This is my Dad’s favorite song out of all the songs I have written. This was recorded when my voice had not been ruined by years of cigarettes, bongs and four hour gigs to make a quid singing crowd pleasers.  I wish I could borrow that voice back sometimes even though it is a bit pitchy at times.

Lyrics to Why

I remember sitting in a house in Putney in Sydney with Mark Stevens (Barnaby Rudge)  who was working in the acoustics or linguistics department of MacQuarie University at the time. Toni, his wife, was ironing and I was sitting at the kitchen table with a mike to sing into and another one on this cheap nylon string guitar that  had a few cracks in it and I’m still not sure what note it was tuned to. We had the highest quality blank cassette tape available at the time and a spring reverb unit and I sang five songs in the session as best as I could for a young bloke finding his way and unsure of his talents.

The song is very simple, it is about probably the five hardest words to say to somebody –  “I’m ‘in love‘ with you”. The five words that leave you open and vulnerable if your feelings are not returned.  Three words can be said too many times until they have no meaning but five words are a constant. Loving someone does not need a relationship or a commitment, but being ‘In Love’ with someone is an ongoing emotion. It can fade and be misunderstood, it can be sorely tested with time but if it does not exist then there can be no long term relationship.

I was not in love when I wrote this song but I think the song expresses that I understood something of love before I found out all it can be.

I will be uploading the other four songs from this session. Obviously it was recorded on a hissy cassette tape which over the years added a huge bottom end and dulled the top end. I thank my son DJ Weaver for cleaning it up as best he could.

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Love Me One Last Time is a song I wrote in the mid seventies. I loved the way the chords progressed to lift the segments of the song and also the inherent sadness that minor keys can produce.


Love Me One Last Time – Lyrics

This was recorded again with Eric Vandersound at Vandersound studios in 1995. I tried to make the song a duet with a female a singer but it didn’t have the same strength so I hitched up my undies to hit the high harmonies myself. I have versions without the harmonies and oboe but I like this one and also love the guitar duet in the middle though it may be a bit strong for the song. The song used twelve string acoustic guitar double tracked, Wayne Rowntree on bass, Bob Donaldson on drums and Geoff Davies on keyboards.

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Half An Hour A Week

The song was written many years ago and the audio is a recording from that time. The video is recent, see below.

RudgeReunion — 02 February 2010 — Ian Francis original song played by Barnaby Rudge in their reunion set at Lizzie’s birthday after a 31 year break.

This version of “Half An Hour A Week” has the camera live soundtracks from above replaced by the 2-track demo Barnaby Rudge recorded at Macquarie University in 1976. Tim Kelk was thrown in at the deep end, he wasn’t the drummer on the 1976 version, and never played it until it was dropped on him at Lizzie’s (his wife’s) party without warning.

Lyrics to Half An Hour A Week

Link to other Barnaby Rudge Reunion Videos

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Peaceful Dreams

This song was the first track on the Francis and Davies album ‘Threnody’ that was recorded at Emerald Studios in Sydney in 1987 (I think) and engineered by the wonderful ears of Eric Vandersande. This song is simply about reading or making up bedtime stories for my children. I was gigging nearly every night of the week at the time so it depended on when the gig started as to whether I had time to put the kids to bed. I remember the warmth and the love very well and it was a very special thing especially on a night off.

I did a recent gig in Sydney in a duo on the back veranda of a Sports Club and my old friend Rosie asked if I would play Peaceful Dreams. I was playing with the wonderful Steve Shipley and I looked at him and said ‘Good luck with this one’.

Lyrics for Peaceful Dreams

There are a lot of chords in this one, though it sounds very simple, and definitely not one you can just lug. I think it is the only song I have written that has three suspended fourth chords in it that resolve the different segments so beautifully. I found myself getting very emotional in the last chorus and was reminded again of why I wrote Peaceful Dreams in the first place.

I remember borrowing the twelve string guitar from Greg Young for this and also remember Geoff Davies, who stayed at my place during four days of recording we had to put this album down, trying hard to sleep but could could not until he worked out the theme in the middle that leads into the second verse. I also remember when I put down the lead vocal dedicating the song to my son Robert (this one’s for you Robert) and imagining I was in that warm bedroom telling the story when I sang the song.

We hired one of the best drum machines available at the time which I had to program for this song, but having worked with some wonderful drummers over the years I have always wondered what Peaceful Dreams would sound like with a real drummer.

 

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On Good Friday, 6th April 2007 my nephew Daniel died from an accidental overdose of drugs. He started using drugs at an early age and we hoped that in time he would overcome his addiction and regain control of his life. Unfortunately that night, the combination of recreational drug use and a prescription drug to help him sleep, sent him into a coma from which he never awoke.

His parents, myself and my whole family were devastated. This is a song I had to write.

