The Lorelei legend is about a rock on the river Rhine that is sometimes mistaken for a beautiful maiden. My Lorelei is about a beautiful maiden who masquerades as a rock. You were recklessly abandoned So you floated to love You chose a mate at random And you gloated above You lived your life in tandem Until you’d had enough And then with reckless abandon You let push come to shove Stick your chin out – hang tough Lorelei Lora Lorelei, Don’t let them see you cry, Lorelei Sticks and stones can’t hurt you Through your rough tough had enough skin And people can’t desert you If you never let them in And if you never buy a ticket It’s for sure you’ll never win If there’s a problem you can lick it Or just take it on the chin That’s the ticket – that’s the spin Lorelei Lora Lorelei Don’t let them see you cry, Lorelei But I see you in the forest Looking slight beneath the trees I hear you sing another chorus Lilting lightly on the breeze And I sense your skin is porous When I see you on your knees But then you tense and you ignore this And return to your deep freeze Another day – you didn’t seize Lorelei Lora Lorelei I love to see you cry, Lorelei
Caught In The Doldrums
I wrote and recorded this shortly after reading “The Life Of Pi” by Yann Martel. There were many aspects of my life that were out of whack. I felt stuck…no goals to reach, no safe place to land…no going back… ennui.
The sax solo is by local legend Dave Turner.
Caught In The Doldrums I need just a little breeze To fill my sail Just a little breath of wind to lift your veil just a little breeze to give me a nudge I need a little breeze Or I can’t budge Caught in the doldrums Caught in the doldrums Drifting aimlessly Caught in the doldrums Nothing on an endless sea Caught in the doldrums It’s all the same There’s nothing new I’ve been bobbing on the tide Such a useless endless ride I got nothing left to try And no tears left to cry Caught in the doldrums Caught in the doldrums I’ve been sitting, waiting for Something to occur, but Time is hesitating and Nothing wants to stir Caught in the doldrums Caught in the doldrums Caught in the doldrums Drifting aimlessly Caught in the doldrums Nothing on an endless sea Caught in the doldrums It’s all the same There’s nothing new Don’t know where I ought to be But I know it’s not at sea Don’t know what I ought to do Everything I see is blue Caught in the doldrums Caught in the doldrums (repeat A and B ) ©2008 IGH
Come Into The Light
Darkness and shadow can be overwhelming. A friend showed me an experiment. He asked me to cup my hands so as to have a small pocket of darkness. He then asked me how much my pocket of darkness affected the room. Then He turned out the light and struck a match… This song chronicles the crooked path I had to take from trying to salvage something that had changed forever to forgiveness of myself and my first wife. I had just watched The Buona Vista Social Club and my setting for this song kind of reflects that. I particularly loved "Chan Chan". I used to see the sky Reflected in your eyes The stars, the clouds, The fireworks Revealed your soul But now they don’t look back Except when they attack There’s an overwhelming lack And a gaping hole The days are getting shorter and the dark drags on forever and the sleepless nights so heartlessly provoke now that shadow rules the day the truth gets in the way and the fading light’s obscured by smudge and smoke If we could find a balance Between our torments and our talents, Change our habits and create an equinox We need something to remind us Of another place to find us Than between the proverbial Hard place and the rocks Come into the light Keep it in your sight Let the stars above Illuminate your soul Forget about your ghosts ‘cause life’s too short to host resentments, hatred will never make you whole
I Couldn’t Get Across
In August 2007 a bridge in Minneapolis collapsed. In September I was driving to work which included a few kilometers on highway 25. One of the overpasses had been dismantled and they were building another one. I got to thinking about “what ifs” and imagined a young couple “hot to trot” that each lived on opposite sides of a river. I imagined someone in Lachine in love with someone in Kahnawake on opposite sides of a river that freezes in winter (The St.Lawrence)
Reading the lyrics just now, I am struck by how much this lyric resembles a Roadrunner cartoon plot. Only thing missing is a delivery from ACME.
