Love Me Or Leave Me Alone

“Grant my last request and just let me hold you
Don’t shrug your shoulders, lay down beside me
Sure I can accept that we’re going nowhere
But one last time let’s go there, lay down beside me”

© Nuitini/Duguid/Benbrook, “Last Request“, from the album “These Streets“, 2006

This is another song that I thought that I had already added to this collection; as with another one relatively recently (specifically Without You and “relatively recently” in this particular case was actually 2017, LOL), this proved not to be the case.

It was actually written during 2015, as were a lot of the others and was initially recorded by my close friend and collaborator David Barnes as a ballad… which was not necessarily how it was originally conceived. His version is a very nice interpretation and I’m honoured that he chose to take the lyrics (as that was all that I had at that point) and put his own music to it

Like a lot of my works, it is based on a dream sequence… and it is based on a relationship that never was with one of the three important women who changed my life between 2011 and 2016 and whose inspiration features very heavily on No Expectations and also to a lesser degree on London Road…

By virtue of most of these songs being written during that same period these same women also feature very heavily as inspiration for songs that are slated to feature on the Monochrome and Mondegreen EP’s. The fact that they didnt make the cut for the London Road and No Expectations albums doesnt mean they were any lesser, per se. Just that they were not thematically right to be included with those works at the time.

The big difference in this case was that the dream sequence was one that was encountered completely separate to getting the music, which came later. Much later, as a matter of fact.

The gist of the dream sequence itself was that I had travelled a long way to be close to this particular person, but unannounced (and before anyone says it, no, not in a stalk-y way, thank you very much) but to be in her proverbial orbit. Anyway (for, as usual, I digress)… in the dream, I was in what could loosely be described as a walled garden which had a bar and a lot of tables and a lot of plants and flowers growing around it. Walking around in this walled garden/bar, I see her at a table with a lot of her friends and our eyes meet, fleetingly but in that second she looked right through me as if I wasnt there. Which is never a good thing when you’re trying to play it way too cool, LOL.

Moments later in the dream sequence, she walks up to me, takes my face in both of her hands and kisses me. I’ve heard women, but never men, describe some particularly intense kisses as being that much that their knees go weak… Well, call it projection, call it wishful thinking/dreaming/whatever, thats what it was like in the dream. It was the most intense kiss I had ever had, real life or otherwise. There was nothing vulgar or overly sexualised about it. It was just that intense that I thought my knees were about to buckle from underneath me. I have no idea at all whether this person who it is about could kiss like that in the first place, but the imagination can play funny tricks on you.

And, as the lyric states, out of nowhere, she said to me, sotto voce… “if you are going to love me… then love me all out… or leave me alone” and then she walks off, back to her friends leaving me standing there wondering what the hell just happened. The message quite clearly being, if you’re going to do this then you have to be absolutely all in or theres no point.

Or to put it in a different way….in todays vernacular, “s*** or get off the pot”.

Also: an explanation of one of the lines in the Middle 8:

I’ve broken all my addictions, every one except for you“,

This refers to the fact that in 2014, I gave up smoking after 30 years and a whole slew of other things as well after a minor health scare. Most of those things, especially smoking, remain off-limits to this day.

Well, as an aspiring lyricist, in a bit of a purple patch at the time, that was enough… that gave me something to build on, so I just wrote what I’d seen and felt in the dream sequence.

At the time of writing, I did kind of borrow a particular meter to write it around and the notes from the first draft of the lyrics say: “like an Ed Sheerin structure but with a Nutini style vocal/bluesy“… so I had a point of reference.

And in some ways, that has been kind of how it evolved; Conceptually, musically and melodically, it was thought of as Paolo Nutini sings an interpretation of Thinking Out Loud, which at the time was a huge smash around the world.

But the longer the time went on, although I didnt do anything with it, the way I was hearing it in my minds ear did evolve; From Thinking Out Loud, to also including the guitar and piano feel of Eric Clapton’s Old Love and also the three part male harmony backing vocals from Paul Young’s 1980s single, Tomb Of Memories from the follow up album to No Parlez which no one can remember the title of. Especially me, right now LOL.

