Amorphous

Written in June 2015, probably during watching daytime TV. Believe it or not, from a mis-heard phrase in another song. What was actually “more thoughts”, I heard as “Amorphous”. And, considering that the word literally means (in this context at least) a collection of thoughts without form, I thought it somehow appropriate to use as a song title.

Fans of a certain, often repeated TV show may recognise the Wedding Band Boneyard line. Yes, I did appropriate it from that show, in case you wondered.

It doesnt really have a theme or a story behind it, although it is full of imagery and allegory. Like a lot of songs, there are some autobiographical aspects but none of any particular consequence.

Amorphous

Verse 1/
Time came when he’d  never leave the house
Without wearing something in black
Police found his clothes on the beach one day
With a note that said “Never Coming Back”

Verse 2/

He was an ordinary man til the wolf moved in
And bought the house next door
He never bothered with the cobwebs on the ceiling
And didnt care about the dust on the floor

Chorus/
Last night he stowed away on the ship of fools
Took a small suitcase and all of her jewels
To an island in the sea surrounded by stars
She knew she’d never trust him again
When he said he wanted to be more than friends
And his hourglass had to run out in the end.

Verse 3/
Couldnt stay any more when the wolf smelled the fear
As he growled and scratched at the door
And the bus from the wedding band boneyard
Bought in so many more and more (and more)

Chorus/

Middle 8/
Was it all about keeping control?
She dont need a priest if theres no sin at confessional
He lets her unload and unload and just sits and he listens
And absolution’s the love she didnt care for unless it glistened…

(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2015

Strange Girl

Written in Summer 2014 after I met someone who just appeared to be going through the motions, emotionally. Im trying to be non judgmental about it – in the same way that I can’t help my emotional responses to things, to her no doubt it was all completely normal. Maybe I was just looking for the wrong things in the wrong places. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Strange Girl

Verse 1/
Met a strange girl in a strange house
Drove to her strange house in a strange car
Looking into those strange blue eyes
Trying to find a strange new light
Seeing nothing familiar

Verse 2/
What its take to get closer to you?
Sitting around on this strange afternoon
Dont know you well enough yet
To think about regretting what I’ve not yet said
From Sunday to Monday

Bridge/
I didnt think I’d be so out of my depth
I didnt think… well, thats my problem, I guess
And I dont know what you’re looking for just yet
Its all so strangely familiar

Middle 8/
Can you start a fire without friction
All of that passion’s been worn away by attrition
Driven by what you can get?
I can give you all that I can give
Might not be much, but its all still mine to live
But you cant take all of the time, putting nothing back
I cant keep on making up for all those things you lack
Its all just so strangely familiar.

(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt, 2014

South To The Sun

This was written on a BASCA songwriting retreat with the brilliant Lisa Fitzgibbon. It grew from a combination of a topline and a chord progression that Lisa had and a theme that had been found by both of us going through my old lyric book looking for lines that would fire our imagination. The track was pretty much done inside 24 hours and I’m really, really pleased with it.

The more sharp eyed readers will notice not only a line that has been used elsewhere in another song, but also part of the story as well which has been re-examined through a different view through the prism. As is the case with a number of my works, its core subject is around loss and transformation and change – and adaptation to the changing world around us.

South To The Sun

Verse 1/
I whispered a wish into the palm of my hand (hello, hello)
My memory drinks from a solitary glass (let it go, let it go)
The autumn rain falls on my face
And the leaves on the trees turn brown
As the birds fly south to the sun…

Verse 2/
Wearing two gold bands attached to a chain (I know, I know)
They’re here to remind me that you wont go away and I know… (let it go)
The autumn rain falls on my face
And the leaves on the trees turn brown
As the birds fly south to the sun…

Middle 8/
Your coat’s in the hallway
Your shoes at the door
I turn on the lights and watch the dust settle
Days growing shorter and the shadows grow longer
And I look at the sky and I smile a little
As the birds fly south to the sun…

Verse 3/
Time is a thief, makes the memory fade, I know (I know)
He comes and he steals a little piece every day and I know, ‘cos I let him go
Autumn rain falls on my face as the leaves on the trees turn brown
Todays not just another day
Because I’ve nothing left to fear now
As the birds fly south to the sun…

