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HMS Blake Catch of the Day (Nos. 1 - 40)



A big thank you to everyone who bought the HMS Blake CD. The following is a series of posts I wrote about each song on the album that I originally published on my Facebook page. There's music links to each track plus lyrics, along with a brief introduction.


I am going into the studio in February to record my new album. It will be recorded on analogue tape and I am very excited about it.


Wishing you a Happy New Year. Roll on 2021. Let’s hope it’s a good one (couldn’t get no worse).



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #1 ‘Whenever’


I wrote this song as a kind of homage to the Velvet Underground, musically speaking, and as a song for my wife, lyrically. I think I’ve got that the right way round. The coda was my attempt at something ‘What Goes On’-ish. It was the song from 1971 that caught the attention of a few record reviewers and of the record label which released HMS Blake, Subjangle.


Whenever Whenever I see the sky turn black Whenever front is back Whenever lost Whenever I wander off the track I know you got my back Whatever cost And though sometimes I’ve blocked you from my heart You must know I have loved you from the start That I do not feel whole when we’re apart You know that it’s true I still love you Whenever I feel all hope is gone Whenever right is wrong Whenever down Whenever the nights seem very long Whenever I’m not strong You are around And though sometimes you’re just not on my mind And I can be a fool and be unkind When I turn away from you I know I’m blind You know that it’s true I still love you But if you need to let me go I wouldn’t blame you doing so And though sometimes I see in black and white And I think you must be wrong and I am right It never takes me long to see the light You know that it’s true I still love you But if you need to let me go I wouldn’t blame you doing so

Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyrigh t 2020 All rights reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/whenever-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #2 ‘Denied’

‘Denied’ is a song that came to me in a dream. Probably about half the songs I write these days start out this way. Usually I will dream the entire song including lyrics but when I force myself to wake up I can generally only remember parts of it. With this one, I remembered all the melody and the words to the chorus and I got up and sang it into my phone downstairs very quietly so I didn’t wake everyone else up.


Denied In my mind I see your face And you’ll never know all the joy you’re bringing There’s some things that I can’t replace And all I can do is to keep on singing Denied, I was denied All the things you always took for granted Denied, on the inside All the things I always really wanted I wonder if I’ll see you again There’s not too much room in my head for your feelings So if you’ve had enough say when I can’t expect you to wait for my healing Denied, I was denied All the things you always took for granted I was denied, on the inside All the things I always really wanted It’s fine to go when I hit the bottom In time you’ll know you weren’t forgotten Denied, I was denied All the things you always took for granted I was denied, on the inside All the things I always really wanted


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All rights reserved Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/denied-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #3 ‘Vinyl Junkie’

I wrote this song about a friend of mine who has the most amazing record collection I have ever seen. He is very passionate and knowledgeable about his subject and was something of a mentor to me when I was discovering new worlds of music at school. His tastes are eclectic but superb. He just knows what’s good. I don’t think he’s really an addict; he’s simply someone who gains great pleasure from great music. It just sounds better on vinyl, in his view. I completely agree. He directed the promo film, too: https://youtu.be/6vuiuuwcneg This song was mastered at Abbey Road.


Vinyl Junkie I don’t buy mp3s I’m in love with vinyl It’s not snobbery it’s about survival I’ve got a steady hand when I drop the needle Collecting lots of bands especially The Beatles I got a long way to go but I know that I’ll never reach the end And my collection’s not complete and I’m becoming obsolete can I amend my ways? Got an enquiring mind, I examine labels Know what I want to find leaning over the table At the record fair, at the vintage clothes store You’ll always find me there trying to find a new score I got a long way to go but I know that I’ll never reach the end And my condition’s down as used my inner sleeve has been abused can I amend my ways? I see it as my goal to find the rarest pressings Something I can’t control spent too long obsessing But it’s my pension plan and it’s appreciating So can you dig it man my ears have got mint rating I got a long way to go but I know that I’ll never reach the end And now my record’s getting stuck and I believe I’m in a rut can I amend my ways? La la la la la I’m a vinyl junkie I got to get my fix I’m a vinyl junkie I got to get my hit I’m a vinyl junkie

Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, harmonica Joe Brown - organ, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/vinyl-junkie-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #4 ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams’


This is sort of a companion piece to ‘Vinyl Junkie’ and is basically the story of my musical career. I was delighted to get in my ubiquitous “Hello Birmingham!” John Lennon story into a song at last! The other stories are all true, too. My first experience of being in a band was when a classmate at school heard me singing to myself in art class and literally frogmarched me to an audition at his house after school for his group who played solely Joy Division covers. My first electric guitar really did have the words to The Byrds’ “So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” written inside the lid and I did take this as some sort of affirmation/message from the universe – ha! I came across the ‘Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying’ graffiti on a park bench when I was living in London in 1999 and I had a huge hangover after a night out dancing at ‘Blow Up’, which was then at The Wag Club in Wardour Street. I was working at Great Ormond Street Hospital but it didn’t pay well and I was skint and my landlady was horrible. I moved back to Gloucestershire and got engaged to my girlfriend and the rest, as they say…


Rock n Roll Dreams


‘69 was the year that events conspired to seal my fate

John and Yoko in a hotel room with peace to articulate

My dad was a reporter and John came on the line

He said, “Hello Birmingham!” and it never left my mind


I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams

I’m still making all my little plans and schemes

I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams


I fell in love with The Beatles in the saddest circumstance

On that day in 1980 when a crazy didn’t give peace any chance

At school some classmates asked me if I’d lend them a hand

I stood in as the singer of a rock n roll band


I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams

I’m still making all my little plans and schemes

I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams


At seventeen inside the case of my first electric guitar

Someone had written out the words to The Byrds’ “So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”

I took it as a prophecy and seconded the motion

For me it was a contract for a lifetime of devotion


I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams

I’m still making all my little plans and schemes

I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams


I practiced in my room and I wrote songs almost every day

I got a group together and we dreamed of going all the way

I gave up on my studies and they threw me out of college

My only thirst for learning was for rock n roll knowledge


I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams

I’m still making all my little plans and schemes

I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams


There’s a shop called Vinyl Vault

It’s always been my favourite haunt

You can get anything you’d ever want


I knew that there was nothing else that I could ever do

So we struck out on the circuit and we went and paid up all our dues

A record label signed us but they didn’t really get it

I left and went my own way and I never did regret it


I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams

I’m still making all my little plans and schemes

I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams


I was living in the city some graffiti told truths I was denying

On a bench someone had written “Get me away from here I’m dying”

