New Video in One Take.. Nothing fancy…we did 8 takes, some in half speed some in slow motion some in normal speed.. and I was gonna spend a couple of days picking

all the best bits and I came to take 5 and went…yes! it is practically perfect in every way…Had just the right amount of stillness and emotional quality the song needed

One take is a magical thing in film or in music and so much of our lives we don’t do much in one take, we correct , we edit , we ‘grammerly’ ( when the frog did that become a verb..I don’t by the way!).

There are certain bands that used to  swear if you don’t get the recording on the first take the magic has gone… I made an album in 2003 where did every vocal in one take because I wanted to have that performance quality to it..Lots of people would not notice the difference. It may be very subtle and just arsey rather than arty… Maybe you agree….In love with this video today like a new born baby….

 

 

Good day.  Trying to spread the word these days is quite a bumpy ride. You can completely inundate, or people just don’t receive news – even with  bombardment or algorithms.

Even though I posted the video yesterday. I wanted you to hear how beautiful the choirs sounded without any of the video and to encourage you – my lovely blogees to share this song with all and all and then some..

It is available on https://www.choircommunity.net as audio practise file and sheet music at the most reasonable cost.

I cannot thank the singers enough, and know they would be happy for their voices to be taking this message around the world. Here are some quotes from them about how singing this particular song made them feel. ( Gratitude Again)

 

‘Music often lifts the soul but this song is special. There’s a feeling as you sing it, an awareness of those around you, singing as one, minds and voices in a musical prayer for the sanity of the world’

 ‘The power we all have individually, and how that is magnified when we are many. Whether it is voices or ideas or revolution. Singing this song gives me goose bumps, makes me feel hopeful, positive and filled with light. Truly burning bright. No matter how dark the days might feel’

‘It is easy to get disheartened and feel we are making no difference when we are campaigning/protesting. The song made me feel that we do count, that we are keeping that flame (however fragile) alight in the world.’

‘Singing this song reminded me that we all have a role to play in the guardianship of the world we occupy and of the neighbours we share it with. That ‘enlightenment’ has the power to dispel demons however they may appear.’

‘A song of quiet strengthening: working at both an individual and, of course, a group level. Refreshingly different to the ‘usual’ community choir fare. ‘

I’ve been singing in Gitika’s choir for many years and this is one of my favourite songs. I have young onset Parkinson’s which brings many daily challenges. I find singing at choir very therapeutic and it helps me in so many ways. It’s been particularly apt for me to have sung this beautiful, uplifting song this term as I have been struggling with my Parkinson’s as it progresses. Singing with my lovely choir led by Gitika has been one of my candles, helping me to keep faith through some dark moments. Thank you Gitika!

THE AUDIO ONLY …

 

Just posting it everywhere…very proud. Thanks to my co-writers Val Regan and Andrew McCorie-Shand, all the beautiful singers and the film helpers. Its a song for now for sure.

Hallo World

Today as  my sobbing subsides over the kitchen sink  ( it’s been a long, amazing but terrifying year of choral directing, repertoire planning, arranging, music leading ) I remember, it is in fact exactly 5 years to the day that the  CDs for our first album was released on a sunny day unlike today.

I felt it was a landmark worth marking by posting a  sneaky preview of the newest song just for a ‘how are we doing 5/6 years on?’ moment..a moment of reflection as the rain beats down and the thunder crashes overhead.I am deeply tired from giving out a lot of energy this year, so just have to wait patiently for a bit til I get my inner mojo back…would love you to have a listen to the new track which I am fond of as a well behaved baby .” I Remember (The Simple Things)”

And then  thought it would be good  to post the first song we wrote almost 6 years ago…the song that started this wonderfully crazy , bumpy journey. But then what’s a journey without  a few bumps on the way…

I wrote this post below  in January 2012 and am adding to it 7 years later

I have to say that I cannot  but wonder about parts of my life. When cleaning out the fridge today 7 and a half years later, I found that I still have the aforesaid jar of plums looking a little worse for wear, which probably says more about my levels of hygiene that the poor plums themselves. Now I am blogging rather than throwing many other concoctions which also look like they may have been there as long as the innocent plums… AND I am still wondering… can  I still eat them?