(c) 2014 Lyrics by Steve McCarthy-Hunt, Music by Lisa Fitzgibbon

Your Town

“.…Up on the street, lights shining bright
Watch the world go by down on the walkway
The shadows try to kiss the night goodbye
Well I need you now, I want you now
And If I die, will I be born again?…

(c) Steven Lindsay, “Big Town” from the album “Satellites“, 1991

Written in 2013, not long after circumstances had moved me on from the town that I should, on deeper reflection, never have moved to in the first place. I hadnt bargained on ending up in the countryside, but… its proved to be a fruitful place to write, so every cloud has a lining of a different hue.

Inspired by the need to move on and embrace change and an old Big Dish track from the late 1980s.

Your Town

Verse 1/
A morning mist dissolving,
Buried treasure that will never be found
You wont know where you are if you don’t look around
Just minding your business, keeping your head down

Verse 2/
Don’t play my guitars any more
The lost chord remains unfound
This is the lie that I’ll live in
Til the day I leave your town

Chorus/
Leaving your town, your town
(Wouldn’t have to leave if you’re still around)
Leaving your town, your town
(Gonna find somewhere else to settle down)

Middle 8/
Now neither of us know how this will unwind
All that we know is that life don’t run on straight lines…

Chorus/

Solo/

Chorus/

CODA/
Such a bitter pill left behind
Grass wont grow on dead ground
Don’t care where, just anywhere but here
No home in your town now you’re not around…

(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2013

Come Home Soon

Written in April/May 2015. Inspired by two things. One being the concept of someone who goes away to sea to earn money but finds that by going away he has to travel further away to earn more money to be able to return home… by which point, he has travelled further away, so needs to earn more… and it repeats and repeats until he’s travelled the worlds oceans to be reunited with his family.

The second one being a Norah Jones track. Which shall remain nameless.

One of my collaborators has done a sterling job in putting this to music; once I receive a copy of the mastered track, I’ll attach it.

Come Home Soon

Verse 1/
I could cross an angry sea
And leave my footprints far behind me
Fly over the ocean in skies so blue
I’d go anywhere just to be with you

Verse 2/
I think about you on the rising sea
And I know you’re always with me
While my working life always drags me away
Its only you that brings me home each day

Chorus/
No need to say a prayer tonight before you sleep
I’m not too big to miss you, our love is ocean deep
Keep me in your heart, you know I’ll be home soon
Write my name in the stars, I love you like the sun and the moon

Verse 3/
I will cross a tranquil sea
Counting all the miles between you and me
Got to go all round the world to get back to you
All the money and time cant bring me back too soon

Chorus/

Middle 8/
They can stretch this thing that binds us
But it’ll always bring me back to you
They’ll never break this thing that binds us
It’s the thread that always brings me back to you…

Chorus/solo

V4/
I have crossed the seven seas
Counted every footstep between you and me
Crossed every ocean, flown every sky so blue
Don’t want to be just anywhere
I want to be with you.

(c) Lyrics: Steve McCarthy-Hunt, Music by David J Barnes, 2015

Dont Talk About It

“Back in the cafe in the old street
With your Miss America
But she looks nowhere in a new dress
And coming around yours again…”

“…She’ll be the queen of something or other someday
A beauty in every way but one way….”

© Steven Lindsay, “Miss America” from the album “Satellites“, 1991.

This song came about in June 2014 after having seen a repeat of a British cop show called New Tricks on a satellite channel. An episode titled “Romans Ruined“, to be specific, for those who may have followed it at some point.

What inspired it was a sub-plot device; one of the key characters had a partner who had been sectioned a long time ago and was about to be released back into care in the community… and the character was un-nerved by the whole process, whereas his partner who had been in treatment could see his situation with absolute clarity as to why he was so uncomfortable in having to face up to what was about to happen. And still loved him enough to realise that she had to set him free.

That and a line in the third verse that was adapted from a Fiat 500 car advertisement. Inspiration comes from the strangest places.

This is slated to appear on one of the KOAS project albums.

