211 episodes

Be entertained with a song and an extended chat, ranging from off the cuff banter/humour to life observations and song analysis.



Welcome to Song and a Chat. This is the podcast where you'll have the pleasure of listening to a new song each week - plus, you'll get to step into the shoes of a songwriter : You'll hear about the background of the song, the inspiration, how/ why the song came into being.  After the song finishes, I'll go over the lyrics and finish each episode by looking at the song from a songwriting point of view. If you just want the song and no talk, the time where the song kicks in will be in the title of each episode.

Hi, my name is Pete Pascoe. I am a performer and composer - I love lyrics and I love a melody. I play piano and sing. I have a number of albums to my name. 

I have written over 800 songs. Of course, not all of these songs I written will make it onto an album. As a songwriter, the first step for a new song is ( or was ) to record a demo. Often you catch something unique in this demo - something that is often not replicated in the studio cut....a certain feeling. 

If you're looking to be entertained, like listening to new songs and live recordings, I hope you'll enjoy what's on offer here.

I have a stack of demos from which I'm sharing one on a weekly basis. Plus I relate anecdotes about my life as a piano man, from around the time each song was written. I treat each show as a mini intimate concert - with extended chat, which ranges from off the cuff banter/humour to life observations and analysis.

The idea is : the song can be listened to for pleasure in its own right, or the listener may choose to also be entertained and informed by the story around the song. 

I'm really enjoying recording these podcasts. Each week I look forward to getting behind the mic, setting aside my current musical and artistic projects and casting my mind back in time by focussing on a song I've composed. It's turning out to be a satisfying - and sometimes surprising - time of reflection and discovery for me. 

The lyrics and the recordings take me straight back to when the song was written.

Gain an insight into songwriting and listen to a series of snapshots of life of a songwriter / performer / artist. 

It's a great way for me to archive a song and it's 'back story'. Music is to be shared. What point is there In having five songbooks and piles of demos gathering dust? 

I welcome feedback - whether you're tuning in to enjoy music for music's sake, you enjoy finding out about the origins of songs, you're looking for tips on songwriting or perhaps you've got tips for me. Either way, I'll be learning plenty as I go along. Thanks for a having a read. Come on and join me for a listen.

Song and a Chat Pete Pascoe

    • Music

Be entertained with a song and an extended chat, ranging from off the cuff banter/humour to life observations and song analysis.



Welcome to Song and a Chat. This is the podcast where you'll have the pleasure of listening to a new song each week - plus, you'll get to step into the shoes of a songwriter : You'll hear about the background of the song, the inspiration, how/ why the song came into being.  After the song finishes, I'll go over the lyrics and finish each episode by looking at the song from a songwriting point of view. If you just want the song and no talk, the time where the song kicks in will be in the title of each episode.

Hi, my name is Pete Pascoe. I am a performer and composer - I love lyrics and I love a melody. I play piano and sing. I have a number of albums to my name. 

I have written over 800 songs. Of course, not all of these songs I written will make it onto an album. As a songwriter, the first step for a new song is ( or was ) to record a demo. Often you catch something unique in this demo - something that is often not replicated in the studio cut....a certain feeling. 

If you're looking to be entertained, like listening to new songs and live recordings, I hope you'll enjoy what's on offer here.

I have a stack of demos from which I'm sharing one on a weekly basis. Plus I relate anecdotes about my life as a piano man, from around the time each song was written. I treat each show as a mini intimate concert - with extended chat, which ranges from off the cuff banter/humour to life observations and analysis.

The idea is : the song can be listened to for pleasure in its own right, or the listener may choose to also be entertained and informed by the story around the song. 

I'm really enjoying recording these podcasts. Each week I look forward to getting behind the mic, setting aside my current musical and artistic projects and casting my mind back in time by focussing on a song I've composed. It's turning out to be a satisfying - and sometimes surprising - time of reflection and discovery for me. 

The lyrics and the recordings take me straight back to when the song was written.

Gain an insight into songwriting and listen to a series of snapshots of life of a songwriter / performer / artist. 

It's a great way for me to archive a song and it's 'back story'. Music is to be shared. What point is there In having five songbooks and piles of demos gathering dust? 

I welcome feedback - whether you're tuning in to enjoy music for music's sake, you enjoy finding out about the origins of songs, you're looking for tips on songwriting or perhaps you've got tips for me. Either way, I'll be learning plenty as I go along. Thanks for a having a read. Come on and join me for a listen.

    Got Away On Me Again

    Got Away On Me Again

    Episode #211:  Got Away On Me Again  (song starts at 4:02).

