Barclay James Harvest Discography

Barclay James Harvest Singles Portfolio

Non-Album Tracks


This page covers those songs which did not appear on the band’s original studio albums, but were released, at least initially, only on singles, or remained unreleased until much later. After the song title we list the original release in bold, followed by compilation albums on which the song appears.

The titles are listed in order of recording rather than release, so that, for example, songs recorded in 1968 but which did not get issued until The Harvest Years appeared in 1991 are restored to their correct chronological place.

Songs covered on this page:


Early Morning

A-side of first single, 1968
Early Morning Onwards, 1972
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, vol.2, 1979
The Collection, 1981 (Germany, Holland)
The Harvest Years, 1991
Twice As Much, 1992 (Germany)
Premium Gold Collection, 1996 (Germany)
Mocking Bird, 1997 (Disky, Europe)
Mocking Bird - The Best Of BJH, 2001
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

The band’s very first release was the only one of their songs which was a genuine writing collaboration between all four members of the band, and has been described by Woolly as an attempt to capture the same mood as Procol Harum’s classic “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”. The song’s pastoral flavour set the tone for much of BJH’s later output.

Lyrics:
Early morning,
It’s cold and the sun is white
For I was born in
The darkness before the light

Of a new day
A new way of living
Of giving delight
And if you pay
Then you may be slipping
Back into the night

Then all knowing
With words and with pen I write
Of the growing
Of things that are in my sight

Early evening
It’s cold and the moon is bright
And I believe in
The darkness before the light
Of a new day

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd]


Mr. Sunshine

B-side of first single, 1968
Early Morning Onwards, 1972
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, Vol.2, 1979
The Harvest Years, 1991
Mocking Bird, 1997 (Disky, Europe)
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

Penned by Woolly, the single’s B-side showed a darker facet of BJH, concerning itself with depression and melancholy - the antithesis of “Early Morning”’s optimism. The song features an unusual solo from Les - on the recorder!

Lyrics:
I am walking in a dream
Everything I touch it isn’t real
People aren’t just what they seem
And I really don’t know what to feel
Mr. Sunshine’s not for me

I don’t mind the sky of blue
Or the honey clouds that wander by
When that orange thing comes through
I must look away or think I’ll die
Mr. Sunshine’s not for me

Blacker days I’ll never see
And I curse your light a hundred times
When you shine your rays on me
I must hide my head or lose my mind
Mr. Sunshine’s not for me

My old man said I am mad
Said that things were saner in his day
But I didn’t listen, Dad
All the words you said I threw away
Mr. Sunshine’s not for me
Mr. Sunshine’s not for me

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Pools Of Blue

Out-take, 1968
The Harvest Years, 1991
The Collection, 2000
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

This song was first recorded in 1968, but lay undiscovered in the vaults for over twenty years, until fan club member Steve Hibbard acquired three 7” acetates of “Pools Of Blue”, “I Can’t Go On Without You” and “Eden Unobtainable”. Thanks to his generosity, we were able to get all three songs included on 1991’s compilation set, The Harvest Years. “Pools Of Blue” looks at the world from the point of view of a blind girl, and John is on record as saying that it’s the one song of his which he would most like to re-record, preferably with an orchestra! The band made several attempts to record it again in the early seventies, but were never completely happy with the results.

Lyrics:
And with the rain
Soft pools of blue
White mist like love
When you glow so new
Must warm to you
Just like the snow
Falling anew
When it's soaked through
The snowdrops so few
Must warm to you

Take my hand, my love
Come talk to me
Tell me of your walk
Through leaves of green
Where life was free

Tell me of rain
In soft pools of blue
How white mist like love
When you glow so new
Must warm to you
Tell me of snow
Falling anew
How when it's soaked through
The snowdrops so few
Must warm to the love of your heart
Warm to the love of your heart
And warm to you

Take my hand, my love
Come talk to me
Tell me of your walk
Through leaves of green
Where life was free

[John Lees, Copyright Control]


I Can’t Go On Without You

Out-take, 1968
The Harvest Years, 1991
Mocking Bird, 1997 (Disky, Europe)
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

Recorded at the same time as “Pools Of Blue”, Woolly’s simply-arranged but effective song is a delicate ballad about lost love, with Mellotron accompaniment.

