Crop Circles Album (2013)

Crop Circles Album Cover

£6.50

Ideas for Crop Circles followed soon after releasing the Potting Shed album in 2012. 

It started with the title track. I had to dig deep to find one or two of the other songs.

As with Potting Shed, the whole album is in bare bone format and the sleeve and label are the work of none other than the very talented Angie Briggs. 

CD review can be found at Fatea.

Sound engineering was by the very capable Aaron Carter of Lodmoor Media. 

 

See individual tracks below to find songs with lyrics plus some background information. If there is a youtube version, then this is indicated. 

You can listen to the whole album by clicking on Soundcloud.

If you are UK resident and wish to purchase a hard copy of Crop Circles CD, the UK delivered price is £6.50.

Tracks

On the night of 15th August 1993, a couple of lads had been smoking spliffs on Weymouth Quay, having watched the town firework display. The following day it was reported that crop circles had appeared in a field at Bincombe (the fields beside the Ridgeway, on the main road dropping down into Upwey, which lies just outside the town). The crop circles were linked to the witnessing of recent lights in the sky. Press reports at the time said that a hoaxer would have had to be very quick as the night was short and clear. Well, just to fill in the gap, they were. 

I entered this song in the 2012 UK Songwriting Contest. It was scored 8 out of 10 and was deemed a semi finalist. I am not sure what that means, but it gives me pleasure. You can listen to the track on Soundcloud.

Crop Circles   

I have an eye for perspective. Perspective and myself seem to gel.

Some people say I am gifted, but it is what I have always done well.

I go to my shed when the world is asleep, my mind is alive with hope.

I load up my truck with a scaffold plank, a pole, and a length of rope.

Chorus

After midnight, I drive to a field, then toil until just before dawn,

Tiptoeing down through the tramlines, making circles in the corn.

 

I have studied hieroglyphics, I build them into my work.

I cannot say it comes easy. I am not one to shirk.

I incorporate aztec symmetry, with a celtic knot or a twist.

Nothing is outwith possibility, with a skillful flick of the wrist.

 

Words like “extra terrestrial”, to my creations have been applied.

When I hear of visitations by aliens, it fills me up inside.

My stuff is published on “youtube”, from many angles and views.

It was never in my wildest dreams, to make the 6 o’clock news.

 

My thoughts are easy but restless. It’s the way things seem to wend.

I know how to follow a contour. I never follow a trend.

I swear myself to secrecy. My mother knows not what I do.

When she asks for my opinion, I say, “I haven’t got a clue”.

Paul J Openshaw (August 2012)

and with chords….

Verse 1

C                                         G             G7                                                                 C  

I have an eye for perspective. Perspective and myself seem to gel.

C                                           G                G7                                                             C

Some people say I am gifted, but it is what I have always done well.

C                                                G                                 G7                                     C

I go to my shed when the world is asleep, my mind is alive with hope.

C                                                G                              G7                                            C

I load up my truck with a scaffold plank, a pole, and a length of rope.

Chorus

Am                            Em                                  F                                      G

After midnight, I drive to a field, then toil until just before dawn,

C                                                        G                               G7                           C

Tiptoeing down through the tramlines, making circles in the corn.

Verse 2 same as verse 1

I have studied hieroglyphics, I build them into my work.

I cannot say it comes easy. I am not one to shirk.

I incorporate aztec symmetry, with a celtic knot or a twist.

Nothing is outwith possibility, with a skillful flick of the wrist.

Verse 3 

Am                                    Em                       F                                       G

Words like “extra terrestrial”, to my creations have been applied.

Am                                                   Em            F                     G

When I hear of visitations by aliens, it fills me up inside.

C                                                  G                           G7                             C

My stuff is published on “youtube”, from many angles and views.

C                                      G                               G7                                C

It was never in my wildest dreams, to make the 6 o’clock news.

Verse 4 same as verse 1 and 2

My thoughts are easy but restless. It’s the way things seem to wend.

I know how to follow a contour. I never follow a trend.

I swear myself to secrecy. My mother knows not what I do.

When she asks for my opinion, I say, “I haven’t got a clue”.

Whilst driving a 32 tonne truck along the back lanes of Hampshire, a pheasant met it’s end when it flew into the front of my lorry. I would have been delivering a load of cow cake at the time to one of the farms in the area. I recall scribbling the words down in the lorry cab, probably whilst blowing the cake into a farmer’s bulk bin. I use DADGAD with capo on third fret to play this song. Soundcloud link is here.

