Songography

Song For Saigon (2015) see Song For Saigon page

You Taught My Heart To Travel (2014) A wedding gift for my husband, this is the truest love song I have ever composed.  It’s about how the one you love brings out the best version of yourself, inspires you, protects you and helps you be brave enough to seize life and all of its opportunities.  It is also a thank you to him for doing that for me. Our wedding featured the orchids I have always dreamed about and was full of music and fun!

Shivering Sound (2013) Winter can be a gruelling limp towards the warmth of spring, and sometimes it lasts longer than we feel it should. This is a brief interlude written watching the frozen trees and snow covered hills waiting for the light.

Heavy Feet (2013) Friendships go through tough times, and initially following a fall-out or a difficult discussion it can seem very bleak.  Couple that with miserable British weather and All Hallows Eve looming and there is a shadowy mood created.  Heavy Feet is a song mixing the themes of how to deal with feeling let down by someone and the spooky atmosphere of Halloween.

Spinning Tops (2009) Pete challenged me to write a song to groove to, and Spinning Tops was my response. It’s a happy, chirpy tune for the weekend and for anyone who enjoys a good dance.  Inspired by that feeling you get when you’re released from work and have nothing to worry about tomorrow, combined with having special people to share that free time with.

Sound Delight (2009) In keeping with the more upbeat style of the band, this one was written in celebration of finding love and finally healing, mixed in with enjoying the euphoria of a real new start with the right person.  It’s an uplifting realisation of what it means to fall in love, and how everything sounds better with right person to hear it with.

Overrated (w Pete Nash – 2008) With an afternoon to kill, this song was a joint effort between Pete and I and unlike the majority of Claire Cameron tunes, which are written on the piano initially, this one was written to a guitar line.  It is about whatever the listener wants it to be about.

Time Will Tell (2008) A song in answer to a statement that love isn’t at the centre of everything.  Time Will Tell is a response to negative views about relationships in general, and it explores the reasons that we want to find that other one, that perfect fit and how easy it is to fall into the trap of trying to mould what you’ve got into what you really want. It’s a song that veers towards the heavier side of the band musically and marked a slight change in style and direction.

Enliven (2008) There are nights out that stick in the mind long after sunrise.  A song for that feeling when all of the lights of the night are in multi colour and inhibitions are lowered and left at the edges of the dance-floor.  It’s a hopeful song about the start of something new and wanting it to be real, and it was inspired by a new year’s eve party and discovering new music to dance to.

Elderflower (2008) Sometimes you need to look back to go forwards, and this one is about just that – addressing the old emotion and singing it out.  Its actually about a positive shift from looking at numbing and ignoring pain to keeping a clear head and getting on with life.  Elderflower is another one which became more of a full story with the addition of drums, guitar and bass parts with CCB.  Pete Nash was welcomed into the band on the strength of his creativity at the start of the song when I asked him to play some ‘moody guitar bits like wailing owls please’ and he read my mind and did exactly that!

Time I Start (2007) Written on the third floor of a student house I shared with friends in my final year, this one was inspired by Metallica and expresses my defiance and determination to be myself, strong, loud and unapologetic for my personality.  So thanks to my housemates for putting up with me belting it out in full force from that rooftop bedroom! It is a fun song to sing, and it was the one that really started off Claire Cameron Band, becoming our main set-opener with its drive and uplifting chorus.

Question Every Day (2007) An answering song to ‘Love Of You’ this one is one of the most cathartic songs I’ve ever written, and is still as satisfying to perform now as it was then. Sure enough, attempting to change who I was as a barrier to being just me didn’t work and things ended as they should have done a month previously.  This song is also about failed relationships in general, and about how the remnants of the time wasted and misperceived infatuation can hang around long after the last call and continue to haunt you.  Question Every Day is also about fighting back and wanting to believe in yourself enough not to waste time being sad about what hasn’t succeeded. How being stronger alone is better than being weaker and with someone just for the sake of it.

Love Of You (2006) It is never a good idea to try and change yourself for someone else, or to ask someone else to change for you.  Love Of You is a response to being told in the middle of the night in a place I did not belong that in order to belong there I should be less me. Looking back, what was really happening is that it was a simple case of two personalities not fitting together, and the fact that I was still in a place of recovery and not in any position to be with anyone until I was happy with myself.  Easy to say with hindsight – at the time I was more scared of being on my own so I said sure I’ll try and change, but only if I’m never left alone.

