Pony Songs – Bo

Bo is a rescue pony, rescued from a pharmaceutical test laboratory, and was the inspiration for this song. Unfortunately he was a bit camera shy for the video and so has Crumble here standing in for him.

V = Am C Dsus2 Am
C = Am Am Am C

Dreaming of a blue sky
Inside gets me down

Blinded by the neon lights
I can barely see the ground

Here you come again
Lead me by the hand

Take me now, I’m waiting
For the promised land

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Dreaming of the blue skies
And those golden plains

I know I’m never going to leave this place
Come stay with me a while

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Thinking On

Every day I walk these streets I try to take them in. Every detail, the pall of smog from the incinerator smokestack separating the oily black of the night sky from the neon glow of the streetlights lining the A50 below. The football stadium stands like a citadel in the middle of the middle distance and the drone of the traffic rises up to meet me.

Chamberlain Avenue draws up from London road in a exponential steepness dragging its way upwards from the kebab shops and oatcake shops, broken windows and broken paving slabs. The discarded sweet wrappers, beer cans and broken glass are suddenly gone and fallen leaves take their place in piles of brown and gold. Council workers blow and sweep the leaves into the back of their pickup but they don’t pick up the rubbish in London Road. Chamberlain Avenue leads to Penkhull, London Road is Stoke. Stoke Town. One of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent.

I take in these details, because one day when I have left here and find my peace, these things, these memories and sights and sounds will become words and stories and songs. But for now they weigh heavily and it is the best I can do to take them in at all.


January 2019 and these thoughts did distill into a song carrying the essence of some of my Stokie experiences:

Chamberlain Road – James Laurie / Pony Folk – Stoke-on-Trent version 2

https://youtu.be/Rj10g1D3CX8

Pony Songs – Bo

‘Bo’ is a new song written this week, although the chorus was written a few weeks ago and had been lacking any decent verses to go around it. Even so, I’m not sure these verses go with this chorus either.

For a bit of fun I’ve run this through GarageBand to add a drum and percussion track on these two versions:

Strummed version:

Finger picked version:

Learning Frailing Banjo Week 31

This late October warm spell encouraged us to take the instruments out down to the canal. We’re staying in Northamptonshire for a few days and are really close to the Grand Union Canal. We sat down last Sunday afternoon in Long Buckby Wharf at the start of the Leicester Arm and practised a few of the English folk tunes in our repertoire: Speed The Plough, Morpeth Rant, Winster Gallop and Rattlin’ Bog.

Learning Frailing Banjo Week 28

Progress check after 28 weeks of my journey of learning the craft of frailing or clawhammer old-time banjo. This week I muse on how other musicians are always practicing more than me, and run through three of the tunes from the Tuneworks book – Speed The Plough, Morpeth Rant and Winster Gallop.