A Headful of Fancies

by Den Miller

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Derek Chandler
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Derek Chandler This is an excellent album full of well-crafted humorous songs - and some serious ones too - as well as a couple of entertaining instrumentals. Best tracks are England, One of Your Five-a-day, and Little Things Blues, and instrumental Dance of the Hobgoblins is most excellent dudes! Other notable songs are Always be One - with a rather large nod to Bob Dylan in the first verse, They'll Always Need Love, Things Can Always Get Worse and Day's Run Away, and Don't Fail Me Now, My Heart. Favorite track: England.
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1.
Don’t Fail Me Now, My Heart A headful of fancies is fine in itself Don’t fail me now, my heart Ruthless reality’s quite something else Don’t fail me now, my heart Cos I’m now on the cliff top and not nearly so bold I’m shaking and hoping that this rope will hold, but... Chorus A faint heart never won fair love Don’t fail me now, my heart No, a faint heart never won fair love Don’t fail me now, my heart Don’t fail me now, my heart This could be the crossroads where life takes a turn Don’t fail me now my heart Or it could be the point where I crash and I burn Don’t fail me now my heart But I don’t want regrets cos I’d stayed on the ground Thinking why didn’t I fly when the chance came around? (Chorus) Well, there’s time still to turn back, but time doesn’t help Don’t fail me now, my heart Cos I’d hesitate up here forever, left to myself Don’t fail me now, my heart So I’ll block out that hammering there in my chest And keep telling myself that it’s all for the best, and that... (Chorus) Cos I don’t want to leave with just a headful of fancies Don’t fail me now, my heart And I don’t want to be just a headful of fancies Don’t fail me now Words and music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
2.
England 05:53
England A prehistoric man felled a tree and found it would float And he set off to sea in his primitive boat And discovered that Eden wasn’t quite so remote In fact... it was just across the Channel in England So he paddled back again, he got his wife and his kids And his cousins and said “hey now, come and see this” “I’ve found a new place to live, it’s absolute bliss” “And it’s just across the Channel in England” And he said “it’s a privilege to be here It’s always the place I’ll call home And if I ever feel unlucky to be here Just remind me what it is to me The geography, the history The reason I’m standing so tall Is the reason I’ve come to this place after all” A few thousand years later some tourists from Rome Called it civilisation as they piled up the bones But they had problems with Vandals And they had to go home But some stayed back to help to build England Then the Angles and Saxons and Vikings and Jutes All took it in turns to bag hold of the loot Till the Normans got sick of their daily commute And thought they might as well live here in England Chorus Cos it’s always a privilege to be here It’s always the place I’ll call home And if I ever feel unlucky to be here Just remind me what it is to me The geography, the history The reason I’m standing so tall Is the reason they come to this place after all Well, all of our neighbours then wanted a fight Till the French got fed up and the Spanish took flight Hey, but even the Germans have turned out alright Everyone’s welcome in England And your typical local, genetics will tell There’s a rainbow of nations there under the shell And there’s probably a smidgeon of Martian as well Well, their first stop was bound to be England (chorus) So when you hear today’s Englishmen and women complain “They come over here and they never fit in” Well, all down the centuries it was ever the same That’s how we’ve all come to be here in England (chorus) Words and music copyright (C) 2015 Den Miller
3.
They’ll Always Need Love The shutters on the shop are down Empty packaging is on the floor All his customers away they glided, everyone decided They didn’t need his stuff any more And the business he thought he had And would hand on to his daughter and son Somehow suddenly was in such a state it evaporated No use to anyone So how are they gonna succeed now? What is it that people still need now? Chorus Well, they’ll always need love And something to eat while they’re waiting And something to drink while they’re dating They’ll need a little help into the world And out from the world And a haircut or two in between And though you’ll have to give it away They’ll always need love The cameras used to flash away He absorbed it like a solar cell He didn’t care about The faces behind them The hearts and the minds of Anyone except himself Now his celebrity has faded out and he wishes he had kept a list Of all those irritating, whining and yelping Maybe they could help him reinvent and re-exist So how to launch a new career What will people pay him for here? (chorus) Get a career as an engineer or accountant Sit in the queue until out of the blue you’re redundant Sorry sir, that fills me with dread! Is there anything I can do instead? (chorus) So you may feel that there’s no point In all the hours that you’re forced to spend Manufacturing some special places That somebody erases at the whim of any latest trend And it’s a lucky seer who predicts all the vagaries of women and men Mines and factories will open and close, it ebbs and it flows Until it comes in fashion again So what can you do in the meantime? What skills are needed in all times? (chorus) Words and music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