I’m a child of the seventies, my generation’s ageing

I wish it was the sixties when the times they were a-changing


I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams

I’m still making all my little plans and schemes

I’m still chasing all those rock n roll dreams



Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar, programming Joe Brown - organ, 12 string acoustic guitar, bass, backing vocals


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/rock-n-roll-dreams




HMS Blake Catch of the Day #5 ‘Metanoia’


As it’s Sunday, I thought I’d better select this one today. This was inspired by two tracks from Donovan’s 1968 LP, The Hurdy Gurdy Man, which, unfathomably, was not released in the UK. The songs in question are ‘Peregrine’ and ‘Tangier’ which feature Don playing harmonium and intoning chant-like against a backdrop of Middle Eastern flavoured percussion. I absolutely adore the album, as I do pretty much everything of his I’ve ever heard. Metanoia is a Greek word meaning “beyond thought” and generally understood as a transformative change of heart or repentance following a spiritual conversion. The words are taken from the Gospel of John. At the start and at the end are snippets from a field recording I made on a walk near my house in the springtime.


Metanoia Do not be troubled or upset Believe in God also in me My Father’s house has many rooms I will prepare a place for thee So many rooms So many rooms In my Father’s House If I prepare a place for thee I would not tell if it weren’t so I am the Way, the Truth, the Life Now you have known me Him you know So many rooms So many rooms In my Father’s House


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Blake - vocals, harmonium, acoustic guitars, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/metanoia-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #6 ‘Peter Green’


This is my tribute to Fleetwood Mac founder and lead guitarist, Peter Green, who sadly passed away in July. I’ve been a fan of Peter and the original Mac since I was at school and saw the ‘Fleetwood Mac at 21’ documentary on TV. I’d discovered The Beatles and Dylan prior to this, but the original Mac became the third act in my musical holy trinity. I’ve covered Danny Kirwan’s ‘Dragonfly’ and ‘Dust’ in the past but I’ve never even attempted to cover one of Peter’s songs. I just wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near his playing, singing or harmonica ability. I love his music deeply. Peter was certainly very special and although his story is tragic in many ways, like Danny’s, I am very grateful for everything he gave to the world before it got too much for him. God bless you, Peter Green.


Peter Green Born in ‘46 and just another East End kid Growing up was tough, your roots were something that you hid In rock n roll, Chicago blues you knew you’d found a home With music as your best friend you would never be alone Peter, Peter Green They called Clapton God until you burst upon the scene You played just like a dream God bless you, Peter Green Your lucky break got broken when God came back home from Greece But Mayall had not forgotten that he’d found the Golden Fleece Fresh Cream soon came calling and the blues breaking began But very soon you knew that it was time for your own band Peter, Peter Green They called Clapton God until you burst upon the scene You played just like a dream God bless you, Peter Green No-one else could touch your phrasing, you were on your own Your pick ups out of phase gave you a supernatural tone But still you wanted Jeremy to be pushed out to the fore The money and the glory weren’t what you were aiming for Peter, Peter Green They called Clapton God until you burst upon the scene You played just like a dream God bless you, Peter Green Sometimes I feel so sad When it’s clear there’s so many things that you have never had But it makes my heart feel glad When I hear you sing 'I Need Your Love So Bad' Danny was your protégé on those long West Coast trips The heights you reached unequalled as you shared your precious gift And though the game has ended, I’m so glad you sang your songs For the light that burns twice as bright burns only half as long Peter, Peter Green Fleetwood Mac still looking back on what just might have been The best we’ve ever seen God bless you, Peter Green


Words by Julian Pugsley. Music by Julian Pugsley except excerpt from 'The World in Harmony' by Peter Green and Daniel Kirwan copyright Fleetwood Music Ltd and Wc Music Corp. Licensed via Easy Song Licensing. ID: LPL380070

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitars, bass, programming



https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/peter-green-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #7 ‘Pepper Man’


A few years ago, a crew of top musos, including Mike Viola and and Tim Christensen, came together to perform Paul and Linda McCartney’s ‘RAM’ in its entirety. The gig was filmed and, when it was available on YouTube, I couldn’t stop watching it. It was a brilliant show and it just reminded me what a blinkin’ genius Macca is. In fact, my first thought was to stage a similar concert in the UK. This has not yet materialised but the next best thing I thought to do was write a tribute song to the man. Despite McCartney recovering from the terrible image he had when I was at school (I was embarrassed to tell my friends I had bought ‘Give my Regards to Broad Street’ when it came out), I still don’t think he is fully appreciated for the colossal figure in popular music he is. Lennon has, in some ways, been almost sanctified since his tragic early death, while McCartney’s legend has had to cope with the ups and downs of his continuing existence. I think we should celebrate him while he is still with us, and ‘Pepper Man’ is my attempt to do that.


I shot the ‘Coming Up’ inspired video in the overflow car park of ‘The Rowdey Cow’ below Roundway Hill, Wiltshire, with assistance from my ‘crew’ (the wife and kids): https://youtu.be/od2jOX3UAjA


Pepper Man


Pepper man writing those hits as fast as you can

Pepper man number one

Pepper man screaming your gift like nobody can

Pepper man sing your song


You’re a magical mystery genius

On a helter skelter ride

You have lessened the distance between us

You sang the times of our lives


Pepper man writing those hits as fast as you can

Pepper man number one

Pepper man screaming your gift like nobody can

Pepper man sing your song


You’ve been a man on the run now dear boy

You did it good on the way

It’s been such wonderful fun now dear boy

You’re not just another day


Pepper man writing those hits as fast as you can

Pepper man number one

Pepper man screaming your gift like nobody can

Pepper man sing your song


You wrote the soundtrack to all our lifetimes

We stored your melodies within

Hitting playback on all those great lines

I don’t know where to begin


Pepper man writing those hits as fast as you can

Pepper man number one

Pepper man screaming your gift like nobody can

Pepper man sing your song

Pepper man writing those hits as fast as you can

Pepper man number one

Pepper man screaming your gift like nobody can

Pepper man sing your song

Sing your song


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, programming

Joe Brown – backing harmonies and block harmony arrangement


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/pepper-man



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #8 ‘The Free Life’