Lyrics:
I can't go on without you
There's a part of me that's gone
Like a day without the sun
I can't go on without you

There is nothing I can do
And no words that I can say
All the meanings slip away
I can't go on without you

I used to think you loved me so
Now you have gone and love's no more

I can't go on without you
Though I must try to live again
But my tears fall like the rain
I can't go on without you

I can't go on without you
There's a part of me that's gone
Like a day without the sun
I can't go on without you
Like a day without the sun
I can't go on without you

[Woolly Wolstenholme, Copyright Control]


Eden Unobtainable

Out-take, 1968
The Harvest Years, 1991
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

A fine song from Les which, like the previous two, was performed by the band for a BBC broadcast, but for some reason was not released in any form at the time. The subject is the impossibility of attaining perfection in this life and the individual’s feeling of insignificance in the scheme of things.

Lyrics:
Things I said before
No meaning any more
I can't seem to recall
Places that I've seen
It's like I've never been
Sometimes I feel so small

And if I was to ask
What it's all about
How could I find out
If it's true?

Things I said before
No meaning any more
I can't seem to recall
Places that I've seen
It's like I've never been
Sometimes I feel so small

[Les Holroyd, Copyright Control]


So Tomorrow

BBC Session, 1968
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

Included in the band's very first John Peel session, but not released until 2002 when it was gathered up as one of the bonus tracks on EMI's remastered CD of the eponymous debut album.

Lyrics:
So tomorrow,
What of tomorrow?
Will the next day find me hiding in my sorrow?
For she's gone now
It won't be long now
Before my heart begins to cry out, I'm alone now

Yesterday seemed like I lived in a dream
All that I needed was there
Now that she's gone
There's no sense holding on
I know that I shouldn't care

So tomorrow,
What of tomorrow?
Will the next day find me hiding in my sorrow?
For she's gone now
It won't be long now
Before my heart begins to cry out, I'm alone now

Yesterday seemed like I lived in a dream
All that I needed was there
Now that she's gone
There's no sense holding on
I know that I shouldn't care

So tomorrow,
What of tomorrow?
Will the next day find me hiding in my sorrow?
For she's gone now
It won't be long now
Before my heart begins to cry out, I'm alone now

[Repeat chorus three times]

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Night

BBC Session, 1968
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

Recorded for BJH's second Peel session at the end of July, 1968, a driving Woolly Wolstenholme song which surely deserved a wider airing. As it was, it remained in mothballs until being added to the EMI remastered CD of the band's first album, released in 2002.

Lyrics:
The world outside my window slowly passes by
As I gaze on the dim glow of the evening sky
Where every breath that I take becomes a vapour cloud
That wraps itself around me to hide me from the crowd

Then like a wall descending
Night will the day be ending
And it’s if as though by magic
Everything’s become so tragic
Become so tragic

I turn and look behind me and all the crowd have gone
And though they’re all around me I feel I am alone
The sounds of day have vanished and I find in their place
There is an awesome silence, of life there is no trace

Then like a wall descending
Night will the day be ending
And it’s if as though by magic
Everything’s become so tragic
Become so tragic

The world outside my window slowly passes by
As I gaze on the dim glow of the evening sky
Where every breath that I take becomes a vapour cloud
That wraps itself around me to hide me from the crowd

Then like a wall descending
Night will the day be ending
And it’s if as though by magic
Everything’s become so tragic
Become so tragic

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Need You Oh So Bad

BBC Session, 1968
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

A Woolly ditty after the style of Tim Hardin, also from the second BBC session.

Lyrics
Need you oh so bad by me
For the same of pity be
The one whose open arms I see
Reaching out to me
Need you oh so bad

You don’t want me any more
Like a thorn that’s in the sore
See you around with three or four
Oh my teardrops pour
Need you oh so bad

See the memories appear
They’ll be gone within a year
It’s the emptiness I fear
Now that you’re not here
Need you oh so bad

Now that you’re not here
Need you oh so bad

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Small Time Town

BBC Session, 1968
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

Another recording from the second BBC John Peel session, penned by John on the subject of his childhood memories and sung by Woolly.

Lyrics
I remember people talking
People laughing and sharing their joys
How I long for small time town living
Life was tiring, but love was so sweet

I remember Sunday fishing
Young girls laughing and sharing their joys
How I long for small time town living
Life was tiring, but love was so sweet

How I long for small time town living
Life was tiring, but love was so sweet
[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Dark Now My Sky (1968 version)

BBC Session, 1968
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

Recorded long before the epic version on the first album, the 1968 BBC session version is minus the orchestra, but has a chorus which was completely absent from the later track.