Fast forward to 2023, because nothing interesting happened with this set of lyrics between those two points, of 2015 and 2023. In the meantime, while I had been working on the tracks for Mondegreen and Monochrome, I had also been reinterpreting a couple of old Silent Edges era songs and once these had got to the point where they needed vocals (more of that in another post though, I’m not going to talk about that here) something about this song forced its way into my conscience and appeared to be telling me I had to do something with it.

So, having learned to trust this instinct, it is something that I have been spending the first week or two of 2023 trying to write/develop proper music for it and have been crafting my interpretation of it and it is starting to emerge from the January fog into the light of day.

… and so far it is nothing like I conceived it to be.

Although, there are elements of the Nutini style about it, more along the lines of Iron Sky than any other of his works, there is also a very different feel brought about by use of a Rhodes piano and a 5 string bass part and a very loose drum track.

So, less of Thinking Out Loud and more Old Love meets Iron Sky. Its a lot less grandiose and much more sparse than a lot of things I’ve tried to write music for and this one I guess is going to lean very heavily on the vocal melody to sell it. Not that I’m making a rod for my own back where the vocals are concerned. Perish the thought

It wont feature on either of the coming EP’s as it isnt thematically correct for them… but, if it reaches its full maturity, it is likely to feature on another EP some way into the future that conceptually has the title of Abcission… but that is going to be some way away yet.

Love Me Or Leave Me Alone

Maybe there really is no fool
Like me… an old fool
Every time I get back on my feet
I cant wait to fall all over again
But only for you

pre chorus/hook
I seem to have spent a lifetime
A lifetime with my faith in fear
So why is it only you
Who makes my heart leap whenever you’re near?

I dreamed of you in a garden
Surrounded by all your friends… but I could feel you near
You looked at me with those big brown eyes
As if I wasnt even there

Then out of nowhere
You took my face in your hands
And kissed me like. you’d never kissed no other man
Aint nobody else, only you
Can hold my heart so tight
That I can barely stand

(and you said)
Come on and love me (all out, all out, all out, all out, all out)
Or just leave me alone
Why did you fly a thousand miles just to say that you love me
(Are you just scared of being alone?)
So if you’re going to love me, then love me love me all out, all out
Love me or just leave me alone

Middle 8
Now I’ve broken all my addictions
Every one that is except for you
In my mind, our time replays my heart cant erase
And I need to find a way to decide if I still love you…


Solo over Chorus

Instrumental pre-chorus hook


© Lyrics and Music, Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2023


Revolution In The Rain

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look, what’s going down?

© Stephen Stills, ‘For What Its Worth‘, (Buffalo Springfield) 1966

With the exception of This Time (which was a collaborative effort on a BASCA songwriting weekend a few years ago, recorded for the London Road album), I’ve never really been one for protest songs. And, to be honest, This Time was a little bit cheeky in that it was peppered deliberately with buzzwords and was slightly facetious as it wasn’t really coming from the typical protest song angle that it may have initially have seemed to… it was more taking the piss out of a certain type of middle class protester who values being seen protesting a subject for just long enough on the right channels without fully understanding what kinds of sacrifices, what kinds of impacts that the thing they’re protesting about is likely to have on the rest of the society that they’re part of – and ultimately, it will be their kids or the children of their peers who will be left to clear up the crap, to coin a phrase which is something I believe a lot of them to be ignorant of. As usual, no names, no pack drill. I think we could all call to mind a certain group of protestors, regardless of our political leanings who we may see as being less than sincere in their endeavours…

In other words, what certain people may term as virtue signallers. And to that end, it did what it needed to pretty well.

Revolution In The Rain though, is somewhat different and despite it coming to me in the same way as the other two tracks from the Mondegreen EP, is arguably very much driven by the global events of the last twelve to eighteen months. The vision was quite sixties/Beatles/Byrds/Thunderclap Newman but with a lead vocal melody that sounded for all the world like a mature Steve Hogarth, a vocalist that I have admired for many, many years and who is significantly more political, especially in his more recent years, although I see things somewhat different to he does.

So there is almost an original sixties “counter-culture” protest feel to it (very different to the modern day ‘Cancel Culture’, which I frankly despise), and it is very different to anything I’ve written before.

And, as alluded to before in the case of Hate, the only part of it that I got sent was the vocal hook; there is no chorus as such, just a repeating three or four line motif that just repeats over and over again and is broken up by a Middle 8 – so it has an A-A-B-A type format.