‘The Free Life’ was written by Alan Parker and is one of two cover versions on HMS Blake. (The other is my cover of my friend Richard Kilbey’s song, ‘Hide & Seek’.) This tune was the theme music to the seventies ITV schools programme “My World”. The aforementioned Richard created a compilation tape for me earlier in the year of classic tracks from the KPM library music archive and this one immediately sent me on a trip back in time. I had to research where I remembered it from. Those of us who had childhoods in the seventies were blessed, I think; certainly in terms of music, TV, film and freedom. The video I made to accompany it consists of cine footage taken when I was a kid when the skies were bluer and everything else was brown and orange: https://youtu.be/RUkXT3BWP1M I’m a nostalgist at heart, so I would say this, but they don’t make ‘em like this anymore.


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/the-free-life-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #9 ‘Going Back to Liverpool’


Number 9. It had to be my song about The Beatles today. This was, unconsciously, inspired by the Jackie Lomax song of the same name. Jackie Lomax was an Apple artist who The Beatles failed to break, despite Paul, George, Ringo and Eric Clapton playing on his first single, the excellent Harrison composition, ‘Sour Milk Sea’. A fellow Liverpudlian, the Fabs had known him since the early days. I’d pretty much forgotten about Jackie’s song when I wrote my ‘Going Back to Liverpool’, however, although the title was obviously hanging around in my subconscious somewhere. My song is about the oft-repeated daydream I would have, usually when I was bored at work, imagining I was one of The Beatles inner circle in about 1961/62. It also uses the line “If only in my dreams”, which I later realised I had poached from ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’. The “I’d love to turn you on” line was deliberate, however. I just attempted to sum up how much I love The Beatles and Liverpool itself. The accompanying video was made from trips on the official ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and other explorations of Beatles shrines during one of many attendances of International Beatleweek: https://youtu.be/fXXK7gFvy18

Going Back To Liverpool Picture myself back in Lime Street Station Catching the Number Nine Dream Brian is there and the boys are waiting Everything’s real now it seems Climb in the van and say hi to Neil, Mal’s changing the strings on the Gretsch Head into town and it’s so surreal John’s offering us cigarettes I’m going back to Liverpool I’m floating down the stream I’m going back to Liverpool If only in my dreams Afternoon show and they pull a blinder Get a shot of rhythm and blues A guy in the crowd’s given George a shiner Ringo can’t believe he was booed John’s got a song that he needs help finishing We’re having a crack in the Grapes Paul is with Dot and I’m sitting there listening Rounds of black velvet til late I’m going back to Liverpool I’m floating down the stream I’m going back to Liverpool If only in my dreams Just like the moon and stars and sun Their songs shine on and on and on Back on the stage for the Cavern all-nighter Lights are low the hi-fi is high Thelma cooks scouse and the space grows tighter Your feet’s too big and some other guy Brought down to earth by the sound of laughter Break is over back to the floor Somebody calls, it’s another drama Wish that I was born years before I’m going back to Liverpool I’m floating down the stream I’m going back to Liverpool If only in my dreams I’m going back to Liverpool Get back where I belong I’m going back to Liverpool I’d love to turn you on...


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved Blake - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/going-back-to-liverpool



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #10 ‘Anyhow’


This is a straightforward little pop song that Subjangle were keen to include on the album. I’m glad they liked it because it’s always been a favourite of mine. It was one of the ten songs I wrote for the Stay Human album, that I recorded in a professional studio for the first time since Karma Truffle’s debut LP five years previously. I used the stylophone solo from my demo recording. The greatest compliment I had about it was when my friend and fellow musician Richard Kilbey did a cover version of it. He takes the song in a completely different direction and I love it.


Anyhow It’s so hard living without you It’s so hard with all this space I never thought I could doubt you Or thought that I’d be replaced Looking back I see all the things I would not do now But just ask me anything I’d do it for you anyhow I see that I could be jealous I see that I could be dumb But what we had was so precious I wish I could change what I’ve done Looking back I see all the things I would not do now But just ask me anything I’d do it for you anyhow Anyhow I wish that you were still with me I hope that wish could come true I know I could have done better I guess that you thought so too


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

Blake: vocals, acoustic guitar, stylophone, harmonica Paul Kench: lead guitar Joe Brown: bass, vocals Chris Scrivens: drums Richard Kilbey: banjo


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/anyhow-2


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #11 ‘We’ll Be Champions’


On 16th July 2014, a few days after the World Cup final, some Palestinian children were playing football on the beach by the harbour in Gaza City. Four of them were tragically struck and killed by shells from an Israeli gunship. The Israeli military investigation that followed concluded that the children had been mistaken for Hamas militants preparing to attack Israeli forces. This incident occurred soon after I had returned home from performing at a music festival in Bethlehem with my friend Joe Brown, at the invitation of the Holy Land Trust who had heard my album ‘Star Over Bethlehem’. As soon as we heard the story on the news, Joe and I decided to write a song to express our horror and sadness at what had happened. RIP Ismail Mohammed Bakr (aged 9), Zakaria Ahed Bakr (aged 10), Ahed Atef Bakr (aged 10), Mohamed Ramez Bakr (aged 11). Stop the War. Stop killing children.


We'll Be Champions Go get the ball we can play by the harbour wall, quickly Take turns in goal you can be Ronaldo, I’ll be Messi Pass it to me, pass it over I’m free, put a cross in Do you know what it means to be part of a team, it’s belonging And I hope when we grow up we’ll be champions And I hope when we grow up we’ll be free We’ll be free Playing games on the sand but we don’t understand what the rules are Because we never knew they would target us too, we’re just children Take a penalty shot, do you think we can stop them from scoring Just look at us run little shapes in the sun now we’re soaring And I hope when we grow up we’ll be champions And I hope when we grow up we’ll be free We’ll be free

Words and music by Julian Pugsley and Joe Brown Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

Blake: vocals, acoustic guitar Joe Brown: vocals, acoustic guitar


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/well-be-champions


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #12 ‘Over and Over Again’


The first LP I ever owned was ‘Dog of Two Head’ by Status Quo. I’d asked my parents to buy me a Quo LP for Christmas after I’d fallen in love with their 1980 single, ‘What You’re Proposing’. That they chose the Dog LP was a strange but fortuitous decision. I’ve been a fan of their no-nonsense heads down boogie ever since and I’ve still got the record. Funnily enough, this song started out life as a Marvin Gaye soul tune until it morphed into a Quo style blues shuffle. I needed a vehicle with which to rant about Johnson and this was it.


