Eric Bogle

Eric Bogle: Scraps of Paper

  • Notes
    • Scraps of Paper is the only Bogle album with 3 different versions — all with different track lists.
    • The cover, sleeve notes & credits on the Australian & UK releases are (almost) identical.
      • Except the mastering (credit)
    • The USA release has a different cover, sleeve notes and slightly different credits.
Scraps of Paper — Australia & UK
  • Scraps of Paper
    • 1982 - Larrikin LRF104 LP — Australia
    • 1983 - Plant Life PLR 046 LP — UK

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  • Australian Release — Track List:
  • Side One
    1. Scraps Of Paper
    2. Goodbye Lucky Country [3]
    3. A Reason For It All
    4. The Ballad Of Henry Holloway
    5. My Youngest Son Came Home Today [3]
  • Side Two
    1. If Wishes Were Fishes
    2. The Great Aussie Take-Away [1]
    3. Old Friends [3]
    4. Love Song Of A Simple Man [1]
    5. Just Not Coping
    6. Goodbye Gemini [1]
    7. He's Nobody's Moggy Now
  • UK Release — Track List:
  • Side One
    1. Scraps of Paper
    2. Goodbye Lucky Country [3]
    3. A Reason for It All
    4. Old Friends [3]
    5. Shining River [2] [4]
  • Side Two
    1. If Wishes Were Fishes
    2. The Old Number Ten [2]
    3. The Ballad of Henry Holloway
    4. My Youngest Son Came Home Today [3]
    5. Big Mansion House [2]
    6. Just Not Coping
    7. He's Nobody's Moggy Now

  • Tracks Notes
    1. These tracks only appear on the Australian release.
    2. These tracks only appear on the UK release.
    3. These tracks do not appear on the USA release.
    4. This track also appears on When the Wind Blows: 1984 - Larrikin 144 LP

  • Musicians
    • Eric Bogle: Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
    • John Munro: Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Mandolin, Autoharp and Dulcimer
    • Brent Miller: Vocals and Bass Guitar
  • Additional Musicians
    • Phil Cunneen: Keyboards and String Arrangements
    • Dean Biebeck: Drums
    • Trev Warner: Fiddle
    • Dennis Siddall: Pedal Steel Guitar
    • Dean Bland: Harmonica
  • Credits
    • Produced by Eric Bogle, John Munro and Peter Brook
    • All songs, words and music by Eric Bogle and arranged by John Munro
    • Published by Larrikin Music except*, published by Plant Life Music
    • Engineered and mixed by Peter Brook at Street Remley Studios, Adelaide
    • Mastered: Dan Bartley, EMI Studio 301 (Larrikin - Australian release)
    • Mastered at Tape One, London, by Jacko (Plant Life - UK release)
    • Artwork and Design: Serious Business
    • Photograph: Guy Lamothe
    • First issued by Larrikin Records 1982 and released under license

Sleeve Notes

These days my life seems somehow like a tired old cliche
A bad movie scene that just goes on and on
With dialogue like "It's so sad how fast time slips away"
Or "You never really miss them till they're gone"
Funny how these old cliches come true
Never thought I'd miss him but I do.

My father died in Summer, and all he left behind
Were little scraps of paper, little scraps of rhyme
I read them, and felt something inside me break
And angrily cried out "Too late, too late!"
Surely there must be something better
Surely there must be something better.

He and I were always strangers searchin' for someone
I was lookin' for a hero, and he a friend
So while I searched for my father he was lookin' for his son
And strangers we remained until the end
But the man who wrote his heart into those rhymes
I know he could have been a good friend of mine.

So I sit here where he lived and died, as the ghosts around me weave
As evening shadows lengthen on the wall
And in this bare and empty room it's easy to believe
That he never lived at all
But the little scraps of paper in my hand
Prove he lived to me; the father and the man.

