Below are some brief notes relating to each of the songs on The Forest Dark in album order. For those of you who might like a little more background information.


The Forest Dark


Instrumental prelude or introduction and theme track of the album



Acoustic guitar and cello (soundfont) and crickets


One Night As I Lay On My Bed


This is a traditional English song which I first came across on an album called Hark The Village Wait by Steeleye Span. I have always been drawn to English folk music for the melody and story telling aspects

Basically, the song is about a man who can't sleep for thinking about his love so he decides to journey out through the bitter frost and snow to his lover's house and, standing at her window, pleads with her to open it and let him in. She, however, is afraid her parents, being it's their house, will wake and hear them



Vocals, acoustic guitar and tenor banjo and crickets


Here I Am


An original song of which I can't tell you much about, in as much as I, as yet, haven't a clue what it's about. Sometimes it takes years for the meaning of one of my songs to come to me



Vocals, acoustic guitar and tenor banjo


Lough Erne Shore


This is a traditional Irish song that I picked up from a Paul Brady recording on the album Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

Though, quite obviously, I am not Irish I have always been drawn to Irish folk songs such as this for the lyric and melody. This song being about a man out hunting wild fowl around Lough Erne shore who comes across a lady whom he falls madly in love with. He then tries to convince her not to marry 

her fiance but instead marry him



Vocals acoustic guitar and mandorla


Dulcie and the Sea


This is the second instrumental. The first half led by a dulcimer that I call Dulcie. The second half featuring the sounds of the ocean among other things



Dulcimer, acoustic guitars, slide mandolin, tenor banjo, synthesizer and ocean sounds


In Our Disease


This is an original song that has an extended instrumental intro. The song itself is about prejudice and how those who were once victim to it can turn out to be guilty of harbouring prejudices themselves



Vocal and acoustic guitar


John Barleycorn


I first came across this song on Traffic's John Barleycorn Must Die album. This is a great example of storytelling in traditional English songs. Here they have personified the distilling of barley to make alcohol. John Barleycorn is victim to all sorts of barbary however ends up being the one who has a hold over man through their addiction to alcohol



Vocals, acoustic guitar and dulcimer


God Rest Ye


I have adapted this from the traditional English Christmas carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. But have altered the music and changed the lyric leaving only parts of the chorus in tact. This song is about how consumerist and far removed from the original ideology of Christmas our Christmas' have become



Vocal, acoustic guitar and soundfont




The third instrumental on the album. This is an improvisation performed on tenor banjo with blues

 harp added for atmosphere



tenor banjo and blues harp


Beneath a Silvery Moon


An original. Simply put it is a night-owl's serenade to a moonlit night by the ocean and the serenity of knowing half the world's asleep



Vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin, cello and flute soundfonts


The Dark Forest


An instrumental outro. A variation of The Forest Dark intro



Acoustic guitar and crickets