    Welcome to another episode. Picture me sitting at my piano, with the microphone on. Before me I have my songbooks. I’ve picked out a song Got Away On Me Again (Song # 663, written in 2017).

    Yes, I have a song to sing, which is nice to be able to present and talk about. I’ve written quite a few over the years. It’s nice to have them up my sleeve. The real pleasure has been the time spent creating them.

    There’s a line in the this song. Time, time, time’s got away on me again. It’s funny, after last week’s song, written in my twenties, the same theme has popped up again.

    Although with this song, it’s more just an observation, rather than sort of fretting about the years passing by a too quickly.

    I really think one way to alleviate the worries of getting older is to immerse ourselves totally in some sort of artistic process.

    If I ever feel a sense of regret about anything in my life, one things for sure: I’ve never regretted time spent writing songs, painting pictures or writing lyrics, etc.

    This week I performed Got Away On Me live this week at the Mornington Winter Music Festival, here on the Mornington peninsula, part of greater Melbourne, Australia.

    I included a snippet of this live performance on this episode. On the street, it’s incredibly noisy. There’s an art to performing in that sort of an environment . What happens is: you’re nipping in and out of ‘the zone’, as such. People walking by smile and nod and you reciprocate, perhaps say thanks for a dollar tossed into the briefcase with the CDs and sign. The cars, crows, the seagulls all catch your ear.

    When I’m songwriting , I’ve been extremely lucky to have a very peaceful environment, for the most part. I think that’s really important …not essential, but it sure helps if you can really focus on what you’re doing without any distractions. Fairly obvious, right?

    The thing is, the longer I’m in the moment, the deeper in I get. It’s definitely a shift in consciousness. You’re gone. It’s such a pleasure to be a songwriter. If you’re thinking about getting into it, I say: go for it.

    Got Away On Me Again is about catching those moments in your hands…sure the years are passing by, but they’re always going to be doing that.

    So we may as well be free and do things that we love doing - as much as possible. Personal freedom is the key,

    And how do we create time to do this in our busy lives? I think by committing to a definitive amount of time each week. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, even 10mins. But if you do that you can up the ante to 20mins..and so on.

    Pretty soon, hopefully you’ll be looking back on 6 months where it’s become a habit, and you’re enjoying it som much, it’s something you really don’t want to let go of.

    That’s where I find myself: 200 odd podcast episodes, 200 odd blog posts, 800 songs, a dozen albums  (soon to be 17).

    Looking forward to releasing some albums shorty. And finishing those video courses… yep time got away on me again.

    I hope you enjoy having listen to this song …and the chat

    Here we go, rollin’!

    Lyrics here (+ links to more art and music): www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

    • 30 min
    Forever

    Forever

    Episode #210: Forever  (Song starts at 4:20)

    I went outside tonight, just before I recorded this episode. The stars are incredible aren’t they? Infinite. Makes you realise how insignificant we are, really.

    I like to think we all count. We all made up part of the universe.

    Those sorts of big thoughts are the sorts of things I was thinking when I wrote Forever, song#85.

    It was 1988. I had a gig at the ski fields in New Zealand. I was playing the piano and singing in the evenings. Apart from this, my time was my own. So I skied. And when it rained I wrote songs,

    When you’re up the mountain, your mind can really wander. It was a moody place. Often serene, some days the wind was really howling.

    Also what was inspiring me was Crowded House’s 2nd album, Temple Of Low Men. I listened to it every night as I went to sleep. So 80s music was the style I was listening to.

    Also what had a big say on how Forever came together, style wise was: everything night after the gig , I’d walk back to my room, feet crunching on the frosty gravel. Under my was my Roland D50 synth.

    Before I listened to the Crowded House album, I’d pick up my pen and write a page or 2 of lyrics.

    The next day, I’d fire up the synth. And randomly select a patch (a different sound).

    It’s quite different to composing on the piano, writing on the synth. A breath of fresh air. And it suited the style I was writing.

    I enjoyed recording the demo for this episode. I fired up the drum machine for a bit of fun. It was nice to finally record the demo, it’s been a wee while since 1988.

    The lyrics are about sitting back in the evening, considering the bigger picture, how the years are nipping by. ( the pinch of the years) and the the little dreams that eat away. Endless evenings of different plans.

    What’s this all about? For me, it’s about the fact that I’m a very driven person when it comes to the arts.

    Something made me write 800 songs, and I’m still going. I’m loving recoding them - I’m working on wrapping up another 5 albums presently,

    The 6th folk rock album, with Paul Dredge is finally done. Whoo!

