Archive for the 'my music' Category

TC39 – the song

For my first conference after joining Vivaldi a week ago, I travelled to Amsterdam to help MC the JSNation conference. Naturally the opening ceremony required a JS Pop group (a sub-genre of K-pop) doing a carefully choreographed dance routine and lip-syncing to a song.

Here’s the TC39 group in front of the river. Left to right are Phil Nash, me, Niall Maher and Floor Drees.

4 gorgeous people in colourful jumpsuits and marching eyeglasses

And here we are, captured at the end of our routine with the letters “TC39” on the back of our suits. There were over a thousand attendees, and not a dry seat in the house.

4 gorgeous people in colourful jumpsuits on stage with letters on their backs

Here’s the song what I wrote, for your listening pleasure. (Afficianados will note that I have deftly re-purposed the tune of Saperlipoppete, the Eurovision smash I wrote for the transnational supergroup Deluxembourg.)

the cruellest months · TC39

I get so excited writing JavaScript
I’m pretty easy-going but now I use Strict.
When I first began I was in callback hell
But then I met you and now it all goes well

I love you when my tests pass
Meet me in the moonlight and extend my class.
You’ve always kept your Promises from the start
Now you’ve shot your fat arrow straight to my heart

Oh TC39, I’m so glad you’re mine!
Say you will be with me til the end of time!
Oh TC39, you’re so sublime.
Your specs are the best, my TC39!

(More of my slightly less-daft music by the cruellest months)

Second album: “High Priestess’ Songs” by the cruellest months released!

I’ve released my second album “High Priestess’ Songs” by the cruellest months, the name I’ve given to the loose collaboration between me and assorted friends to record and release my songs.

Please, give it a listen and consider buying it for £5 so I can buy a pint while I’m looking for a new job.

Song: Laleli

Here’s a song I wrote many years ago when I lived in Turkey. “Laleli” is actually a rather drab suburb of Istanbul, but I’m using it here as a woman’s name purely because it sounds nice and rolls off the tongue!

Bass and knob-twiddling are by Shez, as is customary. The image is of @naWa53, photographed by Farhad Eidi, combined with some tiles from Topkapı Palace, taken by Meriç Dağlı, used with thanks. The song contains a fragment of a poem by Turkish folk poet and Sufi mystic Yunus Emre, read by Kivanc Atmaca for LibriVox, and some Persian vocal samples from Rast sound. The rest of the vocals and instruments are by me.

bruceclawson · Laleli

I was moving through my strangest dream,
watching how you build your bridges.
I was underneath the lights that seem
to drain the colours from your pictures.

Laleli, my love for you
is wider than these continents.
If all that’s in your mind were read,
who am I to understand or blame you?

I was spinning on the carousel
that makes me end in my beginning.
I was opposite the screens that tell
who is losing, who is winning.

Laleli, my only love –
come watch the evening like a dream.
If all that’s in your mind were read,
who am I to nominate or name you?

I was moving through some stranger’s dream,
watching how you burn your bridges.
I was underneath and in-between
my expectations and your mysteries.

Laleli, my only love -
silver like the Bosphorous.
if all that’s in your mind were read,
who am I to comprehend or claim you?

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2021, all rights reserved.

Saperlipopette

Saperlipopette song

In these difficult times, Lawrence Vagner and I felt a solemn duty to heal the world with a hopeful message of love and cross-cultural unity to a disco beat. So here is our Eurovision entry: Saperlipopette!

Get your hotpants on & boogie for a better tomorrow.

Eh?

“Saperlipopette” is a very dated French “swear word” translating to “goodness me” or “fiddlesticks”, the kind of thing you’d say if a child were in earshot. My chum Lawrence Vagner taught it to me when they invited me to speak at ParisWeb. I got a daft tune in my head and “Saperlipopette” fitted the melody. (The rest of the lyrics practically wrote themselves, and make a damed sight more sense than the 1968 song with the same title. In fact, I had to discard a couple of verses.) I invited Lawrence to duet with me, which was fun as they’d never sung before, and we had to do it remotely due to lockdown.

It’s made with Reason Studio, using the Reason Disco and Norman Cook refills as well as built-in instruments, and a French accordion sample I found. My chum Shez twiddled the knobs, Lawrence made the website, which is hosted by Netlify.

Song: Bella in the Witch Elm

bruceclawson · Bella In The Witch Elm

Bella’s in the witch elm
Regal in a taffeta gown
Queen of her forest realm
Autumn leaves form her crown

Bella’s in the witch elm
She won’t say how she came there
She’s still as seasons turn
And winter winds wind her hair

Beneath the cries of the weeping willow
You can hear the sighs from the witch elm’s hollow

Bella’s in the witch elm
wearing her gold wedding ring
She’s silent at the coming of Spring
At the maypole, children dance and sing

Bella’s in the witch elm
Wearing just one summer shoe
She will never tell
Someone put here there – but who?

Who put Bella where she can’t see
Who put Bella in the Witch Elm Tree? Who?

