The Songman & Me, vol 1

by Joe Craig

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    - 3 videos you won't find anywhere else, featuring intimate rehearsal performances of two songs.

    - a beautifully designed digital booklet with original artwork, photography and Joe's notes on the songs.

    - all the lyrics.

    - a doodle of a monkey.

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    Limited edition CD, beautifully designed and printed, complete with a 16 page booklet containing the thoughts behind the songs and some lush images.

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  • If you'd like just one 'Jimmy Coates' book (signed by the author, of course) then you can also download Joe Craig's whole album for free!

    You can specify which book (or books) you'd like at the checkout. There are 8 books available:

    Jimmy Coates: Killer
    Jimmy Coates: Target
    Jimmy Coates: Revenge
    Jimmy Coates: Sabotage
    Jimmy Coates: Survival
    Jimmy Coates: Power
    Jimmy Coates: Blackout
    Lifters

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  • - All 7 Jimmy Coates books (the full set so far), each one signed by the author, Joe Craig

    - A signed copy of Joe Craig's first non-Jimmy Coates book, the short thriller 'Lifters'.

    - Instant download of Joe Craig's album, 'The Songman & Me, vol. 1' so you can start listening straight away

    (IMPORTANT: This option DOES include the latest Jimmy Coates book, Jimmy Coates: Blackout, even though it's not in one of the pictures.)
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about

I’ve had a lot of songs in my head for a long time. Some fall under my fingers whenever I sit at the piano. Some I can’t stop playing. Some I wrote. I became a novelist a few years ago and might have left the songs behind, but for some reason I couldn’t let them go.

Recently I found myself playing them more often at home, then I played them at book events. I started talking about songwriting as much as I used to in my teens. With some helpful nudges from friends, it felt like it was time to record something.

I wanted to capture the essence of the songs – to create a moment that put across the emotion, the character or the story in the song. So I recorded at home, quickly, with somebody else to worry about technicalities (the brilliant Adaq Khan). I stripped down the arrangements and performed only one or two takes of each song (except for two songs, which needed three takes). The result is raw at times, but I like those moments. That’s when I think the songs themselves are at their best and when, to me, the performances feel most intimate: the bent vocal note on ‘settle down’ in the middle eight of ‘Travelling Songman’; pulling around the tempo in each chorus of ‘Monkey Tree’; the tentative introduction of ‘Faithful Friend’...

It’s not easy to show vulnerability in what you write. I certainly don’t do it in my books, which are designed to be taut, robust thrillers – not a moment to catch your breath. Characters must be vulnerable, of course, but not the author. The author is supreme and god-like, commanding His world. Maybe that’s why I felt unable to let go of the songs. They’re too delicate to abandon. Too much care went into them. They’re too... me.

Joe Craig

credits

released 15 December 2010
All songs written, performed & produced by Joe Craig - www.joecraig.co.uk

Recorded by Adaq Khan - www.adaqkhan.com

Art Direction by Jesse Hayes - www.hayesdesignstudios.com

Photography by Siddharth Khajuria - siddharthkhajuria.com

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about

Joe Craig Islington, UK

"The Songman & Me, vol. 1 is a collection of beautifully crafted songs in the classic tradition of Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb and James Taylor. At the keyboard and with his intimate vocals, Joe Craig performs with a raw emotion that cuts to the heart of the characters and stories in the songs. He may be a virtuoso storyteller, but on this evidence, he's very much a gifted songman too." ... more

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Track Name: The Travelling Songman
THE TRAVELLING SONGMAN
Joe Craig

He writes the words at traffic lights, on roads that tunes forgot
Precious seconds stopping are the only ones he’s got
He sings his life in melodies and poorly scripted lines
That seemed so realistic sung at station platform signs
He won’t trouble you for conversation, he just moves
On to his next destination…


The travelling songman, he was on that train
He didn’t stay long and he won’t come this way again The travelling songman, he’s seen the world, and he’s seen each and every one of us in the songs we’ve heard

He left a girl at yesterday, he loved one on the coast
His son has read his stories like they’re letters from a ghost
I know that he’s in pain, though he won’t let you see
I can tell - I know him. This travelling song man’s me
I won’t trouble you for conversation
I just move on to my next destination… (CHORUS)


What’s the hurry? Why won’t he stay?
What’s he trying to find? Or why’s he running away? Single ticket, all alone
He'd like to settle down, but music is his home…


The travelling song man, he was on that train
He didn’t stay long and he won’t come this way again.
The travelling songman, he’s seen the world
and he’s seen each and every one of us in the songs we’ve heard.
Track Name: Full Circle
FULL CIRCLE
Joe Craig

The nights just get better and better
Maybe it comes with practice - being without you
The days are just a heap of fun
I feel like I could spend them with anyone
And we have turned full circle

I'm glad that I feel like crying
Never thought I'd cope so well - being without you
I feel like all my clocks are slow
They tell me that you left just a short time ago
But we have turned full circle

I'm getting very good at being sad
Or maybe it's a skill I've always had
It had never been tested before, with you

Now I know this end of the journey
Back where I began - being without you
But if you wanted time to see
If you could dance again with me
Then we could turn full circle

Please, let's turn full circle
Track Name: Jealousy
JEALOUSY
Joe Craig

Jealousy, I never thought you'd come for me
You hit me hard and can't you see
I'm only human and I tried
But I can't help thinking someone lied and maybe it was me.
Jealousy, I wish you would pity me
Times have changed and now I see
I'm not the lucky person I used to be
Now who will envy me?

Funny how everything seems different now
Things I had I'm not allowed
It's natural to be scared
Envy took everything I had and now I want my old life back
Jealousy, that screaming voice in Hell is me
People treat me silently
Now they turn away from what they just don't want to see
Who will envy me?

