Song and a Chat

Song and a Chat

Be entertained with a song and an extended chat, ranging from off the cuff banter/ humour to life observations and song analysis.


July 14, 2024 32 mins
Episode #213: Revolving Door  (Song starts at 5:42) I’d completely forgotten about song #453, from 1999, Revolving Door. Well, it isn’t 1999 now! The years have certainly whizzed by. The great thing about being a songwriter (or doing any creative activity) is, it gets you ‘in the moment’ - the moment where your sense of self is put a side somehow. You are so focussed on your art, you’ve let go completely. In that moment you’re insp...
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Episode #212: New World Dawning  (Song starts at 6:22) I really enjoyed writing song #207, New World Dawning, back in 1992. The lines ‘I never thought I’d cry tears You can buy at the chemist’ Were never going to shake the foundations of anyone’s world, but that was my opening gambit (I was talking about the saline solution I used with my contact lenses). Undeterred, I carried on. The words came and they lead on to an expansive sor...
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June 17, 2024 30 mins
Episode #211:  Got Away On Me Again  (song starts at 4:02). Welcome to another episode. Picture me sitting at my piano, with the microphone on. Before me I have my songbooks. I’ve picked out a song Got Away On Me Again (Song # 663, written in 2017). Yes, I have a song to sing, which is nice to be able to present and talk about. I’ve written quite a few over the years. It’s nice to have them up my sleeve. The real pleasure has been ...
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June 9, 2024 29 mins
Episode #210: Forever  (Song starts at 4:20) I went outside tonight, just before I recorded this episode. The stars are incredible aren’t they? Infinite. Makes you realise how insignificant we are, really. I like to think we all count. We all made up part of the universe. Those sorts of big thoughts are the sorts of things I was thinking when I wrote Forever, song#85. It was 1988. I had a gig at the ski fields in New Zealand. I was...
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June 2, 2024 30 mins
Episode #209:  A Certain Kind Of  (Song starts at 4:41 ) This song, #213, is in a different style to the piano vocal ones that have made up the bulk of the songs featured on this podcast. It was written in 1992 by myself and with Paul Dredge on guitar. So it’s a guitar + voices song. Writing with Paul, when we are in the same room, is great fun. Having had a brief chat about the lyrics, what sort of mood style might suit, Paul will...
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May 25, 2024 32 mins
Episode #208: Country Gentleman Jack (song starts at 4:30) Back in 1993, I was the piano man at Wairakei resort, in New Zealand’s north island, near Taupo - beautiful place. Outside of my regular entertainment in the restaurant hours, I wrote songs like this one: Country Gentleman Jack, song #319. As part of the contract, I was also hired to play piano vocal music for conventions. One particular calm winters evening, I found myself...
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May 11, 2024 32 mins
Episode #207: Better Late Than Never    (Song starts at 4:30) This song (#659), came about back in 2017.  I was on my way to work and there was a bit of difficulty getting there, due to the public transport not exactly running smoothly. I was off to teach piano for the day ( I’ve been a piano teacher now for probably about 15 years. I teach as a contractor in a primary school. I teach 24 private lessons in 2 fairly intense days (I’...
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April 29, 2024 33 mins
Episode #206:  Whirlpool (Song starts at 5:20) I enjoyed recording a demo for this episode. It’s such good fun when I do this. It occurs to me as I write these show notes, it’s been a great way to archive some old songs (and of course putting them together with a show that gives them a context. A context? Con : more than one. Text: story. That’s one of the things that makes a song interesting and engaging. That over used word the ‘...
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April 21, 2024 33 mins
Episode #205:  Piece This Star Together (Song starts at 4.45) I find it endlessly fascinating, thinking about where a song might come from. 'Piece This Star Together' came from something my grandfather, Harry, said. My mum passed it on to me, when I was a youngster (bit of wisdom, I think): ‘We’ve all got a little piece of the star within us all and we’ve just got to piece this star together’. It resonated in me and it remained in ...
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April 10, 2024 34 mins
Episode #204:  The Setting Sun. (Song starts at 4:12) In the studio, I opened the songbook book and thought ‘Hey, why haven’t I featured Setting Sun on on an episode yet? It’s been sitting there since 2013’. So here we go. I thought I’d have a sing and play through the song, but I did a quick search of my hard drive and found an old piano vocal demo. It’s got lots of energy. A snapshot of a moment in time. That’s what makes demos g...