Over and Over Again Don’t know why the things you do Are so bizarre ain’t got a clue Don’t know why the things you say Are bent and twisted come what may But over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again I hear it Over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again You smile and you joke along But underneath there’s something wrong You just can’t hide what’s true There’s something dark inside of you Cos over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again I hear it Over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again It takes a special type to cause such pain and take delight It takes a special brain to tell yourself you’re not insane It takes a parasite to welcome and believe the hype And do it over and over again I wonder what it’s like to see the world as black and white With profit in your veins to you the world is just a game Can’t ever get it right but never turn to see the light Just do it over and over again You look me in the eyes But everything you say is lies I’d say I pity you Buy you know well the things you do It’s over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again I hear it Over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again Don’t know why the things you do Are so bizarre ain’t got a clue Don’t know why the things you say Are bent and twisted come what may But over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again I hear it Over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again It’s over and over and over and over And over and over and over It’s over and over and over and over And over and over and over It’s over and over and over and over And over and over and over and over again

Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved


Blake - vocals, electric guitars, bass, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/over-and-over-again-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #13 ‘Now You’re Gone’


This song, dating from about 2002, was one borne from experience; an incident on a train platform – somewhere in London, maybe Acton or Gunnersbury, I’m not sure. The line, “I tried to call you now, but I used up all the credit I had” dates it to the period when mobile phone technology was in its infancy. It was a heartfelt break-up song but it’s always gone down well live, and also proved popular with the label when they were helping to select the songs for the second disc of HMS Blake.


Now You’re Gone


Waiting for a train, it's a one-way to the end of the line Standing in the rain, I could kill you but I'm just killing time As I try to figure how all the good things got outweighed by the bad And I want to call you now but I used up all the credit I had I didn't mean to bring you down I can't believe that you're not around I didn't mean to bring you down But now I lost the best thing I ever found Cos I tried to plug it in but it didn't fit the socket So I bought a diamond ring but it fell out of my pocket So I tried to steal your heart but my key would not unlock it And now you're gone I've got a lot to do cos I joined a gym and I'm in a band But all I think about is you I remember sitting here holding hands So I might as well go home cos I'm gonna catch my death pretty soon My mind is turning every stone all I think about is his hands on you I didn't mean to bring you down I can't believe that you're not around I didn't mean to bring you down But now I lost the best thing I ever found Cos I tried to plug it in but it didn't fit the socket So I bought a diamond ring but it fell out of my pocket So I tried to steal your heart but my key would not unlock it And now you're gone


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved


Blake - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/now-youre-gone-4


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #14 ‘Sophie’s Song’


This song is a tribute to Sophie Scholl, the courageous German student who, with her brother Hans and their friend Christoph Probst, were executed on 22nd February 1943 for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets at the University of Munich. The three were members of the White Rose resistance movement, inspired by their Christian beliefs to make known to the German public the atrocities that were being committed by the regime, including the mass killings of Jews. Her final words were: “Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go... What does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”



Sophie’s Song I’ll sparkle on a sunny day love I’ll sparkle when the sky is blue I’m not afraid love Cos all I did was true I’ll sparkle when you read my name love I’ll sparkle in the pictures of me Keep pressing on love We’re changing history It’s a sunny day but I have to go What does it matter If through me people know, know, know I’ll sparkle like the light within you I’ll sparkle like the summer sea Give thanks for life love We’re setting people free I’ll sparkle like a tree at Christmas I’ll sparkle like the starry night Don’t be afraid love We’re doing what is right It’s a sunny day but I have to go What does it matter If through me people know, know, know I’ll sparkle on a sunny day love I’ll sparkle when the sky is blue I’m not afraid love Cos all I did was true


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved


Blake – vocals and acoustic guitar


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/sophies-song



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #15 ‘Beautiful Illusion’


I wrote this song during the recording sessions (at home) for my 2010 album, ‘The Parousia’. I threw caution to the wind with this record and recorded whatever I felt like doing. My previous album, ‘The Latest Pop Sounds from Blake’ had been my attempt to produce a polished studio album that might receive some radio play. I’d even submitted it for inclusion in the UK charts and, although I’d finished recording it by October 2009, I held it back until the second week of January the following year in order to release it at the optimum time to give it a chance of chart success when the fewest numbers of new releases came out. It did nothing, of course. With ‘The Parousia’, I allowed myself the luxury of recording more spontaneously and attempted to simply capture ideas in the moment. Some experiments worked out better than others but in the end I just decided to put everything on it and release it as a double album. It was my ‘McCartney II’ after the critical drubbing of ‘Back to the Egg’. ‘Beautiful Illusion’ was undoubtedly one of the things that clicked. I promoted the album with a gig at the Dublin Castle and gave out free copies of the CD to the audience and members of the other bands. I’d invited the girl who was the real-life inspiration for the song to come to the concert but, in keeping with the sentiment, she didn’t show.


Beautiful Illusion


I was waiting for you I guess I could say that now It didn’t really matter how long it took I’d have waited anyhow I was walking through the garden When I saw you sitting there And though I’ve seen some pretty girls None of them could compare You brushed your hand across your face And concentrated on the lines Inked on the book upon your lap Til your eyes met with mine For a short time For a short time But you’ll never be mine You’ll never be mine Just a moment in a day Your eyes fell back to your book I didn’t know what to say You’ll never be mine You’ll never be mine As the moment slips away A beautiful illusion and nothing more It’s best to think that way


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved


Blake – vocals and acoustic guitar


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/beautiful-illusion-2


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #16 ‘See How the Children Play’


Another big Donovan influence on this one. I have been a massive fan of the Scots troubadour since seeing him perform at International Beatleweek in Liverpool some years ago. I’ve already mentioned his influence on my song ‘Metanoia’ from HMS Blake. His albums ‘A Gift from a Flower to a Garden’ and ‘HMS Donovan’ are the primary influences on this one. The former is a double album and the second record is entitled, ‘For Little Ones’. Both this and ‘HMS Donovan’ are comprised of songs written for children. In the liner notes to ‘A Gift…”, Don writes, “I wish only to enhance and beautify the days of youth that in doing so their young minds be filled with pleasant images… that all may see the reassurance I know, that God is Love.” Yes, it sounds like airy-fairy hippie nonsense, but I’m a fully signed up member of the Freak club. There’s a bit of William Blake in it, too. It’s the sound of my children and their cousins playing that you can hear in the intro and outro.


