Category: songs

Things are tough


See things are tough in this old town,
Petrol’s up and the dollar’s down
My plain old job went round the bend
More hammer thumb than hammer hand,

Yes thing are tough in my home town
Right at the bottom of the trickle down
Got a top two inches and a wicked tongue
I ‘m just the same as everyone

Now my beloved just up and left
Took half of nothing, moved it west
Gonna spread her wings, ‘n feather her nest
She called a lawyer, I called it theft

Yeah things are tough so I’m leaving town
Need green fields, put new roots down
Seems that I am still second best
Confirmed it with the drugs test

I’m single and hurting that much is true
Just give me a job and I’ll love you
I’ll do anything that you ask me to
yeah give me a job, then I’ll love you

Still pretty tough in this old town
Oil’s up and the markets down
Unsuccessful, an also ran
Regret to inform you letter again

But if this economic theory’s true
You’ll grow me a job and I’ll love you
It’s always hard for a fella like me
Not the right fit for the company

One thousand and twelve square metre dream
Can not be achieved on my income stream
But if I keep on wishing it might come true
You’ll give me a job. Prosperity soon

Not a winning ticket

Coronavirus day 52

I’ve started a zoom call, interview birthday celebration podcast thing. Had the first call today with the fastest facebook commenter, JB.

He made the astute point that we’re not, strictly speaking, in lockdown anymore … so I deleted that word from the subtitles.

Today was a domestic bliss day – cleaning, washing, gardeing, chainsawing. Reclaimed the view from the dining room by giving the silk tree a bit of a haircut. Now have about 50 tonnes of green waste to move.

Supermarket trip, few beers, and later the call with JB. We covered a lot of ground, how we met at the National Library, fortunnes and failures, and how time flies, as well as some sad news.

I’m asking everyone to include a song in the interview. JB chose Hallelujah by Pentatonix. We’ve had a few nights around the guitar singing this song, but never this well!! Cheers JB, great to catch up.

Get busy living

Coronavirus lockdown day 43

A cold and clear morning with snow on the Double and the Grampians and Mount Richmond, and a dusting near Motueka.

More work, delivered a couple of eps of a radio programme; more taking the ums out of videos; more music, more life.

Redid some tracks that I had been casually murdering. They’re now only half awful, maimed, you might say. Guitar break was great though!

THe track we’re working on is in triple time, 6/4, and it has this odd, rolling feel, where you can be perfectly in time, but at the same time feel hopelessly at sea. It’s weird and magic and wonderful and I can’t wait for it to see the light of day.

Ted’s dead

Coronavirus lockdown day 42

42: The answer to life, the universe and everything. Ironically, also a miscalculation.

One thing you couldn’t get wrong though was the temperature today – after a couple of days of rain, some cold southerly snaked its way up the island and dumped snow on the hills.

We put the fire on and – well I was going to say chilled, but we , um, warmed. It always feels luxurious, and the day sped away with work tasks and an episode or two of Scrubs.

That was the theme song of course, sped up for tv (or slowed down for the album).

Another element of the show I always liked was Ted’s band:

Hey Ya!
Take on Me

Close harmony is hard, and these guys are masters. Sadly, while researching this I learned Ted (Sam Lloyd) died at the end of April in the US. Very sad, such a talent and a new Dad too.

Rain and fire

Coronavirus lockdown day 38

We have decided we’re going to enter the competition. One old song, one new.

SO spent some time figuring out the new song’s structure, chords, phrases, that kind of thing. It’s funny to look at work that way, like the editing process it’s a different skill set and outcome you’re working on.

The first task is to document what we actually played – as we’re all in separate locations, it’s not always clear. There’s also what we call the beautiful mistakes. Things that you didn’t mean to play or sing that kind of just appear. Some you keep, some you don’t.

Then it’s thinking about what you want to change, and if the song needs it or not. The hardest part of this is that you end up listening to the song hundreds of times, or listening to small sections of it repeatedly.

Don’t release a bad song – it’ll probably be the one that becomes a hit.

John Prine said this, or something similar

So we’ll see where we end up. We have about 10 days to get it all together and submit it. And since it rained all day and was generally grey and miserable, we had the fire on and watched The Half of It on netflix. It was good.

Quarasurf, or Jamkazam

Coronavirus lockdown day 6

It was just like the old days at Sawyers Arms Road. Well, it would have been if I was in the garage. Two of the three of us were. We used to jam and write and never, ever drink in a tin triple garage out the back of a flat where countdown is near Northlands.

We’d record there to, and send the tapes (!!) off to our drummer, who would visit once a month when we’d all play together.

This time around the drummer sent the bass and drums tracks through and via the wonders of the internet we managed to cobble together everything we need:

  • A shared directory for our tracks,
  • The start of a shared language and process,
  • Plenty of trash-talk and a beer or two,
  • the discovery of, and
  • Someone got told off for being too loud.

It’s going to be great to see where this leads.

So how did we spend day 6?

Slow start, but it got busier and busier. Teenager decided it would be a good day to Kondo the room, everything that doesn’t bring her joy is now spread all around the house – ensuring it doesn’t bring anyone else a single speck of joy either. All the transfer stations and charity shops are closed…

Stir fry rice for dinner, and discovering that the peril of getting beer delivered in the groceries, is that you drink it …

The first death

Coronavirus lockdown day 4

News today of NZ’s first death from coronavirus on the West Coast. Not unexpected, but still very sad, and it makes everything that much more real, especially for the front line workers. In a small community it will be especially difficult.

Hopefully it will also reinforce the message we have to stay home and stop the spread.

So how did we spend day 4?

Mostly on calls to family and friends around the place. Everyone is keen to keep up contact. Most seem to be prepared and ready to make the most of the break. What else can you do, right?

Getting ‘the banned’ back together

So one unexpected consequence is getting the band back together. We’ve set up a shared workspace and we’ll share some files and see what happens! Should be a hoot.

Oh and I found this and ‘released’ it.

Aotearoa It’s Christmas

I entered the Radio NZ Christmas song competition. It didn’t go well; the song resoundingly failed to make any impact on the judges.

But no matter – this is a Christmas song for those of us in the Southern hemisphere where the whole snow thing makes little sense. It’s silly and cheesy and fun – hope you like it.

Buy Aotearoa it’s Christmas on Bandcamp – pay what you want

Play along to Aotearoa it’s Christmas on chordify

You can also play along using chordify. (Hint: put the capo on one and play in D)

Buy Aotearoa it’s Christmas on

Different formats available

Download Aoteroa it’s Christmas in .crd format or view on

I use a lot. It’s such a great way to learn and play songs. It’s also got this awesome songbook feature where you can create lists of songs and combine them in a songbook. You can then access it when you’re out and about make it public if you want and print to pdf.

So I made a crd format file for Aotearoa it’s Christmas so that in can be included in the database. (Note: It’s not there as of 8 December NZ time)

Aotearoa it’s Christmas