 

THIS IS WHAT WAS GOING ON IN JANUARY 2012 ( I was arranging Paradise!)

And my mind! Seriously, someone is messing with my mind. A few days ago I mentioned the fact that a jar of umobushi plums went missing. I looked in all the cupboards, had everything out of the fridge, went through the bin…you would too, as a jar of umobushi plums is like £12 ! It is  no picnic looking after your digestive system, I am telling you. In the end I surrendered to the fact they must have gone in an old bin and went back to fresh and wild,  whole food mania, or what ever it is called and bought a new jar. I opened the jar  a few days ago, and it has been in and out of the fridge a couple of times. So last night I go to the fridge   and wonder what the jar is behind the UPs? No blinking way! The old jar of UPs! What is happening here? I have only one possible explanation. Someone is breaking into my flat, stealing  japanese pickled plums and then putting them back a couple of weeks later, just to make me seem as if I am going slightly mad ( no help necessary)…The only explanation. So I am asking you nicely to stop it please.

Today I saw a pair of woodpeckers in the garden and while I was singing all the parts for Paradise -which is finally finished, a cat walked in front of my window, stopped and listened to me singing ha ha ! The list on my desk is going down a bit, so new things can arrived, I am sure.

SONG OF THE DAY A New Song which did not exist 7 years ago..every day of 2011 , I posted a song  from youtube…now I can post my own songs hurrah!

Hallo ..Today is a day …Notre Dame is in flames and I finally finished the video for our newest song. It is a very special song because 36 of my singers over 3 choirs ( UCL Staff Singing Club, the Tubthumping Chorus, and The Old Bishops Community Choir) took up the challenge to sing the chorus into their phones while listening to their track on computer laptop with headphones and send me the result. It is hopeful and melancholic at the same time.There are 4 mixes on the new EP on bandcamp , one has the choir featured more heavily..but if you know they are there you definitely can hear the beauty they add to the song. Am going to do this again..so get your headphones ready, as you could be next..,thanks  everyone.

Hallo dear friends

I am quite excited about our impending front room gig which we recorded in Auntie Molly’s front room. Emma Drabble on cameras  and Liam  Ross on sound  joined us for a day and we sung everything we had performed at our November gig so we can put it out, and you can watch it with tea and biscuits in the comfort of your own front room. Just  thought I  would share the first little snippet…busy arranging songs for choirs next term..the theme for the Bishops is BLACK AND BLUE and the tubs are looking at sky and light and beacons  and the UCL choir will be singing more lush stuff….

Hallo hallo

Its been a rip roaring summer..singing under canvas and at the Guildhall Summer School. Yesterday I wrote and recorded this..My idea of a lovely day..plugged into a pair of headphones and Logic X for some considerable hours, on my own. I am a bit of an ‘ants in my pants’ type of person, but once I am absorbed with writing and recording a new song…I am glued to the spot.

Love you to give it a spin…. right now am arranging it for a choir…that bit is always a bit trickier…hope you are having a good day x

 

 

I have a donate page

yes!  A DONATE PAGE (Click on it to find it ) Finally managed to work out the buttons. A couple of people in choir have said they would like to help, and I have been trying to get a patronage page together with lots of help and support of   my friend and Choir member Sarolta who runs https://www.dreambuildingstudio.com .

But in the meantime, now is as good as any time so, abundance I invite you in !!!

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me

Well good morning me and a Happy Birthday to me.. I made it! Another year on the planet..I am right now tucked up in my cave in London eating chocolate for breakfast, preparing for first choir session of the term which is this evening..Such a good thing to be doing on your birthday.. Just had a couple of weeks,  ‘so called’ off and realised as usual I was not idle. I wrote and recorded the song above, sent it off for two pitches, which it was rejected as not being commercial enough..I cried the first time. That’s ok, still have work to do with rejection, having lots of practise at the moment.

