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

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
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, 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 and 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 just being 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’
The 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).

Penni 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).