Lyrics
Dark now my sky
The sea of peace has left my shore
No birds sing
The silent spring will overflow

Oh you’ll never know
I loved you so
You’ll always be
A part of me

In my heart
This time she’s gone
There’ll be no next time
Life’s travellin’ by
I can’t wait to cry
I’ll find someone new
And maybe the next time
She’ll love me the way
The way I love you

Dark now my eyes
The sea of peace has met the sky
No birds sing
And like the spring, life whispers by

Oh you’ll never know
I loved you so
You’ll always be
A part of me

In my heart
This time she’s gone
There’ll be no next time
Life’s travellin’ by
I can’t wait to cry
I’ll find someone new
And maybe the next time
She’ll love me the way
The way I love you

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Brother Thrush

Single A-side, 1969
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, 1977
The Harvest Years, 1991
Twice As Much, 1992 (Germany
Premium Gold Collection, 1996 (Germany)
Mocking Bird, 1997 (Disky, Europe)
Mocking Bird - The Best Of BJH, 2001
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

The band’s second single evokes a similar mood to “Early Morning”, and was the first of many songs written by John to use birds as a metaphor to describe the human condition - in this case predicting the ultimate triumph of nature over the works of man.

Lyrics:
Brother Thrush, how you fly so high
Way up in the clouds
The trees resound with open arms
For one so rare
Brother Man just can’t compare

When we’re sitting on the banks
of the sunshine
We hear your song
High above the living

Brother gull, see him soar the sky
He’s so pleased to be
Buoyant and triumphant
On the raging sea
Backing nature, feeling free

Loving nature, rest your head
Hear the message, man is dead
See the cities fall
While Brother Bird still.... flies!

Brother Lark, see him wake the day
See him fly on by
Above the streets now empty
To his mournful cry
Brother Man just heaves a sigh

When we’re sitting on the banks
of the sunshine
We hear your song
High above the living
Yes, we hear your song...

[Barclay James Harvest, Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Poor Wages

Single B-side, 1969
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, vol.2, 1979
The Harvest Years, 1991
Mocking Bird - The Best Of BJH, 2001
Barclay James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

Written by Woolly, the B-side of “Brother Thrush” is a bitter reflection on a failed relationship and the difficulties of picking up the pieces afterwards. It is also notable for featuring a guitar solo from Woolly.

Lyrics:
And with the dawn she changes
Her voice in different ranges
The torn and tattered pages
Of all I’ve done, poor wages

Satisfied I’ve never lied
Say goodbye I couldn’t try
Destroy her cards and letters
Act like I’ve never met her
Hardest of all, forget her
Until my heart is better

Satisfied I’ve never lied
Say goodbye I couldn’t try

[Barclay James Harvest, Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Too Much On Your Plate

Out-take, 1970
Fan club flexi disc, 1991
Once Again, remastered CD, 2002 (different mix)
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

A fan club exclusive, given away on a free flexidisc with the December 1991 issue of club magazine Nova Lepidoptera and, until stocks ran out, to new members. The song shares a riff with “Taking Some Time On” as well as owing something to Hendrix’s version of “Hey Joe”. It started life as an acoustic Woolly number based around the “It’s hard when life won’t do...” section, then John added the chorus and heavy guitar riffs. This recording was made during rehearsals for the Once Again album, but the song was dropped because it didn’t fit in with the rest of the LP. A quite different mix was done by Norman Smith after the release of Once Again, possibly with a single release in mind, but did not appear until it was included on the Once Again CD remaster in 2002.

Lyrics:
Too much on your plate
Nothing's gonna get eaten, baby
Said babe, said babe
Stop to hesitate
You're finally gonna get beaten, baby
Said babe, said babe, said babe

I could have died
If my fate had been left up to you
Too late I cried
But my heart she was broken in two

Correcting all my bad mistakes
And making new ones, too
It's hard when life won't do
What you want it to do

Too much on your plate
Nothing's gonna get eaten, baby
Said babe, said babe, said babe
Stop to hesitate
You 're finally gonna get beaten, baby
Said babe, said babe, said babe

Now you've taken your chains
And you wandered off into the blue
But I stay unchanged
I'm still looking for somebody new
And evenings when I'm on my own
I sometimes think of you
It's hard when life won't do
What you want it to do

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd.]


Introduction - White Sails (A Seascape)

Orchestral out-take, 1970
Once Again, remastered CD, 2002

“White Sails” was never recorded by the band (although it was performed live on the 1970 orchestral tour), but it did get as far as an orchestral track being laid down. The latter part is a Robert Godfrey pseudo-classical piece along the lines of a piano concerto, and was rejected as totally unsuitable for BJH. The first section, though, is Woolly’s theme based on the chorus of the song, so Woolly added some ambient ‘sea noise’ for its inclusion on the Once Again remaster and credited Godfrey as arranger.

