Eric Bogle   •   The Eric Bogle Songbook — Volume Two

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  • The Eric Bogle Songbook — Volume Two
    • 1994 - Greentrax CDTRAX 051 CD (UK)
  • Tracklist
    1. Now I'm Easy
    2. Glasgow Lullaby
    3. No Man's Land
    4. Do You Know Any Bob Dylan?
    5. My Youngest Son Came Home Today
    6. Belle of Broughton
    7. Leaving Nancy
    8. Singing the Spirit Home
    9. Wee China Pig
    10. Leaving the Land
    11. Rosie
    12. All the Fine Young Men
    13. Across the Hills of Home

  • Credits
    • Sleeve Design: John Naxby (Art Surgery)
    • All songs written by Eric Bogle

Sleeve Notes

Now I'm Easy — A 'cocky' is an Australian term for a farmer who farms land on a small scale and is therefore usually poor and battling to make ends meet. It is derived from the contemptuous term given to these farmers of 'Cockatoo Farmers' by the large rich graziers. I wrote this song after meeting a 'cocky' in a pub in New South Wales. The song is a true record of his life as told to me after we shared a few pints in the pub. His name is Ron, that's all I know about him except that he could drink a lot more than I could!

Glasgow Lullaby — The not-so-merry side of drink in Scotland. Scots have one of the highest rates of alcoholism in the world. This song is about the innocent victims, i.e. the wife and kids.

No Man's Land — I wrote this song after a short and very sobering tour round one of the vast military cemeteries in Northern France. There were a lot of 'Willie McBrides' buried there. It is of course a song about the futility and waste of war.

Do You Know Any Bob Dylan? — Early in my career I got sick of people asking me to sing Bob Dylan songs. Does he sing any of mine? No. So this protest song was the result.

My Youngest Son Came Home Today — A song written about Northern Ireland. Based on an actual funeral that happened in Londonderry about 2,500 funerals ago. This song was written in 1976 or 1977, but is still, tragically, relevant.

Belle Of Broughton — I wrote this song for my Grandmother. She died when I was quite young and to my youthful eyes she always seemed incredibly old. My Grandfather told me when I was older that my Grandmother was considered a great beauty when she was a young girl. He always considered himself lucky she chose him. I was too young at the time to notice any lingering traces of her physical beauty or appreciate her inner beauty. She came from a small village outside Peebles called Broughton and in her day she was the 'belle of Broughton'.

Leaving Nancy — This song was written for my mother after she had come to say goodbye at the railway station when I emigrated to Australia. She was only allowed to come and see me off on the condition that no tears were shed. She was very good, she almost kept her promise, but broke down just as the train was pulling out of the station.

Singing The Spirit Home — A true story about a young black man being executed in a South African prison a few years ago. As they dragged him along the corridor to the gallows, all the other black men from their cells in the prison, started to sing a freedom song to him. It must have been the last sound he heard as they hung him.

Wee China Pig — An ode to a wee hot water bottle! For the first 14 years or so of my life, it was the only warm thing that I ever shared my bed with. Although I had this English girlfriend once...

Leaving The Land — In many rural areas all over the world, farmers are being forced off their farms, due in most cases to falling commodity prices, high interest rates and political chicanery. Very rarely from lack of effort or sheer hard bloody work. They feed us all, the farmers. We should take better care of them.

Rosie — Rosie is the daughter of two friends of mine. She has cerebral palsy. She also has courage, determination, a sense of humour, big innocent eyes and curly hair. In short she's a sweetie. She also has her father's nose, which may well be her biggest handicap. The nose notwithstanding, I'm betting she'll grow up to be quite a woman, I'm looking forward to being around to see it.

All The Fine Young Men — Written for an ABC TV play. I tried to illustrate in the song how each succeeding generation since the beginning of the century has been involved in all these different wars. Or perhaps it's just the same war repeating itself.

Across The Hills Of Home — A few years ago I was sent a short poem called 'Across the Hills of Home'. This poem had been written by a Scotsman, James MacArthur. Originally from East Kilbride in Scotland, James lived in Melbourne for many years. The poem was sent to me by his son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Marie MacArthur and I quote from the accompanying letter:

'Jim was found to have cancer in 1980 and died a lingering death. He always said he didn't want to go home to Scotland, but this poem says different. His ashes were scattered in Scotland. He was a great man and I'm sure you would appreciate this poem of a fellow Scot. I hope you do.'

Well, I did. I added a wee chorus to Jim's original poem and set it to music and this song is the result. I'm not claiming, nor would Jim have I think, that it's a match for Robbie Burns, but as an ordinary man's longing to see his homeland one more time, it carries an honesty and dignity that instantly appealed to me. Since I wrote this song, Jim's son Bill has also died. So for Jim and Bill, and for Marie, who loved them both, this song is respectfully dedicated.

My interest in music, and the singer/songwriter in particular, spans more years than I care to think about. The art and sheer genius of the songwriter fascinates me and my personal collection of albums contains the work of all the 'greats'. Amongst these I have many favourites but at the top of the list is Eric Bogle — the master — and I never cease to be amazed at the incredible output of class songs that Eric has maintained over the years. It was, therefore, a great honour for me to accept an offer from Eric and Larrikin Records, Australia, to release Eric's albums in the UK. 'The Eric Bogle Songbook — volume 2' is my own selection of personal favourites from the Larrikin albums:

  • Now I'm Easy — 1980
  • Plain & Simple — 1981
  • Scraps of Paper — 1982
  • In Concert — Live — 1985
  • Singing the Spirit — 1986
  • Home Something of Value — 1988

I hope you like it
IAN D. GREEN — Greentrax Records

ERIC BOGLE was born in Peebles, Scotland, in 1943, and emigrated to Australia in 1969. While studying accountancy he started to write songs and in 1972 he composed the now classic 'And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda' (on 'The Eric Bogle Songbook' also on Greentrax Records) and followed this up with songs like 'No Man's Land', 'Now I'm Easy' and 'Leaving Nancy'. It was obvious that Eric had a knack of touching the heartstrings of his adopted Australia and the world. Accolades rolled in from the media:

'Most of the best contemporary songs of the seventies were written by Eric Bogle … ' — Colin Irwin, Melody Maker

Then came a long list of fine performers who recorded Eric's songs in their own inimitable style — June Tabor, the Dubliners, Foster and Allen, The Furies & Davey Arthur, The Clancy Brothers, The Corries, The Pogues, Donovan, Mary Black, Slim Dusty and even Rod McKuen!

The past few years has seen Eric establish a home in Adelaide. He continues to deliver a yearly crop of fine songs written from compassion, experience and pleasure. He continues to tackle those subjects usually taboo to songwriters but so important in bringing the world closer together. He has never been backward in coming forward and his songs although personal in nature seem to gather their own momentum. His audience wouldn't want it any other way!