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I write silly political folk songs (and some that are marginally less silly) and also produce the odd poster or other bit of politically inspired art. Here are songs for you to sing along to and things to look at, read or download. Enjoy!

22 July 2017, Parody Night at the Dog

I’m a featured artist along with folk luminary Phyl Lobl at the Loaded Dog Folk Club in July, when the theme is parodies.

Event Details:
Sat 22 July, 2017
Loaded Dog Folk Club, Annanadale Neighbourhood Centre
79 Johnston St, Annandale
7.30 (for an 8pm start) until 11pm.

$20/$18
Gold coin for supper in the break.

Check back here or try at http://jam.org.au/moxie/venues/thedog/the-loaded-dog-2017-calendar.shtml for a link to the official write-up as it comes close.

See the facebook event.

By Paul Spencer Posted in Gigs

1 April 2017, Solidarity Choir 30th Anniversary

I’m playing a set of songs at the Solidarity Choir’s 30th Anniversary mini-festival in Marrickville.

Event Details:
Solidarity Choir 30th Anniversary
Saturday 1 April, 2017
1pm – 10pm
Gumbramurra Hall, Addison Rd Community Centre
142 Addison Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204

Entry by donation
Proceeds donated to APHEDA and RACS

My performance
I’m playing from 3.00 – 3.30pm, including a couple of my songs I’ll sing with the Solidarity Choir.

The Street Food Market will be active from 4pm until 9pm.

See the description on the Solidarity Choir’s website.

See the facebook event.

By Paul Spencer Posted in Gigs

Spiritual

words by Paul Spencer 2016
music adapted from “Wade In The Water”  traditional Negro spiritual

1. If for any reason you want it to look,
Like you weigh a lot less than you do by the book,
Well it may not be honest or completely correct,
But you can take advantage of that buoyancy effect.

And get weighed in the water,
Get weighed in the water, children,
Weighed in the water,
God that’s a terrible word-play.

2. When you’re locked up in a prison cell,
You don’t get to know the guards that well,
But one introduced himself all the same,
He said “Pleased to meet you, Waiden’s my name”.

He was Waiden the Warder,
He was Waiden the Warder, children,
Waiden the Warder,
God that’s a terrible word-play.

3. Just the other night in a restaurant,
We’d all decided what we want,
But the waiters seemed to all be gone,
So I’m tryna tell the kids what’s goin’ on.

We’re waitin’ to order,
We’re waitin’ to order, children,
We’re waitin’ to order,
God that’s a terrible word-play.

When My Blood Stops Movin’

words and music by Paul Spencer, 2016

1. No-one knows what happens when we die,
So I’ll speak for myself, if not for you,
Well nothin’ can be proven, but when my blood stops movin’ it’s goodbye,
It’s the end of thoughts and dreams, or at least to me that seems,
To be the simplest and most likely to be true.

2. Perhaps you plan to have another try,
Just grow a brand new body, same old soul,
Well nothin’ can be proven, but when my blood stops movin’ it’s goodbye,
The line is hard to find between the spirit, brain, and mind,
It’s doubtful that one part outlives the whole.

Chorus:
I won’t go anywhere, I’ll just keep lyin’ there,
But I won’t be called a person anymore,
Then my flesh will call it quits, and I’ll slowly fall to bits,
And my atoms will stay more or less the way they were before.

3. Or will you join the angels up on high?
And dwell in perfect love for ever more,
Well nothin’ can be proven, but when my blood stops movin’ it’s goodbye,
Eternity is fiction, and the same goes for perfection,
I don’t know but I’m reasonably sure.

4. There is no complex doctrine I live by,
The story is both simple and profound,
Well nothin’ can be proven, but when my blood stops movin’ it’s goodbye,
And the lessons it can teach us are as good as those that reach us
By any other path I’ve seen around.

Chorus

Sat 27 Feb, 2016 – Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride

This is an experience, a tripped-out peace & love fest. It’s monthly and just started in January, so this one is the second only.

And I’m in it!

The venue is upstairs in the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (there’s a lift; it’s wheelchair accessible). The acoustics are beautiful and the sound of the unplugged performers is just boosted a little by a single stage mic.

Sat 27 Feb, 6pm
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
1 Bedford St, Newtown NSW 2042
$15 at the door

Information for artists and guests, contact Joe Flower 0432632057 or mrjoeflower@gmail.com

Paul Spencer at Joe & Harmony's Magic Carpet Ride, Feb 27, 2016

Joe & Harmony’s Magic Carpet Ride #2

By Paul Spencer Posted in Gigs

26 Sept., 2015: Loaded Dog, Annandale

I will be playing an hour set, followed by an hour set from Andrew McKay & Carole Etherton, all the way from Wales with their repertoire of “mainly traditional-style songs either with or without concertina accompaniment.  Also recently-composed songs which sound like they’re traditional, some of which they write ourselves”.

