Daryl Runswick and Kerry Lee Crabbe

Songs Volume 1

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Kerry and I started writing together while we were still students at Cambridge in the 1960s. Over the following years until the early 80s many demos and quite a few fully produced recordings were made, only a few of which ever saw the commercial light of day. It's time to put that omission right.

These recordings date mostly from 1982. The basic rhythm section consisted of Ray Russell on guitar and Harold Fisher on drums, with the bass and keyboard duties alternating between Paul Hart and myself. I also play a 'piccolo bass guitar' on several of the tracks: an idea I stole from Stanley Clarke, who's credited with playing one on Chick Corea's 'Romantic Warrior' album. Having no clue what a piccolo bass guitar might be I invented my own: a short scale bass strung an octave higher than conventionally.

All the vocals on this Volume are by myself. The string and brass backing groups (full personnel lists below) contain some of my dearest friends, some of whom are sadly no longer with us.

The songs themselves date from across the 70s and early 80s (see below). Three of them, The Least You Can Do, Move and Wish You Were Here, have also been recorded by Cleo Laine.

 

 

[ 1 ]    The Cigarette Flip           

 

The first thing I noticed about her was the cigarette flip.
She took a cigarette out of a packet
& tossed it in the air
it looped the loop and landed lightly on her lower lip –
             
I thought, show-off 
              who needs you

– one hand on her hip
while the other drew an arc in the dark
& a flame flickered out of her fist
& fire and tobacco kissed
in a blue-yellow mist.

              She gave a slow smile.
              I liked her profile.

She had a tough way of taking tobacco off the tip of her tongue –
kind of spit-pick-flick.
I thought,
too many late-night movies in her formative years,
obviously –
she's Paramount-fixated, a Warner-Brothers mother,
a clear-cut case of MGM OD,
Bogart and Bacall coming out of both ears.

              So –
              I said, You know how to whistle, don't ya?
              And she said,
              Oh...
              Sure.  You just put your lips together and blow.


Composed 1980. Daryl, vocals, whistling, Rhodes piano, piccolo bass guitar, bass guitar; John Burns, bass drum sample.

 

[ 2 ]    The Least You Can Do*   

 

Let's sit down by the first and talk awhile.
I like the way you look, I like your style.
Take a tip or two from a worldly-weary man;
The least you can do is the best you can.

Let's go out in the street and walk awhile –
Keep count of all the people who can smile;
And let the fingers of your other hand hold mine.
The least that a star like you can do is shine.

And now it's night let's go to bed and love awhile.
Now let our lips bewitch our hands beguile.
Let's not pretend we mean a word we say –
We're not supposed to be here anyway.

So let our time be brief, out parting light,
And all our dreams fold back into the night.
The best times are the ones you didn't plan.
The least you can do is the best you can.


Composed 1971. Daryl, vocals, bass guitar; Paul Hart, piano;
Ray Russell, guitar; Harold Fisher, drums; the Dazzle Strings.

 

 

[ 3 ]    Blue Funk                             

 

I'm mad, I'm blind
uncouth, unkind
I think I'm changing my mind
I think I'll go and get drunk –
I'm in a blue funk.

I thought it might be nice
well, I should've thought twice
before I hit thin ice
now I'm half-way sunk –
I'm in a blue funk.

I wonder what she'd say
if I changed the day
should I run away
should I pack a trunk?
I'm in a blue funk.

It seems I have to swear
to worship, love and care
oh, what the hell do I wear?
I think the whole thing's junk –
I'm in a blue funk.

And should I warn her I
feel in the mood to cry
and certain parts of my
anatomy have shrunk?
– I'm in a blue funk.

              But when I think of you
              I guess I'll see it through
              'cos I don't want to flunk –
              goodbye blue funk...

              and hullo, gorgeous chunk
              of tried and true
              super-glue
              you know I'm stuck on you

              through and through
              you know I feel brand new.
              (Ooh, blue funk!)
              I'm in a blue funk...


Composed 1980. Daryl, vocals, Rhodes piano, piccolo bass guitar;
Paul Hart, bass guitar; Harold Fisher, drums; the Dazzle Brass.

