Category Archives: Songs/Lyrics

X is for X-Ray Music (song with lyrics)

Xray Music was inspired by documentary, 'How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin'
Xray Music was inspired by documentary, ‘How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin’

This song was inspired by a BBC documentary I watched a few years ago called ‘How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin‘. It told the story of how, despite being banned from the former Soviet Union, the Fab Four’s music still managed to find it’s way on to the turntables of the oppressed masses – causing a minor musical revolution in the process.

So desperate were the Soviet youth to hear pop music – in particular Rock and Roll and The Beatles – that they took huge risks to obtain recordings and continued to find more innovative ways to smuggle in the music. The method that most captured my imagination was using old X-ray film to make home-made vinyl. The flexible records were then sold by dealers who hid the X-rays, or ‘ribs’ as they became known, inside their coat sleeves. The penalties for being caught buying or selling the forbidden tunes were considerable – including public humiliation and in many cases prison.

It was a fascinating story and I’m considering using some of the history as the backdrop for a future novel or story. You can listen to The Wry Dogs recording of the song by clicking here.


X-Ray Music

Scratching records on Uncle Brezhnev’s ribs,

I’ve got to get my fix, got to get my disc.

Policemen try to stop me, they insist.

They say ‘what is this?’ they say ‘what is this?’

I want to scream ‘It’s Rock n Roll!’


X-Ray music saved my life, takes me far away and keeps me sane,

There is no shame,

X-Ray music loud and clear, X-Ray music helps me see my soul,

Yeah that’s my goal.


Lenin in my books but Lennon on my mind,

I’ve got to hide the truth

But search and ye will find.

Got to keep it locked up down inside,

But we can sense the change,

The turning of the tide

We make our own guitars and play!


CHORUS


They may think they own our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams

Our secret schemes

But come with me, cause there’s another way.

You and me and a turntable and a bag of music

We can go so far away, let’s go today


CHORUS


I think the Russian story is just one example of how music can be such a powerful force of change and inspire even the most oppressed individuals. How important is music to you? Do you believe it has the power to light the very darkest places and make a real difference to lives?

This was my 24th post for the A-Z Blog Challenge. Follow the blog during April for more writing tips, inspirational life posts, short fiction, film-inspired articles and more songs with audio recordings. Next post – Y is for You’ll have to wait and see!

R is for Red, White and Blue – a song about War.

War Memorial, Bradgate Park by Wayne Kelly
War Memorial, Bradgate Park by Wayne Kelly

I wrote this song a few years ago, not long after Tony Blair left office as UK Prime Minister. At the time it was becoming increasingly clear that he may have greatly exaggerated the truth to ensure that the UK entered the war in Iraq. Like many people, I was angry and shocked at his dismissal of the whole incident and the way he simply swanned off in to the sunset to accept his job as (get this) Peace Envoy to The Middle East! As a rule, I’m not an overtly political person, but I think citizens have a right to know if we have been misled – especially when such a decision can lead to the deaths of many people, on both sides of the conflict.

Anyway, enough prattling on, here are the lyrics and you can listen to a recording of the song here.

Red, White and Blue

Red was the blood that was spilled in the name of peace,

White were the flags that were waved, now beneath your feet.

And Blue eyed boys keep on dying.

Blue eyed boys have died for you.

What would you do for the red, white and blue?

Liberate or maim, it’s all the same to you.

Red, white and blue.

Said were the words that you used to change our minds,

Slight-of-hand tricks, the odds were all fixed, we were blind.

And Blue eyed boys keep on dying.

Blue eyed boys have died for you.

CHORUS

And all the while, behind your smile, you hide.

You make the break, before the ink has dried.

You lied.

How many have died for you?

Do world events or issues influence your work? What emotion evokes your best writing or art?

This was my 18th post for the A-Z Blog Challenge. Follow the blog during April for more writing tips, inspirational life posts, short fiction, film-inspired articles and more songs with audio recordings. Next post – S is for Satisfied and why you shouldn’t be.

N is for Night Time of The Soul

Hand of Time by Wayne Kelly
Hand of Time by Wayne Kelly

Ever have that ‘wake up in the middle of the night, searching-the-soul’ type moment? I’m sure you have – it’s part of the human condition. There’s just something about the dark and the quiet that can do that to a person.

It was during one such moment, when staying in London as part of my job,  that I awoke with a start to find myself alone in a hotel room, away from my family and mildly hung-over. I was experiencing my very own ‘Night Time of The Soul’. Despite feeling slightly depressed and more than slightly dehydrated, the first verse of this song appeared, fully formed in my head.

Click here to have a listen to a recording of it, as performed by our band, The Wry Dogs.

Here are the lyrics:

There’s a place in town I secretly frequent

When I’m feeling down and my joie de vivre’s been spent.