I wrote 2 -2 minute multi layered ‘ Hans Zimmer, Eric Whittaker ( my husband -ha ha)’ pieces, which I have sent off to another pitch. I arranged Perfect Day and 3 Northumbrian folk songs (as well as arranging ‘it’s all I got’ for my choir) for acapella. Me and Andy recorded extra vocals on a couple of tracks which I pitched for a duet request and we got Melting passed on to the next stage of a potential movie pitch. 

3 Bucket Jones also got a support gig in London on the 2nd June with The Skyline Drivers ( more information later)  which you can all come  and it looks like I shall be piloting a new lunchtime staff choir at UCL for the summer term. I also sat on a on  cottage  on a mountain in Wales for 36 hours and read a funny and  inspirational book  by Anne Lamott called Bird by Bird about writing and saw some real stars.. So all in all, a good time was had and the Summer and a New Year starts today. Have a good day everyone.

A tidy desk is a tidy desk…


Hallooo

So finally there is a couple of weeks for me to tidy my desk and have a bit of time to reflect on the then, the now, and the later on…

I am quite good at embracing the concept of rest and recovery, but its a bit like 100pmh to 0mph..which seems to suggest I always leave it a bit late and the recovery happens when I am in crash mode…nope..actuall feeling pretty darned good and ready to take on another term of lovely singing starting 23rd April.

It has been a glorious term and even though my term off did not go according to plan ( there was a plan? ) I feel I had a chance to appreciate how much my choirs mean to me and what an important part of my life singing with other people is.

Here is a wonderful  version of Single Sky that I wrote and recorded with Andrew McCrorie-Shand as part of my 3 Bucket Jones life. Arranging it for my singing tribe, and the Bishopsgate Singers embracing it  and singing it so beautifully feels likely creative  dots are being joined, if the makes any sense. We also sung another Bucket Song in the Tubthumpers Chorus but yet to record it..Thanks to Bob Karper for filming it. I feel a string quartet moment coming on….

 

 

Yay! How about that..the illustrious Tom Robinson mentioned you on his mix tape programme…I got 60% of a three minute song played… I wrote, recorded, and put out in 2 days played, so that was an all roundly exciting moment for us all! There are some great pieces of new music on the hour long programme too.

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

2 AMAZING  things are happening tonight..Sunday Night/ Monday Morning 18th 19th March 2018

A new radio station begins TONIGHT  MYSTERY TRAIN RADIO  champions of singer songwriters and great music, Alex Huskisson has played many of our tracks when the show was a Sunday night thing and now its a 24/7 radio show and is going to be  fantastic. Not only new music but legendary shows will be aired again….it starts at 10pm tonight…And we ..thats 3 Bucket Jones are having our first airplay on Radio 6 on the BBC INTRODUCING SHOW at 2am which is completely wonderful and all came about from replying to a tweet from Tom Robinson who is another champion . It is on a podcast with all the info HERE so you can listen later too. I am thrilled that the track that was chosen was strangely written and recorded in my cave/bedroom  in London and I mixed produced it all on my own…funny turn of events really.IMG_1132

Progress Update

The little triangle  on the photo of the train, when pressed, plays a song….Well we are not snowed in in London. And right now the sun is in my eyes. I am having a great term – after having a term off to tidy my bedroom ( oops forgot) I am back running my choirs. There has been a bit of belt tightening going on (the freelancer’s dilemma) which means our last two SINGLE OF THE MONTHs  have been recorded and mixed in the Tiny Studio in Holloway where I also sleep….aka ‘the bedroom’. Here is a photo of me in same room in 1996 with a chunky 8 track reel to reel.Yes there is music in the walls. I have sung every choir song and written literally hundreds of songs in this spot. Its a very special 8ft by 7ft.

It’s always great that people listen to the music – It didn’t happen at all in the days of cassette demos when we spend months making an album just to be thwarted by the first A&M man who said they didn’t like it. Buying music these days has become an enigma for most people, the young at heart can always find  a way to download it  for free and laugh at the idea of paying for music, and the more mature can’t see the point, if its not something you can hold in your hand. Some do and I thank you. You have a very special place my heart and you know who you are.

Anyway all feedback, apart from nasty stuff, gratefully received.

Careful with the snow.