I took it to the bridge, but the bridge was gone I couldn’t get back to my baby The river’s very wide, couldn’t see the other side So i had to decide what would the way be (I said) Why’s she gotta be so far away How come I can’t get to her today I just want her to come out and play But today it’s here I gotta stay I took it to the bridge but the bridge was down I couldn’t get around to my baby I’d have to dive right in, had to be sink or swim I might have to drown for my baby (I said) Why’s she gotta be so far away How come I can’t get to her today I just want her to come out and play But today it’s here I gotta stay I went to the bank to see if I could ford But I just can’t afford to see my baby The bank was very steep and the water, way too deep And baby, baby it was way too wavy (I said) Why’s she gotta be so far away How come I can’t get to her today I just want her to come out and play But today it’s here I gotta stay I went to find a boat but it wouldn’t stay afloat I couldn’t get across to my baby The water’s way too cold, it’ll freeze soon I was told You can walk across and take it to my baby But I had no winter clothes, and in trying, froze my toes Now how am I supposed to find my baby (I say) Why’s she got to be so far away How come I can’t get to her today I just want her to come out and play But today it’s here I gotta stay
I’m A Caboose
I retired gradually. My teaching career was becoming less and less my passion, and the generation gap was becoming more and more evident. I went down to a four day week for two years and then down to three days until the pandemic sidelined most of us and my career just petered out. Before the pandemic hit, the school council voted to eliminate music in favour of “Arts Dramatique” which discouraged me. I jokingly asked: “Are you saying I’m irreplaceable?”. They said it is too hard to find a bilingual music teacher, but they did not even attempt to find one. I was always having to deal with “the more important subjects” to get any sort of extra time for rehearsal or for anything that disrupted the status quo. I was feeling kind of bitter, but I realized that change is constant in this world. buildings get re-purposed, roads get re-routed, occupations wither and die, etc.
The caboose has always attracted my attention. I thought “How cool, a fort on wheels” As a child I was always finding cool places to be alone and play at establishing a new home. Putting junk and “treasures” in it and delving deep into my imagination. A caboose represented the acme of all that. I was appalled when in the mid 1980’s the caboose was replaced with an electronic device. No longer needed, they became redundant, scrapped, repurposed and entered into history much like blacksmiths, video stores, journalists, mom and pop stores,etc.
As my relevance waned, I felt more and more like a relic of the past, but coupled with a fierce determination to remain relevant in my art and have produced more music in the past few years than I had in the previous decade.
I recorded this as part of my “just me and a guitar” sessions at Boutique de Son nd the album was almost done when the pandemic hit. Throughout the pandemic I wrote and recorded profusely and my “already in the can” material sat unheard. I released three albums this summer which is kind of an overload, but I see it more as unclogging a drain and letting things flow unimpeded now the music is out there.
All the jobs I ever trained for Tend to fade away They say that I'm Redundant They say I'm In the way I used to dig the ice out of the river over there I'd store it packed in straw They don't need that anymore I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose I used to have a function I used to have a use I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose They left me at the junction When they cut me loose I used to stoke the engines With my sweat and filthy coal But technology replaced me And I've got nowhere to go I wanna be a classic car an antique shop filled with artifacts I wanna be a 10 cent chocolate bar, But, they say, there's no going back I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose Rusting on a rusty spur Waiting for things to occur I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose They left me at the junction When they cut me loose I used to sell their products until the products disappeared Or else they're made overseas They can't afford to make them here The world is spinning way too fast And I used to ride the Trunk The treasures of the recent past Now are worthless junk I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose I used to have a function I used to have a use I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose They left me at the junction When they cut me loose I've always been quite attached to trains They always know which way they're going Now the trains they whistle past, They don't slow down, they move too fast I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose I used to have a function I used to have a use I'm a caboose, I'm a caboose They left me at the junction When they cut me loose I'm a caboose.
I had just re-read Steinbeck’s The Pearl when the news of yet another friend’s demise arrived. I don’t exactly remember why I called this song “The Pearl” except Steinbeck’s Pearl was something coveted and was going to improve the lot of Kino and his family. Maybe it is about searching for pearls, but never finding it or finding it like Kino did, and realizing it was going to destroy you. Artificial happiness is never as stimulating as actual happiness.
You thought you'd get away with it Thought you'd never get caught What were you expecting? This is what you got This is what you got This is what you got It wasn't what you wanted It wasn't what you thought You got a belly full of pain A pocketful of dust Your heart broken again And a junkyard full of rust You wanted to stay high Have a permanent good time Now you're struggling to get by And you're hungry all the time This is.... (8) You wanted a big change A change at any cost Look at what you've gained Look at what you lost This is..
I have been a long time fan of Chet’s music and I was fortunate to see him several times where he transfixed the audiences with his mastery of the idiom. I was lucky. Perhaps if he had been nodding I would have been less forgiving, but he wasn’t, and his artistry shone.
In 1986 at the Montreal Jazz Festival Chet Baker and Paul Bley started a highly anticipated duo concert together, but Chet was in such bad shape, he needed to be led off the stage to a chorus of boos and insults. This both saddened me and angered me. Sad because he had a superior gift that has been simultaneously aided and eroded by his addiction.