See How The Children Play See how the children play No-one gets turned away Wish we could be that way Just for a day, just for a day Look how the children play No-one gets turned away Wish we could be that way Just for a day, just for a day We lost our way and it seems it’s to stay All our Innocence lost in the grind To turn from our sin we must let the light in And like children be gentle and kind Watch how the children play No-one gets turned away Wish we could be that way Just for a day, just for a day We lost our way and it seems it’s to stay Our Experience tainted our minds To turn from our sin we must let the light in And like children be loving and kind See how the children play No-one gets turned away Wish we could be that way Just for a day, just for a day


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitars, keyboards, programming



https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/see-how-the-children-play-2


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #17 ‘Over You Tonight’


This song is taken from ‘The First Snow’, possibly my favourite album that I’ve recorded. It wasn’t even supposed to be an album. I had crowd funded my LP ‘Stay Human’ via Pledge Music and I was producing content for supporters during that process – free tracks, essentially. ‘Stay Human’ was dedicated to the murdered Italian journalist and human rights activist Vittorio Arrigoni who had been murdered in Gaza in April 2011. I read his obituary in The Guardian and I was so moved I wrote a trilogy of songs for him that week. I had completed ‘Stay Human’, which was the first album I had recorded in a professional studio since Karma Truffle’s debut, in time for Greenbelt Festival in August of that year, where I was performing. (All the proceeds from the crowd funding campaign were donated to the festival; ‘Stay Human’ wasn’t released officially until 15th April the following year, the first anniversary of Vittorio’s death.) I then realised I had enough home-recorded material left over to put another album out. Some of the songs I had recorded featured a Philicorda that I had recently bought from someone in Fleetwood on eBay and had had restored, after watching this clip of The Qualitons using one: https://youtu.be/RAviVDqgAao (How could anyone fail to like that?!) Unfortunately, I had to let it go after we moved house because there wasn’t a space for it. It was December by the time the album was ready for release and it occurred to me that many of the songs had a winter feel to them, reminding me of my favourite Fleetwood Mac album, ‘Bare Trees’, and also bringing to mind some Walt Whitman lines I remembered from reading a biography of the man years before: "like the first snow, the first blade of grass —unstudied, unelaborated, untouched..."

The latter part of the year had been a difficult time in my life, I realise now with hindsight, best expressed by ‘Up in the Sky/Feet of Clay’ and the opening tune, ‘Veils’. This latter track had started out life as a completely different song with lyrics that went:


Veils cover my eyes Block out the sunlight Tell me lies…

Clouds cover my soul Block out the meaning The joy I used to know…


This version is available as a bonus track on the album on my Bandcamp site. (It's free to download, by the way: https://cutt.ly/OgjyuqE) I felt like I was carried through this period. The final track on the record, ‘Awakening’, a sort of Peter, Paul and Mary folkie thing, looks forward to the arrival of spring and happier days, which did indeed soon arrive. By December the following year our son Noah had been born.


‘Over You Tonight’ became a live staple, despite the absence of the Philicorda. It’s one of those songs, similar to ‘I’m Not Thinking About You’, where the protagonist betrays his real feelings by protesting too much.


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/over-you-tonight-3


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #18 ‘Reputation’


So this has been a topical one since I wrote it in May with the US Election imminent and now happening. It’s influenced by Dylan and Kula Shaker and the message isn’t hard to work out. It’s not like Biden’s the Messiah, either. He’s no Sanders and being a better option than Trump isn’t the greatest endorsement. Still, this is your chance – get out and vote America. Don’t blow it like we did in December. “Oven-ready deal”, anyone?


Reputation A snake oil salesman with the charm of a goon Look out he’s coming there must be a full moon Uh-oh this is a dangerous situation I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation So many deceits I can’t take ‘em on-board Don’t give a damn for no-one when you’re a fraud Uh-oh you’ve been spreading misinformation I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation You like to act like you are nobody’s fool But you don’t even know the Golden Rule Uh-oh better finish your education I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation I hate to break it to you but you’re heading in the wrong direction The truth is the first victim when you’re heading into re-election More fake, fake news, another great pretence For you what happens after is of no consequence Uh-oh just a little complication I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation And please don’t tell me I just envy your lot I don’t covet anything at all that you’ve got Uh-oh you’re labouring under a misapprehension I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation The world it sure is burning and the stakes are so high Don’t let the facts get in the way of a lie Uh-oh they’re just another aggravation I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation Well roses are red and violets are blue But there’s only one colour that means anything to you Uh-oh it’s a strange kind of pre-occupation I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation We should have seen it coming but perhaps we weren’t quite paying attention Now wrong is right and black is white, no answer for your self-deception Have you considered repentance? I guess the answer is no A snake like you wouldn’t know where to go Uh-oh you’d protest the allegation I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation I’m no betting man but I’d say that they’re slim The odds of you getting a place or a win Uh-oh in the race for your salvation I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation But judgement day is near us and the fire is getting hot Counting down He’s coming if you’re ready or not Uh-oh I recommend prayers and invocations But I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation Well I hate to tell you but I think it’s a sin To put your faith in yourself when it should be in Him Uh-oh I suggest some time of contemplation But I’ve learned that you are more concerned about your reputation That the people chose Barabbas is a matter that’s beyond belief You’re not the one that I acknowledge as my Captain, my Commander-in-Chief They say that Jesus Christ was born in a cave You’ll know his people by the way they behave Uh-oh this is a desecration I’ve learned there’s nothing left to spurn of your tattered reputation


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, electric guitars, bass, keyboards, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/reputation-2


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #19 ‘Daisy Chain’


I wrote this ditty for my daughter, Daisy.