I laughed the first time I heard Will I Am say that on THE VOICE.

I thought he had made it up! It was a polite way of saying someone was out of tune. I used it in choir and we all laughed. How we laughed..’pitchy’ ha ha ha..And then last week, I had sent this track to someone and the feed back was “If there is any comment I could give you it’s a bit pitchy”…Now the boot is on the other foot and I am laughing and spitting, but also questioning our current need for  ‘absolutely tuning’…Now there is a device that everyone uses to ‘tweak’ vocals so almost  all commercial vocals are bang on. It means if we listen to that type of music, we are getting so used to it, that the old human voices of yesteryear ( remember Mark Almond?) are not really what our ears want? OR are we wanting to hear vocals with rough edges?…It’s a bit  like airbrushing the voice..taking the wrinkles and the lines out…I will say that our first two albums I did not tweak one note …During the ‘singles ‘ once, I had a great take and there was a note that made me squirm and I tuned it…but it is like first aid…not cosmetic surgery…useful for the occasional  little zit on an emotional face.

So then I listen to my track just for the tuning and not for the emotion…that is sad and I think well there might be a couple of notes that are not ‘bang on’ but they are gone in a minutiae and they are part of the song….

Its a dilemma…because once you start with the vocal airbrushing, when do you stop? Its maybe vocal botox…ha ha . So I just have to laugh.

So here is the offending track…No-one has asked me who the people are on the cover yet….

It is noted that most of my friends and I are working on the ‘coal face’. That seems to mean that are doing  ‘real work’ in our communities and no-one in the world of the media has noticed us yet, or shined a light, and no-one, apart from the people nearest to us accolade us with more than golden chutney awards ( for which I am most grateful) or says we are  we are ‘the country’s favourite bla bla bla’, or what ever. It is great work. We connect people. We have lots of fun. There are people in my choir who met and got married, became friends, send me photos of them on their holidays together while I am working my butt off making music for them in my little cave in Norf London. Its brilliant! Its badly paid and really hard work.

Then I find trying to get  my  own music played in the world of the media almost impenetrable.  I have been trying hard for decades.  Sometimes it feel creatively  like being underground in a mine and not being able to get to the surface. Stuck in the pit, covered in soot with no way of getting to the light however hard you try. Just like my Grandfathers.

I have been thinking about the coalface a lot recently, as I am fast approaching the age that both my Grandads died from working down the mine. I joke that emphysema runs in the family. I am sad I never got to meet either of my grandfathers, but it also makes me think about all the things I have been able to do with my life and how I have to carry a light for them. I am very lucky.

Maybe I will continue to work really really hard doing what I do and no-one, apart from my close knit community will see it, and maybe that is actually real life and the shining light of fame is a load of old cobblers. I found this postcard on the internet and love it! So this year ahead I shall be thinking a lot about working on the coalface and how we get back up to the light, and what the light actually is or whether the lantern and the canary are all we need.

I have been working hard this week, setting up all the songs for the gorgeous choirs. In between we managed a song, recorded wrote it in 2 days at home…and its a cracker! Just press play …..Bandcamp is a great place to buy music and its worth a go, as you can pay what you want ,or just listen to it..and the artists gets a good  percentage .

Is anybody out there?

hallo halloo…hope all is well

I used to blog everyday in 2011 and now I tend just to post up when something has happened that I  am excited about or I would like people to look at . I am excited about my choirs and excited about writing songs and recording them.

I supposed there is no reason why anyone  else should be excited about me writing and recording songs, lots of people tend to shuffle about a bit and seem almost embarrassed by my second career,  that is something I have to do to stay sane. Always was a songwriter from a very early age, that’s how I arrange acapella.

