News
 
We have two new grandchildren Ari and Alice and I think a new wave of grandkids songs is about to happen
Here's one of them

Afternoon Sleep  © Bernard Carney May 2013

While You Were Having Your Afternoon Sleep
I Went And Played With Your Toys
I Pushed All The Buttons And Rang All The Bells
I Made Such A Terrible Noise   

 But You Didn’t Wake From Your Afternoon Sleep
When I Made All The Noise I Could Make
I Decided To Do All The Busy Things You
Would Be Doing If You Were Awake   

 While You Were Having Your Afternoon Sleep
I Pulled The Cds From The Shelf
I Just Liked The Sound As They Crashed To The Ground
So I Pulled A Few Books Down As Well

 But You Didn’t Wake From Your Afternoon Sleep
When I  Did A Big Wee On The Mat      
I Spilled All The Rice Fell Over Twice And
And  I Emptied The Vase On The Cat

 Br

 I crashed to  The Floor Hit My Head On The Door
And Developed Another Big Bruise
But I picked myself up and blurted some stuff
In That Special New Language I Use

 And Then You Woke Up From Your Afternoon Sleep
And We Loved You A Little Bit More
As You Rattled Your Cot With Your  Big Cheesy Grin
So Anxious To Go And Explore

So With Your Arms In The Air And Your Wobbly Walk
You Tried Not To Fall In A Heap
Cos You Needed To Do All The Things That You Knew
I’d Been Doing When You Were Aslee

 Here's some other unrecorded songs

Had two song commissions  both wildly different .The first was for the University of Western Australia's Extension programme . They have been running adult learning and community extension courses now for eighty years and I was asked to write a birthday song. This is what I came up with

That Steep life long learning curve   
©  Bernard Carney Feb 2008

I owe a lot to the uni extension  Back in ‘51  I plucked up the nerve
To broaden my resources and enrol in a few courses
And embark upon that steep life long learning curve

I checked out all the metropolitan classes From the adult education board
Public speaking and speed reading weren’t my calling  
But I found a course that struck a vital chord  (E flat demented)

So I enrolled in a course of Glove making Making glove was the thing for which I’d yearn
I wasn’t sure just why I’d need a thimble But I was perfectly  willing to learn!
So I made Glove in the morning and the evening It became the greatest passion of my life 
And as my fellow Glove makers were all female  Very soon I was glove making with my wife.

AND WE OWE IT ALL TO UNI EXTENSION TO FIND THE COURSE WE TRULY DESERVE
80 YEARS OF UNI EXTENSION AND THAT STEEP LIFE LONG LEARNING CURVE

So I confidently joined some other courses I made a fortune with “Investing in shares”
I became a silversmith I talked for hours on Greek myths And discovered I was good at re-upholstering chairs 
I wrote a play and learned a language in a lunchtime Built a house and made a garden full of doves
My wife did public speaking and speed reading And we still made the occasional glove

AND WE OWE IT ALL TO UNI EXTENSION TO FIND THE COURSE WE TRULY DESERVE
80 YEARS OF UNI EXTENSION AND THAT STEEP LIFE LONG LEARNING CURVE

Bridge with weird chords

Philosophy and logic art and drama  We were junkies at Extensions beck and call
Chess and Crochet China painting Ikebana We hardly saw each other at all
We extended our horizons to the limits And when the kids became a frightening teenage force 
My wife was on the public speaking circuit So I enrolled in “How to deal with your divorce”

AND WE OWE IT ALL TO UNI EXTENSION TO FIND THE COURSE WE TRULY DESERVE
80 YEARS OF UNI EXTENSION AND THAT STEEP LIFE LONG LEARNING CURVE
 

Now I’m single I’ve returned to my Glove making Just to see if my old skills were up to scratch
I’m surely no sex symbol but I still have my old thimble
And it wasn’t long before I’d made a second catch 

 Slowly

(Last week I ) joined the class called  “Thinking of Retirement” My latest wife does Genealogy
Now we’re selling up the house and we’re going to live down south And we’re starting up a B&B

