Wrote this song in 2011 and recorded it with Steve Shipley engineering. Just my old Nylon acoustic and my steel string acoustic and lots of harmonies. My sister Julie put the clip together for it to make me happy and it certainly did. Sometimes a hug is just the best thing in the world.
Sell My Soul
Being a religious time of year I thought I might put up a couple of songs on or around the subject.
The first song is called ‘Sell My Soul’ and was written many years ago.
When I was younger I had a lot of questions (as we all do) on religion but was very aware of my soul. I could never bring myself to say that I would sell my soul to the devil to get something, as my soul is not a commodity to be bought or sold.
So I tried to work out something the devil could not do for me and came up with this song. I have always loved the story of Jesus his kindness and the way he spoke of love. He is a sort of ‘Superman’ figure of those early years though his legacy has been much abused in the years since. I have always thought it a bit sad that Easter seems to commemorate his death more than his life.
I do have an early recording which I will put up later. This is a version I recorded with Eric Vandersande in the nineties using his beautiful Maton acoustic with a capo on the second fret. I have often thought of adding violins or cellos but I don’t think they would add anything and may muddy up the lovely ambiance of the acoustic guitar.
I Only Believe In Love
The second song ‘I only believe in Love’ was recorded with Steve Shipley about five years ago and features Neil Rankin on bongos and drums. I guess it is sort of my version of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ though more from the aspect of what happens when you die than how to live. If there is only darkness at the end, then all you leave behind is your essence and the love you spread when you lived.
If you by-pass heaven due to having no faith and your soul is pulled into the sun, it sort of equates to the everlasting fires of hell. But if we destroy this beautiful world with constant wars and the creation of ever more powerful weapons, there will be no-one left to know that love ever existed.
I hate the fact that so many children inherit hate, mostly because of religious beliefs and unbelievably when their parents supposedly believe in the same God as the people they are taught to hate.
If there is a heaven and God loves us all and forgives us all then I will be allright. The reference to having it the wrong way around simply means that if you live your life with love then love becomes your God. Having had many door knockers tell me that ‘God Is Love’ I have stated many times that Love is God. ‘Love is the one religion, Love is the only God’.
The third song ‘Andelain’, is a celebration of a fictional Heaven. It was again recorded with Eric and features Wayne ‘Wally’ Rountree on bass, Bobby Donaldson on drums and Geoff Davies on keyboards. The extra harmonies at the end were provided by a girl who was working for Eric in the office at the time and one of his sound engineering students who was a great guy and had a much higher voice than me.
Andelain is a place in the book series ‘The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever’ written by Stephen R. Donaldson. Before the dark forces take over the ‘Land’ it is a truly magical place but as the story progresses, the only place left where the Magic survives is Andelain and all the past souls of the land gather there and it becomes the heaven of the land.
Hope you enjoy the songs and they make you think a bit and have a great Easter.
Ian wrote the music, did the arrangement for and sang this beautiful song, called Thai Girl, when he was asked if he would collaborate on a song, something he rarely does.
Thai Girl Lyrics by Leo Taylor
The words were written by Leo Taylor, an Australian actor, poet and lyricist. The arrangement and recording of the song was done one afternoon, on a home studio keyboard system by Tony Lane, who laid down the tracks while we all crowded around in his spare room. I emailed Leo recently for permission to use it here and asked him to tell the story behind it…
As for Thai Girl, of course you can write it up. I’ve never considered it to be anything other than a co write and I think Ian has done a fantastic job both as arranger and vocalist I always give him a big wrap whenever I play the song. Anyway…here’s Thai Girl and the story behind it is simple. In 1982 I went through Thailand with my partner Cathy and her son Erin who was 4 years old at the time. I was amazed at the street girls who kept hassling me, even when Cathy was present, so one day I sat down in a bar and began writing some poetry about their situation. Years later when I had returned to Sydney I wrote Beautiful Thai Girl in a Manly coffee shop, the one on the corner just across from the ferry wharf… and that’s the story.
This is a strange little song.
I have three sons that I love dearly and I would not change that for the world but I always wondered what having a daughter would be like. So this is a song for the daughter I never had, my Ode to No-One.
Recorded with a steel string and a nylon string guitar. As with many of my songs, it started out with the guitar progression. Three rather strange chords that fit together well because of the open strings in them. I recorded it with Steve Shipley at his studios in Sydney, a place I manage to visit once or twice a year (when I come up with some new material) to see how it comes together and if the guitar parts fit. I generally only get to visit a song once which can be detrimental to the accuracy of the playing but it certainly captures the mood required which can be lost if you get too technical.
As usual, I loved the guitar but didn’t realise how high the song would be until I started singing it. It is pretty much at the top of my range. It is not an easy song to sing and play at the same time and I have only really sung it this once all the way through.
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.
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.
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.
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.