Sailing Along the Beautiful River, a song

Dad’s written another river-related song (you can’t stop him at the moment, which supports one of my theories about creativity – that constraints, or requirements are a great spur to creating things. I’ve noticed that if you invite people to a fancy dress party with no theme, less than half the people will come dressed up. But if you say, ‘Come dressed as an imaginary super-hero’, then most people will dress up. The spec gives people ideas and gets them thinking. But I digress…).

This one’s not historical, but is more a light-hearted love song, with a swing jazz feel. Hope you enjoy it!


Categories: Songs | 1 Comment

Tales of the Trent, a song

Dad’s now finished his latest Trent-related song, and here it is. It’s now called Tales of the Trent.

It’s a slightly tinny recording, just done on his computer, but I do think he’s got an amazing voice. (I may be biased, of course).

The words have changed slightly since he sent me the lyrics I posted the other day. But it’s still a journey along the Trent, taking in: the source near Biddulph, Burslem and its potteries, Burton and its famous ale, murders at Nottingham Castle, Newark Castle and the death of King John, and King Canute trying to turn the tide at Gainsborough.

It’s definitely a river with a lot of stories to tell…

Categories: Songs | 4 Comments

The Queen of the Midlands Rolls On

Dad’s been busy writing another River Trent song. It’s a historical journey along the River Trent. He hasn’t done a recording of it yet that he’s happy with (tireless on your behalf, dear readers, I shall keep nagging him). But here’s the lyrics:-

From Biddulph in Staffordshire she traces her birth
And through her long history men knew of her worth
The Celts and the Romans are long lost and gone
But the Queen of the Midlands rolls on, rolls on.
Yes the Queen of the Midlands rolls on.

Our first call is Burslem of potteries fame.
Birthplace of fine Wedgewood that still bears his name.
They shipped it all over. It sold by the ton.
While the Queen of the Midlands rolled on, rolled on; yes the Queen…….

Let’s pause now at Burton the home of good beer
The best ale in England from all that I hear.
They also make Marmite, so tasty and strong.
As the Queen of the Midlands rolls on, rolls on; yes the Queen…….

When she flows through Nottingham fine tales she might tell,
Concerning bold Mortimer and fair Isabelle.
He murdered the husband, but died by the son,
While the Queen of the Midlands rolled on, rolled on; yes the Queen…….

At Newark a castle stands, where she wandered past,
As a great one of England was breathing his last.
They say that twas peaches killed greedy King John
As the Queen of the Midlands rolled on, rolled on; yes the Queen…….

And so then to Gainsborough where Great Canute tried
With vain exhortations to turn back the tide.
They thought him so special but she proved them wrong
For the Queen of the Midlands rolled on, rolled on; yes the Queen…….

So Gentles you’ve listened to my Tales of the Trent.
If they’ve entertained you my time was well spent.
I’ll bid you farewell now and finish my song
While the Queen of the Midlands rolls on, rolls on,
Yes the Queen of the Midlands rolls on.

© 2012 Dave Collins, Nottingham UK

Categories: Songs | 4 Comments

Molly Leigh, the witch of Burslem

Dave Collins, playing a guitar and standing a box decorated to look like a jukebox. He's got a scarf round his neck. He says it was freezing.

Dad as the Human Jukebox at Lady Bay Festival, Nottingham

A couple of weeks ago Dad started writing a song about Molly Leigh, a legend from the Trent. This while insisting Tales from the River will all be too difficult and he doesn’t want to come. I reckon ignore what people say a lot of the time, I took the sudden interest in Trent-related folklore as a good sign.

Molly Leigh was born in what is now Stoke on Trent in 1685. Her only crime seems to have been her ugliness, and to live in an age of vindictive churchmen. Both heinous, I’m sure we can agree. Dad always roots for the underdog.

Molly Leigh, Molly Leigh, sitting with a blackbird on your knee

Run to the cowshed, run to the tree

Run where you like but you can’t catch me

Molly Leigh, chorus

He wrote most of the song in a few hours, but that’s a kind of rough draft. He then he has to fiddle with it until he’s happy. It’s now reached that exalted state, and he’s put it up on soundcloud. If you’re a Soundcloud member, and you wanted to add a comment about how the singer really should tour the pubs of the Trent with that song, it would all help the great persuading…

Also, if someone could try to tactfully explain to him why putting the © symbol in the title (or indeed, using it at all) makes him look like a dick. I’ve tried, but I give up now. No he’s not reading this blog.

Categories: Songs | 1 Comment

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