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Song Vault

Advice Regarding The Treatment Of Bullet Wounds no. 2

I did you wrong, but you did me wronger
Don’t Try This At Home
Download     mp3 demo          mp3 Live duet with Rachel McClean
Chords (pdf)      Behind The Song

Don’t take out the bullet, girl, don’t even try
That little piece of metal’s all that’s keeping me alive
Stuck into an artery like a finger in a dyke

Don’t scrub the wound like you used to scrub my back
Don’t make me walk it off, don’t even make me stand
Darling I’m not hungry, put away those pots and pans

Baby, baby, baby, please don’t ever shoot me again
Baby, baby, baby, please don’t ever shoot me again
I’m still your man but I might not be for too much longer
I did you wrong, but you did me wronger
So baby, baby, don’t you shoot me again

Don’t grab my bleeding arm and hold it in the air
I got precious little blood left inside of there
Darling please stop crying, I know you’re trying to show how much you care

Chorus

I’m sorry that I hurt you, sorry that we never talk
I’m sorry you can’t fix me, just get me to a doc
Most of all I’m sorry I bought you that 9 millimetre Glock

Chorus

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand

To both be heard, to both be seen
A cry for peace and reconciliation
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

In 2015 I set myself a goal of writing 50 songs. I finished demoing song no 48 (Guns) on Dec 31st but I was determined not to fail I wrote and recorded song 49 (New Mistakes) with 40 minutes to spare. Digging into my ‘song starts’ folder I found the title Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand. It was a paraphrase of something I’d heard on a radio 4 program maybe 15 years before. Against the deadline I wrote and played the first words and chords that came to mind and demoed it as the new years fireworks began to go off (listen closely to the end of the demo for proof!). I rerecorded the song ‘properly’ in early 2016 but it was worse than the ‘New Years Eve one mic live take’ so I went back to that and added a little overdubbing to fix a spot where I got the words wrong and a few sweeteners.

I wish you peace, I wish you joy
I wish we’d have no fear of laying down our swords
To both be heard, to both be seen
Living in the light of shared humanity
It’s not too late for us to understand
Every fist was once an open hand

I pray for hope, I pray for grace
I pray that I can put the smile back on your face
I see the scars that your still bear
I know my actions and my words put them there
Can I change? I believe I can
Cos every fist was once was an open hand

You have a cause for which you fight
And the God you serve believes you’re always right
No second thoughts, no feeble doubts
Just the strength to carry your decisions out
It’s not too late for you to change your plans
Every fist was once an open hand

Call off the missile strikes that fall on foreign lands
Let every fist become an open hand

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Faster (Than The Speed Of Light)

Your fuel-injected heart is a battering ram
A fast song about fast things
Download      mp3 demo

I’ve noticed that almost all my songs tend to be around 120 bpm – I’ve no idea why. So I deliberately set out to write a fast song. I also had an idea that to make a song that appealed to people who sync music for films and TV you should include the key search terms in the title and lyrics. So this is a song expressly written for a cool car chase in a film. So if you saw it in a movie my shameless sellout plan worked!

I wrote and recorded the music in about an hour. The track then sat on my hard drive for a bout 2 years till I laboriously brainstormed the lyrics. I tried to keep everything unified image wise but a few random things snuck in – sharks and wolves, ships and rollercoasters and … er… gum.

The “bad news travelling faster than the speed of light” idea came from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws”

White lines, tyres scream
You drink a little blood with your gasoline
No plates, no belts
I wouldn’t bet on any hand you dealt
You shift gears, shift blame
Trouble is your first, last and middle name
Roadkill, I’m struck dumb
Chewed me up like a stick of gum

Bad news moves faster than the speed of light
You move faster than the speed of light
I don’t like to fuss or fight
But baby, you’re bad news

Raw truth, you can’t swerve
Chase you down on a deadman’s curve
Pure speed, you overtake
Are you a junkyard dog or a dashboard saint
V8, twin cam
Your fuel injected heart is a battering ram
Your blood is calling sharks
And the wolves are howling for you, darling, out in the dark

Bad news moves faster than the speed of light…

Won’t kneel and pray, no changing lanes
St. Christopher ain’t taking your calls today
That ship has sailed, your saint has bailed
Your brakes have failed
Now you’re a rollercoaster bout to jump the rails

Bad news moves faster than the speed of light…

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Losing The Light

Soon we fade to black, soon the credits roll
Smooth metal dark night of the soul
Download     mp3 demo

Written during FAWM 2016. Based on a riff I found on a writing tape from 1992 inspired by Jake E. Lee’s playing on Waiting For Darkness by Ozzy Osbourne.

