SONGS
Choose from:

folk

children
reggae/calypso

Click titles for complete lyrics.
If you would like an audio version or leadsheet (tune & chords)of a song,
please email Bruce with your request.
Include your phone number so I can ring you and clarify what you need.


Words and music all songs © Bruce McNicol

FOLK STYLES
Save the Weather (with mp3) Fear and flight. Fear of the unknown. We have to turn and face this one.
Shoot the weather. Bang bang bang.
Shoot the weather. Boomerang.
Buckets: (with mp3)
Folksong, humorous, children or adults
Inspired by Permaculture.
"Buckets, buckets, buckets, I love buckets,
Little yellow plastic ones, tin ones short and tall . . ."
Competition Only Leads To Defeat
Contemporary folk style.
"Hello I said. Heard you're in town.
You don't need the stranger jive with me.
I know you don't mean to put people down.
Won't you come round to tea?. . ."
Coil(the)
OZ bush/folk style
Dedicated to the memory of Mark "Blossom" Brown, of The Cobbers, who coined the phrase "Moon tiger Princess". There had to be a song in that!
"I once spent the night at a bush music party,
On someone's verandah from evening 'til dawn.
Where the Moon Tiger mozzie coils were all that saved us
From a skinfull of itches, from toenails to yawn. . ."
 
Genocide (with mp3)
"Redgum" style
My schooling finished when stolen generations were still a secret. I was really angry when I found out, in the nineties! I'd heard about Maralinga! What else haven't they told us?
"When I was a kid, the history books told me,
The blacks just faded away when the first fleet came.
But history is more than books and papers,
It can turn around and become Truth anyway . . ."
 
He and I
Fatherhood song
v.1. "I yelled at my kid again today, exploded in that highly wound up way . . ."
v.2. "I hit my kid, my worst of fears, and didn't notice 'til I saw his tears . . ."
Life Goes On
Upbeat contemporary folk style
There's something going on behind the scenes I reckon, with the decision to close the Northern Rivers rail line. Maybe it was because every time I caught the train to Sydney, the fabulous mixture of fellow travellers would inspire another song.
"Hey! What 'dja do today? I travelled on a train.
I was talkin' to an Arab, and a Jew, it made me believe again. . . "
 
Live For Now
Folk finger picking style
Unusual tuning. A love song to life.
"Let's live for now, this moment is beautiful,
Let's live for now. Seems essential . . ."
 
Munchie Time
Trad folk style
Silly song therapy to counter an attack of the munchies. Low calorie count!
"Would you like a pancake? Would you like a scone?
Would you like some muesli toast? The chocolate is all gone! . . "
 
The Otway Reef
F
olk song
A "come all ye" , written for an ABC program after researching the history and danger of The Otway Reef.
Verse 4: "Well the mizzenmast snapped and the forrard house went,
And the bow plunged under the tide,
And the owner's son, James, was caught by a wave,
And swept right over the side . . ."
 
The Ostrich Song
Subtitled:" It's all right mate"
Folk/music hall style
In a referendum, we said no to I.D. cards, so we got photo licences instead. Very useful they've become, when you need to prove who you are.
"They're watching us, I know they are, I feel it in me bankcard,
Every time I slot it in the slot.
Computers watching everywhere will tell them all I know
about what I've spent and where, with whom, on what. . ."
Please Prime Minister
Blues style (with mp3)
"My parents run a milk bar. Fourteen hours every day.
They can't afford much junior help, they can't afford to pay . . ./
Please Prime minister, have pity on the working class . . ."
Quick Death
Folk-rock
(with mp3)
I was lying in hospital with an injured back when I heard John Lennon was shot. I had just read their first interview for three years, taken some more painkillers, and had a sleep. When I awoke, this was on the news. At first I thought I was dreaming, so I literally pinched myself.
A song about guns.21/12/1980
"Suppose you're living in the country,
and you want to eat a rabbit or two,
You've prob'ly got a rifle inside the door,
or a dog will eat your chickens, or a dozen reasons more.
I can tell it's a sensible person I'm talking to . . ."
Screenprint
Folk style
Some early training for the daily grind, as it's called.
"I have built a roseproof fence, and I've cut down all the gumtrees,
and I've spread the screenings all over the lawn
And I've trimmed the rhododendrum by the roots, poisoned the willow,
And my concrete plastic soul is all in pawn.
But tomorrow is tomorrow . . ."
Susan's Birthday Song
folk
(with mp3)
A finger-picking egalitarian love song. Does that qualify as a folk song?
"I miss you tonight, but there's a consolation, you'll probably miss me as well . ."
Tanks (with mp3)
Music hall/folk
Even though this is silly and Pythonesque, it's a protest about the neutron bomb, which, rather disturbingly, we haven't heard of for a while now. . . .
"Oh the tanks won't rumble in the streets, there'll be no-one left to drive them,
There'll be no-one left alive then. As far as you can see! . ."
Television
Folk/rock
Television arrived in my house two weeks before my first attempt at year 11(my dad had always said we were not going to get that rubbish, but we did). I failed the exams. I haven't really liked television much since . . .
"People's lives have stopped.
Sit and watch that rubbish night after night.
Set the alarms before they turn off the sight . . ."
There Will Be Peace
Folk
View the first page of this as a choral arrangement through the choral page
A simple unaccompanied song, written for the International Day of Peace. Yes we had one. It was in August 2002. Bet it made you feel better.
"There will be peace, if it can start here within me, here within you . ."
Also works as a round.