Simple (2006) A song about the next stage of recovery after the anger of ‘Black Albatross’ this one is more about the process of healing.  It is about trying to stop the moment and live in it rather than looking back, approaching life more simply and with a positive attitude but still struggling with night terrors that won’t yet allow it.

Black Albatross (2005) There are times in life when you are ready to move on and past the bad bits, the dark moments and the nightmares.  This song is an expression of pure anger and frustration that despite wanting to do that, my subconscious self would not let me.  So for anyone who has ever experienced depression, and had to hear ‘just move on’ or ‘in time you’ll feel better’ when they couldn’t agree more, but are suffering a mental block which prevents them from doing just that, this one is for you.  It can be very difficult to accept that in order to ‘move on’ you have to allow yourself to feel whatever it is you really feel about something first, and only after that has been faced can you start.

No Illusions (2004) On a rainy day in Leeds, I wished I was on holiday and not left behind working in a bar for the summer instead.  This song is about trying to put into words how you feel about someone, and convincing them that they don’t need a sunset and an ocean as I could be that for them.  It was also a thank you for supporting me.

Orchid (2003) In the same vein as Amethyst, Orchid is the name of this song as it is my favourite flower, but I was wishfully singing about finding my favourite person and I hadn’t met them yet.  This song is a look into the future, exploring how I might feel about them when they eventually appeared. See ‘You Taught My Heart To Travel, 2014’

Amethyst (2002) If you’ve ever been lied to or misled by someone you care about this song may resonate.  I wrote it on a grand piano, in the dark, with the pouring rain hitting the glass ceiling.  I was so disappointed and sad that the person I had tried to believe in despite alarm bells had fictionalised so much, and got me so wrong.  Amethyst is the title because it is my favourite stone, and I used it for this song as a statement to say ‘if you knew me, you’d have known that, and you wouldn’t have had to lie.’ It’s also about the frustration of knowing you have to walk away from someone but still caring about them and how difficult it is to do.

Captivated (2002) Following the rather dark place I was in after ‘No More Blue’ this song is about being rescued, and wishing that this time it could be the right relationship.  It’s about determination and infatuation and wanting to believe in love.

No More Blue (2001) A song for when you embark on a relationship you think could be right, and a song about trying to convince yourself by inserting all of the feelings you wish you had into words and melody.  Looking back none of these lyrics were true at the time, and they are only true in the sense that they explained what I was looking for in a relationship.  I think I thought if I sang it it might make it true, but in the end this song was simply a fantasy. I do sing it now though, and it is an interesting one because it can be performed as an angry or a loving song, depending on my mood.  I nearly removed it from my songbook and my repertoire a couple of times, for the reasons I’ve stated above, but I realise that there is no reason others can’t enjoy it if it is their truth – I hope many people have found this kind of love in reality.

Miss You (2001) There is no time limit to grief, and there is no cure except the passing of time.  I felt guilty that I still selfishly missed the people I was close to in my life who had passed away, and I was sad. This one is about learning to live without them, but never forgetting how important they were.  It could apply to losing a friendship or relationship as well, as those emotions can be their own kind of grief.

Cost For Every Cliche (2001) A song about being dumped, this one was written in one afternoon at the keyboard with a friend feeding back about the lyrics and contributing her ideas at the same time about how annoying it is when people use poor excuses rather than just coming out with the real reasons they no longer want to go out with you! It was meant as a lighthearted, catchy tune using cliched chords and song structure as well as phrases, which it does, but it actually ended up as a popular tune which I regularly play at gigs and later with Claire Cameron Band.

Reflections (2000) I wrote this song again trying to get through to a friend who was spiralling into a dark place, and it was getting to the point where I was feeling like I had to make myself heard or I would be taken with them.  This one was written looking at the grey sky through the skylight above my keyboard, and was very much a song that I sat down, played and sang completely from where I was feeling and thinking at the time.  An intervention, a cry to be listened to and trusted rather than ignored. It was as much about me wanting to push past being held back as well as help them to move forward I think.