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Scraps of Paper — USA
  • Scraps of Paper
    • 1983 - Flying Fish FF311 LP — USA

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  • Side One
    1. Scraps of Paper
    2. No Man's Land [5]
    3. Front Row Cowboy [5] [6]
    4. No Reason for it All
    5. He's Nobody's Moggy Now
  • Side Two
    1. And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda [5]
    2. Now I'm Easy [5][6]
    3. Just Not Coping
    4. The Ballad of Henry Holloway
    5. If Wishes Were Fishes

  • Tracks Notes
    1. These tracks only appear on the USA release.
    2. These tracks (and credits) are from Now I'm Easy: 1980 - Larrikin LRF 041 LP

  • Musicians
    • Eric Bogle: Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
    • John Munro: Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Mandolin, Autoharp, & Dulcimer
    • Brent Miller: Vocals & Bass Guitar
    • Chris Nicholson: Guitars
    • Phil Cunneen: Keyboards & String arrangements
    • Dean Biebeck: Drums
    • Trev Warner: Fiddle
    • Dennis Siddall: Pedal Steel Guitar
    • Dean Bland: Harmonica
    • Graham Lee: Guitars [6]
    • Doug Balmanno: Bass [6]
    • Lorraine Cook: Cello [6]
    • George Walpole: Flute, Recorder [6]
    • Don Lebler: Percussion [6]
    • Peter Wragg: Keyboards [6]
  • Credits
    • Produced by Eric Bogle
    • Produced by Chris Nicholson [6]
    • Engineered by Peter Brook
    • Mastered by Roger Seibel, Wakefield Mfg.
    • Front cover photography by Emily Friedman
    • Album Design by Eric Walljasper
    • All compositions by Eric Bogle
    • A Larrikin Music (Australia) Production, Published by Larrikin Music

Sleeve Notes

Eric Bogle is a Scot by birth, an Australian by choice, an accountant by training, a musician by profession, and one of the most astounding songwriters in contemporary acoustic music by virtually all accounts. He is modest to a fault ("I'm a wee, short, fat bloke with thinning hair; songwriters, by popular demand, should be six feet two, thin, aesthetic, dark-haired, and moody") and a much better performer than he gives himself credit for. Perhaps most important, however, he has crafted a body of music over the past decade that has redefined social and topical song.

Most Americans — and Britons and Europeans, for that matter — first heard of Eric Bogle when they encountered his masterful condemnation of the carnage at the Battle of Gallipoli in World War I, "And the Band Played 'Waltzing Matilda." The international success of that song, like so many of the milestones in Eric's life, was almost accidental. Eric was a hobbyist songwriter (following an early period of singing traditional folk songs in Scotland on the club circuit, which in turn had followed a tour of duty in a 1960s Top-40 band) who had emigrated to Australia in 1969. In 1972, after watching a parade of frail, elderly veterans of the ill-advised and horribly bloody Gallipoli campaign of 1915 (which had involved, for the most part, troops from Australia and New Zealand, and was such a disaster that Winston Churchill, then a naval official, lost his job over it), Eric wrote "Matilda." He sang it in 1975 at a national songwriting competition in Brisbane; when it came in third, the crowds nearly rioted in protest. Someone who heard it was taken with it who wouldn't be? — and carried it off to Britain, where it would be recorded by June Tabor. Eric Bogle's name finally started to be known.

There have been many other profoundly poetic, almost painfully insightful songs since then, from the chilling "No Man's Land," with its haunting evocation of the youth and hope that are among the first victims of war, to "A Reason for It All," which is to my mind an anthem not only for our times, but for our very humanity and the need to preserve our capacity for caring against most unfavorable odds.

However, as Eric himself is quick to point out, "My mind is not filled only with graveyards, military cemeteries, marches, and old people dying alone. If it was, I'd throw myself off a building! I'm no different from any other thinking human being. I'm concerned about things like that. But I also like a good laugh and a good drink, just like most other people." And, indeed, the world of his songs is also populated by tales of cats that tried to outrun tractor-trailers (resulting in the oddest lament in all of English-language folk music, I suspect), delightfully goofy imitations of Bob Dylan, and odes to such eccentric institutions as the smoke-filled Australian barbecue and the dubious contents of Down Under take-out food.

In the end, Eric Bogle succeeds as a chronicler of our time because of his eye for our foibles and his compassion in the face of our stupidities. Once asked where he found his inspirations, he replied. "There are several billion of them sharing the planet with you." Eric's eye is on the sparrow and the swagman, the subsistence farmer musing as his life comes to a close, the spun-glass relationships on which we pin our hopes. But because he, himself, is possessed of so much hope, even the most tragic of tales becomes uplifting in his hands. "I still feel that I have 'the' song inside me somewhere," he says. "The ultimate song is the one that sums up my philosophy, points toward the future, and gives everyone hope and inspiration. I'm full of anticipation when I think about the songs I still have to write." So, I might add, are the rest of us.

Emily Friedman
Editor, Come for to Sing magazine
June 1983

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