There’s no sign in the window but when the time is right,

You’ll still go to the place called The Night Time of The Soul.


Hats off to the gentleman at the bar

With his lack of style and grace, he’ll not get far.

So he drowns himself in lager, to forget that he’s a father.

In the place called The Night Time of The Soul.


Sweeping up is a girl I used to know,

She doesn’t have a brush but doesn’t seem to know.

So she shuffles round the tables, reciting Aesop’s Fables,

In the place called The Night Time of The Soul.


I hear a ticking clock inside my head (tick-tock, tick-tock)

‘A broken watch for a heart’ is what my doctor said.

So sing with me, while you’ve got the chance . . . .


It’s not a place you ever should ignore,

When your hopes and dreams are littered upon the floor.

So when you hear me scream and shout,

I suggest you do get out

Of the place called The Night Time of The Soul.


So have a listen and comment below – what is your idea of The Night Time of The Soul? What keeps you awake at night – apart from wondering about the next short story or chapter of your novel?

This was my 14th post for the A-Z Blog Challenge. Follow the blog during April for more writing tips, inspirational life posts, short fiction, film-inspired articles and more songs with audio recordings. Next post – O is for On My On – why we all need time alone.

M is for Maybe I Don’t Need To Know (inspired by Dreams of a Life)

Documentary 'Dreams of a Life' was inspiration for this song.
Documentary ‘Dreams of a Life’ was inspiration for this song.

Another song written with George Odom, ‘Maybe I Don’t Need to Know’ was inspired by the haunting and desperately sad documentary, ‘Dreams of a Life’. You can listen to the song here.

If you are unfamiliar with ‘Dreams of a Life’, it deals with the discovery of the body of young woman, Joyce Vincent, in her tiny London bedsit, 3 years after she died, alone and surrounded by half-wrapped Christmas presents. Nobody noticed that she was missing and the only reason she was found at all was because of being in arrears with her rent. The film examines how this tragedy could have occurred, using interviews with the many friends of Joyce inter-weaved with dramatic reconstructions.

It’s a powerful film that raises as many questions as it answers, including how a vibrant, sociable person could simply disappear without being noticed. It couldn’t happen to you – or could it? I would highly recommend it.

I was inspired to write this song because of one particular character – an ex boyfriend – who is racked with guilt that he didn’t stay in touch with Joyce, believing that he was simply respecting the boundaries of a very private woman. It’s heart-breaking to see him trying to deal with his complicated feelings towards a woman he obviously still cares for.

The post is long enough, without adding the lyrics to the song, but please have a listen and try to seek out the documentary – if you are in the UK, it is still available on 4OD here.

Has a true story or documentary influenced your writing? Have you already seen Dreams of a Life? Share your thoughts below.

This was my 13th post for the A-Z Blog Challenge. Follow the blog during April for more writing tips, inspirational life posts, short fiction, film-inspired articles and more songs with audio recordings. Next post – N is for Night Time of The Soul.

L is for Lies. Go Home and Tell Some Lies (song)

The video clip is myself and fellow songwriter, George Odom, playing a song we wrote a couple of years ago called ‘Go Home and Tell Some Lies’. The song began life as nothing more than a title which popped in to my head one day on the way to work.

Suitably inspired, George came up with a nice chord progression and we wrote the song in half an hour or so. Lyrically, I wanted to show the male side to an illicit affair – as this often gets overlooked in songs. In my scenario, the man is single but is involved with a married woman – he desperately wants her to leave her husband or end the affair, but she is content to go home and tell some lies.

Here are the lyrics:

We both know what you’re thinking

When you say you can’t make this time

You ain’t never ever gonna leave him now

So go home and tell some lies.

I know you warned me from the start

That we weren’t playing for keeps

So don’t you worry about my fragile heart

Just go home and tell some lies.

 

Yeah go home

Go home and tell some lies

Yeah go home

Go home and tell some lies

 

Do I love the real you,

Or for who you appear to be?

On the face of it I’ve got nothing to lose

So go home and tell some lies.

Sometimes I see you’re dying to tell me

The things you hide inside

Unless he finds out what you’ve been doing

You’ll go home and tell some lies.

CHORUS

And though you dismiss this thing as fantasy or fun

But when the devil comes knocking at your door

Will you be hiding anyone?

Anyone?

 

So try your best to hurt me

I won’t be sticking around to fight

You’ll be alone and old ’cause of the lies you told

So go home and tell your lies.

What inspires your writing (songs or otherwise)?

This was my 12th post for the A-Z Blog Challenge. Follow the blog during April for more writing tips, inspirational life posts, short fiction, film-inspired articles and more songs with audio recordings. Next post – M is for Maybe I Don’t Need To Know.