Dont Talk About It

Verse 1/
You look the same to me
But I know deep inside, you’re not
Time’s made you a changed man,
Still holding on to what you should have forgot

Verse 2/
You feel like you’re coming up for air
And finding everything’s changed
I know just how much you tried
But that sweeping hand of the clock aint gonna lie
Now everything in your life’s rearranged.

Chorus/
Hush, hush, Don’t Talk About It
Shaking another tree to see what falls out of it
Hush, hush, no time to talk around it
Too late to fix what you shouldn’t have started

Verse 3/
Love is the devil in the detail
It’s the flesh on the bones
You’ve gained so much, so much of it with age
And you gave it away to remain on your own

Middle 8/
Stripped of all your dignity
You say you don’t love her anymore
Well it don’t look that way to me
She smiles demurely but talks behind your back of revenge
And under her breath, the means
Will always justify the ends…

Verse 4/
It all seems like a game
Everything’s just fine then its not
It’s a changed plan,
All still holding onto
What we should have forgot.

(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2015

Hunters Moon

This came about while driving with a very good friend of mine to a concert in December 2014 on a completely clear evening with a low, very full moon. I cant explain why, but something inspired me as we made our way to the gig in Leamington Spa and the spine of the story was fleshed out over the following four days or so.

Its a completely fictional account of someone who sees a figure moving through a field, lit only by the moon but isn’t sure of what he sees, but given that you dont normally see ghostly figures dancing through farmers fields in the moonlight, leads him to try and get to the bottom of the story. Its quite long by normal commercial song standards (about 8 minutes or so). I do have visions for how it may sound, but I am some way away from realising them just yet. As it stands at the moment, it works better as a poem than it does a song, but nonetheless, I havent given up hope on it yet!

Hunters Moon

Pt1.

Verse 1/
Falling twilight, in rural England,
Driving a long flowing road
Rolling hills and farmers fields
A full starless moon is rising
A soft light, bathing and beguiling
And a lone figure in the distance
That I can see and I can feel

Chorus:
What could I see under this Hunters Moon?
Something real or imagined, but gone far too soon
Under a star-less night and the light soft and bright
Don’t know who she is, but I have to find out who…

Verse2/
The Shadow moves through the field
But doesn’t move a single leaf
Her arms open wide, her head gently leans to one side
I watch her sway for a moment and then she’s gone…

Pt2

Verse 3/
Now the local legend sings an old song
And the tale gets taller as the nights they grow long,
Of the wife of a soldier, but no one knows who
His name almost forgotten, along with hers too

Verse 4
Born into a broken family was she
Mother ruined by gin and her father long since lost to the sea
Spent her childhood in fields of green
Carefree, abandoned but with a hope of what could be…

Chorus/hook repeat:

As she danced one night under the Hunters Moon,
Her smile caught his languid gaze not a moment too soon
Such a beautiful sight on this star-less night,
He didn’t know her name but he had to find out who…

Verse 5/
He couldn’t hide the glint in his eye
Felt himself fall for her, but couldn’t work out why
Why here, why her, and why but why tonight?
And she danced in his arms, until the morning birds took flight

(solo)

Pt3.

Wartime

Verse 6/
Days came and went, endless months would fly by
Like so many mothers sons, the war exacts a price
Kept herself beautiful, waiting for him to come home
But still she’d dance in the moonlight on her own
Every night she’d watch the trails cross the night sky
She counted them all out and counted back the ones that could still fly
She longed for the church bells to ring for the end of the war
To be reunited under the moon for evermore

Verse 7/
She couldn’t sleep no matter how she tried
Dreading the knock on the door in the middle of the night
Solemn military man in a black car as the rain poured
Carrying a folded flag and a telegram from King George
Took off his hat as he strode across the floor
The church bells rang a day too soon,
On a day after a Hunters Moon

Pt4

Verse 8/
So many years have hurried on by
Nothing is now left of those long winter nights
Generations moved on and that was true for hers too,
All thats left is a legend for the locals to tell
Of winter nights, star-less fields and the sound of church bells
Where you’ll see in the night, under a light cool and bright,
A young girl dancing alone
Under a Hunters Moon.

