Brief Descriptions of some of Rory McLeod’s recorded and released songs
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A Cut in Pay
Rory says. “After having already worked all night and day for an employer and when I’d finished my work, the ‘Boss’ then asked me to accept or take less money than the wage originally agreed. This jaunty Calypso song about monetarism is an answer to him, sung to a full-blooded Caribbean steel drum sound.
A lover should teach a lover.
Rhythmic song about losing love, the cost, and trying to see some light ahead and not be miserable….
A foreigner forever
Is song about an immigrants experience struggling to find friendliness as a refugee coming to the UK to find work, to make a home, to learn English and it’s also about how we define our home place identity as an exile….
Ambitious just to love you
Bouncy love song about celebrating all the jobs, tasks and things I’d leave ‘undone’ just so that I can make love to my sweetheart.
Lyrical Song For Chilean Singer Victor Jara who was murdered, like many others, by the Fascist Junta of General Pinochet.
A very nice bloke
Dark song sung from child point of view about his dad, and abuse at home.
A kind of loneliness
A Song describing a personal explanation of what Madness might be…
Another glass of Forgetfulness
Humorous, ironic, narrative drunken Song about drinking to forget loss of love.
Black Brown and White. By Big Bill Broonzy,
Song about segregation, Jim Crow, apartheid…. racism.
Back To Donegal
A travelogue and celebration of camaraderie drinking and playing Irish tunes together with friends in West Kilburn, Derry and Donegal. A song I made up and left behind for my mates, when I departed to travel on my own…. “a Bacchic delight of banjo, fiddle, Uillean pipe and spoons-filled Irish tunes. A joyous travelogue.” (A high energy 'Coney Island')
Ballad of Spitalfield fruit market
Is a song about the working life of a market porter at the 400-year-old fruit market before the market moved out to Hackney Marshes. “I can’t leave the job…it must be in my Blood”
A Rhythmic Harmonica love song about travelling through Iran and Afghanistan, Pakistan to be with a lover
Blow me down.
Wind song about being blown down, but getting up again…
Burston School Strike.
Ballad about a School Children’s strike, by Children and their parents in support of their teachers, a battle that took place in East Anglia 1914-18 against bigotry and power and divided the village. It involved the NUT and the NUR at trhe time, it was the longest strike.
Big Brother soon.
Song about a young boy whose mum and dad are expecting a new baby and how he will have to adapt, make room for the baby and change in order to grow up and become a ‘Big’ Brother soon.
Song about looking but not seeing.
Song about a homeless, drifter or ‘vagrant’ being searched by the police.
Be my rambling woman
Song of the yearning for companionship on the road.
Come with me when I go
Song and tune about having to go but not wanting to leave folks behind
Criminals of Hunger
Song about fighting for Justice, having to break ‘bad’ repressive laws, internationalism, and solidarity with other struggles around the world.
Song “A chirpy duet, a witty analysis of a relationship.” Humorous duet about a couples’ incompatibility and inseparability, how we become part of each other.
Cold blow these winter winds
A winter song Made to sing at a Christmas carol concert 'Traditionally Christmas' in Edinburgh. A defiant Begging or ‘Wassailing’ Song about keeping warm in the winter against cold winds, that no one should be lonely but have good companions, family or friends, how difficult it can be trying to afford Christmas presents for the kids, ‘the caustic irony couched in a deceptively gentle whimsy’.
Cold sun shining
Sad mournful travelling song about unrequited love, how people make you feel lonely.
Chased by the wind
Song sung by the wind, about being chased by the wind, in this song the wind is a threatening and insidious stalker.
Bluesy Song about poverty and not being able to pay the rent, from a kids point of view.
Cold War of The Heart
A song about arguing with one you love, the pain and hurting of separation and incompatibility.
Dark in a dark room.
A love song about yearning.
Dads dance song
Song about an absent father, who is a socialist Glaswegian.
Deep breath waltz
Defending Our Homes
Song about fighting against evictions from homes and from land.
Dreams we breathe through
Song about a couple who met fell in love and brought each other’s kids up against great odds.
Dance of Measureless Love
Rory says. “Years ago I was asked by someone to write a song for them. This is an attempt to do that without ‘flattering’ or ‘praising’ them ‘too’ much. It is a Poetic song of how love is measureless. I’ve sung this at someone’s wedding and when I was also once asked by a woman to propose marriage for her to a man in the audience, from the stage I was singing from at a festival.”
Song about Mum leaving daddy and us kids from kid’s point of view.
Death in a Nutshell.
A musical/spoken word version of a Traditional story told by Rorys friend-Scottish Traveller Duncan Williamson-about Death and how- our hero -Jack has to come to terms with death to accept it as part of life, for all things to be born then things also must die to, it’s ‘natures way’. Spring, autumn, Summer, Winter. And how Jack finally has to let go of his dying Mother.
Dem Trisker Rebbins chosid.
A Jewish-klezmer tune by Clarinettist Dave Tarras 1929- played by Rory on Harmonica.