    It’s is nice to complete a creative project. But then what happens? The next thing suddenly becomes the new focus, us creative people need to keep moving on.

    It’s never about the destination. It’s about the process.

    I wonder whether I’ll record Forever one day? Perhaps. It strikes me as a sort of an album track.

    Ive been toying with recording an 80s sort of a synth driven album. I imagine Forever might fit on that sort of an album .

    It’s good to have variety in my life. I’ve composed all sorts of songs from quiet piano solo pieces to rock songs. I paint and sell seascapes, cartoons of animals and teach piano. I enjoy making the videos for my music. And I’m working on video courses for the piano, seascapes and cartoon drawing

    Today was one of those days where I felt like my plans were getting away on me. So made a new plan, came up with a timeline, some deadlines. We’ll see how it goes.

    Anyhow, I was still in a bit of a reflective mind when I came in to my studio tonight to record this episode. Forever had been floating around in my mind these last few weeks.

    I flicked open the 1st book and there it was, song #85. There are 154 songs in the first book

    Look at yourself in the mirror is there a stranger staring back?

    The years pass by and it seems some days you have a realisation you’ve got a bit older. It’s not something you think of each day (well, I don’t). It just catches up on you now and then.

    Ok come back in time with me to 1988. It was a most enjoyable gig, the ski gig.  I’m glad I wrote songs like Forever. Here we go (lyrics here: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com (The Bounce/Forever)

    • 29 min
    A Certain Kind Of

    A Certain Kind Of

    Episode #209:  A Certain Kind Of  (Song starts at 4:41 )

    This song, #213, is in a different style to the piano vocal ones that have made up the bulk of the songs featured on this podcast. It was written in 1992 by myself and with Paul Dredge on guitar. So it’s a guitar + voices song.

    Writing with Paul, when we are in the same room, is great fun. Having had a brief chat about the lyrics, what sort of mood style might suit, Paul will start playing a riff or some chords on his acoustic guitar. I have the prewritten lyrics draft in hand.

    It’s completely liberating for me to wing a melody over the top of what Paul is playing. I have no idea what chords he’s playing (I don’t play guitar). His fingers moving easily on the fretboard, his eyes are shut for the most part. Me, I’m alternatively looking into space, or projecting some sort of energy back to Paul as we write together. He’ll look up now and then and we just click together.

    There’s been a fair few songs written like this by us now. We are about to release our 6th folk rock album. Our last one was called The Untrodden Track (It’s streaming on all the usual platforms).

    Being able to write songs so easily and quickly together is something we certainly don’t take for granted. It’s a joy.

    The words include Tip toeing on broken glass. It was an emotional time for me when I write the lyrics (a love interest, things not running all that smoothly).

    t’s a good idea as a song writer to keep an eye on yourself in terms of maybe keeping a diary. You can then. glean some truths, what’s true to you. When you do this sort of work on the self, I think you’re more likely to write songs that ring true. Because they come from a place of some clarity. That’s the idea, anyway.

    You may choose to tuck of that truth into some arty sort of lyric writing, obtuse, if you will.. there’s some interesting lines in this song that’s for sure: communicating in a chamber

    One of the great things about emotional upheavals is they can be great experiences to draw on to put into art. Affairs of the heart.

    When Paul and I write, we are completely on the same page. We communicate without talking as we improvise our parts. You have to listen very closely to what the other person is doing, when you’re in the moment, composing together.

    A Certain Kind Of was one of 17 songs we recorded and mixed in 3 days (!), our first time in a real studio. With Earl Pollard on drums and Michelle Pickett on vocal harmonies, it all came together really well. Everything was one take - including the vocals. All sung live together, with some tight harmonies.

    Performing music like this in the studio is a blast. I was as high as kite at the time of - and for days after - the recording sessions. It was like we managed to produce the paintings which I always imagined we could, after having working drawings and sketches for so long.

    Composing and recording is still where it’s at for me after all these years. I’m putting the finishing touches to 5 albums at the moment, in different genres  - and I intend to release them all this year.

    This podcast is such good fun, creatively, it’s a great release for me to me to be doing what amounts to a songwriter speaks sort of online gig each week. It’s nice to be sharing the music, the stories, some songs writing ideas.

    By the way, you certainly don’t need any musical theory up your sleeve to enjoy this podcast. It’s inclusive, each week, while I’m inviting you into my songs (which at times are very personal), once they are complete , recorded even a demo, means they are outside of me, so I’m comfortable sharing.