Daisy Chain I would make a daisy chain When summer comes around again When I see you life is good Would I love you? Yes, I would I would write a love song, too And I’d sing it just for you When I see you life is good Would I love you? Yes, I would I would write you poetry To tell you what you mean to me When I see you life is good Would I love you? Yes, I would I would keep you in my heart So we’d never be apart When I see you life is good Would I love you? Yes, I would The girl to make my dreams come true I’d make her in the shape of you When I see you life is good Would I love you? Yes, I would Would I love you? Yes, I would


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/daisy-chain-2


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #20 ‘She Flew Away’


I was quite surprised when I found out that the record label were keen to include this song on HMS Blake. I’ve always liked it but the songs on my debut ‘Solomon’s Tump’ were recorded in a very primitive manner and I doubted they would be deemed sonically good enough for inclusion. I had recorded the album on a Tascam four track in my tiny one-roomed flat next door to Vinyl Vault in Cheltenham. However, it received praise for its sixties garage vibe and I was delighted. It records in fine detail exactly what happened at the end of the relationship that spawned the majority of the songs on ‘Solomon’s Tump’ – and many thereafter: ‘Falling’, ‘Now You’re Gone’, ‘Being with You’, to name but three. If I hadn’t written this song, I never would have remembered that we broke up in a pub called The Strand or that I sensed it was all over after a gig by a friend’s band. Writing songs is a bit like keeping a diary. The good thing is that you’ve still got the tune after all the emotion has long since faded away.


She Flew Away I woke up early this morning for the first time in a week I knew I had to concentrate today I didn't have too much warning, she said she wanted to speak If my hair looks good I feel OK We met up in the Strand, there was nowhere we could sit We drank our coffees standing up and I thought “Well, this is it” She flew away, she flew away She flew away, she said she really couldn't stay I had a sense of foreboding after the gig Thursday night The band threw a party and she went along My sense of self was corroding, I couldn't tell what was right I knew that she was dancing to a different song She said we'll stay good friends and she tried to make it stick I said this is the end my skin is not that thick She flew away, she flew away She flew away, she said she really couldn't stay Oh she is such a lovely girl, oh she is the beauty in my world Oh I am a diver she's my pearl


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved


Blake – vocals, guitars, bass, drums


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/she-flew-away-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #21 ‘Sing No Sad Songs For Me’


This is a poem by Christina Rossetti that I matched up with music that I had already written but for which I was struggling to come up with lyrics. Entitled ‘Song’, I was familiar with the poem from my university days. In those idealistic years I tried to ‘make it’ as a poet before I got the hang of writing songs and I self-published several collections. I realised after a while that they were generally pretty dreadful, unfortunately, although I did manage to get one published in an anthology of modern verse.


Sing No Sad Songs For Me When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass above me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget. I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain; I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on, as if in pain; And dreaming through the twilight That doth not rise nor set, Haply I may remember, And haply may forget. 'Song' by Christina Rossetti

Music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/sing-no-sad-songs-for-me-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #22 ‘Such a Shame’


This is the only song on ‘HMS Blake’ recorded with my former band, Karma Truffle. The group was only in existence for a few years – from 2003 to 2006 – but in that time we managed to get signed to a record label and played at the 100 Club and The Cavern. Prior to this I had had a band in various guises since the year 2000 with my friend Paul Kench. The first incarnation, eventually called The Dandelions, involved Paul and I trying to find a permanent (female) singer, drummer and keyboard player, without much success. At this point, I was playing bass, singing backing vocals and writing songs, along with Paul. The band fizzled out in 2002 after only two live shows; the first of which was phenomenal and the second a complete disaster. In 2003, Karma Truffle began life as a psych-rock band and consisted of myself on co-lead vocals and guitar, my friend Magda on co-lead vocals and bass and my friend Amanda Ranson on drums. Paul re-joined the group on lead guitar after we’d played a few (moderately successful) gigs and our friend Jamie, who had also been in The Dandelions, took over on the drum stool. This was the year that I recorded and released ‘Solomon’s Tump’ in my Cheltenham bedsit. As luck would have it, Paul’s French girlfriend had just started an indie record label in London, called Ecto Music. She was an experienced sound engineer and had previously worked with Oasis and My Bloody Valentine. She loved ‘Solomon’s Tump’ (or at least parts of it) and asked me to sign a deal as a solo artist. Partly because I wasn’t really that confident at the time as a solo performer and partly because I wanted my friends to be part of this extraordinary stroke of luck, I persuaded the label to sign Karma Truffle instead. We started recording our debut E.P., ‘She’s Not All That’, in summer 2004. Unfortunately, the recording techniques the label insisted on were incredibly laborious and involved our drummer laying down multiple takes of the same song on Cubase until ‘perfection’ was reached. The producer didn’t believe me when I said that The Beatles had recorded their debut album (well, ten songs of it at least) in a single day. I was told that that was just ‘hype’. The three tracks weren’t completed until 2005! I spent hours and hours of my life recording the same vocal parts over and over again, which were then subjected to micro-editing until every last in-breath was satisfactory. The process resulted in almost all soul and human feeling being eliminated. I hated it. By the end, I could barely listen to the songs and I couldn’t tell anymore if any of it was any good. I just wanted it to be over. After a grueling promotional tour, which often involved travelling hundreds of miles to showcase gigs where the audience usually consisted of members of the other bands and the bar staff, Magda had had enough and quit. We recruited another female bass player following an ad in the NME, but the initial spirit of the group was lost. We couldn’t bear to record an album with the label in the same way as the E.P. so we made the difficult decision to leave. ‘Such a Shame’ was one of the ten songs we recorded at a studio in the Cotswolds over three weekends for Karma Truffle’s debut LP, ‘What You Do Comes Back To You’. These recordings captured the sound of our live gigs at the time, with minimal overdubbing involved. After further shows promoting the album that we self-released on our own Rockhopper Records label, which were better attended, I also decided I’d had enough. I was now married and looking to start a family and I was keen to continue recording on my own without being limited by the self-imposed limitations of an ‘indie rock group’. For better or worse, I didn’t want to be tied to a particular sound or be pigeon-holed by a particular genre. I wanted to embrace folk as well as rock, blues as well as pop, reggae as well as electro and I’m still happy to have my music filed under ‘eclectic’. Saying this, I’m still proud of what Karma Truffle achieved. We started out as a bunch of kids playing tiny pub gigs in Cheltenham and ended up getting signed and sharing venues with the Arctic Monkeys. It was what we had in the early days that I look back with the greatest fondness on, though, when we mixed original songs by me, Magda and Paul with covers of The Bevis Frond, Love and The Undertones. Happy days indeed.


