As the tagline of our website suggests, Roger and I are interested in both fiction and music. Roger is an amazing musician, playing bass trombone in a well-known big band and a competition brass band. His wife and three daughters are exceptional performers as well.
I am not. Other than playing piano or guitar for the occasional wedding, I don’t perform in public. Just not my thing, primarily because I’m not all that confident in my performing abilities.
What I do, however, is compose. A lot. That keeps me behind the scenes, where I prefer to be musically.
I’m not inclined to post my original scores online, because doing so virtually eliminates the possibility of getting them published elsewhere. (Posting them online constitutes publication, and few music outlets will accept anything that’s already been published, even if it was only on a personal website.)
However, I do occasionally make an exception, as evidenced with the links below. The first three songs are my arrangements of traditional ballads. More on those below.
Of the four original songs, all are sad pieces about losing someone.
“It Ain’t Wrong If It’s Right,” a blues tune co-written with Roger, comes from our novel In the Blood. In it, one of the characters, who is gay, loses his partner to a drug overdose, and writes this song about him. (We didn’t have to write an actual song for a fictional novel, but Roger and I, being Roger and I, wrote one anyway.)
“Julie” was written for my friend Carol, whose sister Julie was murdered in Waverly in 1975. (The killer was never caught.) Julie was my age, but I never met her, so I wrote a song speculating if we might have been friends had we met.
“I’ll Remember” is the song I wrote for my brother after he was murdered. I wrote it the day after his funeral in 1981, so the emotions were still raw.
“Broken” was written for my friend Paul, who took his own life in 2019. I wanted to get into his head to try to understand what he was feeling. However, that made things too intense for me, so I changed the character in the song to a woman, changed the season from spring to winter, and the location from the woods to a country road.
“It Ain’t Wrong If It’s Right” wasn’t hard to write because it concerns a fictional situation. The other three, however, were very difficult.
Needless to say, this is all copyrighted material intended only for private use.
Now, about those traditional ballads. I wrote new arrangements of “Greensleeves,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “Auld Lang Syne.” Note: Instead of the traditional words to “Greensleeves,” I set Christopher Marlowe’s 16th-century poem, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” to the music of “Greensleeves.” The words fit surprisingly well with the melody.
I wrote a blog with a brief history of those songs, which may be found here:
Although the traditional songs are in public domain, my arrangements of them are not. They are also copyrighted .
Click on the titles below to download some of our sheet music: