1 My favourite chord

 

This is my favourite chord, the one I played just now.

I’m not sure where it comes from, but I’ll use it anyhow.

And this is my favourite tune, the one I’m working on

And if the muse decides to call I’ll use it in a song

 

CHORUS This is the life I lead

Where music slants the breeze

This is the air we breathe

Melodies drifting on the wind

Oh this is the life we lead

 

This is my favourite place, the place that I call home

You are my favourite face. I conjure you when I’m alone

And here are my favourite folk the ones who saw me through

When nothing moved and the world stood still

And the emptiness just grew

 

CHORUS

And this is my favourite dream, awake or when I sleep

A life of understanding and a comfort pure and deep

And this is my perfect world where we all live as one

And guns are gone and peace breaks out and we party in the sun

 

CHORUS

 

This is the life we lead

 

2 When we went walking

 

In memoriam Philip Harmer

 

When we went walking in the green and heavy air

Summer all around us and hope flowed free from care

Water gurgled quietly ‘neath the overhanging trees

And the midges danced in glory as the leaves stirred in the breeze

When we went walking, when we went walking

When we went walking, when we went walking

 

Along the path he lead us, we followed in our prime

Cause life goes on forever in the endless present time

And memories sit beautiful, and the meadowed cows looked on

And the midges danced in glory and we gloried in the sun

When we went walking, when we went walking

When we went walking, when we went walking

 

CHORUS No one knows what lies ahead, or what we might become

The past walks dark beside us but the future’s just begun

It may be tinged with sadness or shine brightly like the sun

So take the present moment, do no harm,

Walk along, walk along, walk along

 

Those summers, how we valued them, we couldn’t know how much

Cause things move on, the future’s now, the past is out of reach

Some are gone and some are changed and some stay just the same

But the walks along that sweet canal will never come again

When we went walking

When we went walking

 

So I remember boots that trod and reeds that danced and sang

The Colombian in her narrow boat, her white wine laughter rang

And Nick he jumped across the lock as we watched with fright and awe

And later when we reached the end we laughed, our muscles sore

When we went walking

When we went walking

 

CHORUS

 

When we went walking in the green and heavy air

Summer all around us and hope flowed free from care

When we went walking……

 

3 Code red

 

“Climate crisis is a code red for humanity” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

 

In the sweet olive grove of Rovia

an old olive tree stood wide and proud.

Fertile and venerable its ancient trunk

was at least ten adult people round.

It harboured the myths of the island clan

The history flowing up through the soil;

Where the giants and the Titans had battled for power

before peace and tranquillity told hold

 

CHORUS Code red is the warning you can hear.

Code red is the warning we should fear.

Code red is plain for all to see.

Code red sealed the fate of the old olive tree.

 

As the sun rose higher and the temperature soared.

The air was so hot you could hardly breathe.

Then wisps of smoke from the forests and hills

rose gently from the earth just like a wreath.

And the old tree shuddered, it was dying of thirst.

In in its long life this had never come to pass.

As its wood dried up and smoke turned into flame

and the old olive tree turned into ash

 

CHORUS

So we build our roads, and we drive through tracks for trains

but a woodland lost will never come again,

And we burn down the jungles for our soya and our meat

and the gasses float to air, a human stain.

On the island of Evia land stands sad and empty.

a wilderness of ashes and bare stone.

Poseidon sheaths his trident and weeps dry tears of rage

at Hera’s land forever lost and gone

 

CHORUS

 

4 Awkward times

How can I tell you that answers aren’t easy

And questions keep coming along?

Times when we think we’re doing the best

And you end up getting it wrong.

But there is a light up ahead

Chasing the darkness away.

Head for that light if you can

And listen to what your heart says.

Now you’re here at the border and they’re checking your papers

To see if they’ll let you come in.

Are you for real, the person you say you are

Or are all your details a sham?

Then they’ll shine that light in your eyes

To search for the truth in your stare.

What will they see when they look?

And how will they know if you care?

CHORUS We seem to be living in awkward times

(Are they getting worse by the day?)

searching for ways to heal all our wounds

and drive/chase all the demons away

out of the shadows

into the sun’s bright rays.

 

Now you’re out past the frontier, you’re into the forest

And you’re making your way through the trees.

The sun dapples down through the branches above you

and the leaves whisper soft in the breeze.

But you can’t find the path you are seeking;

Won’t somebody show you the way.

Is it the one to the left or the right?

Should you listen to what they all say?

Now you’re out past the clearing the horizon is endless

But the journey has only just begun.

The choices we make, the positions we take

And we know they’re not the only ones.

When you hear all the voices around you

Saying you’ve got it all wrong.

You just have to hope that you made the right call

And that someday we’ll all get along.