[Woolly Wolstenhome, arr. Robert Godfrey, © Stuart John Wolstenholme]


Brave New World (John Lees demo)

Demo, 1971
Origin Of Pieces fan club CD single, 1999
... and other short stories, remastered CD, 2002

The original 1971 version, demoed at Abbey Road on acoustic guitar for possible inclusion on Other Short Stories. Released on a fan club-only CD single in 1999 and included on EMI's remastered CD of Barclay James Harvest and other short stories in 2002. The song was re-recorded with a completely re-written lyric in 1999 for the Barclay James Harvest Through The Eyes Of John Lees Nexus album.

Lyrics:
When I was just a child
My world it was so small
The empty playground swings
The corner shop, the penny drinks
The backyard walls
Of a brave new world

And as the years passed by
I never thought to try
And memorise the dreams
The childhood fantasies
The backyard walls
Of a brave new world

Hey, Suzanne, won't you come out to play?
Well the moon is bright and this weather's fine
And there's something I've got to say
Hey, Suzanne, won't you come out to play?
Well my mama told me and I know she's right
That the blackest day's when the nations fight
Remember to pray when you go to bed
For what mama said
Bow your head
For a brave new world

Now I'm twenty-four
My small world's closed the door
I feel like I should cry
Death's desperation lies on every eye
In the brave new world

Hey, Suzanne, won't you come out to play?
Well the moon is bright and the weather's fine
And there's something I've got to say
Hey, Suzanne, won't you come out to play?
Well my mama told me and I know she's right
That the blackest day's when the nations fight
Remember to pray when you go to bed
For what mama said
Bow your head
For a brave new world

Now I'm old and grey
And life has passed my way
My tears have all run dry
I've seen men born to kill and born to die
For a brave new world
For a brave new world
It's such an old, old world

[John Lees, © Handle Artists Music Publishing/IQ Music]


I’m Over You

Single A-side, 1972
Early Morning Onwards, 1972
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, Vol.3, 1981
The Harvest Years, 1991
The Collection, 2000

Under pressure from EMI after the relative commercial failure of previous singles, BJH embarked on a series of what John later described as disastrous attempts to come up with a hit single. This first effort was a very pleasant love song, but didn’t set the charts alight.

Lyrics:
The summer sun, the winter rain
Won't ever change, now I'm over you
The morning light, the evening night
Won't ever change, now I'm over you
I'm over you, now I'm over you

Clouds in the sky, birds flying by
Won't ever change, now I'm over you
A young child's cry, a lover's sigh
Won't ever change, now I'm over you
I'm over you, over you, now I'm over you

Without your love
The morning light hurts my eyes
Without your love
The evening skies make me cry
Without your love
I'd be no place at all
I'd be lost without you

Clouds in the sky, birds flying by
Won't ever change, now I'm over you
A young child's cry, a lover's sigh
Won't ever change, now I'm over you
I'm over you, over you, now I'm over you

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]


Child Of Man (BBC Session Version)

BBC Session, 1972
Baby James Harvest, remastered CD, 2002

Recorded for Bob Harris shortly before its release on the B-side of “I’m Over You”, the BBC session version has slightly different lyrics.

Lyrics:
Child of God was born today
The child of woman just slipped away
The son of God knelt down to pray
And the children of the Lord
Didn’t know it was the day of
Creation, creation, creation

One thousand years or maybe more
Since they first set eyes on that foreign shore
The grass was green and the water pure
They turned the key and opened the door to a
Nation, nation, nation

Child of God says love your brother
Take him by the hand
Child of God says love your neighbour
Make him understand
Child of God says love your sister
Take her by the hand
Child of God says love your neighbour
Make him understand

All believers gather round
Press your faces to the ground
Raise your voices to the sound
Of all the others who have found
Salvation, salvation, salvation

Child of God says love your brother
Take him by the hand
Child of God says love your neighbour
Make him understand
Child of God says love your sister
Take her by the hand
Child of God says love your neighbour
Make him understand

Salvation, salvation, salvation
[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]


Child Of Man

Single B-side, 1972
Early Morning Onwards, 1972
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, 1977
Another Arable Parable, 1987
The Harvest Years, 1991
Premium Gold Collection, 1996 (Germany)
The Collection, 2000
Mocking Bird - The Best Of BJH, 2001
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

The B-side of “I’m Over You” was, in many ways, more interesting than the more commercial A-side, and introduced a religious theme which would be a recurring element in John’s songs over the years.