Such a Shame Soon it's all over, no more room for philosophical manoeuvre You didn't listen to the knocking on your door Now you can't hear the Word you need anymore It's such a shame, such a shame, such a big, big shame Such a shame, such a shame, such a big, big shame Such a shame, such a shame, such a crying shame for you You tell me you've reached your goal So tell me the price you paid for your soul You didn't listen to the knocking on your door Now you can't hear the Word you need anymore It's such a shame, such a shame, such a big, big shame Such a shame, such a shame, such a big, big shame Such a shame, such a shame, such a crying shame for you


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, electric guitar Paul Kench - lead guitar, backing vocals Sarah Anthony - bass guitar, backing vocals Jamie Jordan - drums, percussion, backing vocals


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/such-a-shame-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #23 ‘I Am Listening’


We’re really good at talking these days, but sometimes not so good at listening. A friend of mine shared a blog post recently meditating on the late Robert Fisher from Willard Grant Conspiracy’s phrase “Here’s an award for silence” from the song ‘Chasing Rabbits’ on the posthumous release, ‘Untethered’. My friend wrote that the song “celebrates some of the undervalued but quietly beautiful things in life”, clearly apparent to Fisher as he was dying. He goes on to say that “all words emerge out of a sort of primordial soup of silence which we might call our authentic experience… but, as the poets, musicians and artists know, words not only change but very often lessen experience.” Silence teaches us to listen and when we do this we can reduce our “reactivity, half-truths, mini-deceptions, micro aggressions and blandness” and “cultivate a sense of depth and integrity to our words and conversations.”

Sometimes in life we hear the voices of those who have done this hard inner work of cultivating silence and have thus gained wisdom worth sharing. One such person, in my view, is the theologian Michael Hardin, whom this song was inspired by and is dedicated to.


I Am Listening Some people make you prick up your ears They’re not run of the mill It doesn’t happen too much over the years But when it does get your fill Some call them prophets, others a sage A shaman or a chief They have in common wisdom for the age So let me keep this brief I am listening Yes I am listening I am listening Yes I am listening Listening to you We’re in a bubble, an online cage Self-service restaurant We hesitate to turn the page If it don’t say what we want But there are voices though they are few That challenge us to see Amid the hustle and the media stew The truth that sets us free I am listening Yes I am listening I am listening Yes I am listening Listening to you I’m turning on and I’m tuning in I’ve set the dial to the voice within Yes I am listening I am listening Yes I am listening I am listening Listening to you


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved


Blake - vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/i-am-listening-2

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HMS Blake Catch of the Day #24 ‘Stay Human #1’


‘Stay Human #1' was inspired by the life of the Italian reporter and human rights activist Vittorio Arrigoni. Arrigoni was one of the few foreign journalists present in Gaza during the Israeli military offensive Operation Cast Lead, December 2008 to January 2009. He published a book shortly afterwards, ‘Restiamo Umani’ (Stay Human), about his experiences. He was murdered by a Palestinian Salafist group on April 15th 2011. At his funeral service, hundreds of people broke into a spontaneous rendition of the anti-Fascist folk song, ‘Bella Ciao’.


Stay Human #1 (Song for Vittorio) Stay human you taught us Keep your hope burning bright Don’t be scared of the shadows Don’t be fooled by the night In the menacing madness In the terrible fight Walk on into the darkness Carrying your light Uh-uh-oh-oh tell me it’s not true Uh-uh-oh I still believe in you Oh you know, we’ll never let you go Bury him in the mountains Under beautiful flowers Blossoming for freedom In the darkest hours He was a friend and a brother He came across the sea He gave his life for a people So their lives could be free Uh-uh-oh-oh tell me it’s not so Uh-uh-oh the world needs to know To know, we’ll never let you go We’ll never let you go


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved


Blake: vocals, acoustic guitar Helen Bousfield: bass Joe Brown: mandolin, backing vocals Richard Kilbey: slide guitar Chris Scrivens: drums


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/stay-human-1



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #25 ‘Be Mine’


This song was a last minute addition to ‘1971’. I had recorded a demo but not thought much of it, initially. It was only on listening back after I’d recorded all the other songs that I decided it deserved a place.


Be Mine Be mine on my journey Be mine when I’m old Be kind when I worry Be warm when I’m cold I give you my word You’re never far from my mind And I’d give you the world If you would be mine Be there when I’m sleeping Be true when I’m gone Be near when I’m weeping Be right when I’m wrong I give you my word You’re never far from my mind And I’d give you the world If you would be mine They say time’s a healer They say time will tell And I’m a believer Because I know you so well Be free from all sorrow Stay free when you’re mine Be with me tomorrow And until the end of time I give you my word You’re never far from my mind And I’d give you the world If you would be mine


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar, programming


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/be-mine-2



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #26 ‘Rag Doll’


I wrote this with a friend in a flat in Tewkesbury in about 1998. We started opening our sets with it with The Dandelions and it used to go down pretty well. I recorded this version for ‘The Latest Pop Sounds from Blake’ in 2009. The drums were recorded in a church hence the nice reverb on them. I didn’t have access to a harmonium at the time, so I had to make do with a keyboard for the ‘Eastern’ intro but it sounded OK. It’s one to light joss sticks to. Theses generally tend to be my favourite ones.


Rag Doll


I see you walking down the stairs I watch you stop and turn and stare At your reflection in the hall I see you when you’re with the crowd I hear you talking much too loud You don’t hear me when I call I feel like your rag doll You’re spinning me round and round I feel like your rag doll You’re spinning me round and round I watch you putting on your face You crawl into your hiding place Your eyes are cold behind your smile But I wish that I could make you see You’re gonna lose it and you’re gonna lose me There’s no substance to your style


Words and music by Julian Pugsley and Russell Mulligan

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, keyboards.