CHORUS

 

So how can I tell you that answers aren’t easy

And questions keep coming along?

Times when we think we’re doing the best

And you end up getting it wrong.

CHORUS

 

5 Calling your name

 

I sit on this hillside, the valley beneath me

Wondering how we managed so far how we got to be here

The storms and the heatwaves, the folly the carelessness

This beautiful country. Its forests and meadows its streams and its rivers

The love and the fear

Now the fear

 

CHORUS The world is on fire and all I can think of

Is having you here by my side

The world is in flames the forests are burning

And all I can think of is calling your name

Again and again

over hedgerow over drystone, over loch over glen

Again and again

Calling your name

From up here the dark clouds are coming on over

The paths of the rain the sudden flash floodings, the sheets of the storm

I may be quite safe here but way below me

The water is rising they’re all going under

Life as we knew it once is jagged and torn

Is torn

CHORUS

I sit on this hillside and pray for a miracle

A change of direction, a future for all that we know and believe

For the ones that we love, the ones that come after

For this earth that has nurtured us, fed us and watered us

Inspired us and kept us

Or am I naïve?

Am I naïve?

 

CHORUS

 

 

6 Changes

When I was a little boy, things always seemed the same

The snow was always crisp and white until the blue skies came

Time moved very slowly I thought love was in the air

Nothing much to worry about in a life free from care

Huddled in the back seat heading way down south

Down to the water’s edge, wild sea, river mouth

Sparkle on the water, salt sting in the air,

All too soon we had to leave

And look – now we’re here

Change is often slow but when it isn’t it goes fast

Some things fade away, some are born to last

CHORUS Change will always happen

There’s nothing we can do

Good thing or a bad thing? I guess it’s up to us

It’s up to you

And then I was a young man, trying to find my way

Mini triumphs, bad decisions, changing every day

Hope was in the air and all seemed fresh and new

Looking out for what love was, how to find it. How it grows

Sitting in those cellar clubs as the music flowed around

Learning how the world was through the songs, the smell, the sounds

Reaching out for other worlds and what a life could be

You get it wrong, you try and make it right that’s how it’s always going to be

Change is all around us, we embrace it if we can

One small step is all it takes to make a better plan

CHORUS

Now that I am older I bless the ones I love

Who’ve come along to light the path, the eagle and the dove

Time goes very quickly, the sunshine and the rain

Tapestries of happiness, filigrees of pain

And I’m there, huddled in that back seat heading way down south

Down to the water’s edge, wild sea, river mouth

Sparkle on the water, salt sting in the air,

All too soon we have to leave

What’s next? Cause now we’re here

Change is never far away. We stop, then we move on

Doesn’t matter where we get to. What matters are the songs.

CHORUS

Doesn’t matter where we get to. What matters are the songs.

 

7 That’s what friends are for

The sea was wide, the sky was blue, it’s hope that made him go

He left the past behind the future went too slow

Danger past. Now was the time to take a chance and try

Another life was possible where sky meets distant waves

That’s why he had to say goodbye

He said

If I don’t come back and I am gone and waves close over me

Give my mother all my love for what she did for me

Tell the people that I know, tell everyone

Why I made this journey, who I was

And why I reached for the sun

(He said tell them cause)

CHORUS That’s what friends are for, that’s what friends are for

Call me by my name and say from whence I came

That’s what friends are for.

She makes her way along the street, tries not to see the stares

It’s like an army judging her as if they didn’t care ‘bout

What she thinks and who she is that don’t mean a thing

Cause no one is listening, their minds made up

The arrows, the comments and the sting

Maybe she can find a friend, sometime who’s at her side

Who’ll understand just who she is – a mentor and a guide

Who’ll tell her she’s just fine the way she wants to be

Now’s the time to cut and run

To spread her wings and be free

CHORUS

If the sky goes dark and you can’t see and it you think all hope is gone

Lean on me I’ll see you though through when everything’s all wrong

I’ll do my best to heal the wound and quell your deepest fears

I may not take the hurt away, but I will try to let you feel

Sunshine through the tears

CHORUS

 

8 And they were dancing

Astiazh Haqiqi, 21, and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22 were given prison sentences totalling ten years for posting a video of themselves dancing in front of the Azardi (Freedom) tower in Tehran