Thought Juggling Song
Folk song

From the circus of words, a folk song of the silly variety! I was wide awake,
'cos I was on a train again, trying to sleep, and there was so much going on.

Verse 2: "Do you mean if I can't define it, it does not exist?
Gent in the digger's hat getting thoroughly pissed.
Never been sixteen, but always been kissed!
This is my thought juggling song. . . "
CABARET/Social Comment
Goalposts (with mp3)
Tango style
An election song, which is a collection of figures of speech, some of which I invented. "Moving the Goalposts" was the inspiration, with rhythm changes for the moving goalposts!
"Not tonight Josephine. Not tonight Picasso.
Not tonight Ernie Dingo, you'll all have to wait for morning.
We were sailing along. All that rattles is not jewelery,
There's something wrong with this song.
Have you noticed that the goalposts have moved ? . . ."

How Can I Believe you?
A pentatonic chant

Inspired by the strange wall of sound of a new language. When you can separate the words, how can you believe the reasons for killing which the human race is so inventive about? Remember Cambodia? Nothing's changed, except the set!!
"How can I believe you, when I don't understand your words,
When everything you say at me is one wall of sound? . . "
Girls' Night Out (with mp3)
piano ballad
Several of the 13 women at the next table had never been out without their partner before. I still cry sometimes when I read the lyrics they spoke. They gave me permission to write this. I dedicate it to them.
"The food left over when Emily eats could feed an African village
The mess all over the twins bedroom could fill St Vinnies . . .
Anything he wants to do, he just goes out and does it.
This is the first time I've gone out and he's stayed home. . ."
The Gift
piano ballad
I woke in the night with this song, thanking my predecessor for the chance of a life with my wonderful wife, Lisa - for The Gift of her! Sounds a bit smug, and a bit sexist. But a few weeks later my mother-in-law sent me a birthday card, thanking me in turn for The Gift of myself to her family. I reckon that makes it allright.

Options
Tom Lehrer style

Someone said the first sentence in a pub one night. How could I not write a song?
"It's the options that drive you crazy. A cynic is never wrong.
Pull out the formal. Call yourself normal? Sing a little gumboot song . . ."
   

I Love You
('Scuse Me While I Interrupt
My Tangent)

Tom Waites influence

A love song/ballad. One of my friends and colleagues asked, "When are you going to write a song about me?" At that time, she had a habit of interrupting one thought with another, so that's what the song does.
"Well I just thought, . . 'n' you know what thought is,
How it drives you round the . . twist . . ing things around to tell you clearly now,
I think I like you . . any . .time, d'you like me as a friend? . . "
Exodus
Tom Lehrer style
I finally got out of the city - with nothing.
"If you're tired of the city, and you want to breath in as well as out,
Pack up your shovel and gumboot, and sing with me without any doubt,
I like the country . . ."
other LOVE SONGS and BALLADS
First Time With You
Country folk-rock style
 
I was living in a train carriage which still had a Rules and Regulations plaque on the wall. We two are 12 years on now.
"First time with you, I was feeling slightly nervous,
Knew I had to get some more of this, or quickly walk away.
Next thing I knew, there were Rules and Regulations . . ."
   
Anniversary (with mp3)
piano ballad

For January 12, 2005, on the 8th anniversary of our wedding.
If anybody wants to see
the million miracles within you . . .
I'll show them more than this.

 Lullaby  (with mp3)
piano ballad
TOP
 

 The first verse was written in 1991 for someone who used to lie awake thinking that if she closed her eyes, I would be gone. Of course, eventually, I was - pushed away. After Lisa had come into my life I was able to turn it into a complete song in 1996.
Please, don't you wait . . . all night long for me to fall asleep.

