These songs were composed over a 30 year period and represent many facets of life.
The title refers to the guitar strings of course and also to the relatively laid back character of the singer - Lord, preserve us from highly strung altos!
01 To Cassandra is my father's translation from Ronsard, one of the many "gather ye rosebuds while ye may" poems that were popular in the days of the French Renaissance.
02 The Quiet way you move me is based on a poem by the late Nevil Frenkiel, originally intended for a play in which the mother is singing a lullaby to the baby Jesus but also forseeing his future.
03 Romance for Lissie is a vocalise (wordless song) written in honour of my flatmate at the time.
04 Song for Jenny is a macaronic poem (Italian and English) which I wrote while visiting a friend in Northern Italy - the Italian words can be loosley translated into English as "Here and now, in Ghemme, I don't know what I want; my love where am I, where are we?"
05 Cupid, shame yourself is a poem I wrote way back in my days in Strasbourg, where I experimented more than somewhat with my emotions - it basically reflects the feelings of an person who thinks he's asexual, then thinks he's sexual, then gets thoroughly confused.
06 Here in nomansland also goes back to my Strasbourg days and is a reminiscence of a choir trip to the Vosges in which two of us got really deep and philosophical
07 Be not afeard is taken from Shakespeare's The Tempest, the words are spoken by Caliban who tells the visitors to the island about the strange noises that sometimes arise and how he accepts them.
08 Wrong side of the door is a poem by a Belgian friend about a cat which is always the wrong side of the door - I sing both owner and cat parts!
09 Je veux sortir is the same song as Wrong side of the door but in the original French version
10 Havirandosan no Haiku is based on a set of haikus by a friend of mine called Mark Haviland
11 To a bee with no sense of direction is based on Audrey Vaughan's poem and speaks for itself - the guitar cross string tremolos represent the buzzing of the bee.
12 Ludhe sing tishu - sneezing song - this is a parody I made of the old English canon Summer is icumen in - and is sung in honour of all who suffer hay fever.
13 Christmas song based on a poem by Audrey Vaughan about seeking the baby Jesus and finding him within her own soul
14 Judas is also based on a poem by Audrey Vaughan and reflects on Judas'feelings as he is about to hang himself
15 As gleams the rosebud is another "gather ye rosebudsW poem by Ronsard as translated by my father
16 Rose is based on a poem by a Kurdish prisoner of conscience who yearns to get back to the peace of his garden