I channeled my feelings into an instrumental piece and recorded it in 1995 with a full band. Although I am pleased with this recording, I felt the intro should have been more rubato and I wish I had held the long notes at the end of phrases a little longer…
Chet’s Habit has been part of my repertoire and got better over time. One day, while playing it, I experienced the rhapsody of being high and escaping my woes and worries much in the same way drugs might take me away. The lines that became the lyric spilled out of me like a faucet fills a glass, and the instrumental was now a song.
In 2019 I took possession of my brand new handcrafted Greenfield guitar built for me by my friend Michael Greenfield. I revisited some of my repertoire as I got to know the guitar and because the Greenfield sustains superbly and the overtones are so pleasant I decided to re-record Chet’s habit.
I had just attended an important music conference and was trying to stir up interest in my work so I could enter the “house concert” scene. The people who interviewed me did not even listen to my discs because they were not representative of solo me (o sole mio).
I booked George Doxas’ studio where I am very comfortable working and recorded 30 songs which I pared down to what is released on the solo album “I’m A Caboose” of just me and guitar as one might experience my music at a home concert. The other songs have not been released yet; not because they suck, but I felt that thematically they did not fit the album. They will fit some future projects no doubt.
Sailing …over the sea trying to forget that I’m me Drifting…wafting… Floating along… In a song Sailing …over the waves I got nothing left to save Drifting… Wafting… floating along… Through my horn Words(2005) and Music(1986) By: Ian Goodall Hanchet
1381 Poll Tax Blues
Digging into my ancestry has unearthed a story of one of my ancestors who was beheaded in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 in England. Not sure if he is a direct ancestor (I doubt it because he was decapitated at the age of 22 and had only one child), but he is a part of the family lore.
About a month ago I was in attendance at a performance of Celtic music played by my friends Patrick Hutchison and Jeff Deeprose. Their repertoire included many songs that were actually ancient stories of derring-do that have been passed down through the ages by minstrels in pubs and taverns. I thought “Hey, maybe I can write a song about John Hanchauch (variation of Hanchet)!”
I researched the Wat Tyler Rebellion and The Peasant's Revolt (the same thing) and determined that it was a righteous protest against injustice. I was worried that he might be like the recent "Freedom Convoys" and the infamous dolts of January sixth. I think not. They were protesting against the Feudal system and the injustice of taxation from the people least able to afford it. In present day terms, it is like the rich paying an insignificant percentage of their income while the same percentage from farmers and tradesmen is a huge dent in their breadwinning. I hate the idea of "classes" as in upper and lower and middle classes. I have seen wealthy people with no "class" and I have seen people with nothing sharing what they have and exhibiting more "class" than most people will ever have within them. I am a Canadian and I have a strong socialist bent. I resent Royalty and deplore "celebrity" and don't get me started on Privilege and billionaires,etc. I hope this (admittedly an ear worm of a) song sees traction. Please share it widely. Oh, the 14th century was a very rough age unless clothes of silk was what you wore on top of plague, famine and war, they want to tax us even more But We’re not going to take it any more how much you going to bleed us for you bastards how much you going to take from us in taxes how much you going to bleed us for you bastards We’re not going to take it anymore John Ball had a dream in which every human being was an equal and shared the bounty of the land where the rich became aware of the people in their care Who felt the balance of wealth was unfair how much you going to bleed us for you bastards?.. "When Adam delved and …Eve span Who was then the gentleman?" who made you king and me an underling? I’m not going to bow to you no more how much you going to bleed us for you bastards?.... silly king Richard was only fourteen he never ever learned to play nice they did his sums while he twiddled his thumbs and he followed all their bad advice they said tax em once, tax em once again take away their milk, take away their grain we need more money to pay for more war the treasury’s weakened, better tax em some more how much you going to bleed us for you bastards?..... At only twenty two John Hanchauch, to be true Led some men on up to Cambridge town These men had no fear, and their mission was clear Find the manors of their foes and burn them down John’s future had been shining bright before him at twenty years of age, he’d just been wed But he couldn’t stand the rules of these aristocratic fools And in just two years he’d lost his head Henry DeSpencer, fighting bishop for the king Needed somebody to fail Dispenser of “justice” ordered the axe And Hanchauch’s head fell in the pail. how much you going to bleed us for you bastards how much you going to take from us in taxes how much you going to bleed us for you bastards We’re not going to take it anymore how much you going to bleed us for you bastards Headless men can’t pay taxes how much you going to bleed us for you bastards You’ll get nothing from me anymore
In a former life (1990-2000) as a music therapist working in a school with children with Autism I encountered a very bright, but very remote young boy. My job was to engage with this child using music as part of the overall stream of therapeutic services offered to our clientele.