Still Here (2000) When I was sixteen my inspirational, clever and much respected clarinet teacher passed away. I had been having lessons with him since I was seven years’ old, and he had not only supported and challenged me to be the best clarinetist I could be, but also encouraged me to pursue my singing and songwriting.  He not only taught me how to be a better musician, but he was a true friend as well and I really valued his opinions on life in general.  I wrote this song trying to imagine what he would say to his family and friends if he could reassure them from heaven, as well as to give me somewhere to put my sadness when I needed to sing it out.  I was inspired by an Aerosmith track ‘Circle’ as well, which focuses on living in the moment and raising a glass to what matters.

Dandylion (2000) I read a book called ‘Junk’ and it was one of those moments in time that ran as the soundtrack to my summer, along with Goo Goo Dolls and Counting Crows. ‘Dandylion’ was the pet name the characters called each other and it was fitting to describe a song written in English summer time I thought. I also went to see a film called ‘The Cider House Rules’ and it had a profound effect on me.  It was about an Orphanage, and there was a love story woven into the narrative as well.  I remember really vividly when I got home I ran to the bottom of the garden barefoot and sat on the swing for ages, thinking about life, love, people and circumstances.  It was a beautiful summer evening and I stayed there until the sun went down, thinking about how people can make a difference to each other. All of these things mixed together with my own desire to fall in love and came to be ‘Dandylion’.

Reasons (1999) A short song about trying to work out why I allowed teenage-angst take control of my actions for about half a year.  Sounds dramatic, but it was true.  I wrote this when I was feeling very low and frustrated about turning negativity in on myself rather than expressing it externally, which is obviously healthier.  It was also about how sometimes it is easier to wrap up things that are completely unrelated in another person, and use that as an outlet for hurting.

Drifting (1999) A continuation of the themes explored in Mindless, Drifting is more about what happens when you want to help someone, but in doing so it starts being destructive to yourself and your own emotional well being. I wrote Drifting in an old, draughty room in a tower (really – my old school had piano rooms dotted around various nooks and crannies around the old building) and I remember feeling like a protesting voice in the silence, easy enough to sing about how I felt while I was on my own, but harder to put the words into practice and sing them to the one who was causing them to be felt.

Mindless (1999) This song is about a good friend of my parents’, who sadly passed away too young after struggles with alcohol.  I wrote this shortly after I learned of his passing, and it also meshed with feelings I had at the time about someone in my life who was exhibiting the early symptoms of the same problem.  So Mindless is what I would have sung to my parents’ friend, had I met him before it was too late, and what I did sing to my friend to hope that they would turn away from the destructive path they were on.

Remembrance (1998) This is the first song I wrote about my own feelings, and it was written as an attempt to comfort myself and my family after my Grandfather died.  He was the first person in my life that I had lost, and I wanted somewhere to put all of the things I felt about him, as well as offer a thank you and a dedication in his memory. So this one is for him; always remembered with great love and affection.

Haze (1998) I wrote this song about volcanoes, because I remembered pondering when I was quite young why so many songs were about love? My answer was, ‘well, I’m going to prove that it is possible to write about other stuff, like volcanoes.’Anyway, in 1998 for some reason this came back into my head and I wrote my song about volcanoes. Interestingly I soon started focusing my subsequent songs on emotions, feelings and typically love, but this was my ode to nature first!

Gold (1998) Inspired by imagery conjured up by a combination of the ‘Scottish Widows’ advert, and watching Titanic a few too many times this song was penned about the loneliness of a woman left behind after a partner dies. I’d always felt deeply affected by the woman in a dark cloak walking along the seashore without her love at her side, and as that was already firmly rooted in my mind when I watched Titanic for the first time I think I drew a character from a mixture of Rose and this nameless, elegant and wistful walking soul.  I spent a lot of time playing this song in piano rooms at my school during break, and consequently felt that my songwriting was turning a corner and my playing improving.  It was performed at various recitals and my confidence started to grow a bit.

Snow (1997) The first song I ever wrote was for my music homework, aged thirteen.  We’d been set the challenge of creating a Christmas song, and the little ditty I composed went on to be properly arranged by our music teacher and performed by the choir with harmonies and everything.  I was pretty overwhelmed and chuffed by the experience, even though it meant that for the next few years people would pass me in the corridor, breaking into song with the first line of my carol; ‘snow falling lightly on the ground’, and grinning.

 

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