In this absurd song, Rory is a sort of 'singing cartographer', singing the directions to a home in the Scottish borders, so friends driving North can find their way by singing the song themselves. ‘A kind of Song-lines Jig’. Rory made this song with his tongue in his cheek, to send to freinds one New Year to help them find their way from London to Galashiels where Rorys lived at the time.
Doing Time together
Poignant Song about a married couple losing touch with each other, emotionally and physically
Eighty-Five foot from the tweed
Song about kids discovering Treasure. Made by Rory in a 12 bar Blues formin G for the School kids of Jedburgh to learn via their music lesson.
Emperors new Clothes
Defiant Song about Spin, propaganda, how we are steered away from our own truths and strengths and are made to feel impotent or incapable of changing our lives and our world..
Everything is provocative
Song about how we see each other, disguise ourselves and project our needs on partners,
Farming woman’s war.
Is about a poor white farming woman whose brothers, uncles and sons were either killed by mining or by the Vietnam War, her battle at home against the banks and the mining companies trying to take her farm away. Rory has sung this for the indigenous people of Broome Western Australia- whose culture- livelyhood, environment is threated by big Gas amining companies.
In the UK- We still have a welfare system that was never given to us like a 'gift' but was fought and struggled for by our grand ma's and pa's. It looks like we have to fight to keep it. It's being privatised so much that only the rich can afford treatment. Song about cheating money grabbing, private medicine doctor, and powerful Pharmaceutical companies, who have the lobby to make laws outlawing 'alternative' medicine in Texas, and other states.
Racy rhythmic Harmonica tune and spoons.
Glory of love
Slow Accapella version of the old love song.
Song about a young Guitarist, leaving home, becoming a hobo, travelling and looking for work as a musician. written by Guitar picker Jerry Reed.
Humorous, touching, simple song about Kids conversation around their Grandmas grave.
A Parting song, not a leaving song but a 'Going song'.
God Loves Me
Song covering the rantings of a Religious zealot, madman, fundamentalist, God told me to do it… “He is our God, he loves us, but he can't stand you."
Breathing Song about a young kid with Asthma, or hooping cough, running and trying to catch one’s breath.
Hug you like a mountain
Song about The pain of Love and life, loneliness…. medicinal or healing,
Song in praise of an Old market work Horse
Hymn for Her.
Lyrical melodic love song
Hunger is the best sauce
A relentless song about food, appetite, cooking, recipes, surviving on little.
Song about a Kurdish refugee- Kemal Altun, who jumped from a window to his death rather than be deported from Germany, sent back to torture and imprisonment.
Happy love song for the Harmonica.
I’m a rebel trying to govern myself
Humorous accapella Song about sour grapes, lost love.
Songs about divorce, lies, deception, violence from the eyes of the children
In the ghetto of our love.
Tongue in cheek song of lost love and politics
An evocative Columbian Indian tune played on the harmonica and turning into a reggae rhythm and speeding up.
Interrogations and confessions
Song about infidelity, falling for another and trying to resist and to be true.
Joy of Living. By Ewan Macoll
A slow song about Mortality, an epitaph to ones life and a celebration of the joy one has had while alive. A dying farewell to those being left, a hymn to life.
Kicking the sawdust
Story about a sad Clown and life in a rural small family Mexican 'Azteca' indian circus.
Learning to walk again
Bouncy, Song about the painful post mortem of a relationship and trying to survive after that relationship ends.
Sad and lyrical song about parting and seeing things too late.
Tongue in Cheek love song about truth, stubbornness and having no regrets.
Let him go.
Song about a father’s loss of his child.
Long Lost Friend
Very slow swelling tune, cinematic, about meeting long lost friends. Played on harmonica, reeds Sax, Accordion, banjo etc,
Love like a rock
Rhythmic harmonica song about wanting dependable, deep, wholesome love
Not sweet hollow, shallow love.
Looking for You
Song of feeling lonely and loveless.
Song about leaving Austin Texas after hitching there over the Mexican border through Laredo.
An epic song lyrical journey celebrating falling in love in London, rich with the diversity of immigrants, first love and kisses, being a loveless stranger.
Mariachis Love song
Song about serenading an older man and his family in their bedroom in Mexico
Me and the winds blow.
Song sung with Harmonica, about breathing, like the wind, being so close to the wind, inseparable, following your breath. The singer is also chased by Police cars, and ends up on a fast harmonica blowing train journey.
Miners Picket dance
Dance Tune played on the harmonica, Latin, with spoons, and police siren at the end. A tune to keep warm by - A fitty Gomash'
My Two feet carry me home.
An Epic love song-Poem full of images and the frailties of lovers and their desires, needs, cravings and struggles for truths.
Not enough moments shared, too many moments apart…
A song of the night and a chain of events.
Not For Sale
Epic journey song about Uncompromising love and the ‘true’ value of things, not ‘selling ones soul or dreams,’
No more Blood for Oil
Political song about Middle East war, Oil, and ‘Friendly Fire’. “….we’re not disturbing the peace, we’re disturbing the war”.
Accapella version of a Traditional song about ‘Death’ coming, asking death to keep away.
Old brigades song
Song about old soldier who fought Fascism…and only ‘wishes we’d won’ The Fight goes on.
