Tag Archives: Kitty and Cadaver

Score for Sharp – and bonus versions

Kitty_iconI have written a number of songs that don’t appear in Kitty and Cadaver (though they may show up in the second book, when I get to it.)

This one, Sharp, was (like Copper Beaches) written as a sort of Sherlock filk song exploring John Watson’s youth and his relationships.

Sharp was based on the idea that as a teenager he had walked in on his sister Harry cutting a girlfriend’s name into her arm.

(In my head, they are a very dysfunctional family, after his mother’s death and their father’s and Harry’s ensuing depression and alcoholism.)

.

Sharp

Red ink,
black letters,
parchment skin
Is this the only way you know to let love in?

Strange joy
Blessed pain
Ecstacy
Is it only when the love hurts
that you think it’s real?

See it to believe it, carve it on your heart
Leave a message from your arteries
And the love just falls apart

And the memories are sharp
So sharp
You can’t use my hand or heart
So cut me out.

Etch a name into the bone
Not hers, not yours, but ours alone
Let these words be written
“I could not stand to listen”

You’re the one who’s leaving
You have cut away the ties
And the neatest slice is bleeding
Goodbye, goodbye
the red ink writes

Red ink,
black letters,
parchment skin
Is this the only way you know to let love in?

And the memories are sharp
So sharp
You can’t use my hand or heart
So cut me out.

They’re not necessarily kind lyrics. They’re the words of an angry young man whose family is falling apart and he can’t work out how to keep them together and functional. Especially as neither his father nor sister seems to want him to.

Of course, one of the wonderful things about filk, fandom and music, is that other people may come along and play in your sandpit. A fellow Sherlock fan was inspired to play with the lyric, come up with her own melody and record it for her Soundcloud account. (She’s also done her own version of another filk I wrote, Battlefield).

Here is my own version, sung a capella.

At Continuum 11 this year, Ann Poore performed a version of it (and her take on Gretel’s Lullaby and Down as well) during a filk singing session.

(By the way, if you’re interested in filk – which is basically the fan version of folk music – Ann and I have started the Melbourne Filkers group on Facebook and we’re hoping to find others to join us to develop a local singing scene.)

And here is the score for my version:

Sharp 1Sharp 2

And as always, if you’re moved to try your own version of it, I’d love to hear it.

Music Score for Copper Beaches

LaszloI’ve had a very productive few weeks, having submitted three short stories to various anthologies and also sent my first full-length adventure-romance novel, Ravenfall, to my publisher for consideration.

Before I get fully into my new book, The Adventure of the Colonial Boy, I thought I’d share another of the songs for Kitty and Cadaver.

Copper Beaches, as the name suggests, was something I first wrote while noodling about with Sherlockian ideas – though the connection to Holmes isn’t at all obvious from the lyric. It actually relates to an idea I had about BBC Watson having had a more reckless youth, and these lyrics represent the decision he made to find a more constructive path. Once it was done, I felt the whole thing could do extra service as a song in Chapter Seven of Kitty and Cadaver.

In that chapter, Laszlo (the band violinist), Yuka (drummer) and Sal (guitar) are teaching the song to new recruits, Kitty and Stephen. Thematically in that book, the lyrics are very relevant to all three of those singing it.

Here’s the lyric on its own:

Copper beaches

A seaside in rain and a hollow in the heart
And sand is a grave for rocks and bone
Smashed up by the tide and time
An ancient stage
Where we’ll go with age
and we always go alone

And the sun’s going down and it’s bleeding into
An ocean to swallow the sorrow down
And the bronze on the water and silver horizon
In the blazing light, I keep my eyes on
the copper that’s staining the place where I stand
I’m on firmer ground in this copper sand.

It’s nothing to anyone how old is the earth
It’s nothing to the sea that my mother gave birth
And the sun doesn’t care if I live or die
But it’s such a beautiful sky

And everyone’s bleeding and lonely and scared
And the world wouldn’t notice if anyone cared
But we do
And we’re too small to matter to oceans and skies
And our hearts are too broken to love after lies
But we do
But we do

This tiny heart in the burning world
Is finding a flame in these copper beaches
the sun doesn’t care if I live or die
It’s such a beautiful sky

And everyone’s bleeding and lonely and scared
And the world wouldn’t notice if anyone cared
But we do
And we’re too small to matter to oceans and skies
And our hearts are too broken to love after lies
But we do
But we do

And here is the score:

Copper Beaches p1

Copper Beaches p2The song is meant to be very rock – in my head there are drums, bass and lead guitar, maybe keyboards. I was listening to a lot of Shinedown at the time, so think of that, a bit.

I’d be all for someone having a go at playing it/arranging it and sending the result to me, if you have time on your hands. 🙂