 

[ 4 ]    Spring                                    

 

Chill
is the winter as it creeps away
slow
are the buds that break the clay
hard
is the naked earth to walk upon
sharp
is the bitter light of day

but

              Spring
              is another chance for everything
              spring
              in all your silks & fine array
              spring
              I can't resist you so I'll kiss you –
              I know the kind of tricks you play
              on hearts like mine –
              lead me to the summer wine.

and

June
full of lazy days and lemonade
noon
seagulls wheel across the foam
soon
as summer burns you it'll start to fade
moon
knows the harvest must come home

and

Fall
is the time to gather in & bind
small
are the chances that remain
gall
in the taste of tears that sting & blind
all
you can do is curse the rain

but

              Spring
              is another chance for everything
              spring
              in all your silks & fine array
              spring
              I can't resist you so I'll kiss you –
              I know the kind of tricks you play
              on hearts like mine –
              lead me to the summer wine.


Composed 1978. Daryl, vocals, whistling, Rhodes piano twice;
Ian Hamer, flugelhorn; the Dazzle Strings; the Dazzle Brass.

 

[ 5 ]    So Long Gone                    

 

I can't recall
when you were here
all looks so small
lost in a tear
I can't recall
so long gone I can't remember

Was it a dream
brief as a day
why does it seem
so far away
was it dream?
So long gone I can't remember

Oh so long gone
burned out like a dying ember

When you were here
holding me tight
holding me near
night after night
when you were here
so long gone I can't remember

There in the mist
far as I know
two lovers kissed
surely it's so
there in the mist
so long gone I can't remember

Oh so long gone
burned out like a dying ember

Love passed up by
like a parade
dreams have to die
memories fade
love passed us by
so long gone I can't remember

Music and wine
sun through the rain
see how they shine
spin round your brain
music and wine
so long gone I can't remember

Oh so long gone
burned out like a dying ember


Composed 1978. Daryl, vocals, Rhodes piano, piccolo bass guitar,
wooden agogos; Paul Hart, bass guitar; the Dazzle Strings.

 

 

 

[ 6 ]    Caroline                               

 

Her hair is like a river
running races through the dark
her eyes are like black diamonds
her laughter like a spark
her hands they swoop and flutter
like the wings upon a lark
the rings upon her fingers shine
like the white teeth of a shark
              Caroline
              I sit inside her wicker chair and swing
              I smile and I don't understand a thing
                           not a solitary thing

Her face is a madonna's
she smiles just like a cat
her arms are hugged around her
and she runs to puppy-fat
her speaking is hypnotic
like the low buzz of a gnat
she moves across the floor to me
she slithers like a rat
              Caroline
              I try to find my wine and turn away
              I cannot find a single word to say
                           seems it isn't my day

                                 Caroline, Caroline
                                 if you were mine
                                 every night would be okay
                                 but every day you'd steal away
                                 the sunshine

If only she would let me stay
the man I used to be
before I climbed her stairway
and drank her china tea
but her eyes are throwing chains of light
and captivating me
it's late and I must get away
oh woman set me free
              Caroline
              I stand and walk the miles toward her door
              I just can't stand her witchcraft any more
                           what am I waiting for

                                 Caroline, Caroline
                                 if you were mine
                                 every night would be okay
                                 but every day you'd steal away
                                 the sunshine

She's blazing like a furnace
she is turning into dust
the angle of her head betrays
the anger in her lust
the handle of her door won't turn
although I know it must
she takes my life into her hands
she turns me out without a crust
              Caroline
              I'll never visit Caroline again
              I leave her to her beauty and her pain
                           and walk home in the rain


Composed 1981. Daryl, vocals, backing Rhodes piano, piccolo bass guitar,
bass guitar; Paul Hart, Rhodes piano; Harold Fisher, drums.

 

[ 7 ]    King Of Cool                      

 

Well I'm remembering the very first time I heard the boogie-woogie
Going back a bit, you better believe it I was still at school
I was so darn small my nose nearly hit the keyboard
And I thought the piano player was the tops, he was the King of Cool

Well I've got to tell you now he was just another music teacher
And as the years rolled by well none of us learned a thing
Cos there was only one thing he could do that'd really reach yer
That old left-hand lope that made a jingle-jangle melody swing

There ain't nothing like a boogie
nothing like a boogie-woogie
Nothing like a boogie
nothing boogie jive
There ain't nothing like a boogie
nothing like a groovy boogie-woogie
Nothing like a boogie to keep a man alive

Yeah I'm remembering his hands racing up and down the tinkling ivories
And one foot hit the pedals and the other one kicked to stool
For me it was the door to everything that happened after
And the man he was the most, he was the tops, he was the King of Cool


Composed 1977. Daryl, vocals; Paul Hart and Daryl, piano duet;
Harold Fisher, drums; the Dazzle Brass.