Lyrics:
Child of God was born today
The child of woman just slipped away
The Child of Man knelt down to pray
And the children of the earth
Didn’t know it was the day of
Creation, creation, creation

One thousand years or maybe more
Since they first set eyes on that foreign shore
The grass was green and the water pure
They turned the key and opened the door to a Nation, nation, nation

Child of God says love your brother
Take him by the hand
Child of God says love your neighbour
Make him understand
Child of God says love your sister
Take her by the hand
Child of God says love your neighbour
Make him understand

All believers gather round
Press your faces to the ground
Lift your voices to the sound
Of all the others who have found
Salvation, salvation, salvation

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]


Breathless

Single A-side, 1972
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, Vol.2, 1979
The Harvest Years, 1991

The band hid behind the alias “Bombadil” when this Chicory Tip - style instrumental was issued as a single, and, listening to it now, one appreciates the wisdom of that decision! Just a bit of fun, really, and it could have been worse - it could have been a hit!!

[Terry Bull, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]


When The City Sleeps

Single B-side, 1972
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, Vol.2, 1979
The Harvest Years, 1991
Mocking Bird, 1997 (Disky, Europe)
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

For reassurance, the traditional BJH fan had to turn to the B-side to find this Woolly song about walking through deserted city streets in the small hours. It’s actually a solo track, as Woolly sang and played everything on it.

Lyrics:
In the shining sun
My images they run
Confusing all I’ve done before I’ve begun
And every city scene
Becomes a roaring stream
A nightmare and a dream rolled into one

But when the city sleeps
I’m up and on my feet
Along the darkened streets
Hear me run

Through the empty town
Running, laughing, down
No-one else around - to bother old me
By factories I sway
My shadows seem to play
To do this in the day - I’d never be free

But when the city sleeps....

[Lester Forest, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]


Rock And Roll Woman

Single A-side, 1973
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, 1977
Mocking Bird - The Early Years, 1980 (Germany)
The Collection, 1981 (Germany, Holland)
Another Arable Parable, 1987
Twice As Much, 1992 (Germany)
The Collection, 2000

Another bid for that elusive hit single. At the time, Les was planning to record a solo album, and had come up with a guitar phrase which he intended to develop into a song for that album. Instead, the band felt that it would make a good basis for a single and the song was put together in the studio.

Lyrics:
I can tell by the way you walk
I can tell by the way you talk
I can tell by the way you smile
You're a rock and roll woman

I can tell by the way you sing
I can tell by the way you swing
I can tell by the way you move
You're a rock and roll woman

I can see by the way you move
I can see by the way you groove
I can see by the way you smile
You're a rock and roll woman
Rock and roll ...

[Les Holroyd, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]


The Joker

Single B-side, 1972
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, 1977
Mocking Bird - The Early Years, 1980 (Germany)
The Collection, 1981 (Germany, Holland)
The Harvest Years, 1991
Twice As Much, 1992 (Germany)
Mocking Bird, 1997 (Disky, Europe)
All Is Safely Gathered In box set, 2005

A fine writing collaboration between Les and John, tucked away on a B-side. The lyrics concern man’s inhumanity to man, ending with the hopeful observation that “it’s not too late to see we’re all the same”. Musically, the opening guitar is similar to the introduction of “Capricorn” many years later, and the wonderful crescendo produced by the rising backing vocals adds a very original touch.

Lyrics:
I think I'm going back from where I came
There's something that I feel but can't explain
People running round and round
Putting one another down
The joker laughs the joker cries
He sees the world through weary eyes
People running round and round
Putting one another down

Too many people, they don't know where they're going
There are no haloes showing
"Peace and love", just greed and hate
It's not too late to see we're all the same
The joker sees a better way
But people laugh and turn away

[Les Holroyd/John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]


Mæstoso (A Hymn In The Roof Of The World)

Out-take, 1974
Endless Dream, 1996

This version of Woolly's epic was recorded for BJH's Everyone Is Everybody Else album, which was released in 1974. However, it was felt that it didn't fit in with the rather sparse style of the rest of the albums and was dropped from the final track listing. Woolly later re-recorded it for his 1980 solo album, Mæstoso, but this shorter version, with Mel's drumming to the forefront, didn't get a release until it was included on the 1996 BJH rarities compilation, Endless Dream.

