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Monday, 27 September 2010

resolute love: new cd cover

i thought you might like a peek at the new cd cover - so here it is. an example of trowbridge in typically fine form...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

resolute love: news of the new cd

re the cover design; the cavalry (in the form of one leigh trowbridge) arrived over the hill just as the injuns were closing in and about to claim a scalp or two... fortunately for the history of music cover illustration, leigh found time to design the artwork. hurrah! and a jolly good job he did, too. i'll let you see it when possible.

meanwhile, in another part of musicville, mastered cds are winging their way through the snailmailosphere, digipaks are being ordered, labels are being printed and lyric sheets being prepared. soon, my pretty ones, soon...

watch this space.

(and, as an aside, purely for reasons of cd preparation, i had a little listen; it's good, you know. yes, i'm quietly pleased. how un-british of me!)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

the ballad of the suffolk five - live on bbc radio

i was just reminded of this, so thought i'd put it out to the blogo-tweetosphere

the studio recorded version was played on bbc national radio, too and you can read the comments of the presenter on that occasion on my myspace site

orange room

you showered in the orange room as i lay there
and unselfconsciously naked, towelled your hair
over your shoulder, head to one side
like a woman does...

lonely lady

i lay on a bed in berlin, i was naked and you were there too, fully clothed

and you spoke to me carefully, choosing your words with precision, it was what i
was owed

i listened with patience and pain as you told me at length that your feelings had changed

but as you were talking with tears in your eyes, i knew you meant they had stayed the same

lonely lady, lonely girl...

Resolute Love

the 'as live' songs collection will be entitled 'resolute love' and is nearing manufacturing.

i'm designing the sleeve (eek!) because leigh is too busy. he's very good, though and i'm anxious that i won't do as good a job as him. i threatened him with me doing it thinking he might throw up his hands in horror at the idea and do it himself, but no. so, i'm doing it.

i'm hoping it'll be done by end oct...


i've started to write several songs this summer but can't finish any of them. strange; my muse keeps flirting with me but slipping away before full consummation can take place. a sort of compositus interruptus.

there have been songs on: the difficulties of being a young adult in these straitened and compassionless days; relationship difficulties (would you believe!); relationships ending and why they might (wyb); the beauty of an intimate and poignant moment; being at a folk-singing event - and a song entitled something like 'the winners write the histories'. and a song with a four-line verse (aabb) the final line of which is 'but whether my heart's waiting, well, i don't get to choose'.

i went to see chris wood a couple of weeks ago and he was very, very good. note to self; don't make comparisons. i've finally accepted that i can't be as good as dylan and mitchell, so why put more hurdles in the way?

Monday, 13 September 2010

rupert murdoch is a bad person and will kill the bbc if we let him

don't let murdoch kill the bbc! he will if he can and him and his cronies [rebeccah wade, for god's sake!] will fill the space with their bile and poison.


if you don't already know - you can follow me on twitter at ...

Sunday, 12 September 2010

lyrics to 'as live' recordings (with andee price sept 2010)

Resolute Love
Well, I’ve loved, maybe not too wisely
And I’ve loved, maybe too well
And I’ve left behind one who will despise me
And one who loves me like she newly fell

But I’m weary, weary, weary, weary, weary
Navigating down this twisting trail
And I’m hoping, hoping, hoping, hoping, hoping
That I’ll find resolute love will prevail

I recall the words my momma told me
Son, be faithful, Simon be true
There’s no longer any need for her to scold me
For I know that I will now I’ve met you

And I’m weary, weary, weary, weary, weary...

Solid Ground
Solid ground, solid ground
Well, I've had silt beneath my feet
But I'm moving on to solid ground

I've walked on sand, I've walked on shale
In tunnels dark and shadows pale
Now you're the light that draws me on
My terra firma you've become

I slowly step for I'm unsure
Because of where I trod before
So I move forward gingerly
Eyes fixed on where I want to be

Solid ground, solid ground...

The path ahead I tried to find
But I have stumbled many times
This twisting trail, revealed to me,
Could lead me to stability

What if it takes me by surprise?
Perhaps it's right before my eyes
I must learn how I can be sure
Of that which I've not seen before
Solid ground, solid ground...