Bonny Bonny Bird

Oh you bird, you bonny bonny bird, it causes me to grieve.

I didn’t mean to bring you down, or you from life relieve,

But there’s no way I can express, these feelings of remorse.

This way of life can seem unkind, as nature takes her course.

Oh you bird, you bonny bonny bird, if I could make amends,

But there’s no way except to say, with sorrow my heart bends,

And you make me stop in my tracks to pause and to reflect.

How sad the man that will not give one such as you, respect.

Oh you bird, you bonny bonny bird, I’ve often heard you call,

Staking claim on your domain and standing proud and tall.

In field and wood these eyes beheld your glory in their sight,

As darkness falls at eventide and by dawn’s early light.

Oh you bird, you bonny bonny bird, you have good thoughts inspired.

The only sadness is that thoughts like these, your death required,

But rest in peace you’ll never be forgotten while I live.

I’d give you back the life I took if life were mine to give.

Paul J Openshaw (1990 – 1993)

Modern day spreads, apparently, do not attract mould. It does make you wonder. A few years ago, no-one would ever have thought of telling people what something is not, in the hope of attracting sales. You can hear track on Soundcloud.

I play this in the key of C using DADGAD shapes. 

I Can’t Not Believe It’s Not Butter

They package it up in bright yellow to put you in a good mood

So when you spread it on your bread, your mind will not be on food.

But distracted to fields full of clover and away from the here and the now

I can’t not believe it’s not butter, it did not come from a cow

They make you think of a farmyard, a little red tractor and plough

I can’t not believe it’s not butter, it did not come from an udder,

And it did not come from a cow!

 

I’ve read the label to look for clues to ascertain its ilk

What is notable by its absence is any major mention of milk

There is stuff of which I have never heard all reconstituted somehow

I can’t not believe it’s not butter it does not come out of a cow!

They make you think of a farmyard, a little red tractor and plough

I can’t not believe it’s not butter, it did not come from a milking machine,

And it did not come from a cow!

 

It’s a method to exploit a marketing trend, it’s a way to add value to sludge

It’s a ruse to move resources around for someone with something to budge

It’s a means of lubrication with a name to raise an eyebrow

I can’t not believe it’s not butter it did not come from a cow!

They make you think of a farmyard, a little red tractor and plough

I can’t not believe it’s not butter, it did not come from an animal

And it did not come from a cow!

 

Paul J Openshaw May 2012

I often wondered why Good Friday is called Good Friday? It must have been good for somebody. During the French Revolution, when the aristocracy were having their heads chopped off the crowd used to cheer. They were having a good day. Having said that, it cannot have been that good for the aristocracy! The song got an honourable mention in the 2013 Song of the Year contest. You can hear song on Soundcloud.  

Bad Friday

I planned to dig the garden but that was all in vain

No one digs a garden when it’s pouring down with rain

If bad days could be measured then this one hit the peak

It’s not that it was black but it was nothing less than bleak

Friday was a bad day, from the moment it began,

But it could be a good day to crucify a man.

 

The kids came down with measles, from head to toe with spots,

I thought I’d go out fishing but my tackle was in knots.

My radio was broken there was nothing on TV,

How could all this happen to a simple man like me.

Friday was a bad day. Nothing seemed to scan,

But it could be a good day to crucify a man.

 

The wife ran off with the milkman. The hamster he went lame.

The rabbit took a heart attack. The postman never came.

The cat threw upon the carpet. The dog had diarrhea.

I went down to the pub, but the pub ran out of beer.

Friday was a bad day. Nothing went to plan,

But it could be a good day to crucify a man.

 

I gazed out of the window. My heart sank like a stone.

This must be the worst of days that I have ever known.

I sat and read the paper, full of doom and gloom,

As if I didn’t have enough here in my living room.

Friday wasn’t good. It was desperation Dan,

But it could be a good day to crucify a man.

 

Paul J Openshaw (1993)

Leave Me As I Am

Leave me as I am, for I want no other way,

Free to go and free to come in a free and easy way.

What I am I want to be and as I am please leave me.

My bed beneath the stars or the shelter of a subway,

Or a phone box on the corner of a highway or a roadway.

What I am I want to be and as I am please leave me.

My blankets are my clothing and my friends number none,

My rates amount to nothing and to me I’m number one,

What I am I want to be and as I am please leave me.