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/rag-doll-3



HMS Blake Catch of the Day #27 ‘Pictures of You’


This is a song about a lost love. I was baited into writing something beginning with a major seventh chord by my friend Paul who said he was surprised I hadn’t written more songs containing one. He must have forgotten about ‘Café Retro’.


Pictures Of You I came across a box I thought I’d lost long, long ago I’d spent an hour searching for a CD high and low It felt unreal just holding photographs of times I could recall They don’t exist online and it made me think did they really happen at all Pictures of you Pictures of me Pictures of how our lives used to be Pictures of you Pictures of me Pictures of how I thought it would be They must have got damp somewhere along the line I’m not surprised because I must have moved a thousand times Some of them were stuck together but one had something on the back I could see And it was your handwriting, it read: “Love always. 1993” Pictures of you Pictures of me Pictures of how our lives used to be Pictures of you Pictures of me Pictures of how I thought it would be I found the CD, then I put the box back on the shelf And maybe one day I’ll find it here again and surprise myself In an another universe, if you believe in things like multiverse theory, There’ll be a hard drive folder with these photos saved as “Early you and me” Pictures of you Pictures of me Pictures of how our lives used to be Pictures of you Pictures of me Pictures of how I thought it would be 


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards.


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/pictures-of-you-2


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #28 ‘Sinking’


When Subjangle asked me to come up with some new songs for HMS Blake, I had it in my head to write a song that would fit in with the album art concept, so this is the one with a nautical theme. I recorded the backing vocals with my friend Joe Brown. We attempted to do something akin to ‘Here, There and Everywhere’.


Sinking


And in the morning

You’ll pack your bags and you will leave

You’ll leave me mourning

Something I still can’t quite believe

I hear you sleeping

The sounds you make fill up the room

Maybe you’re dreaming

Of times that ended way too soon


We were unsinkable

But the baggage weighed us down

It’s just unthinkable

That we will never make it to dry ground


Sinking, sinking

Lost without a trace

Sinking, sinking

Nothing could ever take your place

I’m sinking in the deep blue


I hear you stirring

I’ll very soon be set adrift

My head is whirling

The waters rising through the rift

Your lifeboat’s leaving

I see your face begin to frown

No point believing

That we’re not really going down


You’ll leave me drowning here

To a lost hope clinging on

You’ve made it very clear

That you were not at fault for what went wrong


Sinking, sinking

Lost without a trace

Sinking, sinking

Nothing could ever take your place

I’m sinking in the deep blue


A thousand leagues beneath the surface of the sea

Here lies the wreckage of the good ship you and me


Sinking, sinking

Lost without a trace

Sinking, sinking

Nothing could ever take your place

I’m sinking in the deep blue

Without you


Words and music by Julian Pugsley

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved

Blake - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass.

Joe Brown – electric guitar, backing vocals.


https://thisisblake.bandcamp.com/track/sinking


HMS Blake Catch of the Day #29 ‘You Got Me Thinking’




HMS Blake Catch of the Day # ‘Star Over Bethlehem’


In 2014, while the World Cup was on, I was in Bethlehem at the invitation of the Holy Land Trust to perform songs from my albums ‘Stay Human’ and ‘Star Over Bethlehem’ at the Bet Lahem Live Music festival. ‘Stay Human’ was inspired by the life of the Italian human rights activist and journalist, Vittorio Arrigoni, who was murdered in the Gaza Strip in 2011. ‘Star Over Bethlehem’ was inspired by the children’s Christmas songs of Jake Thackray and tells the story of the Nativity. It was a dream come true for me to visit Palestine and Israel and see some of the famous places I’d been hearing about since I was a child: Jesus’ birthplace and the site of his crucifixion (according to tradition), the Shepherd’s fields, the Mount of Olives and the Way of the Cross. Visiting Bethlehem and Jereusalem today cannot just be a pilgrimage, however. The stark reality of the political situation is encountered in the very infrastructures of both the “little town”. Bethlehem is surrounded by a ten metre tall “security fence” or “separation barrier” (depending on your point of view) whose imposing edifice it is impossible to ignore. The water cannons situated in the turrets along its length shoot sewage water at citizens on the Palestinian ‘side’ (even though the wall itself has been built beyond the 1967 boundary of the ‘Occupied territories’). I witnessed the masses of people lining up like sheep in an enormous pen waiting to see if they would be allowed to pass through the wall in order to work their fields or get to their places of employment on the other side; the permits approved or disapproved by the Israeli security forces on a seemingly arbitrary basis, daily. I saw the remains of a Palestinian family’s home that had been demolished two days before for no other reason than that it was situated on land that was now coveted by Israeli settlers. The family gave us cool water and refreshing tea under the shade of a fig tree next to the pile of rubble that had been their home; their hospitality and dignity remaining intact. I saw another Palestinian family’s home that had been rebuilt for the third time with the help of volunteers from all over the world. The family were so grateful and so happy to be living in their beautiful home again even though the reality was that it would soon be demolished for a fourth time. I visited the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, the largest refugee camp in the world but only a matter of miles away from the World Heritage site of the Church of the Nativity, visited by thousands of tourists from every country of the globe every year; only the vast majority of these tourists get back on to their luxury air-conditioned coaches and are driven straight out of the West Bank as soon as they have seen the site of the birth of the Prince of Peace. The highlight of my trip was joining hands with some Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders outside the Church of the Nativity praying for peace and singing “We Shall Overcome”. (The Jewish teacher had had to bravely smuggle herself into Bethlehem – it is illegal for Israelis to cross the checkpoint). I sang my song ‘Star Over Bethlehem’ from the mainstage during my performance at the festival (along with ‘Stay Human #1 (Song for Vittorio)’, ‘Fire! Fire!’, ‘The Olive Trees’, ‘Mary The Lord Is With Thee’ and ‘Bella Ciao’) accompanied by my friend Joe Brown, the multi-talented singer-songwriter, Beth Rowley and the incredible beat-boxer, Hobbit. The Star Over Bethlehem album is essentially the songs to a musical yet to be written. They are sung by the cast of characters in the Biblical story. My aim was to note the parallels between the occupation of Palestine in the time of Jesus’ birth and today.


“There’s a wall around Bethlehem

There’s a wall around the hearts of your children…”


#hmsblake #catchoftheday

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