4.
Dance Of The Hobgoblins (instrumental) Music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
5.
Always Be One I wonder how many roads have I walked down Is it enough so you’d call me a man? I wonder how many seas have I sailed How many hours have I slept on the sand I wonder how many more lines of Dylan Before I’m told legal action has begun But you know when it comes to my woman The answer will always be one I wonder how many bars I’ve been into I wonder how many glasses of wine How many times have I toasted your good health And then started what’s not good for mine? But I know where I’ll wake up in the morning I won’t have to ask my way home And whether I am steamed or I’m sober The answer will always be one Cos in a world obsessed with counting things Where great big numbers make a man a king Am I a failure just cos I’m not ashamed With just the one love chalked against my name? And at the end of it all at the final curtain call I’d like to see my results as they’re presented to the board There’ll be regrets at a few of the sums But one score will always be one I wonder how many words we’ve said in anger How many times that the going has got tough I wonder how many times I’ve said I love you Well I’m sure that it’s nowhere near enough I wonder how many times I said I’d change things And then never get a single item done Yes I know that I have to keep trying To make sure we’ll always be one Words and music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
6.
One Of Your 5-a-Day Chief Zan and his braves at the mouth of the cave Were feeling mightily famished He said “this is nice” as he took another slice Of partially barbecued mammoth Although he was healthy and strong Of course, we know now he was wrong All that grease is deadly for your guts And those stone tools could give you nasty cuts. It sucks! Aren’t you glad you live now when we’re told to be nuts? Try this. It’s new and good for you Biology says you should never go near it But marketing says that you do Try this. Consume. Buy one, get two It’s not fit for the cat, but forget about that Because it’s low in fat, and it’s one of your 5-a-day Who could have seen that the marketing machine Would distort the truth of science? Profits are huge, and bribe the government stooge In a comfortable alliance They stick all the cash in the vault And tell us that it’s all our own fault No, don’t blame us you’re not so fit and sleek! Why don’t you run a marathon a week? You freak! And by the way, can we tempt you with this healthier treat? Try this. It’s new and good for you Biology says you should never go near it But marketing says that you do Try this. Consume. Buy one, get two It might be blue and be made out of glue But it’s good for you, and one of your 5-a-day Here in the lab they are having a stab At the next healthy food we can play with They start with a heap of anything cheap And charge as much as they can get away with They spend more time designing the package And figuring how to advertise to the masses Well, just make sure you draw on lots of stars With buzz words written in them nice and large, ta da! Who cares if Chief Zan couldn’t say what they are? Try this. It’s new and good for you Biology says you should never go near it But marketing says that you do Try this. Consume. Buy one, get two We’ve added vitamin C and amazingly it’s also gluten free And one of your 5-a-day! It’s new and good for you Biology says you’re an intelligent species But marketing says you’re a fool Try this. Consume. Buy one, get two It’s stuff you adore so go down to the store And buy more and buy more, it’s one of your 5-a-day Words and music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
7.
Things Can Always Get Worse Finally it’s you alone in the voting booth The pencil hovers ready to make the cross The politics there’s been of late Well, none of it has been that great But you’ve decided to let a new bunch call the shots Surely theirs can’t be any worse than this lot’s But... Chorus Who says that lightning can’t strike where it struck before? And who says that when you’re down You can’t fall off the floor? So smile when there’s tales of woe Smile when the fuses blow Smile, even though you want to curse Cos you be certain of this my friend Things can always get worse Be careful who you tell how much you hate your job Cos losing it would make things pretty bleak And don’t say it’s an all-time low Or that song’ll come on the radio And though you really hate that band of freaks You know that you’ll be humming it for weeks So... (chorus) So carefully phrase anything you wish for Don’t say “stone me” or “give me a break” Because the great omnipotent Might get confused with what you meant And think you want a bigger bellyache Remember Murphy’s Law is hard to break (chorus) Words and music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
8.
