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Sunday, July 31, 2011

'Bullet' song by folksinger Gray Hawke has me humming



I've been walking around this week humming a song about a Royal Enfield Bullet.

The song is "Bullet" by British folksinger Gray Hawke. You can listen to it on his MySpace page.

The lyrics are terrific, summing up so much of what is special about the Royal Enfield Bullet — from it being a survivor from a time of black-and-white to the way it takes away my worries every time I feel that engine run.

"And She's Made Like a Gun."

The song was pointed out to me by Mike, a reader who knows more about music than I do. He wrote:

"As a lifelong rider and musician I found a story inside that song that stirred the musician to write the lyrics, the music, and perform it. A song heartfelt, is always worth listening to."

Gray Hawke himself explained on MySpace in 2010 that his inspiration for the song came from purchase of a  "black and chrome" Royal Enfield:

"I got a wonderful motorcycle... a Royal Enfield Bullet 500efi DL... As with most truly life-changing experiences, it had to have a song. I'd written a lyric, found what I think is a really catchy chorus and got a rhythm and feel for the song nailed... but I was really struggling to find a tune and structure for the verses.

Singer Gray Hawke.
"Anyway, I decided to give it another bash... and finally got something that worked. A bit quirky and asymmetrical — also quite difficult to remember! As I was already planning to go to Commonfolk... I gave the new song a run out in front of an audience — the first time I've ever finished and performed a song on the same day.

"It went pretty well — a few very positive comments from audience members afterwards, even though it was obviously a bit rough. Definitely one to polish up."

"Bullet" is now one of six original songs on his CD "A Place to Live," produced as a benefit for the Claire House Children's Hospice in the UK.

I enjoy the other songs on the CD almost as much as I like "Bullet."


"This Town" is a perfect companion, as it addresses the lack of history in modern cities. It's catchy, too, and will be running through my helmet as I ride around my home town in South Florida, believe me.

Another, "Paranoid Adenoid" is one of those funny songs that shouldn't work but does: about having  your tonsils out! "We were useless and accessible; no wonder we were paranoid."

The others are "Zanzibar," "Folk Song Girls," and "What's Gonna Happen?"

I wrote a fan letter to Gray Hawke, who responded: "I still have the Bullet — called Geraldine — and ride it whenever I can. It gets lots of positive comments, mostly along the lines of 'my Dad used to have one of those' or similar.

"As for the song — yes, I perform it regularly in folk clubs around the UK. There's quite a big overlap between people who enjoy acoustic music and people who enjoy motorbikes so it usually goes down well."

He offered to mail the CD of "A Place to Live" to any reader who emails him at grayhawke619@gmail.com Payment is $10, including postage, with proceeds benefiting Claire House.

According to the liner notes, Claire House, a hospice for children in Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and the Isle of Man "provides a home from home environment for children and young adults with life shortening conditions... It is not a sad place; it is a place for living and provides an opportunity for children to enjoy fun, laughter, love and support."

Sounds like a worthy cause.

Gray Hawke and Geraldine.

1 comment:

  1. WOW!! That song has a brilliantly authentic 60s Garfunkel sound. I'll be ordering.

    ReplyDelete

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