This boy would be dropped off at the music room where there were many visual stimuli and manipulables to play with. I used a technique called “mirroring” which I learned about through the work of Nordoff and Robbins. I watched his movement and improvised on the piano matching his movement rhythmically and resting when he was static. The goal was for him to become aware of an “other” (me) through non-verbal communication and share in the interaction as a kind of game where sometimes I got to lead.
On this one occasion, he was left off and I “followed” him on the piano. After about 15 minutes of this, I could see he was becoming agitated by my relentless pursuit and he turned away from me and said in a very loud voice “Laisse-moi dans mon monde!”. I was shocked because this child had not previously shown much verbal skill apart from pointing at the various pairs of fluorescent lights that lined the ceiling and pointing at each and saying “ça s’allume” if the lights were on or “ça s’allume pas” if they were off.
Not one to let it go at “Leave me in my world”, I asked him “what was in his world?” and he turned to me and smiled and said “des belles images”. This was a turning point for both of us. I respected his wish and I stopped mirroring him and started to play something beautiful for myself while continuing to watch the boy play. As I played I thought: “I’d like to be in a world where there are beautiful images” and I thought about the number of times I have been pulled out of my reverie by something mundane like an alarm, or a parental obligation. I started to question what I was doing which was to pull people into “our world” which ran contrary to my raison d’être as an artist which was to create beautiful worlds out of my imagination.
Many years later I was trying to learn “The Heart Of The Matter” by Don Henley. The opening guitar chords are similar to the chords of “Free Falling” by Tom Petty: Henley’s has a melody based off a D chord followed by and an A7sus4 chord where the voicing was root, fifth, octave root, fourth, and the seventh on top. I kept missing the exact voicing of either the first or second chord. My fingers were used to the Tom Petty. In frustration I looked at my mistake as I would instruct a student to and realised I kept playing the D with the fifth(A) in the bass. I played the D/A and improvised a little melody which was similar to both Henley and Petty. Cool! I knew a new song was coming! Then the bell rang (I was on a break at school) and I thought “Laisse-moi dans mon monde!” as the kids raced into my class.
I had some help with the French grammar from a colleague just to make sure of the conjugation, etc.
By the time I got to record this in a real studio (Boutique de Son) my voice was not quite recovered from a head cold and I could not sing the highest note to my satisfaction so I tuned my Martin D28 down a whole tone and sang it in C rather than D.
Laisse-moi tranquille Laisse-moi tranquille dans mon monde Un jardin de sérénité Laisse-moi tranquille dans mon monde La vérité à éviter Toujours l’été Ton monde n’importe rien pour moi Je n’ai pas de lien avec toi Chez moi je reste maître et Roi Rien de mauvais, de beaux portraits Dans mon palais De belles images Dans les nuages Douces berceuses Pensées hereuses La paix existe dans mon monde Mon jardin de sérénité Laisse-moi vivre dans mon monde Il est parfait De tout beauté Ma vérité Ma vérité.
For those who may not understand French, I have included a translation
Leave me alone in my world a garden of serenity leave me alone in my world reality is to be avoided and it’s always summer your world means nothing to me I have no connection to you at home I am master and king nothing is bad, there are beautiful portraits in my palace beautiful images in the clouds soft lullabies and happy thoughts Peace is present in my world my garden of serenity let me live in my world it is perfect and beautiful my reality my reality
Little Boy Lost
I am very happy with the way this song turned out. It is an out and out guitar fest rocker! I overdubbed several guitar solo parts and got a great help from Victor Labelle on slide guitar.
Faced with the inevitable and the futility of life Little Boy Blue rocks out and raises the middle finger!
I search for the title, I search for the deed I know what I want, I know what I need In the blink of an eye, With a slash from a pen Little boy lost Is born again Oh....oh.... little boy lost Bait and wait ‘neath the shade of a tree Hook and weight, we were meant to be free An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, Little boy lost, looking for truth (proof) Oh....oh.... little boy lost Ashes to ashes the world still turns Dust to dust, food for worms Makes me want to holler, makes me want to shout What am I here for? What’s it all about? Oh....oh.... little boy lost Live for today, just another cliché It’s still the truth, I’ll use it anyway It’s all been done (we’re) variations on a theme Living every nightmare, vetting every dream Oh....oh.... little boy lost Little boy lost, little boy found Little boy tossed like waste on the ground Oh....oh.... little boy lost