Leave me to my own sweet ways, you’ll never understand me

When I say my ways are not like yours and never want them to be.

When I’m on my own, when it’s cold and when it’s dark,

I want to cry, I want to run away from shadows which I hide in

What I am I want to be and as I am pease leave me.

Leave me to my own sweet ways, you’ll never understand me,

When I say my ways are not like yours and never want them to be.

You say that there’s a god, a god of light, a god of love,

But I don’t want your stained glass windows, if that’s the way he is,

What I am I want to be and as I am please leave me.

But if your god knew what it’s like beneath the stars,

With no roof to call his own, just an outcast all alone,

And if his birth was questioned and if his skin was dark,

And if he knew rejection, well then I could believe him.

What you are I’d want to be and as you are please show me.

Paul J Openshaw (1968 ish)

Would any words be strong enough? You can hear the song on Soundcloud.

Fred The Shred

I was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire. At Glasgow I studied law.

I qualified in chartered accountancy when I was twenty four.

Then I worked at Rosyth dockyard. I became a partner with Touche Ross

And at the age of thirty two, one thousand people called me boss.

Chorus

I am Sir Frederick Anderson Goodwin. I am known as Fred the Shred.

When I joined the bank it was in the black but now it’s in the red.

My rise was meteoric, to chief executive no less,

By ruthlessness and cut and thrust, whilst riding out the stress.

The Royal Bank of Scotland was my trade when I was forty years old.

It became the fifth largest bank in the world and it’s assets rose fourfold.

I built a paper empire with vision and with a quest,

And with a string of acquisitions until the whole damn thing went west.

Then the UK taxpayers baled me out, when I ran out of luck.

Though they fund my six figure pension, for them I do not give a fuck.

My father was a working man. I am an electrician’s son.

These days I take out super injunctions so no-one will know what I have done

And no-one will know with whom I have slept or with whom I have been seen.

I’ve not got anything to hide, I just don’t want you to know where I’ve been.

Paul J Openshaw (2011)

I wrote My Sister’s Eyes after reading a book called the Girls (by Lori Larsen). The book viewed life through the eyes of a girl who was joined to her sister. She was a craniopagiously linked, conjoined twin (siamese). Due to the nature of the join, her one regret was that she was tragically never able to look into her sister’s eyes. You can hear track on Soundcloud

My Sister’s Eyes

Is it just the way it is? Is there nothing I can do?

Why should one and one together always equal two?

How can these things happen? How can it be so?

Maybe there’s no answers and I’m never meant to know.

Chorus

I cannot think it selfish and if such things could be,

I would only ever want to live a thousand times as me.

As the clouds form in the distance, then they roll across the skies,

I’d give my world for once to look into my sister’s eyes.

I have had my share of laughter. Sometimes I want to cry.

Sometimes I get so angry. Sometimes I just get by.

It’s so easy to get lonely and to lose a sense of trust.

I wasn’t born to follow but sometimes it seems I must.

It’s a twist and it’s a turn and it’s a tangle to the heart,

Not knowing where she finishes, not knowing where I start,

Or where an idea comes from or if a thought is mine,

With every little tingle that travels down my spine.

Paul J Openshaw (2010 ish)

Although the gender has been adapted to make the words flow, this song probably relates to me. I have always been an early riser, and there is nothing quite like a power nap half way through the day. You can listen to this track on Soundcloud.

Narcolepsy

Extrapolating theories on the humdrum and mundane,

Can sometimes be a trigger to the mind,

When mental relaxation takes the links out of the chain,

And cohesive thinking processes unwind.

The wave just sucks her under, she is powerless to resist,

As the numbness oozes through each gland and pore.

No-one really minds much when the lady falls asleep,

But they only wish to God she wouldn’t snore.

The seductive pull of dreamland can beckon from somewhere,

As a narcoleptic yawn becomes a chasm.

Things evade the grasp of logic, to catch her unaware,

And the effort is too much to fight the spasm.

Then for why, who knows the reason, but resistance won’t avail,

As the senses send a shockwave to the core?

No-one really minds much when the lady falls asleep,

But they only wish to God she wouldn’t snore.

It isn’t just a case of burning candles at both ends,

Sometimes a deficit of sleep is not the cause.

Even on a straight day, when there are no curves or bends,

The woman will take time to have a pause.