    Each listener is going to hear the song differently. Some will hear the beat, others the melody, others the mood, others the lyrics.

    Arranging a song is great fun as well. So it’s a multifaceted thing, this song writing..there’s the lyrics, the music to compose,

    • 30 min
    Country Gentleman Jack

    Country Gentleman Jack

    Episode #208: Country Gentleman Jack (song starts at 4:30)

    Back in 1993, I was the piano man at Wairakei resort, in New Zealand’s north island, near Taupo - beautiful place.

    Outside of my regular entertainment in the restaurant hours, I wrote songs like this one: Country Gentleman Jack, song #319.

    As part of the contract, I was also hired to play piano vocal music for conventions. One particular calm winters evening, I found myself in the scene, playing away, equal parts lost in the music and also keeping an eye the patrons, making sure what I’m doing suited the moment. It’s an art.

    I happened to glance up mid song and noticed an older chap at the bar. He seemed like a fish out of water, amongst all the city types, the suits and Shiraz and scotches, He really looked like he was from the country with his quiet expression and quiet beer. So much so, it looked like he’d beamed in from another age.

    He wasn’t awkward though, he nodded with social grace, a gentleman. But I could see he wasn’t exactly tied up in any conversations with everyone. Perhaps he was watching the piano man for a moment and that’s what caused me to look up.

    I took a break, wandered over to the bar and without great emphasis quietly said gidday. Code for ‘you know I’m from the country, too, or part of me is. I think I can see you might be feeling a bit uncomfortable there…’

    So we wandered outside for a yarn.

    Just this week at the market someone asked me what’s the best thing about making a living from my art and music. I replied with just a slight breath in and out, the people. It’s what is all about.

    Like any calling, any business, any life we are all designed to cross paths with people, exchange information, learn stuff (or not) and carry on.

    Some people really stay in your mind. Jack was one of those characters that pretty much ended up writing a song for me.

    Writing the lyrics was easy. Back in my hotel room, in a somewhat reflective mood, it was just a matter of letting my mind flick back through scenes of the evening.

    Some of the lines were were pretty much just reporting. What I thought Jack might be thinking, his actions, where we went, outside into the crisp evening to catch some air. And this:

    The look on his face when it came to when we had to go back into the room. Unfamiliar ground, for Jack. For me, it was back to the piano.

    At the end of the bracket, I couldn’t see Jack in the crowd. So I wandered back outside. It really was a stunning place, in the country. The stars were always crystal clear, bright and close.

    As I walked out the door, a truck trundled by. It was Jack. He wound down the window , smiled and wished me luck. And with that he trundled up the driveway and headed off down the highway, into the night, leaving the bright shiny scene behind him...and none too soon, I suspect.

    So the lyrics came together quickly for me, as they often do. We had some common ground. I’d spent a lot of my childhood school holidays on farms, with my dad, hunting and fishing. You learn the ropes. There is no rush in the country. Unless stock ( the animals) need urgent attention - or the rain was about to hit with the hay on the ground... Then it’s all go. Other than that there’s all the time in the world. Because you’re in touch with the land , the seasons, the language of the weather ...etc. it appeals to me.

    So it was a chance for me to dip into these sorts of feelings and experiences- while relating a tale like a country yarn (and it’s a cardinal sin to rush a country person’s yarn). It’s connection, self worth, reflection. It’s a rite not to be dismissed.

    To catch some of those feelings in the words was fun.

    When I sat at the piano the next day, I had a gentle smile on my face. I knew I had a story, some feeling, all of which was a natural fit for me.

    When the words feel that way, it seems the music flows easily.

    • 32 min
    Better Late Than Never

    Better Late Than Never

    Episode #207: Better Late Than Never    (Song starts at 4:30)

    This song (#659), came about back in 2017.  I was on my way to work and there was a bit of difficulty getting there, due to the public transport not exactly running smoothly.

    I was off to teach piano for the day ( I’ve been a piano teacher now for probably about 15 years. I teach as a contractor in a primary school. I teach 24 private lessons in 2 fairly intense days (I’m working steadily on video courses. More on this later).

    Anyway, on this particular cold winters morning, the bus had been late and then the train was really late.

    When it did finally arrive, a lady turned to me and said “Better late than never”. Indeed, I thought: Aha that’ll be a good phrase to write a song around.

    So that’s what I did at the school. As luck would have it, my first student was absent. I wrote this one ‘backwards’, from the main phrase

    It’s funny, I remember a teacher passing by my door…”What are you doing there Peter?” “Writing a song,.”     “Hmm,” she said a little doubtfully. And said “Oh well, fortune favours those with determination”, …haha thanks very much..

