John Dawson Read

Albums

john Dawson Read, One Life
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A Friend Of Mine Is Going Blind 1975

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A friend of mine is going blind, but through the dimness
He sees so much better than me
And how he cherishes each new thing that he sees
They are locked in his head, he will save them for when
He's in darkness again

He can't read books and he can't paint pretty pictures
But he understands so much clearer than I
For he knows that all he's missing with his eyes
Is more vivid in the mind of the man who's going blind
And that's why he doesn't mind

Won't you sing Tommy Davidson of things that you have seen
Sing of winter's bite and summer nights
And places you have been
Of dew drops and forget-me-nots and silver silky sheen
Lain across the morning meadow on the hillside

And this friend of mine, he plays guitar and sings his song so well
And he sings so much better than I
He can sing you any pictures in your mind
He will sketch them out in rhyme, draw the details in the lines
And he'll colour it in time

And oh how he loves his guitar, and it loves him
And they play so much sweeter than me
As if to say that come the day that he can't see
He will have at his command so much beauty in his hands
That the loss won't come so hard

Won't you sing Tommy Davidson of things that you have done
Sing of silver seagulls sailing into evening's golden sun
Sing of city streets and villages and people on the run
Tell the people how you know it Tommy Davidson

A friend of mine is going blind but through the dimness
He sees so much better than me
And how he cherishes each new thing that he sees
They are locked in his head, he will save them for when
He's in darkness again.

Tommy sings his song for me
And he sings his song for you
He sings of things he feels and sees
That he believes are true
So maybe that's enough for me
And all that's left to do
Is listen well and listen long to Tommy's song
Listen well, listen long to Tommy's song

Would you like to see yourself
Through someone else's eyes
When I believe that I have seen
A way through my disguise
And when I see my life for real
It's then I realise
It was there all along
In Tommy's song
It was there all along
In Tommy's song.

Oh we can talk in idle chatter, in quick and witty repartee
Raking up the age old phrases, but few of them are really me
For I am thought and merely thinking
These superficial things are lies
Unintentional deception, a frontispiece for others' eyes

As I walk my feet are strolling taking me from place to place
Seeing people, hear them talking, but finding nothing in their face
And my movements are mere mechanics of habits born and habits bred
Oh but I am someone different, hiding deep within my head

I live my life as if tomorrow all will change and I'll come through
But then I find tomorrow's here and nothing's changed and nothing's new
But then I think that everybody lives their lives but think a dream
So few of us are as we'd like us
Few of us are as we seem

Rain, summer rain, gentle rain, can intoxicate my brain
Insane, maybe so, but I'll go where the patterned rivers flow
In the rain

So warm is the afternoon, throw my windows open wide
The storm blown trees play out their tune
I am drawn to go outside, outside, where the calm of the day
Can wash a care away
I'll hide, midst the fresh fragrant green
That I'll be the first to see
Since the rain

Rain, people fly to the dry from a grey and cloudy sky
A shame, they won't know what they've missed
If they never have been kissed
By the rain

And oh, how the garden reaches up to grasp the air
And may I be pardoned if I only sit and stare
Sit and stare, as the world is revived
It's so great to be alive
A prayer seems so little to give
But may everything that lives
Survive

Queuing up for ice cream, waiting for the man
With his strawberry smile and his ring-a-ding van
Picking up the sea shells, kicking up the sand
Wading through the water with your shoes on

Bite into a pork pie, throw it in a hedge,
Crack another boiled egg, blue around the edge
There's gravel in the butter, you left it on the ledge
We'll all be very happy when the food's gone!

It's a Sallyally Sunday and the family is free
To take another day trip, a visit to the sea
If we leave just after breakfast we'll be there in time for tea
And it don't get dark down there 'til after midnight

Punch is thumping Judy, the kids all do the same
Then go off in a huff because the other was to blame
And Daddy's on a donkey, isn't Daddy brave
But he won't do that again because the mood's gone

But the band are playing pop songs, shaking up the pier
In brightly buttoned uniforms and slightly greying hair
To the clamour of the fruit machines and seagulls everywhere
And Daddy's in the boozer singing rude songs

It's a Sallyally Sunday and the family is free
To take another day trip, a visit to the sea
If we leave just after breakfast we'll be there in time for tea
And it don't get dark down there 'til after midnight

But Mum is getting tired and the kids have gone to sleep
So we sling a bag of Tupperware back into the jeep
And hammer down the motorway, back to our little street
Keeping Dad awake by singing sing-songs,
sing songs, sing sing-songs

Girl don't worry, don't you hurry
I won't leave you now
We've all the time the World can find,
Or all it will allow

And looking back I feel I've been so hard on you sometimes
Well if I have, I'm sorry, I don't mean to be unkind
We've had trouble, mixed up muddles
But that's all in the past
The river runs a winding course
But never very fast

So girl don't worry, don't you hurry
I won't leave you now
We've all the time the World can find
Or all it will allow

It's hard to find such peace of mind so young
So I've been told
- well was that just a cold wind, or am I growing old
and if I could write a song that told you all I had to say
then my song would have no ending
until our time had slipped away

So girl don't worry, don't you hurry
I won't leave you now
We've all the time the World can find
Or all it will allow
We've all the time the World can find
Or all it will allow

As evening is drawing in and time has stretched the shadows
And street lamps flicker pink before the yellow
And whisps of smoke from chimneys float
To welcome all the lads home
As women work with coke and sticks
And bellows

This is the time, my time
Can't you understand why I feel so grand
It highlights the twilights
Of my life
A breeze picks up, it twists it puffs
It's time to blow the light out
And freshen up the night after the daytime
And evening sighs as daylight dies,
Relax as well she might
Now take a break, let God and man
Unwind

This is the time, my time
Can't you understand why I feel so grand
It highlights the twilights
Of my lifetime

So wake me when the martins
Duck and dive after the midges
And dizzy dragonflies dance on the water
And river mist is rising
But it's trapped inside the hedges
And the fisherman puts back the fish he caught there
He caught there...