The lyrics themselves were not difficult to write and the vocal hook for the song came with it anyway – but a Revolution In The Rain is a quintessentially English thing, so it strikes me, that in a nation as wet and windy and rainy as the UK, if such a thing is ever to happen, it will need to happen when the weather is not exactly on their side. A little like a personification of Roger Waters’ quite brilliant ‘hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way’ line from ‘Time’, way back in 1973. The British do not have the somewhat more fiery approach of the French or indeed the Spanish and seem to have the longest fuse of pretty much any nation on earth as to how much antagonising or provocation they will endure before they snap. So, if any such thing is to happen in the UK (and for the record, because of the nature of how the English are in particular, I do not see it happening in my lifetime), it is likely to be somewhat different to other such events that we may have seen around the globe over the last 100 years.

I have tried as hard as I could to be non partisan about it, but with all protest songs there has to be something that the writer is railing against, in order to make their point and this is no exception. The last great truly musically productive era in British music, one that spawned a level of protest music that spoke to a generation was punk (and the subsequent lead up to Thatcherism) in the late 1970s/early 1980s. There hasnt really been anything since then that has truly caught the imagination in the same way not just the UK, but worldwide, despite the things that have occurred in the last 25 years, let alone 35 – things like the advance of globalism, 9/11, the Financial crisis of 2008, the Arab Spring and many other worldwide events. It is as if the music industry has largely decided to be very selective about what types of writers and performers that it espouses in terms of social commentary; Theres not much of a machine for the RATM boys to rage against any more; Mr Bragg is mostly in retirement in a very nice cliff-side Dorset des res; Mr Dylan has sold off his publishing rights to his back catalogue for multi-millions and even Mr Weller has long since ceased being a strident advocate of a particular political doctrine that he made his reputation as a writer on.

And, without being deliberately provocative: these times that we find ourselves in are probably the most polarised that I and no doubt many others have every known; this is something where I do finally for once in my life, not just as a songwriter but also as a man, have to stick a flag in the ground and say “this subject really genuinely bothers me”, which it absolutely does; but not for the same reason that it bothers other people who are close to me.

Whether this is a line that it is possible for a songwriter to attempt to straddle in this day and age of cancellation, or whether I can even get away with what the song is clearly drawing parallels with – lines like “less than a hundred years since ‘Never again'” and the references to book burning are pretty explicit about the historical events they are referring to and those lines were deliberately written to be unequivocal about that. Whether others may see it the same way or not, I do not know. My intention, as ever, is not to be preachy about it, but to say what I feel about something that bothers me a lot, as someone who has spent most of his time as a songwriter writing more about love, loss, healing and abandonment than anger. But, in the words of a certain John Lydon Esq “Anger Is An Energy” and it has its place in the spectrum of human emotions.

My collaborators before me, particularly my very good friend Robert Pearce have been able to write this type of material before and do it very effectively… for me though, its a new thing and I don’t expect to be making a habit of it. As I say, I’m not advocating openly for any particular change apart from that which people want to be for themselves, which I always have espoused; be the change you yourself wish to be, you can change no more than that. And maybe, if we all change to be all that we can be, maybe we will be less easily led by those who clearly do not practise the kind of altruism that they claim to on our behalf.

Revolution In The Rain is to be part of the Mondegreen EP and will be finished later this year.

Revolution In The Rain

When you dont know who to believe any more
And you’re wondering just what its all for
All you see around you is your world in pain

When your faces can be held to the floor
For having the nerve to step outside your door
And your world will never be the same again
Waiting for a revolution in the rain

When those you followed left and turned off all the lights
And left you in the dark with no end in sight
And all your streets are in drenched fear and broken glass night after night
You wonder when you’ll see your friends again.
Isolation, libation, frustration, negation,
Watching for the revolution in the rain

{Middle 8}
Take another drink
Push it all to the back of your mind
Every time you do, for all the good it could do,
It all seems just a little further behind
No one knows how long it will last
Til we’ve all been made to forget our pasts
A new take on all your childrens dreams
And you learn that Build Back Better aint all that it seems

When all the memories of you are swept out of the door
And your body is not your own any more
Less than a hundred years since “Never Again”

You can be just another name in a book thats been burned
Or you can be one that makes your voice heard
Deny the lies that have turned the world around you insane
Be your own revolution in the rain

Never let them do this to you again

Dont let them reduce you to this again

Lead your own revolution in the rain

{Ad lib to fade}

© Words and Music, Steven McCarthy-Hunt 2021

Leave On An Outwave

We had no way to see eye to eye
Through all the walls in their mind
These were the pleasures that terrified
We left them behind

© Gary Kemp 1986, from the album ‘Through The Barricades

This song is another that is intended for the Mondegreen EP and was written in late 2020.