Lyrics:
It's so strange that I should meet you
Here upon the highest point of earth;
It's safe to say we've proved our worth
In others' eyes today;
And the flags that we both hold
Are altogether vain and meaningless.
These standards that we've strived to bless,
It's time we threw away.

We should fall upon our knees
And thank sweet God we are alive.
Sweet God we are alive. Sweet God we are alive!

All across the face of earth
The clouds are gathering to hide the ways of man.
There is no earthly plan
Up here at Heaven's door,
And the air is pure enough
To wipe away all doubts of innocence.
Repent! Rejoice! Make recompense
For now and evermore.

We should fall upon our knees
And thank sweet God we are alive.
Sweet God we are alive.
Sweet God we are alive!

[S.J.Wolstenholme, © EMI Music Publishing Ltd.]


Best Of My Love [John Lees solo]

Single A-side, 1974
A Major Fancy CD, 1999

One of the rarest BJH-related releases, this solo single was recorded at Olympic Studios shortly after the Everyone Is Everybody Else album and released by Polydor in September 1974. This time his "backing band" consisted of Les Holroyd of BJH on bass, legendary slide guitarist B. J. Cole and Mike Moran (who later scored a UK Eurovision entry and Top 20 hit with Lynsey de Paul!) on piano. The A-side is a straightforward cover version of The Eagles U.S. number 1, which was then relatively unknown in England, and John felt that it deserved a wider audience. When the record began to pick up airplay and show hit potential, the bosses at Polydor took fright, thinking that the future of BJH and their investment in it could be jeopardised, and promptly withdrew the single!

Lyrics:
Every night I'm lying in bed
Holding you close in my dreams
Thinking about all the things that we said
Coming apart at the seams
We tried to talk it over
But the words came out too rough
I know you were trying
To give me the best of your love

Beautiful faces without empty places
Look at the way that we live
Wasting our time on cheap talking wine
Left us so little to give
That same old crowd was like a cold dark cloud
That we could never rise above
But here in my heart
I'll give you the best of my love

Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love
Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love

I'm going back in time
And it's a sweet dream
It was a quiet night
And I would be all right
If I could go on sleeping

But every morning I wake up and worry
What's gonna happen today
You see it your way and I'll see it mine
But we both see it slipping away
You know we always had each other, baby
I guess it wasn't enough
But here in my heart
I give you the best of my love

Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love
Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love

[D. Henley/G. Frey/J.D. Souther, © Music Corp./Kicking Bear Music]


You Can't Get It [John Lees solo]

Single B-side, 1974
A Major Fancy CD, 1999

An original John Lees composition, although it is credited on the label to "Rider" after his wife, Olwen. The subject is stardom in general, with reference to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in particular.

Lyrics:
I met a man all dressed in white
While walking down life's road
He was one of four
Who would not share his heavy load
Now Lennon is a superstar
Why did his planets die?
If mass equals velocity
He should be flying high

You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want
When you want it, you can't get it

I met a man all dressed in black
While walking down life's road
He was one of five
One who cannot share his heavy load
Now Jagger is a superstar
Why did his planets die?
If mass equals velocity
He should be flying high

You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want
And when you want it, you can't get it

I looked around upon that road
But I was all alone
The stars were bright above my head
But slowly changed their form
Now comets come and comets go
Defeated in the end
While stages light with spotlights bright
Another star ascends

You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want
And when you want it, you can't get it

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


Please Be With Me [John Lees solo]

Out-take, 1974
A Major Fancy CD, 1999

Recorded at the "Best Of My Love" sessions and with the same personnel. This is a cover version of a Charles Scott Boyer song originally recorded by Cowboy (with Duane Allman on guitar), but best known as performed by Eric Clapton on 461 Ocean Boulevard.

Lyrics:
Oh my word, what does it mean?
Is it love or is it me?
Makes me change so suddenly
From looking out to feeling free

Sit here, lying on my bed
Wondering what it was I said
Made me think I'd lost my head
When I knew I'd lost my heart instead

Won't you please read my sign, be a gypsy
Tell me what I hope to find deep within me
Because you can't find my mind
Please be with me

Of all the better things I've heard
Loving you has made the words
And all the rest seem so absurd
'Cause in the end it all comes out I'm sure

Won't you please read my sign, be a gypsy
Tell me what I hope to find deep within me
Because you can't find my mind
Please be with me

[C. Scott Boyer, © Chappell Inc]


Lied

Outtake from Gone To Earth sessions, 1977
Gone To Earth remaster, 2003

Also known as "Please Give Me One More Chance", this John Lees song was recorded and mixed during the Gone To Earth album sessions at Strawberry Studios North, but left out of the final running order. It remained unreleased until it appeared as a bonus track on the remastered version of the album in 2003. The song concerns an illicit affair, and employs a nice lyrical twist at the end...