La, la, la...

Jealousy, I never thought you'd come for me
You hit me hard and can't you see
I'm only human and I tried
But I couldn't help it: someone lied and maybe it was me.
Set me free I don't deserve your sympathy
I brought it on myself you see
I belong to you now, Jelaousy
Who will envy me?
Who will envy me?
Track Name: More Than I Do
MORE THAN I DO
Joe Craig

If I loved you any more than I do
Skies would be below us
Crops would stop to grow us
If I loved you any more than I do
Trees would fly like eagles
Who'd live inland with seagulls
If I loved you any more than I do

If I loved you any more than I do
Memories would all be real
Thieves would be employed to steal
Every contradiction would have to be true
If opposites were possible
And the fictional were actual
If I loved you any more than I do

If someone stole Niagra and put it in Berlin
If someone put the desert in the sea
My heart could grow from bursting point
To let some more love in
But loving you is all there is of me

I couldn't feel stronger about you
If my head became my shoulders
And heat could make me colder
If I loved you any more than I do
I couldn't love you better
Just like water can't get wetter
If I loved you any more than I do

The day I see the moon come down to live in old Paris
The minute there's a smile I can ignore
That's the day I'll know you're not the one for me
But it's never going to happen, thank the lord

I couldn't feel stronger about you
If my head became my shoulders
And heat could make me colder
If I loved you any more than I do
I couldn't love you better
Just like water can't get wetter
If I loved you any more than I do
Track Name: Romantic Song
ROMANTIC SONG
Joe Craig

This might sound a little strange
But I never saw the point before of things like flowers
These days my attitude has changed
If it's raining in the garden I'll watch for hours
And I don't need a reason to send you roses

You made me someone romantic, my love
Just so romantic, my love
And I wasn't before
You kiss me and I feel romantic, my love
Oh so romantic, sweet love
So keep kissing me more

I'd like to spoil you with breakfast in bed
On a secret island hideaway with emerald beaches
Champagne, caviar or chocolate instead
Let's fly in our balloon and see how high it reaches
We could sing romantic songs and watch the sunset

CHORUS

You brought out the sunshine in candlelight
You put corner tables at the centre of my mind
Anything I thought was wrong, you put it right
You and I should run away, leave the world behind...

CHORUS
Track Name: I've Been Holding On
I'VE BEEN HOLDING ON
Joe Craig

Got to make that call, got to fix that tap before I catch that train
Got hit that button, got to make the grade, I can't be late again
I have to meet the expectations that are put in me

I've been holding on to what I've got I know it's not enough
But I've been holding not breaking down while all around I see my friends have given in while I've been holding on

It doesn't matter why it doesn't matter what I managed yesterday
But it doesn't let up it's upsetting but tough because there's bills to pay
I need to merit all the trust that you have put in me

CHORUS

Time is a beast that has me in its claws
How does it know how to tear at my flaws?

How did I get involved, tied up in the world when all I said was 'yes'?
Now I'm staring at screens, now stifling screams while I clear up their mess
I can't say 'no' but even Superman needs Sundays...

CHORUS
Track Name: Monkey Tree
MONKEY TREE
Joe Craig

I was thinking about human evolution
It says modern man has complex needs.
But I have no claim to sophistication.
I follow wherever my instinct leads.
I'm a simple creature with a primitive heart.
They might run the human race, but I got left at the start…

I'm like a monkey up in a tree,
They could take everything away from me
But that wouldn’t hurt me one bit
If you, you could be the one to sit with me
Up in my monkey tree.
Yeah yeah, up in my monkey tree,
Oh oh, space here for you and me,
Yeah yeah, up in my monkey tree.
Hey hey, come up and sit with me,
Yeah yeah, up in my monkey tree.

You can satisfy my hunger.
You can feed me fruit, and comb my hair.
You’ve always been the Queen of my jungle,
So take your throne in my tropical lair.
I’ll survive if I can make it with you.
You’re my necessary luxury; let’s stay naked and true…

I'm living out on a limb,
And it’s my soul on the line,
But I feel fine…
Track Name: Underneath the Snow
UNDERNEATH THE SNOW
Joe Craig

Come on put your winter coat on, the world is like a cloud to float on
There’s something in the air again
Romanticised beyond all reason, everyone’s home ‘coz the roads are freezing
Think of it as too much cold rain.
Over night we’ve moved into a black and white movie
Just before the roads are salted why do we get so excited?

Everybody knows what’s underneath the snow
But it still looks kind of magic when it comes
Everything changes underneath the snow
Makes us look again at what we think we know, what’s that show?

Wrap the scarf around your shoulders, another year, the wind seems colder.
You need a place to sit and warm your feet.
Soon the winter spell is breaking, all the world is melting, making
Puddles in the park and in the street.
Before I never saw what happened in a thaw was sadness
Never let your life be melting, don’t regret the time that’s passing

I wear snow of my own, all year round.
And somewhere deep in the ground
I know that there are flowers that are waiting
To bring in Spring
Track Name: Solo Street
SOLO STREET
Joe Craig

On Solo Street all the people I meet, they won’t stay. I'm in a one bedroom flat, but I like it like that.
All the neighbours have moved away
An independent man, I’ll get by if I can
On Solo Street.

I'm all alone, going solo
On my own.
How did I sink so low?
Living on Solo Street.

My anonymous face won’t give you a trace of sorrow.
I had my fun looking out for number one
And I’ll make it back tomorrow.
See the look in my eye, I'm not going to cry
On Solo Street.
Track Name: Faithful Friend
FAITHFUL FRIEND
Joe Craig

Never forget your faithful friend
Don't leave him when he's down
No stick with him until the end
And your time will come around

Yes time will come around again
And old will turn to new
But if you never forget your faithful friend
Then the faithful friend is you