When a soldier was killed during the First World War his next of kin received a bronze disc embossed with the name of the deceased. The discs became known as "death pennies" because of the depiction of Britannia on the front. The disc illustrated here was for "William Robert Charlton" who lived in Morpeth Northumberland and whose name is on the Morpeth cenotaph. We wrote the song to acknowledge the pointless loss of life in the conflict by highlighting the human tragedy of this one local boy.
(Words & music © Derek Greenacre April 2009)
1) Young Bill Charlton’s long time gone
Of the twenty million he’s but one
A lover’s sweetheart mother’s son
Young Bill Charlton’s long time gone
Warm Summer rain that August day
With talk of honour and army pay
A furtive glance she touched your hair
“ For God sake Billy you take care”
2) Now the wind tears at the wire
Over there and under fire
Your pals have fallen one by one
Each lover’s sweetheart, mother’s son
You’re cursing every bloody shell
This isn’t France lads this is Hell
And who knows where home truth lies
Who sees the sorrow in your eyes.
3) The last post echoes at your door
A folded letter on the floor
Footsteps fading down the lane
Memories drenched in Summer rain
Now your sister's got your room
Dad gave your boots to Ronnie Hume
Mama’s thoughts are lost in prayer
“ For God sake Billy you take care”
Music & Lyrics by Derek Greenacre 2018
1)Let me kill for you an ocean with the plastic of your lives,
I shall list the ones who perish and the ones that survive.
We can sail to Polymer Island for at least a thousand years
Or build another ocean from all your children's tears.
2)The seashells all are empty, the dolphins all are gone,
The starfish and the turtle- the list, it just goes on
Extinction is forever – at least that's what they say
And you can't use plastic money to buy back DNA
Plastic bags and cola bottles, ten billion so it's said
But we mustn't count the victims when laying out the dead
No more shoals of herring and the seabirds cease to cry
Above a plastic ocean below an empty sky.
3)Just ask yourself some questions now the slaughter has begun
Will we lose our sense of wonder when the coral reefs are gone?
Will romance lose its magic when you're walking hand in hand
Beside a plastic ocean on a beach of plastic sand?
Music & Lyrics by Derek Greenacre 2004
We wrote this song about a woman from Jesmond, a femme fatale who lured men into a web of seduction.
1) Julie owns a flat near Jesmond station , outside it looks any other home,
But Julie's friends are wary of her dark side, they warn you not to
go there on your own.
2) Helmut Newton posters in the hallway, and leather bound volumes by "Bizarre",
You begin to question why you came here, and even wonder who you really are.
3) She'll ask you philosophic questions, as Beaujolais washes through your brain,
You know the night you'll spend in pleasure, is bought with the currency of pain.
4) Julie's eyes won't let you leave this evening , even though you feel that you should go,
Things she'll do are bound to please you, she's smiling as she turns the lamp down low.
5) Julie owns a flat near Jesmond station, outside it looks like any other home
Julie likes dark binding relations - ships in the night to use, but never use
Words & music ©Derek Greenacre April 2010
We used the Jack Vettriano picture illustrated below to form the idea of a story. We gave the woman in the picture a name and made the lyrics deliberately vague and sultry to match the mood of the painting.
1) Ramona sits with her ash-blonde hair
Naked arms in a velvet chair
Unlit cigarette and her white-toed shoes
She'll tell you the reason she sits and waits
But seldom what she contemplates
In another street a sax is breathing blues
2)City heat kept outside the door
Black silk stockings on a bedroom floor
You're free to leave - if you wish to choose
But things have slipped beyond control
The room's as dark as your inner soul
The night sky now has much deeper hues
3)A neon heartbeat - sweet perfume
A single candle burns in Ramona's room
If she asks again how can you refuse?
Once- so long ago it seems
You too stepped between her dreams
And the saxophone plays just one more blues
Words & Music © Derek Greenacre 2005
1) They say only the blind can see angels
And darkness just folds in the light
From the shifting patterns of shadow
A figure stepped out of the night
Yes you are my beautiful poison
Only you are not scared to be alone
Yes you are my beautiful poison
And tonight you can take me home
2)Why should they stare as you enter
And their smiles just flicker and fade?
They were lost in the worldly processions
And boasting of conquests they’ve made
3)They text some friend on their mobile
Then order their drinks at the bars
Each of them scared to be different
Buying their beauty in jars
Are they blinkered by self opinion
Or merely deceived by their lies?
It’s easy to smile out of pity
At the girls with credit card eyes.
Words & music ©Derek Greenacre & Mary Mallatratt 2017
In this song a telephone conversation is overheard from which only fragments of an unfolding drama can be deduced.
1)Yes, hello, it's me again
Don't say nothing just tell me when
Tell me lies and let me down again
2)Here I am, all alone
Hanging on this telephone
Tell me Joe, when will we meet again?
3)I'm still here, this lines real bad
Hey Joe, I'm kinda sad
Got your letter, came yesterday
Joe, Joe, I love you so,
Joe, Joe, don't let me go,
By the way you mentioned Ron,
Damn it Joe, my money's gone!
4)I kinda know what you're trying to say
I guess I knew that anyway
Let's face it, Joe we've been through this before
5)Don't tell me Joe, what Ron said,
Damn it Joe, this line's gone dead,
I love you Joe, that's all that you should know.
Words & Music By Derek Greenacre 2006
There's an ugly side to beauty so Monday's child beware
Make question of the shadows, tread lightly on the stair
Beware the poison apple, and the writing on the wall
So tell me now in truth, who is the fairest one of all ?
She'll wear not satin no need for lace, pity her life a pre-run race
Monday's child is fair of face.
2) Care and pride and hope and pain, our lily-shining child,
Within the walls a silence screams outside the winds blow wild
Soft candles light her coming born of blood a two-edged sword
Let the gift be given now, free the child and cut the cord.
3)It's a never ending story, a never ending cry
Now Beauty lies with lovers - and lovers learn to lie
Beware the gift that's never earned that all too soon degrades,
Reflect the mirror image, years increase and beauty fades
Words & Music Derek Greenacre 2010
In the song a woman makes a nostalgic journey to meet a mysterious acquaintance from her past however not everything goes entirely to plan.
1) She’s driving her car along Mainstreet
With memories along for the ride
Salted and sifted and savored
And washed by the incoming tide
In a café along by the shoreline
A jukebox is playing her tune
And she’s caught between loving and leaving
And teased by the pull of the moon
2)In her mirror she checks out her make-up
‘Tho she has no intent to deceive
And religion is only a comfort
To those who choose to believe
She orders an ice cream sundae
While sipping her Saturday tea
Her hopes are all pinned on tomorrow
Maybe that’s how it should be.
Places that people can go to
Photos that speak out of turn
No telling where life takes you
Memories smoulder and burn.
3)Perhaps it all hinges on maybe
A fate that’s beyond her control
Maybe she’ll just take a gamble
Maybe just let the dice roll
The waitress is wiping the tables
Frankie is stacking the chairs
Outside the light is now fading
Indifferent to current affairs.
4)The door closes gently behind her
She walks to her car in the rain
Uncertain of who to believe now
And who she feels she can blame.
In the café now empty and shuttered
There’s a photo she pinned to the wall
And a pay-phone rings out in the darkness
But no one answers the call.