She will bow her head just slightly, then she’ll tilt it to one side,

As metaphorically she shuts a bedroom door.

No-one really minds much when the lady falls asleep,

But they only wish to God she wouldn’t snore.

Paul J Openshaw (2008 ish)

I got ideas for words for this song whilst on holiday in Provence a few years ago. It took a while for the tune to evolve, although I always had a notion for which way I wanted it to go. I play it in the key of A using DADGAD tuning (capo 2). You can hear the song on Soundcloud.

The Sting

He only thinks of what he needs when packing up his case,

To maximise frugality, economise on space.

It leaves him with a bundle, which as far as he can tell,

Accommodates his every need to serve him very well.

In terms of punctuation there are many “I”s to dot,

But he knows that he can cope with all the things he hasn’t got.

Chorus

He tends to look the other way when she begins to pack.

He knows she won’t give in to have the things, which she might lack.

Cosmetically she’s covered, with a little more in case,

She needs to rearrange her attributes or organise her face.

She doesn’t do half measures. She wants to take the lot.

But he knows that he can cope with all the things he hasn’t got!

 

He struggles with her logic. She fiddles with her hair.

Any talk of compromise is just a waste of air.

He paces up and down a while and then he wrings his hands.

He knows he needs to find a way to meet all her demands.

Inwardly he mutters that he thinks she’s lost the plot,

But he knows that he can cope with all the things he hasn’t got.

 

He tries to think of other things, pretend he doesn’t care.

He rolls his eyes and then he shrugs his shoulders in despair,

But there is a resolution as there’s one thing they both know,

She will carry his case when it’s time for them to go.

It’s small enough to handle. It doesn’t weigh a jot,

And she knows that she can cope with all the things he hasn’t got!

Paul J Openshaw 2008

Life has ups and downs. It is uncanny, but the atmosphere has a bearing. Perhaps that is why the sad syndrome is so significant at particular times of year. I am not sure I could write a song like this at the moment. That probably pleases me. You can listen to the song on Soundcloud.

If You Should Take Your Love From Me

I watched the clouds with soulful eye.

They seemed to gather fast.

Lightning struck with almighty crack.

Saplings bent to the blast.

How sad and lonely I would be,

If you should take your love from me,

If you should take your love from me.

Rolling thunder long and hard,

With foundation shaking roar,

And biting wind with piercing might,

Chilling to the core.

How sad and lonely I would be,

If you should take your love from me,

If you should take your love from me.

Hard the track beneath the tread.

Slow the heart to mend.

Freezing rain cuts to the bone,

To break what will not bend.

I watched the clouds with soulful eye.

They seemed to gather fast.

Lightning struck with almighty crack.

Saplings bent to the blast.

How sad and lonely I would be,

If you should take your love from me,

If you should take your love from me.

Paul J Openshaw (1992 ish)

Confucius said, “our greatest glory is not to never fall, but to rise every time we do fall”. 

I found this quotation on a “post it” sticker on my daughter’s bedroom wall. This was several years ago, and I would think she must have been using it to bolster herself up for an examination of some sort. 

The song gave me a way of hitting back at a nasty situation I found myself in, with regard to one particular employer. You can listen to this track on Soundcloud.

Greatest Of Glories

Sometimes I wake, before the sun rises, 

While half of the world lies asleep on its bed,

And I think of the stress, which I seemed to face daily,

And the people I’d rather have worked for instead.

It’s taken a while, but now I see clearly,

You need to be wise, and you need to have spine,

Or sooner or later, you’ll fall down the hole,

Which you dig for the men, who won’t stand in line.

Chorus

Before you can run, you must first learn to walk,

And before you can walk, you must first learn to crawl,

But the greatest of glories, the greatest of glories,

The greatest of glories is to rise when you fall.

No-one survives by stripping the assets,

From those who seek truly to give of their best.

Soon you’ll be found to be foolish and lacking,

When your ignorant thinking is put to the test.

There’s more to this life than mere profit and loss,

And this no measure of the worth of a man.

The heart of the matter is that you go out naked,

As naked you came when your life here began.

None of this matters to me anymore,

As the pastures of plenty are calling me on.

Some day you’ll see the truth of the thought,

That you just don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Sometimes I wake before the sun rises,

While half of the world lies asleep on its bed,

And I think of the stress I seemed to face daily,

And the people I’d rather have worked for instead.

Paul J Openshaw (1993 ish)

 

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