I'll be here, when you wake. don't dream me gone.
Now and then just suspend your dis-belief . . .

JAZZ
Blame:
Jazz love song
A technique employed by many.
"I get breathless, whenever you're not near me . . ."
 

Troubadour
Tom Waits jazz style

TOP
Voiced by a late night club singer.
Verse3: "Come in late and never got a seat, and had to stand.
wishing it was like that, not just playing for the band
and a couple of free selectors, too much make-up on their eyes
But if you strike up conversation you might get a nice surprise . . ."
CHILDRENS' SONGS
If I Met A Boy From Space
Childrens song (with mp3)
My son was in grade three, and space was the topic. Don't let the title fool you, 'cos girls get equal space in the song.
Chosen for UNESCO Childrens' songs sheet (Australian rep) 1979.

"If I met a boy from space, someone quite unlike the human race,
Silver or red, I wouldn't be scared, if I met a boy from space. . ."
I Just Want To Lie Here All The Time
Childrens song
My son and I couldn't get up one morning, but a song tumbled out instead.
You could make up a hundred verses if the morning was long enough!

"I just want to lie here all the time(x2),
Bring me fruit and bring me meusli, I could lie here very easily . . ."

The Whole Song
Childrens song

 

TOP
 I was teaching a third grade class a chorus at Barkers Vale, and one girl said, "Can we sing a whole song?" "What?" I said, "You want a song about a hole? Let me see . ."
"There once was a hole that lived in the ground,
and the whole of the hole went round and round.
It was there all night and there all day,
and the silly old hole wouldn't go away . . ."
COUNTRY
Dilemna
Country ballad
My friend told me she was pregnant again, to another unsupportive male.The Hornies of a Dilemna? Not a funny situation however, or a funny song.
"I feel I've been tired since I was seventeen. A feeling that never really ends
I feel I've had no space anywhere I've been, and I think I'm pregnant again . . ."
 
Contact
Country love song
"I tell you I'm always a visitor.
Your houses are all my domain
There's love in your pantries and care on your tables,
But never a two are the same . . ."
Nimbin Street Song
Country rock
An infamous man once screamed loudly during this song, "I can't stand it! This is not the dream." He couldn't have been more right. This was The Scene.
"Standing on the footpath, bored out of my head,
All my friends are hanging 'round here too.
I see unemployment grinning at the crowd,
Cash in hand a dollar, maybe two. . ."
Roll Along
Country love song
Finger-pickin' good
"When I know the evening's over, and I know I should go home.
When politeness sits a-mocking, his last cup of coffee gone
Then the feeling comes upon me I would really like to stay,
But the evening's over, so I go away . . ."
Toccata
Country /folk ballad
In musical terms, a Toccata is a touch piece;
"Touch me. Here I am again and holding together.
Travelling through this icy-winded weather.
I've been smiling to myself, just knowing we'd be near . . ."
Nobody Came
Country-Rock
Three protest songs in one; sexism, one night stands and mining uranium.
"Dr. Hook"style (so it needed the anti-sexist verse!)

"Nobody came, but everybody had a good time
Nobody came, but everyone said they were there . . ."
TOP
REGGAE / CALYPSO
Ballad of Mount Nardi (with mp3)
Reggae Protest Song
Virgin Forest 'til 1982.
"Sixty four arrested, for being in the forest,
for being in possession of a different point of view . . ."
 
Should
subtitled: Tertiary Language
Reggae style
Gail had to decide what to do now her kids were grown up. Everyone told her what she "should" do, according to what they wanted. I was a room-renting witness.
"How can you sit, when your feet say walk?
How can you silent when your tongue say talk?
Keep your mind open if you want to live,
and leave your heart open, it will live.
How often do we tell our friends what they should do,
a constant flood of expectation . .."

Got
Calypso style

For an English teacher. Possess: to hold (as property), maintain, occupy, dominate, exercise control. How many friends have you got?
"Never use the word 'got' they told me,
it was there in the rules they sold me,
on page forty three,
Don't you know "I've got to go now" should be "I ought to go"? . . ."
RAP
Bigots (with mp3)
Rap
"There's bigots in radio, bigots in school, bigots on T.V. playing the fool.
Bigots who talk about the Golden Rule, then stab you in the back and think they're cool . . ."

War Sanctions
Rap

TOP

Would suit one rapper or various voices.
"We sell the world our weapons of destruction/ Helps the economy, that is the deduction/ First we has the arms race, then we had reduction/ Now we found a reason to increase the induction . . ."
(Chorus from Frankie Goes To Hollywood 1971 -"War! What is it good for? Absolutely Nothin'.")

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