Unlike a lot of its kith and kin, it was a track that just walked in completely fully formed and unprompted and I have no idea where it came from – as there wasn’t really anything going on in my life at the time which would have given my subconscious any reason to come up with it. All i know is what it sounded like in my minds ear as a production; In this particular case, its vision was not so much of a music video in a vivid dream (like how a lot of songs come to me) but like watching a live performance in a rehearsal room.

With this song, the vocal melody and the structure of the song (and the words as well for that matter) were very clear, even if I didn’t really understand who/whatever sent me the song was getting at; the structure struck me as being very simple and straightforward and in a lot of ways it is very much like the song that is at the head of this page (namely Spandau Ballet’s Cross the Line, which was the opening track on the Through The Barricades album from 1986). The vocal melody was very much a Tony Hadley style “dramatic warble” as he himself has been known to describe it.

With the structure being as simple as it is, it was a very easy song to write lyrically and thematically. Those familiar with Gary Kemp’s writing from that time period will probably recognise the songs roots when they hear it – but as usual, the song no doubt reserves the right to end up sounding like something completely different to its inspiration by the time it is finally completed as a) I’m not Gary Kemp as a writer and b) as a producer, I’m definitely not Gary Langan.

The song is intended for the Mondegreen EP and I hope it will be completed later this year.

And, I’m afraid I don’t really know what an “outwave” is. I think the only way I can make sense of it in the context of the song is like a surfer heading out from the beach into the sea. Not that I’m even remotely familiar with surfing speak or whether such a thing as an outwave exists in surfer parlance. I have tried looking at a different set of words or a different lyric with the same vocal melody and that would end up ripping the entire thing to bits and it wont work like it does now.

So, if Steve Miller can get away with inventing words like pompetus, I’m sure an unknown like me I can get away with an outwave once in a while, LOL. The rest of the lyrics are essentially simple breakup word-play lines. Thats the way they were sent to me by heaven knows who or why and I’m not going to question it; it is what it is [grins]

Leave On An Outwave

It seems that
You’re leaving
We aint got moments to save
We’re breaking
No mistaking
Nothing left I wanna say

{Pre Ch}
Thought we were heading for somewhere
But in the end it was nowhere, baby

The memories
You owed me
Things you promised but you never gave
Just tell me
What you wished for
For love or luck or just to make this go away

{Pre Ch}
Thought we were heading for somewhere
But we ended up nowhere, baby

(Our paths Crossed) but we leave on an out wave x 2

{Verse & pre ch/instrumental with guitar solo}

(Our paths Crossed) but we leave on an out wave x 2

I see that
You’re leaving
We’re a calendar that ran out of days
Its a shame, girl
But its your world
And I live to love in another place and another day

{Pre Ch}
What became of our somewhere?
Never thought we’d end up nowhere, darling

{Ch x 2}
(Our paths Crossed) but we leave on an out wave x 2

© Words & Music Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2020

Hate/Bond XXIX

Am I a God or am I Jesus?
Am I a man or am I a boy?
Do I feel love or just possession?
Do I feel holy or nothing at all?

© Paul Draper, 1997 from the album ‘The Attack Of The Grey Lantern’

This is a song that came along early last year around the time of the first lockdown, completely unprompted, as the best ones usually do. And, as I’ve learned from seeing interviews with other writers (namely Barry Gibb who said that the same happened to him with How Deep Is Your Love and You Win Again), the only bit that I had when this one came along, was just one section of it.

In the case of Hate, it was the Middle 8 and nothing else, which played on a short loop but was distinctive enough to be unforgettable.

But, while it was just the Middle 8, in the same way as Manhattan Lullaby, it was like hearing a fully produced record or seeing part of a fully produced music video in your minds eye. And whereas Manhattan Lullaby‘s vocal melody was a Matt Munro vocal and Let It Go was a Peter Skellern vocal, in this case the vocal was a George Michael one.

Not only that, but the feel of the track seemed to be very James Bond-ish in terms of its arrangement and orchestration; when I woke up and started writing down what I remembered of it, it struck me that George never got the chance to do a Bond theme when he was alive.

Given how big a voice he had and considering how talented a writer he was and how he understood orchestration and arranging, I was somewhat surprised that the opportunity never came his way.

So anyway, after the usual digressing, thats how this song came about.

It is, I must admit, certainly since Manhattan Lullaby anyway, the most musically and vocally ambitious thing I have ever written, certainly in terms of what it needs musically to do it justice and there is a lot for me to learn in order to bring it to life, much less get anything even close to the vision I have for the vocal melody.

I mean, how many others have had a punt at trying to write something that could viably be the intro theme for a Bond film and given it a really serious go? But, having said that, there have been a number of songs that came to me as one thing and ended up on No Expectations or London Road sounding somewhat different. So, while this one is kind of tongue-in-cheek subtitled Bond 29, by the same measure, when it comes to having it down on disk, it may well end up being entirely different. But that is the vision for it that I have right now and thats what I’ll aim for.

Lyrically, with the exception of the Middle 8 which came to me fully formed, the rest of it has been compiled from the reserve of lines that I have from other ideas and also from a couple of stream of consciousness writing sessions that I had between 2017 and 2018; mainly late 2017 when I very nearly found myself being cat-fished (whole other story, most definitely not for this blog).

As it stands at the moment, this song is intended for the Mondegreen EP and will hopefully be produced later this year.

Hate/Bond XXIX

As I hear your footsteps down the dark hall
Deep down I will always wonder if it meant anything at all
When the novelty of beauty fades what becomes of it all?
Is it all too raw to say that your pride will go before your fall?

Too precious to tolerate making a mistake
And being seen as the one to blame
Should learn to ride the mood and just not be afraid
What you deigned to fall for not who I was, but what I wanted to say?

(Middle 8)

Now I hate that you’re mad
And I hate that we are through and I hate the fact
That all the things I once loved about you now make you hate me too.
And all we’ve got left is hate…

V3/{Build up to coda}
And now I watch another guy who was fond of you and turned your head
Dont put anything else into my mind, I haven’t forgiven you yet.
Looking brave on the outside, living your life’s lies
But inside you’re dying with every step

Every single day I try to suppress it, second guess it, Jesus its all such a damn mess, isnt it…

And Id’ forgotten how amazing the tension can be
When someone teases out your vulnerability
Leaves you exposed, pulls you out into the light
Right out of the comfort zone and into the choice of flight over fight

But something’s not right
And you’ve given me proof
You gave away pictures of skin that made you cheaper than the truth
Where did you stay?
When you coming home
Cant help but have the feeling that you’re werent really on your own
I could sense the danger but couldnt help being drawn right in
To a web I never knew I was getting into


As I hear your footsteps down the hall
Deep down I know it meant nothing at all
When the novelty of beauty fades nothing becomes of it all
All proof that your pride brought about your fall…

© Words & Music, Steve McCarthy-Hunt, 2021

Another Day

“Guilt in the frame of the looking-glass
Puts a shine on the mind where reflections pass
Where the jigsaw pieces of a broken man
Try and fit themselves together again”

©Roland Orzabal/Nicky Holland, “Badman’s Song“,  from the album “The Seeds Of Love“, 1989

This one appeared out of nowhere during a writing weekend between myself and an inspirational collaborator who I’ve known for half my life. Its in the middle of being recorded right now and is evolving quite nicely. It has some elements of Steve Hogarth’s H Natural to it at the moment, very sparse, lots of room for the words to breathe – and also of Neil Finn – I can really sense almost a Weather With You feel to it, which is encouraging and a direction I’m very keen to explore.

From a production perspective, I think I may cut two versions, just to cover both bases.

From a lyrical perspective; It didnt have any particular theme and I wasnt in any particular mood when the lyrics came out. They are perhaps, tangentially related to Deep Deep Blue (in the sense that there is a theme of someone leaving and the situation being outside of the writer’s control), but that is evolving at its own pace and will be a completely different song.

