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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.

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 Bill Charlton

(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” 

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 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.

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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

Chorus

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.

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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?

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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

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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

 

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Beautiful Poison

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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

Chorus​

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.

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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.

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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

Refrain

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.

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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 ?

Chorus

 

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

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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.

 

Refrain

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.