This is the time, my time
Can't you understand why I feel so grand
It highlights the twilights
In my lifetime

You sung to me the sweetest song,
I've never heard before
And the words they kept repeating in my head
But it's over in a minute, I'm so sad you did begin it
It is over, it is over
It is dead

Your song was short but flowed on easily
Blood and thunder leave me cold
The tale we had was bright and breezily told
You sung to me of summer days, you sung to me of war
And you got to me with every word you said
Of the things that kept you going
When an icy wind is blowing daily pleasures, daily sorrows
Daily bread

And so, although our song went on for such a little while
I feel I am the wiser all the same
All the little things you taught me
Little pleasures that you brought me
Little troubles that we'd treat as little games
Your song was short but flowed on easily
Blood and thunder leave me cold
The tale we had was bright and breezily told

The castle that you live in, is it really made of stone
Or would a gentle breeze blow it down
Did you build it in your dream world
Is it really not your own
Well live there as long as you can

For good living is a habit, live it while you can
Soft sable furs, not rabbit,
And superfast cars on Mercantile Credit
And why worry if the money isn't really real
You're as rich as you feel

And the lady you're in love with
None can be as sweet as her -
A beauty that's all of her own
And don't let them tell you different
It's got nowt to do with them
Take her and run to your home

For good living is a habit
Live it while you can
Soft sable furs, not rabbit
And superfast cars on Mercantile Credit
And why worry if the money isn't really real
You're as rich as you feel

So believe in what you're doing
And just do the best you can
No-one does better than that
And don't let your troubles get you
'cos they'll get you if they can
Sweep them up under a mat

For good living is a habit
Live it while you can
Soft sable furs, not rabbit
And superfast cars on Mercantile Credit
And why worry if the money isn't really real
You're as rich as you feel

It's been a long long day, I feel the need to take some time
And take myself away from heavy minds
Why don't you take a break, you've done you're bit the same as me
We've earned a slice of the cake
Oh can't you see - can't you see

You're so hooked on your books
And your company crooks
That life has lost its magic, you let it all roll by
Watch it fly

It's been a long long day, now don't you start to feel the strain
Don't let you're weekly pay affect your brain, your brain
Oh you live, just to give, to your company spivs
When we should be climbing mountains
Getting high on what we find
Oh won't you come along with me
Oh won't you spare the time
Oh no sir, oh no sir,
I've got too much on my mind

Oh come on let your hair hang down
Oh come on, let it shine
Oh no sir, oh no sir
I've got too much on my mind
It's been a long long day

The moment of truth it is with me at last as I sit all alone on the stage
I can't think of tomorrow, I can't think of the past
The moment is now and I pray it goes fast
For sixty-odd minute seem endlessly vast
And an hour's so long when you're dying

I pick up my guitar, thank God it's in tune
For the people are patiently listening
Oh but what was that song I sang all afternoon
I can't think of the words, I can't think of the tune
If I could get the first chord then the rest follows through
And those lights are so hot,
Think I'm frying

But how long can this go on
How long I'm crying
How long can this go on
For an hour's so long when you're dying

So I burst into song, get the show on the road
Though my fingers are wet on the fretboard
But the people are with me, they're singing along
The first song is over, it didn't go wrong
There's a feeling of confidence coming on strong
And my tensions are slowly unwinding

But how long can this go on
How long I'm crying
How long can this go on
For an hour's so short when you're flying

The last song comes round, how the time has sped by
And I've only done half that I planned
But my hour it is over, it's really a shame
If anyone asked me I'd go on again
I could play 'til the last of you caught the last train
But this impulse I must be denying

But how long can this go on,
How long I'm crying
How long can this go on
For an hour's so short when you're flying

A Friend Of Mine is Going Blind, John Dawson Read

£7.50 +p&p *

John’s first album in 1975… who could have predicted such a welcome reception for an unknown artist, particular across the water in America. For 17 weeks the album featured in the Billboard top 100 albums. John’s supporting radio station tour of The USA took in almost every state and led to John’s establishment as a respected British songwriter. Still today requests for this album are surprisingly strong and many of the songs A Friend of Mine in particular, are now sung by artists in clubs all over the world.

A Friend of Mine is Going Blind is digitally remastered from the original studio tapes at the last stage before mastering. As such is has not been 'compressed' like the early albums and sound clearer and fresher. It is currently copied to CDRs, which is reflected in the price of £7.50. It is labelled on the CD face and presented in a paper/plastic sleeve.

* Postage and packing: 1 or 2 CDs: £2.50, 3 CDs or more: £3.50