It’s called Problem Child.

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Problem Child Lyrics

If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs, please do something. Many programs can help, read more about drug rehabilitation here.

Credits

The song Problem Child was written, sung and played by Daniel’s uncle, Ian Francis. The clean mix for the music was created by DJ Weaver, aka Robert Francis and Daniel’s cousin, and the video was created by his aunt Julie Francis.

 

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Lyrics for Christmas – Through the Eyes of a Child

This is a Christmas music video of my original song that I wrote two years ago called “Through the Eyes of a Child”.

The world has grown too cynical about Christmas but there is a part of me that will never forget the innocent enjoyment of Christmas Day. I need only to look in the eyes of a child to find it.

I was born in England. My early memories of Christmas are therefore of a turkey dinner. My mom makes a very special kind of stuffing made with grated suet, herbs, breadcrumbs and lemon juice. As well as filling the cavity of the turkey, the mix is balled and baked in cupcake pans and the small stuffings come out crisp like biscuits. Delicious! We still make them every year although suet is getting harder and harder to find.

This was followed by a home made Christmas pudding, steamed for hours over a double boiler in November. On Christmas day each serve was slathered with custard and one lucky child would find a silver sixpence in their bowl.

I joined groups of friends going around to neighbouring houses singing Christmas Carols, of school choirs and listening to and singing along with my family to a wide variety of Christmas songs. I remember the anticipation and excitement as new presents went under the tree. I remember lying in bed listening to see if I could hear Santa or the reindeer. Most of all though I remember the happiness of being with my family, of laughing and talking and singing with them.

Now I live in Australia and my kids have grown up without many of these memories, no sixpence, no snow, Carols by Candlelight but not singing door to door to neighbours.

They have other – different – memories. Christmas Days when we went for a swim at the beach. Eating fresh seafood at lunch as well as turkey and ham. They remember hot days when we eat outside and of visiting districts where whole houses are strung up with colourful twinkling Christmas lights, not just a single Christmas tree.

But essentially their memories are the much the same. They are filled with love and joy, with the company of a large family, of the anticipation of waiting for the special day, and of giving and receiving presents. We took a lot of photos at Christmas and although they are only snapshots, I think we managed to capture some of this in them.

Of course I no longer get quite so excited about presents, but I have remembered this feeling each year – through the eyes of my children. I hope to never forget it as they have young children of their own.

This is a simple version of my song and some of the family photos we have taken over the years at Christmas. One day maybe I’ll have time to add the extras I can hear to my songs in a studio, and make better videos. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy this Christmas music video as the silly season approaches.

Love is about sharing and Christmas is about love. I hope your Christmas is happy and filled with love and that this Christmas music video helps you to enjoy remembering what it is to see Christmas – through the eyes of a child.

If you liked my Christmas music video, please bookmark it using the share button below or email the link to friends and share it with the people you love.

Please also share your memories of Christmas by leaving a comment. If you cannot see comments at the bottom, just click on the title of the post to show the comment box on the single page.

 

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I had this song in my head for a couple of weeks while enjoying the regular visits of the rainbow lorikeets or ‘Cheeky Boys’ to our back yard. A lot of the photographs were taken there. I had a studio visit lined up and put the song down as a demo to see what it would sound like and how it would work.

It is a bit rough but I think the recording has captured the cheekiness of the cheeky boys and trying to improve it may take away its charm. Thanks again to Lizzie for the montage, to Steve Shipley for the recording and to Glynn Fussell for backing vocals.

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The Storyteller

This is my tribute to the wonderful Harry Chapin . The first time that I heard a Harry Chapin song was a day I should have been in school but instead was playing pool in a bar and W.O.L.D came on the radio. Cat’s in the Cradle means more to me now I am a parent than it did back then when I was first composing songs on my own six string orchestra (oh – do it fingers!).

I have connected with many wonderful people by singing some of Harrys songs over the years, especially Better Place to Be and Taxi and I will never forget seeing him here in Australia alone on stage in his slippers. I often hear Mr Tanner singing softly to himself and see mail order Annie waiting patiently at the train station.

Harry Chapin touched the heart of many people and tirelessly tried to make the world a better place. Although he died in 1981 his legacy lives on not just in his music but in the organizations who work to bring aid to people who need it especially the World Hunger Association. If you like the music I ask that if you can spare a dime please visit this site below and donate something in memory of  Harry.

http://www.harrychapinfoodbank.org/donate.php

Many thanks to Liz Kelk who put the clip together for me.

[audio:http://ianfrancis.com.au/songs/STORYTELLER.mp3|titles=STORYTELLER]

Lyrics for Storyteller

Where were you when Harry Chapin first “touched your heart for a moment?”  Click on the comments link below. I’d love to hear your story…’

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