Another Day                                                                              

Don’t come here, just to kiss me goodnight
I can tell whats on your mind
By that look that you cant hide
In your eyes…

Draw the blinds and pour the wine
Am I just another day you left behind
Without telling me why?

There will be a time to smile,
A time to cry
A time to intervene and to walk right on by
A time to see
A time to hear
You could always calm me, just by being near

Always somewhere else you need to be
Another one horse town
Between you and I
Another all night drive

The road less travelled and a windowless view
The very thing I need
Is the one I cant talk to
Is it ok to feel afraid,
Ok to feel this way?


This is the point where I watch you walk away
No matter how much I begged you to stay
Our final song has no more bars left to play
And the sun goes down on another lonely day.

©Lyrics Steve McCarthy-Hunt, Sept 2015. Music & Arrangement Robert Pearce Sept 2015.

Deep Deep Blue

“Years have flown by since you’ve been gone
This broken heart of mine’s been waiting too long
All alone without you I can’t carry on

There’s no sense in asking why
Until I’m there by your side

There’s no one but you on my mind
Searching for a perfect ending that we’ll never find
If we could make it work this time…”

© Andy Connell/Corinne Drewery/Paul Staveley O’Duffy “You On My Mind” from the album Kaleidoscope World, 1989

I have to admit quite freely, that I dont really know where this one emerged from. Some of the lines, particularly the concept of emotions being made human and wearing clothes, you may recall I had thought about in a recent blogpost, but thats all it was, a concept. Now its part of a completed song. I cant even say with honesty that it came from watching anything on TV or that I had read anywhere. All I knew is that once I had the chords, which I was originally going to use for Doesnt Matter Now, the whole thing poured out inside of 30 minutes, from beginning to end. And, as its a first draft I obviously reserve the right to change it and for it to evolve until it becomes a finished product.

As such, can I therefore claim “well, its about…..” with any honesty? In truth, I cant really say that I can.

But, the words paint their own pictures and they tell their own story. About someone who can see that a relationship is only going one way, in the direction where it becomes predictable, that they dont communicate and that he drinks to forget and to escape what he figures is going to happen. And has no idea what to do, to hang on tighter or to try and let go. Or bury his head in the sand and hope it’ll go away. But deep down he knows it wont.

Not in any way autobiographical (he grinned…)

Deep Deep Blue

I’ve had enough of dragging my heart up a hill
For just one more drink tonight, one less ten dollar bill
Treating me mean sure didn’t end up keeping me keen
No matter what, when the cards are down, face up, looking at me still,
When I said I loved you I know that I always will…

Sitting in a bar in old Soho, ten years from now
Thinking that once was a mistake and twice was a choice
So now I’m free and alone to see the whole of the truth
No matter what, even when you said what you meant,
I still cant even begin to understand the whole of you…

Now I can drink here alone, until I don’t recall your name
But when I wake up you’re lying next to me still
Getting up every morning and getting dressed without a single word
Not a backward glance or even a look that could kill….

Verse 3/
Now I can see your emotions in this bar all in their summer clothes
Anger in red, glaring at sympathy all dressed in black
Sorrow and sadness over there drinking whisky all in deep, deep blue
Melancholy fumbling around, sometimes catching my eye
Like me, she just doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do…

Middle 8/
Now your passion has packed its case, called a cab and left a hole in your heart
But I know that it left a key there, deep down in your bones
The tighter I held on, the faster your sand ran clean through my hand
Had I not tried at all, could I have expected you to understand…?

© Words & Music, Steve McCarthy-Hunt Sept 2015

Glass Bottomed Boat

“You could crack this stony sky
With a single burning kiss
You could bleed this starless night
Like a desert oasis

When love turns to dust, leaves the splinters of your trust
Shine on, shine on
In the beauty of the storm , I wither”

(c) James Grant, from the album “Dogs In The Traffic”, 1991

Admittedly, this one has a working title, as opposed to a final one. Written in April/May 2015. Loosely inspired by an old Love and Money track called Who In Their Right Mind? Given the opening line, the image that sprang to mind was of a couple stuck on a small rowing boat, stuck on a glass-like, calm river in a big city, but don’t exactly feel the same way about each other. The idea of that boat having a glass bottom so that everything is visible to everything else, both up and down, was appealing.