(c) Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2014

No Getting Over You

“I am shipwrecked in the night
I watched a girl with eyes like thin ice
Say “Dive into these pools of blue,”
But I tripped over you

I curse these cool whispering lights
I curse the things that keep me from you
Again my patience makes the climb
Will my tears buy me time?”

© James Grant, Walk The Last Mile from the album “Strange Kind Of Love“, 1988.

This was written in April 2014 and in a similar way to another song, is a story of three women in my life and how they have left their mark on it, in their own way, particularly when they left it. It took less than an hour to write from start to finish and was inspired (in its musical form at least) by an old James Grant/Love & Money composition called Walk The Last Mile.

It has gone on to be the inspiration behind two other written sets of lyrics; one that found its way into a finished song and another that is also listed on here (Doesnt Matter Now).

It is very personal; some have said maybe too much so, that others cannot relate to it because it does detail a specific storyline or narrative that only I know about.

I accept that viewpoint, but it is though, one of those stories that I have to tell, if for no other reason to get the story out of my own mind and into musical and lyrical form. While the verses are very specific, the chorus does contain a number of truisms that are universal to us all:

  • That if you do not make your dreams happen, the passage of time will see them stolen from you until there are none left,
  • That the passage of time does change your perspective on some songs and you see them through different eyes as they trigger different emotions,
  • And that if something is going to happen, there is only so much that you can do to influence an event; there are some things you cant fight, no matter how hard you try.

OK, so the last one is a personal viewpoint, but I think you’ll understand what I’m getting at. This track is almost finished and is proving to be somewhat tricky to complete, but completed it will be.

No Getting Over You.
Verse 1:
Your shoes were left by the door the day you went away
Your car keys on the kitchen table where there’ll only be one plate
And theres dust in the hallway where your coat used to be
Where you’d hang it up each day when you came back home to me

Bridge:
Now that you’re gone I’ve got to get on with living this life for you
But no one here is buying only half the love I could have given you

Pre Chorus:
Now the diamonds from your fingers hang around my neck
And your ashes on a mountainside leave a reminder of regret

Chorus:
Now all our old songs have no meaning
And time has stolen the dreams out of my eyes
You cant fight whats going to happen
And it would be foolish to
…
No I just dont see any getting over you

Verse 2:
I left the warmth of your bed one morning to face the rising sun
You said you wanted me to leave, it wouldnt work
and that we were done
Three times I asked you “are you sure”, and you said you were
And without a backward glance you turned and looked toward the stars

Bridge:
And now you’re gone, I’ve got to get on and live life without you
But no one here is buying only half the love I could have given you

Pre Chorus:
You fixed my broken wings and you set me free
And when later you said you’d made a mistake, I couldnt let it be

Chorus:

And now our old songs have no meaning
And time has stolen the dreams out of my eyes
You cant fight whats going to happen
And it would be foolish to
…
No I just dont see any getting over you.

Middle 8:
No, no more love today, if you please: I’ve got a heart thats been run off its feet
And my emotions are on their knees
Days alone sat in my car trying to pass the hours
Wondering which road to take, whether it was mine or if it was ours?

Verse 4:
This year you sent me a valentine I never thought I’d get from you
And I asked you to try and mend my shattered heart because you could
With nothing but stolen hours to show for it in all our lives
And my foolish heart had a dream that maybe this time could be for life

Bridge:
And now you’re gone, I’ve got to get on and live life without you
But no one here is buying only half the love I could have given you

Pre chorus:
But the wind blows hot and cold deep in the chambers of your soul
And it left me wondering if you’re the one to bring me home

Chorus:
And now our old songs have no meaning
And time has stolen the dreams out of my eyes
And you dont love me like I’ve always loved you
But you could if you wanted to….
No I just dont see any getting over you…

Now I just dont see any getting over you…

© Words & Music Steve McCarthy-Hunt, April 2014.

Stars

“Moons and Junes and ferris wheels,
The dizzy dancing way that you feel

As every fairy tale comes real,
I’ve looked at love that way.”

“But now it’s just another show.
You leave ’em laughing when you go

And if you care, don’t let them know,
Don’t give yourself away.”

“I’ve looked at love from both sides now,
from give and take, and still somehow
it’s love’s illusions that I recall.
I really don’t know love at all.”

© Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now from the album Clouds, 1969.

This was written in 2013, whilst I was still finding my lyrical feet. It is one of the more unusual works in that the music came first before the words. The meaning again, given the circumstances at the time, self explanatory. The music came, like a lot of the tracks at that time, from free MIDI piano loops carefully put together to form the basis of the track.

It didnt have any story to it as such; if anything, its probably a sort-of-accidental-Coldplay/R&B-ish kind of love song. I say Coldplay because while it does have structure, it does kind of veer off in its own direction from time to time, as opposed to being conventional.

….With, the obvious dark edges though, because it talks of people in different dimensions to each other and the only place they can be together again is in the stars in the heavens. I think it would suit an R&B/Soulful singer and while there has been a version of this cut with 1980s style synths, it does seem to suit a solo piano and voice better.

Stars

Dont think I believe in heaven
But I know its where you’ll be
But the only place, that you should be now
Is right here next to me

I tried to hold so tightly onto hope
Cos you meant so much to me
Now I know theres so many words I should have spoke
and guilt is in my tears

Even stars need the dark to shine
And the rain always needs to fall
Whisper your wish into the palm of your hand
And set it free before you start to fall

Though you’re thousands of miles away from home
In a different world to me
Our two souls will never be apart…
You stole my heart from me

Even stars need the dark to shine
And the rain always needs to fall
Whisper your wish into the palm of your hand
And set it free before you start to fall

Heaven sends you like the morning sun
But we know we shouldnt be here
Trying so hard to sleep alone at night
Would be easier if you were near

When this distance is keeping us apart
Remember I still hold you deep inside my heart
And when this night together, together cant be ours…

Just close your eyes and meet me in the stars…

© 2013 Words & Music by Steve McCarthy-Hunt

Song For Jane

This was written in July 2015 after I had seen the 2009 film “London River”, which is about the search by two parents for their children who go missing in the midst of the 7th July London bombings. The film portrays with great empathy, the emotional turmoil the parents go through along the timeline of events of the day before finding out the truth of what happened to their only children.

Not being a parent, this was not an easy emotion for me to relate to, but the portrayal by Brenda Blethyn and Sotigui Kouyate of the two central characters was inspirational. I took lines and events from the film’s dialogue as building blocks and describing what I was watching as the basis for the piece.

The track is named after the fictional daughter (Jane) of Brenda Blethyn’s character (Elisabeth Sommers) in the film.

At the time of writing, one of my closest collaborators is writing a musical interpretation of this track. When it is completed, it will be linked to these lyrics.

Song For Jane

Verse 1/
I just cant get through
I have to know
And find out what happened that day to you
I keep ringing your office
And everyone is there except for you
I know you wouldn’t just walk away, would you?

Please understand, I have to find this out for myself…

Bridge/
I promised I would find you
Even if I had to comb the earth
And I’m not going home empty handed
Its shaking my faith to its core
Now I just don’t know if I can believe any more
Were you caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Verse 2/
Standing in a church as quiet as a grave
Candle in my hand, burning for the soul I’m hoping to save
Making whispered promises that only I can believe in
I made a vow to always keep you from harm
But everything around me is broken and I cant understand the calm

Please understand, I have to find this out for myself.

Chorus/
And I’ll be there when you break and when the pieces start to fall
And I promise I’ll gather you up, leaving nothing behind at all
Because you lived your life by the values of love.

Verse 3/
I have more questions
That can ever be answered by the weary face of a stranger
Who has already said the same thing fifty times today
I don’t know if I can bear to be around all your friends
Lights in the tunnel like candles in a corridor that never ends
And the kindness of people I don’t know going out of their way
Bringing armfuls of flowers to the crime scene every day

Please understand, I had to find this out for myself.

Middle 8:
Now I can only sit alone in your room
Breaking my heart over and over again
Every time I hear your tunes
But theres never any music in the dead of the night…

CODA/outro (spoken)

Its not about you
Its not about you
Give of yourself for those who are lost
And not for yourself
Not for yourself
Not for yourself.

(c) lyrics: Steve McCarthy-Hunt. Music: David J Barnes, 2015