I  was talking to someone the other day about people not saying stuff, and how you end up imaging the worst because they don’t talk to you . For instance 4  people out of my over  100 choir members download my tracks, which is a positive and lovely thing..the rest do not, and I  hear nothing, so I  imagine the worst…they hate what I  do…I run choirs..I should bloody well stick to that..I am a show off…My music is shit, my voice is shit, I’m too  old, big headed, shit…etc etc bla bla bla bla bla bla

It might be it’s not their type of music, they are too busy, they don’t know how to download bandcamp, they listened to something I did a long time ago and made a decision then that it was not their thing. .They listen and like it but just imagine they don’t need to tell me, because I already know. I imagine most people don’t really give my songs a  chance..If you hear stuff on the radio there are very very very few songs that hook you the first time you hear them..they often get you the second or third time…but imagine  most of my friends don’t give me that luxury, and the chances of anyone I don’t  know doing that is even less…

My mum decided long ago she did not like my voice..so thats the end of that..I suppose at least she told me so I don’t have to imagine the worst…ha ha

Its a curious old thing…

So here I am again..exhibiting my wears once again to the deafening silence of the world wide web…I stopped reading this about two paragraphs ago..and possibly only the stalkers and the sociopaths are probably left ( thank you ladies)

Bandcamp is easy to manoeuvre and you can download the track for free…It is not rocket science..needs must as with all things…anyway…must get on with that room tidying and thank most kindly the 12 people who have, during   the last 10 months have bought our music…..One day it will be the ‘best kept secret’ ..oh shit! it is x x x x

 

the christmas single is on its way too and the video is being made on Thursday


Single Of the Month – September – Melting

Tough old time..dear friends passing ..end of a long busy choir year…sometimes the bit between feeling better and resting up is unbearable.

We keep on keeping on and have to be resolute, that whether you listen or not, we will continue to release a new song every month –

with the hope of developing our craft and having something beautiful to listen to. I am loving all the singles we have done so far which are all listed together on the 3 BUCKET JONES  website

So the next 3 months is about having a break from my beloved choirs..which is already hard, to tidy my bedroom,my mind and my spirit. To find some time to write and arrange songs for 3 Bucket Jones and the Choirs and maybe both together.

here is the September song…a love song

 

 

SINGLE OF THE MONTH – 3 bucket jones

I am really happy that we are now about to release out July single and are still on track for releasing a single every month for the next year. if you have missed any of the songs since march , here is them all in a handy page for you to have a listen to and even buy .

 

END OF TERM celebrations

As I lie in a darkened room unable to move far, apart from occasionally to tears         ( most teachers will understand this end of term thing, you have to be built like godzilla not to end up feeling like this at the end of term – especially if it has been quite a lot of work, new challenges and you don’t resort to alcohol..ha ha ) . I am at present joined by  a sleeping orange cat ( who has been renamed the orange slug) who does not even belong to me,  just visits for food and quiet. I am  recovering from one hell of a  brilliant term of singing, the lovely emails keep coming through to reflect that, but it takes its toll. I  wish I had someone who could bring me food …..now…please.

Here is one of my favourite moments from the term that happened on Tuesday night at the Conway Hall LONDON. Paul had a single camera at the back..thank you..soon Bob’s fancy version will come through…. Need more tenors and basses for next term..check out LONDON CHOIRS in my pages up top…enjoy!

Very excited about our next gig with the choirs  -the tubthumping chorus, the old bishops -who need a new name and special guests broomdasher – a  16 piece acapella folk group with Sally Davies at the helm who runs the Cecil Sharpe Folk Choir, also 3 Bucket Jones -the trio gitika is in who performed with the choirs last year art Cecil Sharp House will be making an appearance. it is at the Conway Hall in London near holborn and there will be 2 50 minute sets of splendid acapella song with a little bit of acoustic song thrown in for good measure.

 

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 click here is the link for buying tickets,

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Going Home

Well the summer holiday was full of complete exhaustion from the 3 Bucket Jones tour, I bet big super musician don’t have to do all their own admin organising every thing,

and we had different marvellous singers at every show

then get on stage and sing. Its ok. It is a wonderful thing.

Just  before we are back to school we managed one quick video to go with a song we recorded in May with the fine musician help of Tom Manning, Will Taylor and Steve Edmunds

with engineering  and extra vocals from Matt Glaseby and Beau Blaise and mixing by Liam Ross.

Its a cracker! But then I had to say that.

I have just learned to use green screen and all the effects on Final Cut  Pro so am just playing….