Lyrics:
Give me a break,
Give me just five minutes of your time,
That's all it takes to say I love you so.
And in the time, I will tell you all the whys and wherefores
Of our love and how I lost control.

And when my time with you is done,
I'll count my blessings one by one,
And when my blessings number five,
You'll know why I lied.

Give me a break,
Give me just five minutes of your time,
That's all it takes to say I need you so.
Not on the phone, no not even in your doorway,
Just the two of us at your place on our own.

And when my time with you is done,
I'll count my blessings one by one,
And when my blessings number five,
You'll know why I lied,
You'll know why I lied.

Give me a break,
Don't you think that I can give you reasons,
Tell the truth, explain the circumstance.
Reasons or not, I can't talk with all these people round us,
Don't be cold, please give me one more chance.

And when my time with you is done,
I'll count my blessings one by one,
And when my blessings number five,
Ooh baby you'll know I lied,
You'll know that I lied...

[John Lees, Copyright Control]


Our Kid’s Kid

Single B-side, 1977
Alone We Fly, 1990
Master Series, 1999
Millennium Edition, 2000

The B-side of “Hymn” is a personal song from John about his family, and was written when his sister Edna gave birth to her daughter, Ruth. “Our kid” is a common expression in Northern England for a brother or sister, especially a younger one, while the “race” between John and Edna was to be the first to give their parents grandchildren. Bargap Road was their parents’ home in Oldham Edge. Frederick was the name of John’s father, Frank is a relative of Edna’s husband and Peter (Tatersall) was the manager of Strawberry Studios and a family friend.

Lyrics:
They told me this morning
That you won the race
For Granny and Grandad
The kid took first place
They said you got a lady
Well that’s just right
You’re calling her Ruthy
Well that’s outasight

Remember to show her
What life is all about
Bargap Road and Oldham Edge her place
Remember to pass on
All the things that see you through
Pearls of wisdom from Frederick The Great

They tell me she’s pretty
Well that’s no surprise
Just give her a guitar
And start her off right
They say she’s a longhair
I hope Frank don’t mind
And Peter’s got a sweat on
‘Till she’s sealed and signed

Remember to show her
What life is all about
Bargap Road and Oldham Edge her place
Remember to pass on
All the things that see you through
Pearls of wisdom from Frederick The Great

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


Shades Of B Hill

Single B-side, 1980
Alone We Fly, 1990

Something of a departure from John’s normal style, this “crooner” appeared on the B-side of “Life Is For Living”, and the enigmatic title is explained by the uncanny resemblance of the bassline to Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”...

Lyrics:
Dreamer, you have a lot to say
About her love, you let it slip away
You're a dreamer, she's a schemer
Dream on, dream on
Your heart couldn't stand the strain
When she went away
And let you love in vain
You're a dreamer, she's a schemer
Dream on, dream on

Tell her your secrets
And she'll tell you her lies
Open up your heart and let her in
Tears in your pillow now
And tears in your eyes
A broken heart and you lose again

Dreamer, she'll just make you wait
Then she'll give you love
Then she'll make the break
You're a dreamer, she's a schemer
Dream on, dream on...

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


Blow Me Down

Single B-side, 1983
Alone We Fly, 1990
Master Series, 1999
Millennium Edition, 2000

In England this song appeared on the B-side of “Waiting For The Right Time”, whilst in Germany and Spain it was on the back of “Ring Of Changes”, where an extra few seconds of tuning and count-in was left on! The song is credited to John and Mel, and came about during the recording of the Ring Of Changes album when John asked Mel to come up with a favourite drum pattern around which to base a song. The vocal harmonies in the middle eight are a clue to the song which provided the inspiration - Free’s “Heartbreaker”.

Lyrics:
Some people fly up in the sky
Some people walk and the world goes by
Blow me down, blow me down
Some fly for free, some walk and pay
It makes no difference if the sky's all grey
Blow me down, blow me down

I met a man, his light shone bright
He gave me words and his words were mine
Blow me down, blow me down
And in the light within his eyes
I saw the world and a clear blue sky
Blow me down, blow me down

I like to fly up in the sky
I like to walk and the world goes by
Blow me down, blow me down
I fly for free, I walk and pay
It makes no difference if the sky's all grey
Blow me down, blow me down

[John Lees, © BJH Music Ltd./Handle Music Ltd.]


