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Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)

Lucius 17 Aug 07 - 02:09 PM
jonm 17 Aug 07 - 02:40 PM
Lucius 17 Aug 07 - 03:23 PM
Folkpicker 17 Aug 07 - 04:14 PM
Murray MacLeod 17 Aug 07 - 09:25 PM
Lucius 18 Aug 07 - 12:21 AM
jonm 20 Aug 07 - 09:47 AM
GUEST 20 Aug 07 - 08:06 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Aug 07 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 21 Aug 07 - 06:25 AM
Marje 21 Aug 07 - 01:53 PM
Lucius 23 Aug 07 - 07:29 PM
GUEST 23 Aug 07 - 08:52 PM
Lucius 23 Aug 07 - 11:57 PM
Lucius 24 Aug 07 - 12:00 AM
Lucius 25 Aug 07 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,GUEST (Ireland) 25 Apr 08 - 06:35 AM
*Laura* 25 Apr 08 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Madra Rua, Dublin 25 Jun 08 - 09:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Marko Prenger 27 Jul 08 - 05:11 PM
Declan 27 Jul 08 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Steve (The Life O'Riley) 20 Sep 08 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Wes 20 Dec 08 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Mike A 01 Jun 09 - 05:03 AM
Nick 01 Jun 09 - 08:01 AM
Nick 01 Jun 09 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Guest 30 Jun 09 - 05:01 AM
GUEST 09 Jul 11 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Pirran 22 Apr 12 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 22 Apr 12 - 06:40 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: Lucius
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 02:09 PM

Martin Simpson's new album is out, absolutely splendid. I just got it from eMusic, rather than my usual iTunes. I just wish that they would include album information on the downloads. There is a song about his father called "Never Any Good" that has me sobbing. Anyone know if this is a cover or did Martin Simpson write it--and does anyone have the lyrics? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: jonm
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 02:40 PM

It's Martin's own song, and obviously very full of personal memories when you talk with him about it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: Lucius
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 03:23 PM

Thanks. I wish that he had a discography of his own tunes on his web site, as he seem to have a knack for tune-smithing. My first introduction to him was through his instrumental albums, and I was surprised to later discover what a great singer he was. I've met him but once. I didn't know these other sides of Martin Simpson when I had my one (and probably only) master class with him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: Folkpicker
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 04:14 PM

He is a Lovely guitarist/singer musician agreed, i remember buying the Bramble Brior album and loveling it and his other stuff. He's got that nack of getting the hairs standing on end with his sensitivity and consideration as a musician just like Chris Wood does.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 09:25 PM

evening Lucius, I well remember that evening when we attended his masterclass in New Hampshire (out in the back of beyond as I recall)

hope all is well with you


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: Lucius
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 12:21 AM

Hey back at 'cha, Murray, good to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: jonm
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 09:47 AM

I think almost all the lyrics can be transcribed from the CD, although I struggle with the second chorus: "you'd rather be singing ...." anyone know what that word is?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 08:06 PM

Good song. It sounds like 'you'd rather be singing Pirate King' to me, but I don't know what that would be referring to in the context.

I reckon this is the most enjoyable album Simpson has recorded in a long while. As Lucius said above - 'absolutely splendid'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 05:32 AM

it certainly sounds like The Pirate King...maybe a reference to Gilbert and Sullivan?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 06:25 AM

It is a wonderful lyric and I was particularly struck by the admission that his mother viewed him as a "selfish son", after his father. I wondered about what this meant about his relationship with his mother; very personal stuff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martin Simpson's: Never Any Good
From: Marje
Date: 21 Aug 07 - 01:53 PM

I must get new glasses. I read the header without seeing the crucial colon, and thought "That's a bit of a harsh title for a song, I think he's generally pretty good!"

Marje


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Subject: Lyr Add: NEVER ANY GOOD (Martin Simpson)
From: Lucius
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 07:29 PM

I should be ashamed of myself--between the typos and the inability to format this darn thing. Still, here's the lyrics, as I heard them. I welcome all corrections.

You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office,
Not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be riding your Norton
Or going fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job.