I’m the damsel in distress
Just a girl in a green dress
Waiting for the hero to arrive
You’ve seen this scene a million times
Vulnerability is all I got
On my mark and beautifully shot
Cameras ready to roll
Waiting for my saviour to show

Please hurry cos we’re losing the light
Come quickly now we’re losing the light
We ran the race, we fought the good fight
Please hurry now we’re losing the light

The sun pauses as it sinks
To breathe a kiss on the horizon’s lip
Her beauty burning then gone
Magic hour is only minutes long
Play the scene where the problem’s solved
The plot’s explained and you declare your love
Our faith is running out
Start your speech before the night comes down

Please hurry cos we’re losing the light
Come quickly now we’re losing the light
We ran the race, we fought the good fight
Please hurry now we’re losing the light

Soon we fade to black, soon the credits roll
If there’s a happy ending would you let us know?
Shadows getting longer, twisting all we see
The air is getting cold, it’s getting harder to believe

Please hurry cos we’re losing the light
Come quickly now we’re losing the light
We ran the race, we fought the good fight
Please hurry now we’re losing the light

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Indie/Major

Mountains? I’ve seen mountains!
If Weird Al was a poetry slam champion…It would sound nothing like this.
Download      mp3 demo      Chords (pdf)

Ever since I discovered Nottingham songwriter Simon J Curd (who records as Mountain Schmountain) I’ve been a fan. His minimalistic style is unlike anything I’d previously encountered and as I’m the kind of person who’d start a website analysing all 211 Beatles songs it’s not surprising I wanted to take the tunes apart to see what makes Mountain Schmountain tick.

It’s been a long standing goal to try to write a style parody in order to ‘get’ their very original approach and here it is. The elements I’ve isolated are

So that’s all, apart from quoting Pachabel’s Canon, getting in a pun on the name Mountain Schmountain and yes, that is a mistle thrush you can hear on the track. Hope you like it!

“Please hold, your call is important to us”
(yet more important to your potentially orphaned daughter?)

Finding Pachelbel’s Canon in D
(badly looped and bass – less)
unbearable in this indelible moment,
I focus on the mistle thrush
beyond my frosted window,
surprisingly accompanying in D
(always in D)
singing, “mountains? I’ve seen mountains!
And mountains are nothing special!
When life leaves you a mountain to climb…”

A click on the line,
my voice cracks to life.
The thrush takes flight
singing “…that is the end of this song”

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Behind The Song Song Vault

When I Said “Stop Setting Things On Fire” I Really, REALLY Meant It.

Wait! Wait! What Key Are We In?
Frank Zappa meets Scott Bradley
Download     mp3 demo

Written during FAWM 2016. I found a couple of musical fragments labelled ‘Etude No 3’ on a cassette I recorded in 1991. I really liked some parts, others made no sense at all. The original tape was a quarter tone out and I suspect I moved some parts up a semi tone and others down by mistake

I could hear I was attempting to do something with the whole tone scale originally, so I used that to write the middle section but by the time I came to put the bassline down I forgot I was in G# and played the bassline in G natural. But by that time it was already so bizarre that I didn’t hear anything wrong.

A happier (or at least more harmonious) accident was the string and horn parts in the final recapitulation. I pretty much improvised those counter melodies and they’re some of my favourite parts.

I decided I couldn’t call the finished piece ‘Etude No 3’ because

a) It’s not an etude.
b) I’ve already written more than three.
c) It’s a boring title.

I brainstormed and what you have the best I could come up with at short notice.

There’s a grand tradition of not knowing what key you’re in
What do you mean “who is Scott Bradley?”

 

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Polishing A Turd (NSFW)

If they hang it in a gallery, it still don’t make it art
Three chords and the truth
Download     mp3 demo     Lyrics (pdf)

During FAWM 2015 I was writing a song based on additive structures and in the middle of trying to piece together a demanding and over elaborate demo came to the conclusion I was trying to ‘polish a turd’. Despite all efforts to resist I flipped over the lyric sheet and started writing a new song on the back. The three chord pattern came immediately and ‘Polishing A Turd’ was demoed and done in 2 hours. The “roll it in glitter line” came from Mark Nelson (you can hear him say it to me in the behind the scenes video for Let’s Build An Airport).

The Pop Mythology site was kind enough to say “[If it] doesn’t give you a genuine LOL moment, you might not have a soul”.

Polishing a turd, polishing a turd
You can get a Grammy for polishing a turd
You might impress a hundred million pre-pubescent girls
“OMG he’s polishing a turd!!!!” >:O

Autotune a fart, autotune a fart
It’s OK to be pitchy if it comes right from the heart
If they hang it in a gallery, it still don’t make it art
Fire up the Melodyne™ let’s autotune a fart

Photoshop your mom, photoshop your mom
Make her taller, thinner, browner, bluer-eyed and blonde
Take away her cellulite and put her in a thong
Vogue will hold the cover if you photoshop your mom

Polishing a turd, polishing a turd
That’s what you get for polishing a turd
Roll it in some glitter but it just gets more absurd
That’s what you get for polishing a turd

(Make the world a better place by polishing a turd)

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Song Vault

Bullingdon Boys

The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Punk Protest
Download     mp3 demo     Lyrics (pdf)

David and Boris and Gideon met
At Oxford University
They dined with a crew of the chosen few
Wearing sky blue and ivory

It’s a fine old tradition for young blue bloods
To trash a restaurant and pay in cash
As preparation for a host of Government posts
It’s how we train the ruling class (and they sing…)

Rah Rah Rah! We’re the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Make way for the Bullingdon Boys
It’s the day of the Bullingdon Boys

Bloods have their colours
And so do the Crips
Like any self-respecting gang
But Bullingdon threads don’t come off the peg
Set your family back three grand
(Call it an investment, money well spent). Sing…

CHORUS

You wouldn’t put a paedophile in charge of a school
No matter how much he’d changed
Would you trust a Buller boy with the lives of the poor?
Then you’ve only got yourself to blame

Rah Rah Rah! It’s the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich kids break it and the poor just take it
And make way for the Bullingdon Boys
Crime pays when you’re a Bullingdon Boys

Buller! Buller! Buller!

Rah Rah Rah! It’s the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Make way for the Bullingdon Boys
Hip hooray for the Buller Boys

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Song Vault

The Architects Of Our Unhappiness

Sorry, the demo for this track is not available yet.

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Song Vault

Tonight

She’s shining like a constellation
A moment of transcendence down the pub (co-written with Harry Verity)
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Looking at that girl at the other end of the bar
Grinning like an idiot an’ still don’t know where to start
Need something to do or something to say
When it comes to love I get my own way
Love is a needlessly contrary competition
Often complicated with no proper definition
Taking aim at nothing and complaining when I hit it
Love is not a lottery if you don’t buy a ticket

Tonight she’s got the whole world at her fingertips
So why not unlock my life with just one kiss?

Tonight, don’t let me down tonight, the arguments and fights
Are violins and choirs sent to serenade tonight
There are sonnets I could write, revolutions to ignite
If I just put down my pint and talk to you to…

…Set the scene more thoroughly a dreary Wednesday night crowd
It’s mental in the gentlemen’s’ – the ultraviolet light’s out
A dog is licking lager up under someone’s table
Sat amongst the gargoyles is a solitary angel
They’re no brighter than their bling and bitter as Bacardi
All I hear is whistling, the pounding of my heartbeat
Everyone smells of smoke, sweat and desperation
They’re tryin’ to be stars, she’s shining like a constellation

Tonight she’s got the whole world at her fingertips
So why not unlock my life with just one kiss?

Tonight, don’t let me down tonight, the sirens and blue lights
Are violins and choirs sent to serenade tonight
There are sonnets I could write, revolutions to ignite
If I just put down my pint and talk to you tonight…

For tomorrow is a siren’s lullaby
Watch love sail away as day turns into night

Don’t let me down tonight, don’t let me drown tonight
Be swept out with the tide while there’s land in sight
And sonnets left to write, revolutions to ignite
If I just put down my pint and talk to you and…

Suddenly she’s by my side, and ‘penny-for-your-thoughts’ me
I just shake my head, say “being back in here transports me,
The first time that I saw you was the last time I felt lonely”
She says, “let’s go home love, ‘cos the babysitter’s phoned me”