Sat 26 Sept
Loaded Dog Folk Club
Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Back Hall
79 Johnston St, Annandale
8pm (doors open 7.40pm)
$18/20, BYO, supper available

See the event listing here

By Paul Spencer Posted in Gigs

That Empty Space

Listen to (a pretty rough recording of) the song here:

words and music by Paul Spencer, 2015

            D                                                           Bm                G                                 A
1. It’s been more than a year now, but today I saw his eyes in someone’s face,

D                       G                          Em         F#m       A
So alert, so bright, so clear, but yet so ill-at-ease, so scared, so out of place,

D                        F#m, Bm                  Em               D       G, Bm
And I loved that man,                     like a brother only can,

Em                    A              D         G                                 A                   G             D
And every time he ran from us, I mourned him and I watched that empty space.

2. Of course I was afraid but yet I hoped he’d see the other side some day,
Though he felt he was betrayed, and so one by one he pushed his friends away,
I could see his pain, as he felt that once again,
His trust had been in vain and there was no-one in his corner here to stay.

Bm             F#m                     Bm                               Em
He fell down, he never made it through the storm,

D                                                         G                          Em            F#m          A
We so often tried to reach him and we kept his place inside here clean and warm,

D                                                             Bm
And I thought he would come home, and that’s the thing that makes my heart so sore,

G                             Em                 A                      D
So please don’t tell me      he’s not suffering anymore.

3. We try to comprehend it, to fathom how he came to feel so low,
But that knowledge would depend on having been to where it’s better not to go,
So instead be calm, just extend a loving arm,
And try to keep the harm from him, and all the love you’re feeling let him know.

It’s OK that people die, in the same way it’s OK that seasons turn,
But the Winter frost still bites us, and the Summer sun still causes us to burn,
So please don’t think I’m broken when I cry, now you know what it’s about,
I’m just thankful to be letting it all come out.

4. It’s been more than a year now but today I saw his eyes in someone’s face,
So alert, so bright, so clear but yet so ill-at-ease, so scared, so out of place,
And since he ran in fear from us, I mourn him and I watch that empty space.

By Paul Spencer Posted in Songs

28th June Illawarra Greens Fundraiser Cabaret

ILLAWARRA GREENS WINTER CONCERT

As a performer, I don’t normally support political parties, but I respect the Green Party a fair bit and I want to see the vote swing away from the major parties and towards the left, so I’m behind the Greens at the moment. And it will be a fun night.

When: 7 pm Saturday 28 June 2014
Venue: City Diggers, cnr Church & Burelli Sts Wollongong

Greens Fundraiser, Winter Concert 28 June, 2014
MC: Greg Shand
Performers:
Ecopella – sustainable a cappella!
Paul Spencer – relentless and cheerful folk satire!
The Legs – aka Sally and Friends
JS All-Stars – mendicant musicians rounded up from the mean streets of The ‘Gong!
Interview with Tony Abbott – Dawes and Clarke of the Illawarra!
Raffle and auction – ICAC accredited!

Tickets: waged $25; unwaged $15; under 16yrs $10. For online purchases go to http://www.trybooking.com/EYZS. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
Enquiries Julie 0439 938 071
Join us for a night of music and laughter and help our fundraising effort!

By Paul Spencer Posted in Gigs

Friday 9th May Marrickville

A new monthly music event at the Addison Rd Community Centre in Marrickville!

Duke’s Place has been running since February and I’m the guest performer in May.

Duke’s Place – Australian songs in concert & session
Friday May 16th

7.30 for 8pm start – evening ends 11.30
$10, bring a contribution for supper

Tritton Hall, Hut 44
Addison Road Centre
142 Addison Rd, Marrickville

Bush Music Club   www.bushmusic.org.au
enquiries Sandra 9358 4886
bmcmail1954@gmail.com

The evening starts with a concert  – 2 hours including the supper-break – then an all-in session until closing at 11.30. For the first time ever, my set list will include traditional songs mixed in with the originals. I’m planning on bringing out some of the songs whose tunes I’ve used for my own songs, as well as other Australian songs worthy of a mention.

By Paul Spencer Posted in Gigs

I Hope You Like It

words and music by Paul Spencer, 2014

              C                         F       C              Dm        G                 F                        G
1. This love I have for you I hope you like it though it’s mostly second-hand,
.            F                        C              F                      C                 G
But I cleaned it up like new and I wrapped it with a lovely rubber band,
.                  F                        C                       G                            F
And it’s from so many places, so you may detect some traces,
.            Am                         G                    Am         G
Of the way that it’s been passed from hand to hand,
.   C                 Dm  G  C
I hope you’ll understand.

2. When we quietly sit together that’s a love my brother gave me long ago,
Though I’m floating like a feather, it’s a love that doesn’t have to be on show,
And when I treat you as a team-mate, and I tell you every dream I have,
I learnt that from my sister first you know,
Such a gift she did bestow.

3. Some simple praise to save me that’s a love I got once from a high-school friend,
Or the love my Grandma gave me that I’m giving back to her now till the end,
I could name so many others, all my family friends and lovers,
Who gave me all this love I’ve got to spend,
And to share with you my friend.

4. So when you’re struck with sadness and you’re sulking like we all can sometimes do,
And I know it would be madness if I start being cross and grumpy too,
Then if sometimes I remember not to rise up in a temper,
But to speak the love that underneath is true,
That’s a love I learnt from you.