When your grammar school days were over,
It was nineteen-seventeen,
And you did the right and proper thing.
You were just eighteen.
You were never mentioned in dispatches.
You never mentioned what you did or saw.
You were just another keen young man
In the mud and stink of war.

You were never any good with money.
You couldn’t even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office,
Not hard enough for the hod.
You’d rather be singing the Pirate King,
Or going fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money.
You couldn’t even hold a job.

You came home from the Great War
With the pips of a captain’s rank.
A German officer’s Luger,
And no money in the bank.
Your family sent you down in the coal mine
To learn to be captain there,
But you didn’t stand it very long.
You needed the light and the air.

You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office,
Not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be watching performers fly
Or fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job.

When the second war came along,
You knew what should be done.
You would re-enlist to teach young men
The booby trap and the gun;
And they sent you home to Yorkshire,
With a crew and a Lewis gun,
So you could save your seaside town
From the bombers of the Hun.

You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office,
Not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be finding the nightjar’s nest,
Going fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job.

And when my mother came to your door,
With a baby in her arm,
Her big hurt boy only nine years old,
Trying to keep her from harm,
If you had been a practical man,
You would have been forewarned.
You would have seen that it never could work,
And I would have never been born.

There's no proper work in your seaside town,
So you come here looking for a job.
You were storeman at the power station
Just before I came along.
Nobody talked about how you quit,
But I know that's what you did.
My mother said you were a selfish man,
And I was your selfish kid.

You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office,
Not hard enough for the hod;
And your Norton it was soon gone
Along with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job.

You showed me eyebright in the hedgerow,
speedwell and travellers joy.
You showed me how to use my eyes
When I was just a boy;
And you taught me how to love a song
And all you knew of nature's ways:
The greatest gifts I have ever known,
And I use them every day.

You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office, maybe,
Not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be riding your Norton
Or going fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money.
You couldn't even hold a job.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 08:52 PM

Sorry but I haven't heard the song yet. But in the 4th verse (not counting choruses) I think the line should read:

You'd rather be finding the nightjar's nest

(it's a bird)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: Lucius
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 11:57 PM

Thanks, guest. Never heard of a nightjar.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NEVER ANY GOOD (Martin Simpson)
From: Lucius
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 12:00 AM

NEVER ANY GOOD - Martin Simpson

You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office, not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be riding your Norton or going fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job.

When your grammar school days were over, it was nineteen-seventeen,
And you did the right and proper thing. You were just eighteen.
You were never mentioned in dispatches. You never mentioned what you did or saw.
You were just another keen young man in the mud and stink of war.

You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office, not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be singing The Pirate King or fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job.

You came home from the Great War with the pips of a captain's rank,
A German officer's Luger and no money in the bank.
Your family sent you down in the coal mine to learn to be captain there,
But you didn't stand it very long. You needed the light and the air.

You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office, not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be watching performers fulmars fly or fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job.

When the Second War came along, you knew what should be done.
You would reenlist to teach young men the booby trap and the gun;
And they sent you home to Yorkshire with a crew and a Lewis gun
So you could save your seaside town from the bombers of the Hun.

You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office, not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be finding the nightjar's nest or fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job.

And when my mother came to your door with a baby in her arm,
Her big hurt boy, just nine years old, trying to keep her from harm—
If you had been a practical man, you would have been forewarned.
You would have seen that it never could work and I would have never been born.

There's no proper work in your seaside town, so you come here looking for a job.
You were store man at the power station just before I came along.
Nobody talked about how you quit, but I know that's what you did.
My mother said you were a selfish man and I was your selfish kid.

You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office, not hard enough for the hod.
And your Norton it was soon gone along with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job.

You showed me eyebright in the hedgerow, speedwell and traveler's joy.
You showed me how to use my eyes when I was just a boy.
And you taught me how to love a song, and all you knew of nature's ways,
The greatest gifts I have ever known and I use them every day.

You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job,
Not steady enough for the office, maybe, not hard enough for the hod.
You'd rather be riding your Norton or going fishing with your split cane rod.
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job.