Lots of imagery and allegory, a fair amount of it “borrowed” from watching too much TV (specifically an episode of Holby City about an repeat/obsessive organ donor) and re-interpreting some of the things that characters say – not really inspired by any one person in particular. I’m still umming and ahhing about what to do with this one. It may end up being a donor song to another track. Not finished by any standards yet.

Glass Bottomed Boat              

Verse 1/
Becalmed on a river of passion
Not hard to see, you don’t feel the attraction
No silver lined clouds around to bore your view
Its not about that look in your eye
While your dreams float on by
And your love life just mends and makes do

Verse 2/
Could you grow a heart from a stone?
Maybe you could, if you’d leave it alone, for long enough.
A hostage to your anger and resentment
Seems sometimes that life is wasted on the living
And time is too easily wasted by the young.

The sound of sobbing drowned by the silence
Of the dance of blue lights
And I never stopped to ask you how you felt
‘Bout makin’ sacrifices you never asked me to, to make it last
And when you reach the bottom of your glass
All you can taste is the bitterness of the past.

Middle 8/
Sitting here with you in a room where you’ve never been
Talking ‘bout places and people you’ve never even seen.
The walls have eyes to go with their mouths and ears
And you’ll listen and look and fight to be free of all your fears.

Verse 3/
You get under my skin like no one else
Take me right to the edge then reel me back in
And the steam of your promises in winter fade with the mist.
You paint a landscape in my mind full of mountains to climb
And leaving me with a path to the top that’s just too hard to find.

(c) Lyrics: Steve McCarthy-Hunt, 2015


“Loving you… isnt the right thing to do
How can I ever change things that I feel?
If I could, baby
I’d give you my world…
How can  I, when you wont take it from me?”

(c) Lindsay Buckingham, “Go Your Own Way”, from the album “Rumours”, 1976

This was written around the same time as Heart On A Shelf (October 2014). Same subject matter, same person who flitted in and out of my life like a butterfly as the inspiration/muse behind it. It was a pretty intense time and I guess writing songs like this was the release. Written with a kinda Neil Finn vibe in mind, especially the Coda.


Verse 1/
It was another place, another time
All I wanted was to make you mine
In the empty spaces I wrote another line
In the heat of the day and the dead of the night

Starting each night in the fading light
Always speaking the language of touch
Only one of us sees, with a heart that bleeds
And for the other one, it’s never enough

Verse 2/
Deep in the night, still your eyes are so bright
No other part of you tells me so much
Just two strangers in need of a random connection
Who’ll go their own way tomorrow and not ask for directions


Middle 8/
I’ve got bottles of memories and shoe boxes of dreams
Labelled “Death”, “Divorce”, “Never Was” and plain old “Never Will Be”,
I only see what’s left that I don’t need to see
Dont know where I’m going, but staying here’s not for me…


Now I’m watching the rise and I’m watching the fall
Of the tiny spiders trying to make their way up the wall
Working so hard to make something out of nothing at all
And you know I’d give you this big old heart
Just for the cost of a call…

(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt, October 2014.

Heart On A Shelf

“Something happens and I’m head over heels… I never find out, til I’m head over heels…”

(c) Orzabal/Smith, “Head Over Heels”, from the album “Songs From The Big Chair”, 1985

This was written in October 2014. Basically, I met someone who hooked me all the way in, very fast and I found myself regurgitated back up again equally quickly. An emotional bulimic, maybe, without being too harsh on her. Then again, maybe it is a little harsh…. Regardless of how much initial pleasure it may give to the senses, ultimately food is inert, it doesnt aspire to be re-consumed once its been sampled and then wrapped up in some kitchen paper and put in the waste.  Anyway. I’m drifting off topic. This was written as the writing on the wall became clearer.

This concept of someone who just cant help but leave a particularly sensitive part of himself behind in someone else’s world, no matter how short an amount of time he spends there, with the hope that they’ll wake up to the notion that all they have to do is just acknowledge it, is me all over I guess. Romanticized futility in three stanzas.

If anything, its more a poem than anything else at the moment. Not sure what is going to happen to it yet. There are bits of it that I think would work lyrically as a song, but others that I’m not so sure about. Eitherway, I’m not convinced that it’ll make the KOAS album cuts. Not in this form.

Heart On A Shelf

Verse 1/
I can kid myself I’m wise
But I’m just a sentimental guy
I keep leaving my heart behind
But I know where it hides
On your pillow
In your room
Leaving it growing
Promise me you’ll find it soon?

And maybe I’ll remember next time
Not to leave it behind
Or maybe I’ll bury it in your garden
For you maybe one day to find

Even thought its right under your nose
Blooming like a flower
In the new spring or winter melting snow
Know that it’ll stay right with you
No matter where you go

Verse 2/
And you can ignore it or leave it behind
Abandon it if you think you must
You can choose not to take any promise I make
And put it all down just to middle aged lust

Verse 3/Coda/

But thats not me, I’m not what you see
Not just another old book bound in dust
My heart’s still there on your shelf
Still beating away all by itself
And there it’ll stay
Waiting for your touch

(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt Oct 2014

Once Was Promising

“You surely are a truly gifted kid
But you’re only as good as
The last great thing you did
And where’ve you been since then?….”

“….If it’s uphill all the way
You should be used to it by now…”

“….You must know me, father it’s your son
And I know that you are proud
Of everything I’ve done
But it’s the wonders I perform
Pulling rabbits out of hats
When sometimes I’d prefer simply to wear them”

(c) Paddy MacAloon “Moving The River” from the album “Steve McQueen“, 1983

This one was written in May/June 2015. What fired the imagination initially on this one was the title which came from a misheard part of a riff from a famous Allman Brothers track, Midnight Rider – I had been watching a show where they had performed a really sparse version of it and the “…I got one more silver dollar…” line was the catalyst for this song.

Ultimately, its a story of unfulfilled ambition. And, ambition that is thwarted through the artist’s own inaction and reticence, a lack of time, a lack of willingness to share their gift or just cynicism with the industry. And, to echo the words of Steve Hogarth, “… will you get what you want… to be cursed with your dreams?

As with life itself sometimes, it isnt the destination that brings the fulfilment and the rewards, its the journey that teaches you the most, so they say.

If you dont take that final step off the highway to reach your eventual destination… does that keep the creation that you’ve poured your heart into that bit more pure and untainted? Maybe so, maybe not. Depends why you got into the business in the first place. Having seen members of my own family make their living in this profession and walk away from it, broken and cynical, I think I can understand that lack of desire to fully engage with it.

Anyway. This is seen from the perspective of a songwriter, an author, a painter and a musician. All getting to within that one last step then questioning whether it was what they really wanted. But understanding deep down that maybe, just maybe that they had something special. If only for a short while…

Im hoping that this one will start to take a more solid form for the KOAS London Road project, but there’s quite a way to go yet. It could well end up with a partial or full rewrite.

Once Was Promising

Verse 1/Intro

Watching the clock running down
Aint got forever any more
God knows I’ve learned its hell in the hallway,
While you’re waiting for that opening door.

Dont believe much in Jesus
But I’m told he once believed in me
But what would he think if he’d chosen the same road
And walked in the same shoes as me?

Just one more shot at the silver lining
Just one more rainbow to follow
If not today, then theres twice as far to run tomorrow
Dont care nothing any more for money, dont care to beg steal or borrow
Because I once was promising… but now its left me hollow

Verse 2/
Just one more song, that’ll open the door
Just to prove I’ve got it, then I wont worry anymore.
But the chords wont come and the words wont flow
Dont want ya to hear it yet, I dont wanna hear you say “no”
Maybe I’m a fool, but its my call to say so


Verse 3/
Just one more chapter of the story to tell
I already know who dies in the end, I wrote it so well
Lost in an online sea of unknown dreamers just like me
Trying to be heard above all the noise in the game
But it all sounds, exactly the same


Verse 4/
Just one more brush stroke to finish the picture
To hang it with all the rest
Forty years of dreams on canvas
Like I’ve given myself a test
A life’s work in a gallery on Main Street where no one comes
But they’re snapshots in time forever, what is done is now done


Middle 8/
Just one more performance, one more show
To find a dream realised and end up so soon despised
But I cant afford to let it go
So much talking, drinking, tobacco, it doesnt move me any more
I always thought this was what I wanted… but now I’m not so sure any more.


(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2015