Just recovering from the mammoth tour – we organised everything ourselves with the help of amazing folk from around the country who said yes to singing and playing with us. So big thanks and here are some of the photo highlights of the shows.IMG_9732IMG_9439 IMG_9412IMG_8210 - Version 4 IMG_8210 IMG_8210 - Version 2

3BJ Bristol 3BJ + Choir 1 3BJ Bristol 3BJ 1
3BJ Bristol 3BJ 3
3BJ Bristol 3BJ 5 3BJ Bristol 3BJ 6 3BJ Bristol Audience 1 3BJ Bristol Big Choir 1 3BJ Bristol Big Choir 2 3BJ Bristol Big Choir 3 3BJ Bristol Brass Band 2 3BJ Bristol Gikita & Andy 1 3BJ Bristol Gitika & Brass Band 1 3BJ Bristol Gitika + Brass Band 1 3BJ Bristol Mum's Choir 1 3BJ Bristol Mum's Choir 2 3BJ Bristol Sea Shanty Choir 1 3BJ Bristol Sea Shanty Choir 2 3BJ London 3BJ 1 3BJ London 3BJ 2 3BJ London 3BJ 3 3BJ London 3BJ 4

3BJ London Both Choirs 1 3BJ London Both Choirs 2 3BJ London Squeezebox 1 3BJ London Squeezebox 2
3BJ Wales 3BJ 1 3BJ Wales 3BJ 2 3BJ Wales 3BJ3 3BJ Wales All 1 3BJ Wales All 2 3BJ Wales All 3 3BJ Wales Brass Band 2 3BJ Wales Brass Band 3BJ Wales Jane 1 3BJ Wales Jane 2 3BJ Wales Jane 3 3BJ Wales Jane 4 3BJ Wales Rueben 2 3BJ Wales Rueben 3 3BJ Wales Rueben 4 3BJ Wales Rueben3BJ Bristol 3BJ 43 Bucket JonesIMG_9352

3 Bucket Jones

 

gitika@mac.com

PRESS RELEASE

‘glorious sonic depths that you’ll want to explore time and time again’  – Acoustic magazine

‘they gel so well, it’s as if they have been jamming together their entire careers’ – The Musician

03755 3 Bucket Jones Leaflet.indd

3 Bucket Jones – Make a Splash for Water Aid

3BJ met at a songwriting workshop at Monnow Valley Studio in 2013 and formed a band on the first day they met and wrote a song. They are all experienced musicians and producers all born in the 1950s – their musical diversity is the thing that makes it work – composing music for kid’s TV, producing with Trevor Horn and teaching 5000 children a song in the Albert Hall are included on their list of musical endeavors.

 

Their second album – 8th July coincides with a song from their first album ’All at Sea’ being sung by 1200 singers in Bath for SING FOR WATER WEST – an event which raises funds for Water Aid – arranged and conducted by Gitika. They decided all their tour and album sales during would go to WATER AID.

 

Their tour takes them to Monmouth, Bristol London, Sheffield and Brighton. Every gig involves local musicians – In Bristol, at the beautiful St George’s – Gitika ’s brother’s sea shanty group  -The Roaring Troman, her mother’s (85) folk choir and members of the world champion Tredegar Town Band. The London Cecil Sharp House gig has a 70 strong community choir on backing vocals & they will also be singing songs about water.

3 Bucket Jones are Andy Mcrorie-Shand on stringed things, Gitika Partington on ‘sky-scraping vocals ‘ (the MU review this month) Garry Hughes in the studio, and featuring Bruce Knapp on guitar and dobro for the tour. Their music is ‘heart-on-their sleeve’ dark folk-pop. The tour will be a delight.

www.3bucketjones.com   ###

Yes yes yes!

You can order my new album and help out the creative journey and listen to a beautiful piece of work by clicking HERE NOW

you will get the album on the release date and the first 20 people to order will receive a free 12’LP vinylof the same album.

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So to celebrate I am posting the newest video to help the release of our second album TAKE THESE GHOSTS 8th July. Made with footage up a hill in Shropshire with glamorous walking boots, rainbow socks ( you have to watch until you see the rainbow socks) a video phone  and no stylist . It was a blast making it….Love you to watch it please.