 

[ 8 ]    First Time Around         

 

First time around
in for a penny and in for a pound
I was lost, I was loved and I was found
first time around

First time around
you lifted a finger, I knew I was bound
I was sunk, I was sailing, I was drowned
first time around

                           Young love
                           learns to walk and tries to run
                           learns to fall when summer's done
                           first time around

                           And the castles in the air
                           all vanish with a sigh
                           the eyes that saw them there
                           now see a cloud-filled sky

First time around
never returns once the leaves touch the ground
though you sweep all the gold into a mound
first time around

                           Young love
                           found in secret, lost in tears
                           the minutes last for years and years
                           first time around

                           And the snowflakes on your hands
                           they simply melt away
                           the snowman never stands
                           and first love blows away

First time around
the sound of your voice was a heavenly sound
I don't know that my feet once touched the ground
first time around.


Composed 1979. Daryl, vocals, Rhodes piano twice, piccolo bass guitar,
bass guitar, finger cymbals.

 

[ 9 ]    Move                                      

 

Don't get hung up on the details
Don't worry 'bout the end
You'll be all right till the lights fails
And even the dark maybe is a godsend

              You've got nothin' to prove –
              If the spirit moves you,
              Move.

Every bad day brings on a better day
Don't stop to look behind
Do what you would've done anyway
Whatever it is, you know I won't mind

              You've got nothin' to prove –
              And if the spirit moves you,
              Move.

                           I know it isn't easy
                           Every minute of the day
                           You know I'll always be here
                           So long as you want to stay

              But you've got nothin' to prove –
              If the spirit moves you,
              Move.

And don't get hung up on the details
Don't worry 'bout the end
We'll be all right till the light fails
And even the dark may be a godsend

              You've got nothing at all to prove –
              So if the spirit moves you,
              You only have to move.


Composed 1973. Daryl, vocals, piano, piccolo bass guitar, bass guitar; Ray Russell, guitar twice; Harold Fisher, drums; John Burns, synth; the Dazzle Brass; the Dazzle Strings.

 

[ 10 ]    Wish You Were Here*  

 

Having a lovely time
Wish you were here
The sea is surprisingly warm
For the time of year
The foam is so white
And the waves are a beautiful blue
And at night the illum-
inations are beautiful too
And the place where we stay
Has a B-E-A-utiful view –
But hey-hey-hey-hey
Oo-oo-oo-oo
I do miss you
(So bad – I do miss you)

Having a lovely time
And I would like to stay
The food is amazingly good
For the prices you pay
The people are nice
And the icecream-man is a scream
And a ride with you
Through the tunnel of love
Would be a dream
Come true
Today
Hey-hey-hey-hey
Oo-oo-oo-oo
I do miss you

Having a lovely time
And I wish you were here
There's so much to do
There's a zoo
And a show on the pier
But it's when I'm alone
That I want to run home
To you dear
And try as I might
I can't be bright
So I'm writing this card
On the promenade
With the sea in the air
And the wind in my hair –
I'm so alone
Want to run home
I do miss you
(So bad – I do miss you)


Composed 1971. Daryl, vocals, piano, Rhodes piano; Pip Eastop, french horn.

*These are the final versions of the lyrics. On the 1982 recording, some lines are slightly different.

The Dazzle Strings are Marcia Crayford and Mike Rennie, violins; Roger Chase and Cathy Stevens, violas;
Chris van Kampen and Suki Towb, cellos.
The Dazzle Brass are Ian Hamer, trumpet and flugelhorn; Pip Eastop, french horn; John Iveson and
David Purser, trombones; Ray Premru, bass trombone; Colin Sheen, tuba.

Recorded at Essex Music Studios, Poland Street, London, 3rd-9th February 1982. 'First Time Around'
and the backing for 'Spring' recorded December 1980.

Engineer John Burns. Produced by Daryl Runswick.

All these songs and recordings are covered by copyright.