Love Songs from the 1970s


Summer Came
I wrote this song in 1976 and made a primitive recording of it at the time. In 2015, while making a film about Branwell Brontë, I borrowed the theme for a short instrumental accompaniment to a sequence in the film and I liked the way it sounded with modern technology, so I decided to record the whole song.

Musically this is virtually identical to my 1976 recording, except that this has been produced in a DAW with modern virtual instruments, whereas the earlier version was recorded on a domestic tape recorder with an acoustic guitar, a home-made fuzzbox, and a variety of instruments salvaged from junk shops and jumble sales, including an electric guitar whose frets were almost worn flat and a pair of maraccas instead of drums.

I've grown tired of apologising for the fact that I can't sing, so unless anyone volunteers to replace my vocals, tough. I'm a composer, not a singer.


Does the sun shine through your curtain in the morning when you wake?
Waiting at your window there's a dream that you can take.
Summer came the day you came my way.

A while ago my visions said the time for us was near.
I waited for the clouds to part, and now I find you here.
Summer glows in everything you say.

I see the dawn reflects the magic of your smile.
Give me all your laughter and the sun shines in a while.
Summer I can see you here to stay.

There's a dream that you can take.
Does the sun shine when you wake?
Summer, yes I found you here today.

© Alan Wrigley Jan 2018  


The Death of the Rheingold
This song was originally written in 1976 as a lament for a lost heart on the banks of the River Mersey, and was called "The Mersey Cannot Hold Its Gleam Any More".

About 12 years later, I was playing an online adventure game as Rheingold (see About the Rheingold Trauma for an explanation). He fell in love with and married a Rheinmaiden called Ithuriela but the relationship quickly went pear-shaped. I realised that the Mersey song could be adapted and vastly improved by using it to explore Rheingold's state of mind, and changed some of the words and added two new verses.

This was the last of 46 songs I wrote during a sustained period of creativity between 1970 and 1976, and for a long time afterwards I considered it my finest achievement. The music is very much of its time and shouldn't be considered as an example of where I want to be heading now, but it's still great to finally hear, quite faithfully reproduced, what's been in my head for 43 years.

Although it's a sad song about a character who feels he's reached the end of the road, the music itself is not dark. Rheingold knows that he is at fault and accepts his fate with honour and dignity.

I used the virtual reality scenario of an adventure game character to explore ideas that would be hard to do from real experience. I can assure you that I have never actually killed myself.

I've tried to teach myself to sing but I just don't have it in me to be a singer. This is the best it's going to get. Sorry.


Outside in the darkness, alone with the sound
Of those dark fateful rumblings pushing hard from deep underground,
The Siren sings louder, trying to catch the unwary ear,
And the Rheinmaiden has no words to stifle the fear.

Perhaps I was foolish, or afraid of the truth,
But this was not superficial like so many mistakes of my youth.
At the gates of delirium, which I never thought I'd see twice,
The Rheinmaiden calls the tune and fixes the price.

The oracle once told me my chariot should fly,
But her indifference has clouded all the sunbeams in my eye.
In the searing white heat of the moment, like Icarus I crash to the ground,
And the Rheinmaiden stands still and watches without a sound.

I stand on the shoreline in my own private hell
With the pride of the warrior smashed in shards at the place where he fell.
Amidst the broken icons of a world that promised so much
The Rheinmaiden withdraws her taste, her smell and her touch.

The waters cloud over, there's no sanctuary below
For this world-weary traveller who still has nowhere to go,
With his hand on the trigger and one duty still to perform,
For the Rheinmaiden offers no shelter away from the storm.

No echo or fanfare for the end of the game,
Just the gods of the river who were crying that I was to blame.
There's no turning back now as I reach the final door
For the Rheinmaiden cannot shine her light any more.

And the Rheinmaiden rejects the last of the things I stood for.

© Alan Wrigley Jun 2019  


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