She looks beyond the prison walls, the moon shines bright and clear

Then she looks around her little cell and tries to quell her fear

She thinks of all the suffering in this awful evil place

But she thinks of him and feels a breeze and a smile comes to her face

CHORUS Cause they were dancing, oh they were dancing

Dancing in the early evening square

Yes they were dancing, oh they were dancing

So free, so happy to be there

Yes they were dancing, oh they were dancing

And as he twirls her round the wind picks up her hair

Yes, they were dancing, they were dancing

He feels the bruises through his shirt, the hard unyielding floor

They say you’ve got ten more years and who knows, maybe more

You’ve taken things a bit too far and preached a foreign creed

He wonders how he will survive and he wishes he was free

CHORUS

Astiazh means curious, friendly, full of cheer

Young and free and happy with laughter loud and clear

Amir, that means prince for the future they had planned

Where she’d become a woman and he becomes a man

CHORUS

They were they dancing oh they were dancing

They were dancing. They were just dancing

 

 

9 Judy’s song (he dreams of flowers in the meadow)

She takes the tube from Turnham Green her rucksack contents all unseen

She thinks of who she’s letting down as she goes on her way

But she is sure that she is right taking part in their great fight

If they don’t act now how will she ever have her say

And she’ll stand up there before the crowd

All orange, nervous, head unbowed

She’ll hear the jeers, beat down her fear

Her thinking absolute and clear.

She’ll tell them what she’s come to say

We have to act right now today

Ain’t no time to stop and pray

The time is now, cause…

CHORUS It’s getting hotter in the desert

It’s getting hotter in the town

It’s getting hotter in the great big friendly ocean

It’s getting hotter, hotter all around

It’s getting hotter than it’s ever been before

It’s getting hotter everywhere

It’s getting hotter in the wetlands and the forests

It’s getting hotter, and no one seems to care

There used to be some water here, not barren earth and dried up ears

A life time on a farm he’s worked now the corn is baked and gone

Looks around the dusty ground hears only silence what a sound

His tears fall down cause they can’t stay they’ll be gone before the dawn

But where they’ll go he doesn’t know

Who’ll let them live what will they sow

How can he feed the kids at home

He dreams of flowers in the meadow

He thinks ‘the whole world’s on the move

Just trying to live nothing to prove’

Th only thing they’ve got is love

but love is not enough…it’s not enough when..

CHORUS

 

Water’s come right to their door, they can’t live here anymore

Soon they’ll all be moving on with memories, tears and songs

We watch them go but we’re ok, life seems good in its own way

But when the fire’s comes to our door then nothing’s right anymore

‘cept love she thinks as she stands tall before the crowd to give her all (X2)

‘Cept love, ‘cept love,’cept love… And she says

CHORUS

It’s getting hotter and no one seems to care

Hotter, hotter, hotter

She’ll say ‘Please care’

 

 

 

10 We carry on

 

CHORUS We carry on, we carry on

Even in times of deepest trouble we have to be strong

We carry on, we carry on

Thought dark clouds hide the sun, still we carry on

And when they go, and we know they do

The world seems sad and empty but we have to see it through

And we want them here but we know they’re really there

And we seem to hear their echoes in the evening air.

CHORUS

And when we go, when we too pass on

The trace we leave will be our music and our song

And we may leave children, and their children too

To rise again in a world that’s fresh and new

CHORUS

And when we go, when we too pass on

The trace we leave will be our music and our song

And we may leave children, and their children too

To rise again in a world that’s fresh and new

CHORUS

 

___________________________________________________________

CREDITS

All songs written by Jeremy Harmer

Recording by Jeremy Harmer (Tiger’s eyes studio) and Bryan Causton (Old School Studio)

Mixed by Mark Fawcett (Fish need snorkels) and Jeremy Harmer. Mastered by Mark Fawcett

iPhone photography by Jeremy Harmer

Featuring Folkhouse, Josh Lynch and Barbara Koenig

Folkhouse are Bryan Causton, Jeremy Harmer, Pauline Vallance and Penni McLaren Walker

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Jeremy plays guitar & sings on all songs. He adds backing vocals for Awkward times, Changes, That’s what friends are for. He plays bass on When we went walking, Awkward times and Changes. He plays percussion on Awkward times & keyboards on Changes

Barbara Koenig sings backing vocals on We carry on (Track 10)

Bryan plays mandolin on When we went walking (Track 2 , Calling your name (Track 5), And they were dancing (Track 8), We carry on (Track 10)

Joshua Lynch plays cello on Code red (Track 3), Calling your name (Track 5), And they were dancing (Track 8)

Pauline plays flute on When we went walking (Track 2) and We carry on (Track 10). She plays clàrsach on Calling your name (Track 5). She sings backing vocals on Calling your name (Track 5), That’s what friends are for (Track 7), And they were dancing (Track 8), Judy’s song (Track 9) & We carry on (Track 10).

Pauline sings backing vocals on When we went walking (Track 2), Calling your name (Track 5), That’s what friends are for (Track 7), And they were dancing (Track 8), We carry on (Track 10).