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production, drums and bass guitar: Shez of @silverlakemusic.

Lockdown Cover 1: Lady Godiva’s Operation (Velvet Underground)

I’m trying to record a cover version each week of songs that have really influenced me. They’re not especially polished, but it gives me a chance to experiment with my recording studio outside my usual working practices.

This is the first Velvet Underground song I heard. I was at a student party, sitting next to the speaker that Lou Reed suddenly shouts his vocals out of. It made me jump and I dropped the communal spliff into my beer. But I forgave them and became a total VU anorak.

Aquamarine

Here’s a newly-recorded version of one of the favourite songs I wrote (crappy cassette 4-track demo previously posted). I was obsessed with TS Eliot’s poem Marina, a monologue inspired by Shakespeare’s Pericles. So I ripped that off, nicked a line or two from The Waste Land, pinched a bit of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and, while the literary store detective was looking the other way, ran off with a bit of Dylan Thomas too. The Shakespeare reading is by my friend Richard Crowest. Bass guitar and production is by Shez.

Aquamarine
I’m a ship becalmed after stormy seas.
You’ve been silver and green;
I love you best now for your clarity.
You sing to me in sharpened keys.
You bring me emeralds and harmonies.

I will be here for you if you’ll be here for me
Sometimes, the tide turns
and everything is monochrome.

Aquamarine
Your wet hair dries in the warm sea breeze.
Lie still and dream
Of the mountains there you feel free.
Sail across still memories
Under sleep where all the waters meet.

I will be here for you if you’ll be here for me
Dry stones and white bones
and everything is monochrome.

Aquamarine
This music crept upon the water to me
I’m a machine
Powered by your electricity.
You sail across still memories
You bring me emeralds and energy.

I will be here for you if you’ll be here for me
From the horizon
The world can turn monochrome.

What seas, what shores,
what great rocks?

Seize what’s yours;
What grey rocks?

What islands? What waters lap at the bow?

The sea’s daughter, you ebb and you flow;
The sea’s daughter, emerald green;
The sea’s daughter, Aquamarine.

Lie still, be calm, and dream.
Aquamarine.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 1991, all rights reserved.

Number Stations

A new song. It’s inspired by numbers stations, “a shortwave radio station characterized by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which are believed to be addressed to intelligence officers operating in foreign countries. Most identified stations use speech synthesis to vocalize numbers”. This got me thinking about clandestine communication and betrayal.

I heard chatter on the network.
But I couldn’t crack your code.
I was waiting defenceless
for your bombshells to explode.

If you’re here, there is a reason.
Your ciphers are all known.
To everything there is a season.
Now you’re here, your cover’s blown.

I don’t recall why we are enemies.
I don’t understand what we are fighting for.
I forgot my ideology,
half way across the bridge
in this cold, cold war.

You walked down to the checkpoint.
I saw graffiti on the wall.
You presented your false papers,
and the wall began to fall.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production and bass guitar: Shez of @silverlakemusic.

Candyfloss Moon (Yakamoz Moon)

Here’s another old song that my band The Lucies used to gig, mixed last Wednesday. I’ve no idea what it’s aboutI was in a “special state of mind” when I wrote it. “Yakamoz” is a Turkish word which is used when the moonlight shines on the sea, ocean etc.

Candyfloss moon
there is only half an hour til daybreak
You leave me too soon
Stay a while and I’ll watch your heart break

Through all the tears and the rage
This is our golden age
Through the silver rain
I see you wax and wane

Candyfloss moon
I’ve been torn apart and reassembled
Here in this room
I can see the stars that you resemble

Turn off your mind
turn down your radio
I hear angels singing all the time
Shut down your shadow
slow down your heartbeat
Why do your eyes shine?

Yakamoz moon
I see you glow on tranquil seas
Your flowers are in bloom
lilies, fuchsia, rosemary

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production: Shez of @silverlakemusic.

She Just Loves To Be Loved

A very old song that I wrote when I was about 17, inspired by melodic pop-punk of Buzzcocks and The Undertones. Shez and I gigged it in a school band, then I forgot it. When Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks died, I remembered it, so recorded it. My old chum Shez played bass when we were in a school band, and mixed it yesterday, 37 years later!

She just loves to be loved.
She just needs to feel needed
And you know she will tear you in half in the end.

She just likes to feel liked
And it doesn’t really matter who by
And you know she will break your heart, my friend.

Don’t ask her does she love you?
You’ll get a vague reply.
So what, she said she needs you?
Would she look you in the eye?
And when she upsets you
Don’t let her see you cry.
She feeds on your emotions
She’s gonna bleed you dry.

You thought that you’d got her to keep.
She says the novelty wore off after a week.
And you know she just loves to be loved.

She’ll love you for ten days
and then she won’t remember your face
And you know she just loves to be loved.

And now that you are just her ex,
and you see she’s moved on to her next.
And you know she just loves to be loved.

Everyone knows she just loves to be loved.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 1983, all rights reserved.