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April 2, 2024 30 mins
Episode #203: Count On Love     (Song starts at 3:42) Welcome to a very relaxed episode. Thanks for tuning in, by the way…it’s great that this podcast is being listened by people all around the world. Music is the international language isn’t, it - or perhaps it’s love? Song #617, Count On Love, started out life as a piano solo piece. You can hear the original piece on my album 'Peace' (1 hour of peaceful piano solo pieces). Somewh...
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March 26, 2024 32 mins
Episode #202:  Sideways From A Paper Bag   (Song starts at 3:55) On this episode I’m going to take you back in time, with a demo recorded in the year 2000. Quite a bizarre title, isn’t it. Something I’ve noticed on this podcast is that as lyricist, if I’m not really too sure what to write about, I’ll look around and see what’s happening around me. My eyes will generally focus on a object and I’ll just go ahead a describe it. This s...
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March 20, 2024 30 mins
Episode #201: Sleeping On A Wish (Song starts at  4:08) I’m in a fairly relaxed state of mind. I’ve been holidaying, camping beside a stream In Bright, Vic, Australia. The sound of the stream is what I’ve brought back with me, it just sort of permeates the whole being, the sounds of the stream and birds. So when I came into my studio, I thought to myself I’m not going to do a rock n roll song…I’m in a cruisey mood. 'Sleeping On A W...
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March 6, 2024 32 mins
Episode #200 :  One Thing We Know. (Song starts at 4:26) Welcome to episode #200! It’s such a great feeling, because I honestly wasn’t sure I’d get past episode #1. It’s become like a ‘Songwriter Speaks’ sort of an online gig for me - something I really look forward to each week. Whether you’ve been here from the start with me, or a new arrival, or perhaps you pop in from time to time, regardless, thanks so much for tuning in. I ho...
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February 27, 2024 31 mins
Episode #199: Song For August   (Song starts at 3:08) Welcome to another song - and another 30 mins of observations, humour, with a particular focus on songwriting. For this episode, as it happens, I found a couple of different of versions of Song #396, Song For August, using the same lyrics. Both done in 1994. One was written on the piano by myself. The version we went with ( and quite rightly) is the one Paul Dredge and myself wr...
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February 18, 2024 31 mins
Episode #198:  Only Love Is Real   (Song starts at 4:29) This one, Song #660, popped up in amongst a dozen or so songs I had a sing and play through, earlier today. I thought ‘Aha!’ this would be a good one to have a look at for the podcast. It’s a seemingly simple song. A ‘big day’ was the topic of my blog this week. And it was a big day, the day I took the hand of the person who turned out to be my wife… 'When you took my hand, h...
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February 8, 2024 30 mins
Episode #197:   Let Her Know    (Song starts at 5:19) Song #156, Let Her Know, was composed in 1990. Back then, I was starting to think that’s a reasonable amount of songs. The demo on this episode was recorded a decade later. And here we are in 2024. Wow. 34 years later, I find myself with 800 songs. It was fun, as always, listening to the demo, playing parts of 'Let Her Know', talking about where it came from, how it came togethe...
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January 30, 2024 31 mins
Episode #196: Home Straight  (Song starts at  2:40) This episode’s song would be a ‘protest song’ about the way we are not looking after the world & how out of touch with nature we have become. Every now and then a song like this sneaks up on me. When it happens, I just go with the flow. It’s a great way to let off some steam. It’s also a very creative & effective way of dealing with some big feelings. The trick is, it doesn’t hurt...
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January 9, 2024 32 mins
Episode #195: White Angels  (Song starts at 5:51) On this episode we are looking at the 2nd song I wrote after I arrived in Melbourne in 1997. I'd already written 385 songs in New Zealand before this one. I came to Melbourne as it was a rite of passage, of sorts, for kiwi songwriters to jump the ditch. I was here to set up camp, to be here for some time, to continue on - or perhaps more accurately start again - on my creative path...
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January 3, 2024 30 mins
Episode #194: Parachutes    (Song starts at 4:40) Back in 1993, I had a residency as a pianist at a resort in Wairakei, near Taupo, in New Zealand. To rejuvenate myself - and lift my spirits - while I know I was very lucky to have this sort of gig, being a pianoman has it’s ups and downs. During the daytime, I’d often get out into nature. I’d play golf or go trout fishing. I wrote the words for song #303, Parachutes, as I sat in my...
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