Little Things Blues Most of the time there’s been humankind We’ve worked hard just to stay alive Fighting war and disease and starvation just to survive And with those big things out of the way and time to kill It’s tempting to become Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells And not get cross about emails about our brothers and sisters from around the world in the latest crisis But instead explode with rage when an extra page comes out of the printer containing the one line “Please consider the environment before printing this”.... It’s the little things - cos little things mean such a lot It’s the little things - should be meaningless, but they’re not It’s the little things - making you lose the plot It’s the little things - toast lands butter side down It’s the little things - keys nowhere to be found It’s the little things - when is that builder coming round? Chorus It’s the little things that drive you crazy It’s the little things that make you mad Can’t do much about the big things So the little things are all you have And you’ve got to moan about something Otherwise you’d have to be glad And maybe have to do something about the bigger things So maybe the little things ain’t so bad But it’s the little things Like the openey thing that doesn’t open it It’s the little things You pull the openey thing and you’ve broken it It’s the little things You end up using a knife - it’s a joke innit? It’s the little things - like that talking question mark thing? It’s the little things - like arguing with stupid machines It’s the little things - they’ve changed where they put the baked beans.... again! (Chorus) It’s the little things - bus should be here and it’s five past It’s the little things - bus comes along and it flies past It’s the little things - I’ll miss bingo, or have to run quite fast It’s the little things If she spells my name wrong again I’m gonna sue her! It’s the little things Apostrophes - she don’t have a clue, her! It’s the little things And she always says “less” when she means “fewer” (Chorus) Oh but just for once I want the cab to come when I book ‘em Just for once I want the kids to eat what I cook ‘em Just for once I want things to stay where I put ‘em (Chorus) It’s the little things, save us from the little things Deliver us Lord from the little things Words and music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
9.
Day’s Run Away I woke up in the morning and my head was buzzing All the things I’d do today, about a dozen But the day’s run away The day’s run away The energy was flowing like I’d left a tap on Now I’m left wondering just how it happened That the day’s run away The day’s run away Well it all disappeared in a barely plausible miscellany Of recent history Chorus The day’s run away The day’s run away The day’s run away How can such a start that was so amazing Slip away to nothing more than navel gazing The day’s run away The day’s run away I woke up in the morning and my head was buzzing All the things I’d do today came to nothing The day’s run away The day’s run away What is lost may be more than all those grains of sand Fallen through the glass Future into past (Chorus) Everybody rushing by as the red and golden sky Brightens the west And there’s little consolation there’s the same situation In all that I met And I’m just the same as the rest What is lost may be more than all those grains of sand Fallen through the glass Future into past (Chorus and repeat) Words and music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
10.
Penultimate Orders (instrumental) Music copyright (C) Den Miller 2015
11.
Happy Stranger It was not every day I came down this way But lately it seems I’m surrounded I knew it was wrong and I never stayed long Besides which he’d never allow it But now he’s gone away and I can’t help but stray To this place with its outlook so clouded Can’t find my way back, that’s what he was good at But he’s not here to lead me around it Yes he’s gone, he’s gone And I don’t know when I will see him again, he’s gone Chorus And I can’t see the wood for the trees I can’t see the flowers for the weeds Oh happy stranger that’s me Where are you now? Oh well he’d say that things Were the best that they’d been What with all of the things I’ve been gifted But since he’s gone away If I lived the best day of my life It wouldn’t leave my mood lifted He’d have the answering line to my every whine He’d see magnificence in all this desolation And I’d laugh once again, even though nothing changed Oh but I’ve not seen him in ages Yes he’s gone, he’s gone He’s deserted his post when I need him the most, he’s gone (Chorus and repeat) Words and music copyright (C) 2015 Den Miller

credits

released April 25, 2015

All songs written and performed by Den Miller, with help from:

Choir on tracks 1 and 2: Joel Griffiths, Sue Hall, Jennie Kiff, Tony Levy, Mark Lunn, Louise Miller, Rosemary Miller, Frances Powell, and Carolyn Williams

Violin on track 4: Louise Miller

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Laurence Tiffany, Callum Hall and Piper Dawes at Calder Recordings in Cragg Vale near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

Artwork by Frances Miller © 2015

Special thanks to:

Frances Miller, for coming up yet again with such beautiful art.

Tony Levy, whose 12 string can be heard throughout. Do you want it back, mate....?

Tim Barker, my drum teacher who also lent me some great-sounding kit at the drop of a hi-hat.

The Musicians Centre and Exchange Arts Keighley, for their support of live music and musicians.

All those who have bought a CD and/or given me encouragement. It makes a difference, so thanks!

Damian Evans, Mick & Joe Miller, Tony Webster, Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby.

And not least Anne, for still supporting my music after all this time.

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Den Miller Keighley, UK

Den Miller is a multi-instrumentalist whose songs focus on strong melody and intelligent, often humorous lyrics. His sixth studio album will be released Sat 26th June 2021.

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