AND WE OWE IT ALL TO UNI EXTENSION TO FIND THE COURSE WE TRULY DESERVE
80 YEARS OF UNI EXTENSION AND THAT STEEP LIFE LONG LEARNING CURVE

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The other song was for the East Perth Power Station project , which is the history of electricity and the power station workers in the state of Western Australia, to be launched  mid 08 as a book and a web site. This is a great labour history project and a couple of hundred hours of interviews have been conducted with ex personnel of the power station  and there are great memories and stories in there.  Anyway here's a preview of the song that will eventually be on the web site:

 

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER  © Bernard Carney 2008

 

The memory will play tricks   but as a child i can recall, racing bikes on cinder piles by the power station wall
And it stood there like a monster breathing grey smoke from the stack I must have heard it singing to my soul                                                    

‘cos i started an apprenticeship amongst that heat and din, green as grass but learning fast to take it on the chin
When they sent for
left hand spanners and tins of atmosphere I fell for every trick they tried to throw

And we sensed it was important this power station job more than working for the boss and earning a few bob
We worked for the community took a pride in every skill if it hadn’t closed i’d be working in there still

Chorus
We kept the coal up to the boilers kept the pressure to the steam and we fixed what needed fixing every hour
We kept the street lights burning and the factory wheels a turning we were working in the corridors of power

I spent the wartime working on the noisy turbine floor  If you worked for east perth power then you didn’t go to war
We felt the disappointment knowing someone had to stay
 taking care of business here at home 

And every shift did overtime to keep up with demand  but we had to black the suburbs  and we had to stop the trams
You could hear the revs just dropping when the load became too much we always came home weary to the bones

But this was my foundation it made me who i am  I learned a trade i learned to work i learned to be a man
It was dirty it was dangerous and everyone was stressed you did your job and learned to give your best

Chorus

They closed the place in 81 she was way past her prime. the pride in her technology was from another time
We patched her up a thousand times but still she couldn’t cope with the endless need for electricity
I remember the machinery the brickwork and the brass the characters the migrants the war time working class
And often in the wires i hear it singing to my soul a monument to how we used to be

Chorus

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Northcliffe WA  
I  was involved in the opening of the Northcliffe Sculpture walk  along with many other Perth Musicians . It was a great experience and Eleanor and I got to stay with our friend Anne Rice out at Windy Harbour in her little shack by the beach with no electricity. Anne also wrote a great song for the project called "My Place". The music was released on a CD called "Canopy"  and is available from the Northcliffe Visitors Centre  ( I also ended up with a Windy Harbour song  it's that kind of place )     

I took the historical approach and read a few personal histories in the museum about what life was like for the Group Settlers who came from England with a promise and a dream of owning their own dairy farms, only to find they had to clear huge Karri trees with their bare hands and build their own furniture from kerosene tins and gelignite cases. So i wrote a song called the Destiny Waltz, which was a dance popular at the time . We're talking early 1920's here. Here's the lyrics

 The Destiny Waltz
 
We came out from England and lived on the group It was canvas and tin shacks and poverty soup
We came here with nothing had nothing to lose  Making new farms for Western Australia
And those glamorous brochures had taken us in there was no talk of karri or kerosene tins
And our dairy farm dreams soon took off on the wind And we all learned the destiny waltz

Ch 
The destiny waltz was a dance we all knew, forward for one step and backwards for two
And we gave it our best   it was all we could do As we danced to the destiny waltz

We groupers from  Northcliffe made progress somehow we grubbed out the bush to make way for the plough
And the children soon learned about milking a cow making new farms for Western Australia
And we danced at the schoolroom on a Saturday night  in our make and mend outfits we looked such a sight
And we shared all our worries and put the world right as we all did the destiny waltz

Chorus
Waltz Tune  We all have a short dance here

At times there were tears when we felt so alone especially the weeks we had letters from home
And we all worked our fingers right down to the bone making new farms for Western Australia
But the depression destroyed us it took our last chance and all that we made was chalked up to the banks                                                   
Ten years hard labour for a song and a dance and we called it the destiny waltz

 Chorus   and Finish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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