Untitled (Demo) [John Lees solo]

Out-take, 1984?
Strangely Mixed fan club CD single, 2000

Only available on a fan club Christmas CD single, this demo owes something to Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart", which may be why the song never saw the light of day (although John's theory was that it hadn't come out "because it's crap"!). Recorded around the mid-eighties, the lyrics deal with first love and the whole thing has a delightful naive charm.

Lyrics:
Shadows falling in an empty room
Fading memories hold back the gloom
When I think of the night
Dancin’ till morning light.
We were kids back when “Blue Moon” was cool
Tossing and turning and breaking the rules
When the feeling was right
Dancin’ till morning light.

We were lovers from the day we met
Getting serious in school
Going steady was a joke and we were the fools
All those moments as we learnt to kiss,
To touch, to hold, so new
And the day I said “I’m in love, how about you?”

And you said, “Oh, oh oh oh, la la la,
Yeah yeah yeah, sha na na
Shoobeedoo, I love you”

In the darkness everything remains
Bodies touching, learning the game
Of doing it right,
Loving all through the night.
Hungry love consumed our faithful hearts
Jealousy drove us apart
Please don’t turn on the light
Leave me my dreams tonight.

We were lovers from the day we met
Getting serious in school
Going steady was a joke and we were the fools
All those moments as we learnt to kiss,
To touch, to hold, so new
Only memories now that you are gone
Through the years apart they linger on
Like the day you said
“It’s over, find someone new”

Well darling, Oh, oh oh oh, la la la,
Yeah yeah yeah, sha na na
Shoobeedoo, I love you

Oh, ... I miss you

We were lovers from the day we met
Getting serious in school
Going steady was a joke and we were the fools
All those moments as we learnt to kiss,
To touch, to hold, so new
Fading memories now that you are gone
Through the years apart they linger on
Like the day you said
“It’s over, find someone new”

Oh, ... I love you

John Lees, Copyright Control


Stand Up

Single A-side, 1992
The Best Of Barclay James Harvest, 1992

Unique amongst BJH singles in that it wasn't written by the band - the song comes from a concept album called Darwin - The Evolution which was written by Dutch brothers Rob and Ferdi Bolland. The album featured various guest artists and was issued under the name The Bolland Project. BJH's contribution is a song about the destruction of the environment and appeared in four different single formats, including a limited edition CD single in a large butterfly-shaped pack. The only BJH album on which this song can be found is the UK version of The Best Of Barclay James Harvest which was issued in 1992 and is already quite difficult to find.

Lyrics:
We used to have a jungle out there
We used to be a people that cared
We neglect this world - how can this be? yeah
No longer can we look the other way
We call upon ourselves the judgement day
The planet's in a state of emergency
We know that a change is gonna come
It's gotta be one for all and all for one - yeah

Stand up, stand up and let your voice be heard
Stand up, stand up, if just a single word
We must appreciate what life's about
We gotta raise our voices and shout
We need to save our planet if we can
Stand up!

Are we really too blind to see
We can't see the forest for the trees
Tell me can't you hear nature's cry
How can we preserve our dignity
When we let our heritage bleed
We can't let another day go by
We know that a change is gonna come
- yes it is
It's one for all and all for one

Stand up, stand up and let your voice be heard
Stand up, stand up, if just a single word
We must appreciate what life's all about
We gotta raise our voices and shout
We need to save our planet if we can - yeah!

Stand up, stand up and let your voice be heard
Stand up, stand up, if just a single word

Help us conquer the storm
Lead us to a place safe and warm
Every man, every woman lend a hand -
Stand up!

Don't you think that it's time to stand up
Stand up, stand up, stand up?

Every boy, girl, woman and man
Save the world if you can
Everyone lend a hand
Stand up!

Stand up, stand up and let your voice be heard
Stand up, stand up, if just a single word
We must appreciate what life's all about
We gotta raise our voices and shout
We need to save our planet if we can
Stand up!

Stand up everybody
And let your voice be heard
Stand up all you people -
Help us spread the word [four times]

It's time to look inside your heart
It's time to make a brand new start
So won't you listen when we say
Act now before it's too late

[Rob Bolland/Ferdi Bolland, © bolland and bolland/tbm-mambo]


Top of page

Main Discography Page

Home Page