The news on Sunday morning

  1. Big dry river

Big dry river
Big dry river
Big dry river
In Madagascar

Put your baby on the scales
See how much she weighs
Maybe gain an ounce or two
In a couple of days

He gave his 24 children
Another empty bowl
They crowded round the visitor
Trying to fill the hole

They stopped you on the wayside
Asking for some bills
The shepherds looked like stick men
Come down from the hills

See them in the river bed
Digging for their thirst
The great dried river bed
Is lonely now it hurts

  1. If death were a river

I’ve got death
Banging on my door
There’s nothing here
You see I’m so poor

I think of death
Not of suicide
Death comes much slower
There’s nowhere to hide

As I grow older
The worse it seems to get
If death were a river
I’d be up to my neck

If death were a river
I’d jump right in and drown
No more, anymore
It all just gets me down

  1. forgotten fruit

What a contrast to the news I see
In the lonely empty streets
The funerals behind closed doors
The dead ones trying to speak

The lady on the news again
Dressed in glamourous clothes
People in the food bank
Where she never goes

Peak time TV whitewash
Don’t let us know the truth
Keep it in the closet
Like forgotten fruit

The trackers have no faces
As they crawl about the web
To seek you out and bite you
Now their social structure
Like a wasp’s nest in a tree
Like a cancer full of stings

  1. They roast me on a spit

They roast me on a spit
But the flames are crying
The fire light blinds them
So they cannot see injustice

The devil sends them his photograph
They put it on their wall
How do you tell them it’s a lie?
When they dream of him each night


It’s an aching feeling, like a hernia
That I cannot put a name to
It consumes time, like a burning book
It’s a walk across a pebble beach

Love is like a slice of bacon
Its fat is burning, smoking like a chimney

Love is like a faceless chiming clock
A worthless body run over in the street

The false saints of Christendom
Are like bad screw drivers
Like rust that cover a dog

The policies of lies are driven
Into a pile up on the motorway
That’s how fear flies into a memory

Elegy to climate change

The new army
The new model army

Each soldier
Is desired by women

Each soldier is put to use
Each soldier pushes back the boundaries

Frees the women from slavery
Frees the women from early old age

Coming in the great vans of the manufacturers
Coming to their doors

Just this strange wind
Just this strange rain

Of ocean currents losing their way
Of greenwoods burning

Of the gloomy clouds in the sky
Of clouds looking lost and frightened

Of sunlight lost in a storm
Of moonlight in cloudy prisons

Just this strange this heavy rainfall
Just this thunder, this beast hurt by battle

This clashing of sword against shield
This clashing of lightning against roof

This athlete who does not wait
This constellation that spins out of control

Oh carbon
Oh, black carbon
Where do you go?

With your disturbed sleep of ages
With your spoilt dreams

Oh carbon
Beneath the grass sleeping
Inside the ice dreaming

Oh carbon peat mummy
Spread out like the dust of angry toads

Oh carbon dust pile
Blocking the lungs of trees

Oh carbon
Out you come
You have a score to settle

Your work has begun
Your judgement is upon us

Should God be told of it
He would be sad
Should God wish to see
He would be angry

And governments would fall
Like red and green monopoly houses
Into a bin

Is that a sea of water in space?
No, it is a spirit

It moves from one edge to the other
Without putting out the stars

It rests in peaceful coexistence
With galaxies
That cover it like a hand-sown eiderdown

Where are its eyes
Where are its mouths
How can it hear the sound

Of cars on the freeway
Of wars in the jungle

Satellites pass right through it
As if it were not there

It’s a great sea of life
That you cannot see

A great sea of love
That you can love

We are, daily faced with this horror of climate change arn’t we and the future looks uncertain doesn’t it?

Get Your Own Salt from the Sea

Lyrics to Song

1. I’ll sack the locksmith who sold me the key
End my lessons in psychology too
Stop middlemen and salesmen from looking me up
I’ve heard all their promises before you see
There are saints and heroes knocking on my door
Don’t know what they came to me for
And let me tell you good people if you want to be free
You should get your own salt from the sea

2. I’d be across the channel to a foreign country
Cause there’s too many people who make problems for me
With their webs and their systems of economy
So if you’re bell should start ringing
And you wonder who it could be
It’ll be this sailor trying to be free
I’ll be there on your doorstep as happy as can be
I’ll be there like the salt from the sea

3. Once we’d bake our own bread and sow our own seed
Spin our own clothes for our own needs
Rear our own animals too I believe
Make our own peace with eternity
But the lords and the ladies just weren’t amused
They wanted the riches of life
When the best pleasures would simply be
To get our own salt from the sea

4. Sing your excuses till you’re black and blue
But I don’t have to listen at all to you
Your promises don’t help they’re nothing new
Your just deceiving yourself too
Your creation of problems just isn’t fun
Can’t you see what you’ve done?
So it’s back to the earth I’ll eventually be
To get my own salt from the sea

A PDF of music to the first idea and an audio file.

Get your Own Salt from the Sea

This is the one with my newer melody

get your own salt from the sea new melody

I wrote this in about 1970. I had a real struggle trying to understand the melody. Then it occurred to me that it originates in the folk song Widdecombe Fair but seems to develop a little differently. Any way I did try to write a more original tune for it which I can add here too.