couple of months back, which I'll be releasing soon as an E.P. The title track is called Thirteen Pianos and it's a story which jumps between Gaza and my own neighbourhood. An area with a population of 1.8 million people, Gaza only has thirteen pianos. I can take a short walk around my block and count at least that many. For the last few days, I've been knocking on doors, asking folk if I could take a photograph of their piano for the cover. I've met new people, drunk tea, learned the history of each piano, and been made very welcome. Just one more photograph to take, so I'll be heading out this afternoon to complete my collection.
Thirteen Pianos Coming Soon ...

Thursday, 7 April 2016

No Other Place

This song is about being happy with where you are and all that you have, and at the same time dreaming of some other place.

No Other Place

Here I am
This is where I want to be
I’ve got love and smiling faces looking at me
Warm and safe
In a rambling family tree
A bed is built on trust and sincerity

And the tears, when they come they go
And there’s no other place I’d be

Here I am
High on a hill by the sea
Where a lighthouse is flashing a secret signal to me
Open space
Embraced by my own history
And the locals are mostly ghosts but they’re great company

And the tears, when they come they go
And there’s no other place I’d be

There co-exist so many truths
When I walk these lifetime routes

And the tears, when they come they go
And there’s no other place I’d be

February 2016