    Message moved from an ADD thread - we try to keep all information on a song in one thread, so there's no need to have a separate thread to add lyrics, chords, or whatever.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: Lucius
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 03:55 PM

Thanks Joe, didn't know that I could change the subject thread. I'm always learning something new at Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,GUEST (Ireland)
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 06:35 AM

It's "The Piate King" ok (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Nightjar is a bird
3rd chorus is "watching the Fulmars fly" (another bird (sea))not "performers"
What a song tho'!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: *Laura*
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 09:40 AM

"If you had been a practical man,
You would have been forewarned.
You would have seen that it never could work,
And I would have never been born"

I love these lines.... so much. It's a beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Madra Rua, Dublin
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 09:41 AM

Just heard the song this week as live version on a compilation and it really hit a note in me. Love it and can't stop humming it to myself...

Doesn't that line 'And I would have never been born.' come as a wonderful surprise? And 'The Greatest gifts I have ever known and I use the them every day.' just makes up for any shortcomings in your man's life ;o)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM

To my mind, his best work so far. At times in his career, I've not been able to really understand what he was trying to achieve - guitarist of genius though he has been throughout.

But one song like this redeems an awful lot. I suspect its the song we would all like to write - the one that explains why we are about what we are about.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM

What has to be said about this wonderful song is also - how marvellously it tells the story of our times.

The story of a gentle decent man, living in a society that that had enough spirituality and decency for him to want to fight unquestioningly for it.

And yet, it is a society with secualr and harshly mercantile values. A society, whose judgemental codes and valueing of personal avarice inflict terrible hurt on the man himself and his relationship with his wife.

And the whole thing old with such economy and accuracy.

So much more to do with our lives than the wearisome heyup, I put me pit boots on in 1924, drank a gallon of beer, and packed me snap tin..........etc!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Marko Prenger
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 05:11 PM

sorry if i sound a little silly but whats a 'hod' ?
i saw martin simpson play this song on BBC Proms and it blew me away
thankyou


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: Declan
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 07:03 PM

A hod is a container for bricks used on a building site, and in this instance is a metaphor for the building (construction) industry.

I was very annoyed recently to see somneone on the BBC Folk & Acoustic site who was trying to be funny calling this the appropriately named "Never Any Good". The song (in my opinion) quite rightly won the BBC Folk awards best contemporary song award last year and is, I think, one of the best new songs that has been written for quite a while.

Difficult to see how anyone who professes an interest in folk music (whatever that is!) of any kind could not be moved by it. But I suppose it takes all kinds.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Steve (The Life O'Riley)
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 07:33 PM

Singing in a band, I would love to do this song, but two things stop me!!...

...1. The fear of not doing it any justice

and

...2. The fact that I will ROAR my eyes out on the Mother and Son Verse!!!

Cracking song!!


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Subject: Chords Add: NEVER ANY GOOD (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Wes
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 03:25 PM

In case anyone is interested, you can play this with the simplified chords:

D                                  G                        D
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job,

    G                     D          G                                                    Em
Not steady enough for the office, not hard enough for the hod.

      D                                     G
You'd rather be riding your Norton or going fishing with your split

    D
cane rod.

         G                   D                   G                                                    Em
You were never any good with money. You couldn't even hold a job.


Due to formatting it's hard to get the chords over the right words, but I'm sure you'll work it out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Mike A
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 05:03 AM

This is a Cracking song-no doubt! I play the Em as an A though, .....anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: Nick
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 08:01 AM

I would agree it's an A rather than an Em

The original tuning I think is CGCGCD


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: Nick
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 08:15 AM

Sorry that should have read C G C F C D


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 05:01 AM

You'd rather be watching the Fulmars fly, not performers I think.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 04:28 AM

edit: You'd rather be watching the Fulmars fly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Pirran
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 06:06 AM

@Declan

"A hod is a container for bricks used on a building site, and in this instance is a metaphor for the building (construction) industry."

Or a Coal hod for carrying coal (which is probably more appropriate in this instance) as he's describing his father's experiences down the pit.

Great song, though. Probably his best self-penned effort.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Never Any Good (Martin Simpson)
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 06:40 AM

I interpret it as a metaphor for manual work in general - taken with the previous line about the office it suggests that his father was unsuited to any type of work, which was why he couldn't hold a job.


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