What You Do
My love she is not moved by pretty promises I make
By sweet talk or by whispered, perfumed words
By symbol or by sign
By chance or by design
She doesn't set her store by what she's heard

She knows it's only known by few
It's not what you say, it's what you do

My love she doesn't speak she knows that talk is cheap
But the words she keeps inside I understand
So she can not abuse
The language she won't use
Still I comprehend the way she holds my hand

She learned it as she grew
It's not what you say, it's what you do

And here's that bird that flew
It's not what you say, it's what you do

My love is close to hand in the light and in the night
Her touch possesses eloquence to spare
And when she strokes my skin
I can muse within
On the knowledge that she chooses to be there

It's clear as sunlit dew
It's not what you say, it's what you do

Oh Sally Ann
Oh Sally Ann, Oh Sally Ann 
Won't you be my woman, can I be your man?
Oh Sally Ann, Oh Sally Ann
Won't you be my woman, can I be your man?

Oh Sally Ann hear my heart beat
When you come walking down the street

Oh Sally Ann, give me the day
I'll do all the things you say

Oh Sally Ann, give me the night
I'll be good and I'll treat you right

Oh Sally Ann, if you say goodbye
You'll break my heart and I will cry

Perhaps she is my circling sun 
Perhaps she is my moon 
Maybe she is the earth to me
My midnight and my noon

Can’t understand the geometry;
The alignment in the sky,
I only know my core is moved
Whenever she floats by

But she arose and she eclipsed
The ones who went before
She’s all of them, she’s unsurpassed
She’s everything and more

The stars were made to set her in
To bask her in their rays
And I feel all the planets’ force
Each time I meet her gaze

So see, she pulls me into her
Her satellite commands
Spinning falling planetwards
But not always to land

But she arose and she eclipsed...

The Cherry Blossom Song 
The blossom comes, the blossom goes
The minutes fly, they never slow

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide
The blossom comes, the blossom goes...

Now, of my threescore years and ten
Twenty will not come again
And take from seventy springs a score
It only leaves me fifty more
The blossom comes, the blossom goes...

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

The blossom comes, the blossom goes...

Black Birds 
The rookery is wheeling, wheeling
Unsure of which way to go
Full of awe and wistful, watching
A man is rooted down below

Whither will you wander, wander
Southern cross or northern star?
Drawn contrarily by forces
That will determine where you are

Black birds, black birds
Black birds, black birds

Sign of doom, portent of mourning
Starling, raven, rook and crow
Fly away, carry our burden
It’s too heavy for us now

Raucous voices calling, calling
Soundscape of a country scene
Solitarily I’m standing
All alone, the rook and me

Black birds, black birds
Black birds, black birds

Two In The Margins 
Two in the margins where natures are fused
Endings, beginnings, we’re moved and bemused
The past and the future are merged where we stand
And Janus is watching, between sea and land

Time, sea, land, love
Two in the margins they’re blessed from above
Love, land, sea time
Two in the margins will you remain mine?

The sea-spray encroaches as fortunes collide
The nebulous pathway between track and tide -
Untested by footfall, protecting the gate -
Begging the question; will this bear our weight?

Time, sea, land, love…

And over the sand in the grey and the rain
She offers assurance, he welcomes the same
Parallel footprints, friendship and care
Meld in the margins where destinies blur

Time, sea, land, love…

the cherry blossom song

this song is a poem by a. e. houseman that i set to music. it's a long-time favourite of mine and i thought i should write a song with the same message. i got as far as a refrain; 'the blossom comes, the blossom goes / the minutes fly, they never slow'. now, i thought, i need some verses. then i realised that houseman had done the work for me and presumed to put a melody to his words.

i hope he'd have liked it.


welcome to hoppersongs

welcome to the start of hoppersongs.

this blog will be a way of looking at what's going on in the songwriter's mind and of reading lyrics, learning the stories behind the songs and finding out what's going on at hoppersongs h.q.

feel free to send feedback.

after our summer tour (2010; northern england & scotland) andee and i went into quantum leap studio in kent to record 'as live' (see below) the original songs we played on the tour that weren't already on disc (and one that was). we recorded eight; resolute love, solid ground, what you do, the cherry blossom song, oh sally ann, everything, black birds and two in the margins. the latter song is also on the beautiful and cruel, recorded in malmo last december, but the version i played with andee in the summer (she didn't play on t.b.a.c.) was so different that i decided i should have a second version.

these songs can be listened to at

the cd will be available in the next couple of months and is provisionally entitled resolute love.

(re 'as live'; we recorded as close to a live performance as a studio environment allows. marcus, the engineer - who regularly does sound for the folk festival in broadstairs - was great at helping us to recreate the live sound. there were few overdubs. the cd has a live vibe and was aimed at reproducing the energy of a live performance.)

this is the first set of recordings i've done without playing a guitar. my lovely paul hathway-built ( mandola (what you do, solid ground and the cherry blossom song) and mandolin (the rest) being my rhythm instruments for this set.