One mans Folly
Humorous Song about a husband a wife lonely together and their failing marriage.
One Track mind
Harmonica stowaway song on a train journey round the UK.
Song about being true to oneself, despite consequences.
Passing the pain down
Anti war song how our governments make our enemies for us….
Is a song about a rebellious schoolgirl looking for her truth.
Monologue/spoken words spoken by the powerful, playfully cruel and unfeeling wind.
Patron saint of Loneliness
Fast Rhythmic harmonica song about unrequited love, but also a celebration of desire.
A Murder Ballad. How someone kills who they love. How fragile life is.
Accapella version of a Hank Williams Song about a man who just cannot stop travelling or settle down.
Rip Van winkle
Song about returning and leaving.
Spring is returning/Dosvedanya
Song of lost love but being hopeful and leading into mournful tune that speeds up and so liberates the soul.
Song about the joys of wood and woodwork
Shirley’s her name (But I call her my mum)
Song about a son’s appreciation of his mother’s selfless, work and all the roles she has played to bring him up.
Stop the apartheid fascists
Allegorical song picture about Black Shoe shiners.
Stay at Home
After all the trucking on the road songs here is an Anti Travelling, anti road, tied to the land- song.
Love song about the fear of losing ‘touch’, desire and distance, slow reggae,
Epic story about how people are welcomed or not welcomed to places, travellers, refugees, explorers, strangers or welcomed as gods.
Bouncy, earthy funny, Song about the new birth of a baby son sung by proud father.
Is about the work and life of a policeman and the contradictions that go with the job….
Is a journey to a policeman’s heart and soul.
Harmonica waltz. Tune also with Banjo.
Scuther O’ Wind.
The Wind sings this song. A song full of images about the indifference of the wind, what damage it can do, how playful and cruel it can be to people.
Song about finding somewhere to sleep for the night….
Solly and Finn’s Lullaby.
Gentle rocking Lullaby song
This song is the description of ‘Old Wind’ becoming stronger little by little, becoming a fierce storm and what damage it does.
Take me home
Celebrational song about family and home and belonging.
Too Old Orphanage (too Young for the Old Folks Home)
A blues song by Rory about 'home' left and returned to, getting old, family.
The man in me.
Accapella singing version of a Dylan song vocal arrangement inspired by the Persuasions..
The Cat came back
A dark, humorous song about a cat (with more than 9 lives) that keeps coming back and showing up and surviving, no matter what everyone does to try to get rid of it.
The Dreams we Breathe Through
Song about a couple who both have kids from previous relationships, who bring each others kids up. a candid view of love and divorce.
Tangled up in Love and desire and who belongs to whom…
Thirsting For war.
Song about people who live by rivers, about the building of dams and the effect this has on communities down stream, when the river dries up, the life blood, fish, food, crops disappears and disease comes, they cannot wash, also about the flooding of farmland and homes, villages, graves and History, Asking who owns the rivers and water holes? How can you own part of something that is flowing on to feed someone else, Privatisation of water Companies, selling our resources to private companies who own the very thing we need to survive? Being forced to buy Bottled water, There are wars about who own oil, the future will be fighting over something that no animal can live without-Water.
The Commentator cried
Humorous Monologue and commentary of a ‘subversive’ Football match, allegorical, anti war, theme, about Men Kissing and hugging each other and showing tenderness on a football field.
Till I don’t know who I am.
Love song about love and its limits and tangled paradoxes….
A song of desire, wanting to be touched and moved.
The right mistake.
A love song celebrating mistakes made.
Is a staggering drinking song about the psychological effects of drinking alcohol
The wind is getting stronger
A dance song for my Grandma about growing old
The man who couldn’t say goodbye
Humorous, Monologue song about a man who cannot leave.
Sad bluesy soulful Song about unrequited love.
Unlearning Song (No Regrets)
Slow melodic Song about losing love but having no regrets and having to unlearn all the ways of being with that person.
Walking towards each other
A tender love song of friendship and forgiveness
What would Jesus do?
A song about religions, fundamentalism, and activists people who have been crucified assassinated like Jesus Christ. A defiant answer to a white supremacist, right-wing radio phone-in presenter in the Bible Belt of America. A Socialist Anthem.
When Mum and daddy made me
A conception song - seen through the eyes of the child…
Song about loneliness and despair, homelessness, unrequited love,
When children starve in peacetime
Song about Guns, struggle homelessness and Housing.
Whistling in The Dark
Song about despair and loss of direction
We were Dancing
Courting song, getting closer, dancing.
What brings you here tonight?
Song about someone’s lack of confidence socially…
What the wind carries.
Surreal song for kids about all the things that the wind carries and the places it will carry them from and to.
Where the winds live.
Monologue/spoken word poem about all the places where the Wind lives, a personification of the wind in all its disguises.
Played on bamboo Harmonica (Kharn) an ominous marching rhythm
Spoken word, about Luck and good fortune….
Winds take me away.
A moving song about being blown by the wind…
You don’t know yourself
Accapella song about crazy mad lover who blames everyone but doesn’t know them self….
You Were Everywhere
Song about desire, searching, kissing and physical and spiritual romance.