So here is my contribution to the day of celebrating the struggle, and  it is often one. The Tubthumpers Chorus sung a great rendition of ‘I’m Gonna be an Engineer” last term and we just got the blessing of the remarkable Peggy Seeger to post the video of our performance. The song was written in 1970 and it is really interesting to mark the differences in how things have moved on. We did not sing all the verses which I am posting below the video.

I AM RUNNING AN ALL DAY SINGING WORKSHOP THIS SATURDAY 12TH MARCH AT THE BISHOPSGATE INSTITUTE ‘SINGING IN HARMONY’ 10.30-4.30PM AFRICAN AND FOLK ACAPELLA FOR ANYONE WHO LIKES SINGING IN HARMONY,,,LOOK ON THE BISHOPSGATE INSTITUTE WEBSITE.

I’m gonna be an engineer

When I was a little girl I wished I was a boy
I tagged along behind the gang and wore my corduroys.
Everybody said I only did it to annoy
But I was gonna be an engineer

Mamma said, “Why can’t you be a lady?
Your duty is to make me the mother of a pearl
Wait until you’re older, dear
And maybe you’ll be glad that you’re a girl.

Dainty as a Dresden statue, gentle as a Jersey cow,
Smooth as silk, gives cream and milk
Learn to coo, learn to moo
That’s what you do to be a lady, now.

When I went to school I learned to write and how to read
History, geography and home economy
And typing is a skill that every girl is sure to need
To while away the extra time until the time to breed
And then they had the nerve to ask, what would I like to be?
I says, “I’m gonna be an engineer!”

“No, you only need to learn to be a lady
The duty isn’t yours, for to try to run the world
An engineer could never have a baby
Remember, dear, that you’re a girl”

She’s smart — for a woman.
I wonder how she got that way?
You get no choice, you get no voice
Just stay mum, pretend you’re dumb.
That’s how you come to be a lady, today.

Well, I started as a typist but I studied on the sly
Working out the day and night so I could qualify
And every time the boss came in, he pinched me on the thigh
Said, “I’ve never had an engineer!”
“You owe it to the job to be a lady
The duty of the staff is to give the boss a whirl
The wages that you get are crummy, maybe
But it’s all you get, ’cause you’re a girl”

Then Jimmy came along and we set up a conjugation
We were busy every night with loving recreation
I spent my days at work so he could get an education
And now he’s an engineer!

He said: “I know you’ll always be a lady
The duty of my darling is to love me all her life
Could an engineer look after or obey me?
Remember, dear, that you’re my wife! ”

As soon a Jimmy got a job, I studied hard again
Then busy at me turret-lathe a year or two, and then
The morning that the twins were born, Jimmy says to them
“Your mother was an engineer!”
“You owe it to the kids to be a lady
Dainty as a dish-rag, faithful as a chow
Stay at home, you got to mind the baby
Remember you’re a mother now! ”

Every time I turn around there’s something else to do
Cook a meal or mend a sock or sweep a floor or two
Listening to Jimmy Young – it makes me want to spew
I was gonna be an engineer.

I only wish that I could be a lady
I’d do the lovely things that a lady’s s’posed to do
I wouldn’t even mind if only they would pay me
Then I could be a person too.

What price for a woman?
You can buy her for a ring of gold,
To love and obey, without any pay,
You get a cook and a nurse for better or worse
You don’t need a purse when a lady is sold.

Oh, but now the times are harder and me Jimmy’s got the sack;
I went down to Vicker’s, they were glad o have me back.
But I’m a third-class citizen, my wages tell me that
But I’m a first-class engineer!

The boss he says “We pay you as a lady,
You only got the job because I can’t afford a man,
With you I keep the profits high as may be,
You’re just a cheaper pair of hands. ”

You got one fault, you’re a woman;
You’re not worth the equal pay.
A bitch or a tart, you’re nothing but heart,
Shallow and vain, you’ve got no brain,

Well, I listened to my mother and I joined a typing pool
Listened to my lover and I put him through his school
If I listen to the boss, I’m just a bloody fool
And an underpaid engineer
I been a sucker ever since I was a baby
As a daughter, as a mother, as a lover, as a dear
But I’ll fight them as a woman, not a lady
I’ll fight them as an engineer!

