Coconut trees on a white sand beach. A coral reef with clear water and lazy fish. A windless afternoon. A weaver bird flies past and a gecko pounces on a spider. A hint of reggae music from a rum bar somewhere. But you are dozing on a hammock in the shade - a sleepy coconut.
Yir on the west coast wi huge mountains o heather an stane lying still and kwayit in the grey mist. Then there's a sparklin wee burnie bouncin ower the boolders as it tummels heelster gowdy doon the hill ti the sea. A sudden bit o fast amang the big slow - the 'Durrin Burrin'.
Yir trampin through the heather wi the big tops on the horizon. The sun's shinin on the dragonflies dartin ower the burn. Yi fancy a cuppa tea so yi tak oot the paraffin stove and start buildin up the pressure. The bum bees hum the drone 'n you are 'Pumpin the Tilly'
Nae bein a Gaelic speaker I aye thocht that 'Waulkin Songs' wiz aboot trampin along the road tae the isles. So if I ca' this een o my wakkin songs its aboot walking raither than waulkin. Imagine bein fair trickit wi yersel 'n walkin along a country lane wi the sun shinin and the bumbees humming and the birdies singin - and nae a thocht in yer heed - jist fu o the joys in yer 'Bouncin Brogues'
I wiz oot geein the grass its last mao afore the wintir 'n I saa a' the deed leaves at the fit o the trees. It wisnae as cal as it hid been but the sin wiz rale low in the sky despite its being jist aifter denner time. I caint that I widna be oot in the gairdin again till aboot the spring that's haf a 'ear awa. It wisnae sadness I felt but it wisnae joy neither. Wir in fur a lang slow winter at 'Simmer's Ine'.
This tune's in the same kinda spirit as 'Bouncin Brogues'. It wiz november and the weather wiz bonnie and the leaves were turnin broon. It's the kinda tune yi kin hum tae yersel fin yir wakkin along the road feelin full o't.
It wiz Guy Fawkes day 'n I wiz driving doon tae Banff. I hid jist past Ordens crossroads and wiz comin up tee wi the Cooncil Depot fin I noticed the wye the licht wiz faain on the parks. The feelin wiz a bit like the een thit hid me write the 'Simmer's Ine' but this wiz a bit mair cheery and hopefae. I felt mair inclined ti go alang wi the coorse o nature - nae that thir's a lot o option! There wiz a kind o liquidity in the wye the licht wiz poorin ontae the park so I ca'd the tune 'The Waatery Sun'.
The band had been playing up in Insch and I wiz drivin hame o'er the hill towards Huntly late at nicht. Thir wiz a fair puckly sna aboot and the meen wiz ful so it wiz a bit magical lookin oot ontae fit wiz a kind o artificial daylicht. The car wiz purrin along rale bonny 'n I hid the feelin that athin wiz richt wi the warl - 'Meelit Sna'.
Fin the dancin teacher speert mi ti write some tunes for the Portsoy Sma Boats Festival I jist imagined masel lookin oot tae sea fae aside Gordon Killoh's garitch. This tuny catches the wye the wee waves ripple up an doon the rocks jist o'er the paling fae the road.
This is a cheery wee sang celebrating the wye that energy manages tae manifest itsel. Jist imagine a bunch a lads on a wee boaty gaun oot tae sea tae catch fish so as tae earn the pennies tae look aifter their wife an' kids - the energy's in the lads themselves, in the fuel tank o the wee boaty, in the waves on the sea and in the wye the win shoves the cloods aboot the sky.
A'm a toon loon masel bit I've bed amang fishers 'n a dinna envy them their job. I wiz teachin at Buckie High School aye time fin ain o the boats went doon and the hale crew wiz droont. Yi could 'iv cut the atmosphere in Buckie wi a knife but drivin hame tae Portsoy the sea itself didna seem to be ony different. Nature itself has nae morality and the Atlantic Ocean disnae get the blues.
The sea kin be a dangerous place bit the point aboot it is that its amoral raither than immoral. The ocean's nae 'anthropocentric' like hiz humans; 'n nor is it 'conscious' tae ony great extent. If it quid be said that the ocean hid feelins then it wid hae tae be said that it wiz aye feelin good aboot itsel. The Ocean nivir gets bathered wi its nerves - its a weel fed, contentit, randy kin o a bugger. This tuny tries to capture the weel meanin, fine pleast, 'happy as a coo wi a banjo' 'vibe' that yi kin get fait.
The chirpy country quine gings shoppin in Aiberdeen (the tune) far the thran restlessness of the traffic (the bass) n the choppy technicalities o the machines n factries (the arpeggio) hivnae muckle option bit tate try n sing along.
65 Teemin Aiberdeen
I wiz in Aiberdeen shoppin wi ma niece. It wiz a bonnnie day as we drove in, wi nae much traffic bit fit a steer in the toon itsel! At aye pint we wiz stannin at the traffic lichts ootside Markies. The fouk wiz lined up aboot ten deep n they wiz hotchin tae get across the road. The boys in the cars didnae seem tae notice the fouk, they wiz jist trying tae get through the crossin afore the lichts changed color. Fin the lichts did change n that tootin noise startit, the fouk took aff like a starters gun hid been fired. Its great the wye they kin slither bye ain anithir othoot bumpin. Teemin Aiberdeen.
66 The Inner Sanctum
I went for a job interview doon in London. It wiz for a fairly prestigious, international jobbie n the boys on the interview panel wiz the highest o the heed yins. So it wiz rale inner sanctum stuff except that it wisnae! The buildin wiz mair orra than yid of thocht n the big boys werenae a that big in their global conceptualisations. The moral o the tale is that real lifes nae like the movies so this tunie belies the reality thit inspired it.
67 Mambo in a Flat
Fin a wiz doon in Edinburgh durin the festival thir wiz a percussion band playin ootside the Art Gallery. Id bin walkin along Princes Street tryin tae fin a new pair o breeks wi Neil, n the soon o the band drew us like bumbees tae jam. The nicht afore wed been in the Mambo Club till aboot fower in the mornin jiggin awa tae the Afro-Caribbean beat. Efter the jiggin we crashed oot in Iains sisters loons flat. So its steel bands, mambo rhythms and its in A flat (except that I convertit it tae C natural so ordinary fouk kin play it!)
68 Cool Box
I hid help writin this tune fae Band in a Box. I supplied the chord sequence n jammed the melody line on the top a the rest wiz grabbit oot o banks o samples by the computer programme. Its got a fair groove ont for somethin that cam oot o a box. The feelin ahin it cam fae wakkin aboot in Edinburgh wi a hangover somethin aboot the kwayit desperation in the lives o city fouk.
70 Boppin Doxy
Av heard it said that Mozart and Bach n them wrote some backin tracks n left it up tae the main man ti fill in the spaces a kind of early jazz. This tunes a bit like that. The percussion and the bass form the basis ot they try tae capture the underlying feel o the streets o Edinburgh durin the festival. The tune is mair aboot the individuals on the street a rale mixtir maxtir. Formal releejin hiz its orthodoxy the city streets hiv their boppin doxies.
74 Breeze on the Braes
Sammys ma sisters springer spaniel. I took him for a traivil oot the east braes ay time. I lat him aff the lead fin we got bye the caravan site n he wiz aff sniffin at athin n rushin awye at full tilt. Bit, for a his energy, he didnae mak a lot o impression on the braes that jist sat there wi the breeze blowin across them wi an occasional wee noise in amangst it.