When digital mastering first came in they used video cassette tapes. I did a recording session in the late 80’s at Emerald City Studios with Eric Vandersande. This included some of my original acoustic songs and a lot of the covers I was doing at my live shows. I was using a beautiful Ovation nylon string at the time (which I no longer have unfortunately) that served me well at over a thousand gigs.

I recorded 24 songs in the session (13 covers, 11 originals) and they were digitally mastered to a Beta cassette. It has taken me a long time to find someone who has a Beta machine with the sound plug in to get these tracks off as I only had them in audio cassette quality. I got them as wav files and then gave them to my talented son Robert (DJ Weaver) who got rid of background hums and re-mastered them.

I am putting up three of the originals today. Firstly a song called ‘Slow Down’ which was a favorite of Karen Lillee’s. She would always ask me to play it when I played at Mirrors Wine bar in Gladesville and when I worked for her when she owned Bevy’s Place at Mosman.

Slow Down – lyrics

The second song is called ‘Steal Your Heart Away’ which is a favorite of Greg and Julie Young.

Steal Your Heart Away – lyrics

The third song is called ‘Remember’.

Remember – lyrics

I wrote this song and sang a lot heavier version than this when I was with the Raiders. I recorded this version of Remember as an after thought on the session night, after dropping the key two and a half notes. I loved the way it came out.

The Covers? Sorry I moved them when I got a new audio plugin – see Playlist-Covers

My Heart Never Wakes Up Alone

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.

My Heart Never Wakes Up Alone – Lyrics

I thought I would put this song up seeing as it is ‘Mother’s day’. This is a song I wrote for my beautiful Caroline and expresses the special ‘Family Love’ that you feel when you have someone special looking out for you, and sharing your life.

It was written when our kids were younger and she was absolutely the mother hen. I remember the song going round and round in my head when driving back to Sydney from a holiday on the south coast with all the family in the car, and the back of the station wagon crammed full of bedding and clothes and Sultan, our dog, squashed in amongst it all.

It was recorded at Emerald City in Sydney with Eric Vandersande one night when I went in and put down cover songs and originals just with my old Ovation nylon string. Probably late Eighties. It was mastered to a beta video cassette and I still have the master but I can’t find anyone who has a beta mastering machine, and I’m not sure if there is still anything on it. So this version is from a cassette, probably second generation and a bit rough but I think the song and the meaning shine through.

Happy Mothers day to all.

Lyrics for All of the Love

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.

 

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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