Words and music by Peggy Seeger in 1970
Copyright Stormking Music, Inc.
Recorded by Frankie Armstrong- Out of Love, Maccoll & Seeger – At
The Present Moment

So I am having a sabbatical from weekend workshops this year APART from this date..so its a very special one off occasion.unknown1

IMG_0161I love Saturday workshops at the Bishopsgate Institue, and though I was curating the seasonal Saturday workshops I decided to curate it to me!P1090765

We shall be covering songs from several regions of the African Continent and some Folk.

It is a great way to have a sing without having to commit to a regular group and a lovely way to spend a Saturday. Very close to Liverpool Street Station and the glorious SpitalfieldsMarket

WE WILL BE LEARNING THIS ONE AS PART OF THE DAY

you can book via this link.http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/searchcourses_result.aspx?Keyword=singing+in+harmony&Category=&

My three  weekly choirs are enjoying a lovely autumn term…Bishoosgate Singers going Acapella Soul and Funk, The Tubthumping Chorus doing mostly protest songs and my primary school choir loving Space Oddity.

I am having a very creatively balanced time at the moment, because when you run choirs or anything where you give out a lot, it is important to do something creative yourself. Before secondary music teachers had to work so hard they all were in  bands , orchestras etc as it feeds you so you have more to give back. Now its harder, so I am lucky…

I am making pop videos now for my new band 3 Bucket Jones…here is the first one..that I mostly filmed, much on an iPhone and I edited it all too. Would love you to watch it and share it. It is gentle moving and atmospheric. The song is called Draw a Line in the Sand. Let me know….

The new book is out by myself and the fantabulous Alison Burns.  The book is mostly acapella songs, but there are chord symbols and several optional piano accompaniments too. One of the wonderful features of the book is the audio. When you buy the book you get a cd with 156 tracks of every individual part. Also you can audition all the songs www.oup.co.uk/companion/cvw as FULL PERFORMANCES of them sung by myself, Sheena Masson, Nickomo and Andrew McCrorie-Shand

Here is a full performance version of Time after Time it is gorgeous!IMG_5749

IMG_5749The labour of love that is Community Voiceworks, that Alison Burns and I have been working on for three years is out and available to buy from many shops and online sources. 43 songs for community  choirs with audio for every track! This is Val Regan (one of the composer/choral director contributors) and I celebrating its new shininess this weekend!

An amazing little snippet of me conducting some bits of brass I arranged for   3 Bucket Jones last week.

And so happily to celebrate the man’s birthday I get a real special treat. A Bob Dylan Track I have recorded as a 14 piece acapella group is being played tonight on a special show on Severn FM to celebrate Bob’s big day. https://www.facebook.com/Severnfm on Alex Huskisson’s show the Mystery Train. Last week he played a 3 Bucket Jones track which you can hear on one of his catch up shows.

so here is Bob on Letterman a few days ago looking quite like Alice Cooper’s long lost brother…http://www.classicalite.com/articles/22505/20150523/bob-dylan-performs-the-night-we-called-day-letterman-finale-reflects-past-performances.htm

 

enjoy

 

So it is 10 years since the Bishopsgate Singers

started with 15 singers. Over the years it has peaked at 75 with a waiting list and now we are running at 40-50. fear not! we continue to  sing with valiant voices and the choir seems to just be getting stronger and more lovely. Tomorrow we start our journey into the Acapella land of Country and Western with songs such as ‘I am a Man of Contstant Sorrow’, ‘Wichita Lineman’, ‘Your Cheating Heart’, ‘(ghost) Riders in the Sky’ and hopefully some real cracking stuff like Jolene etc…very exciting. it is not too late to book for the term which stats tomorrow at 6.30 PM. Autumn term we are going to be doing funk and soul…http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/course/2080/Bishopsgate-Singers?&Keyword=bishopsgate+singers&Category=&TimeOfDay=&