    And Aha .. another line was given to me:  “fortunes favours those as determined as can be”.

    I find once I’ve written one section of lyrics, it naturally flows on to the next. When the flow stops momentarily, I’ll often cast my mind over what I’ve already written and this often inspires the next angle.

    It’s fascinating to me how much I can remember about how a song like this was written. I think it’s because I’m so passionate about it.

    You know, how you remember getting up in the middle of the night to watch say World Cup soccer… the anticipation, the alarm going off, putting the heater on, all the details around the actual event remain in your mind.

    Having lead a creative for so long, I now have the pleasure of being able to be cast my mind back and recall so many happy memories. And I wonder what lies ahead. Who knows.. all you’ve got is now - and right now, I’m listening back to this episode, reviewing it as I write this. It’s such good fun.

    And I’m finding I’m loving recording these episodes. It’s an weekly online gig for me. Thanks so much for those of you who are tuning in regularly, if that’s what you’re doing. If you’re new here, I hope these show      notes have piqued your curiosity and you go on to have a listen.

    If you  like what you hear, we’ll there’s another previous 200 odd episodes waiting for you, It’s a relaxed listen, because it’s recorded and produced that way.  it’s all just ‘winged’ -  there is no script. I let the song lead the way. II’ve discovered approaching each episode like this is a good idea, as it’s a fun way to explore what is an extremely complicated process. Apparently.

    For me, I write and compose quickly an instinctively. It’s just the way I roll. And I paint and draw the same way,,,

    If you’d like to hear and see more, here’s my blog www.petepascoe.Wordpress.com . Lots of links to art and music here.

    Please do sign up to my email list, I’d love that. Weekly art and music would be heading your way in an email.

    There’s plenty more coming up.

    Ok, on with the show. Picture me, sitting at my piano in my studio, with the mic in font of me. And away we go “ Welcome to another episode of Song and A Chat…”

    • 32 min
    Whirlpool

    Whirlpool

    Episode #206:  Whirlpool (Song starts at 5:20)

    I enjoyed recording a demo for this episode. It’s such good fun when I do this. It occurs to me as I write these show notes, it’s been a great way to archive some old songs (and of course putting them together with a show that gives them a context.

    A context? Con : more than one. Text: story.

    That’s one of the things that makes a song interesting and engaging. That over used word the ‘back story’… I guess that’s actually a step on from the song itself.

    The lyrics, bring so many memories to the surface for me. They become picture and movies. In a sense, I’m putting music to movies, then.

    But that’s only one way of looking at it. There are so many things to have under your belt, so many things to look out for as you compose. Yet you’re free, free as a free thing. You’re on the breath. It feels like a short holiday.

    Thinking about writing a song feels like when you are anticipating of a short holiday. Pretty good, eh? And when you are composing, you’re definitely ‘away’ somewhere.

    That’s how it feels to write a song like Whirlpool.

    This song was written in NZ. In 1987, when I was away at the ski fields for a few months. It was a great gig: Lighting the fire In the old fire place in the restaurant in the early evening, then sitting at my keyboard and singing as the guests arrived.

    I had the best sound in the house. A huge speaker right behind me. Sound is everything when it comes to confidence for live performance.

    The same when you’re recording music - and it really helps to have a nice peaceful environment when you’re composing. There’s nothing like someone coming in and tapping me on the shoulder when I’m composing. I just about jump out of my skin …because I’m really on another planet. Well, part of me is. It’s the coolest feeling, and it’s like I’m engaged in some sort of exchange, some connection that offers fleeting moments of possibilities.

    It’s then up to me, with my limitations as a human being to interpret and present the best version of what I’m sensing or hearing in the moment.

    Anyway, back in the day, in 1987 I was in my early 20s. I felt like my life was racing me by and I really needed to get cracking,

    Which is funny, looking back from 2024. ‘There’s plenty of time, man!’  that’s what I’d like to say to that young fellow.

    After those gigs, I’d carry one of my keyboards through the freezing frosty night, back to my room. I’d put pen to paper and quickly write a page of lyrics. The next morning, I’d plug in my relatively new synth (a Roland D50)  and randomly select a patch …(a sound) to compose within away I’d go. Singing and playing. Again, it was so much fun.

    So, this song started with the lyrics first, where I observed my thoughts spinning like a whirlpool. Playing with an orchestra strings sound, I sang along with the chords and the song we quickly took shape.

    And there in my old green song book it’s lived, awaiting its moment.

    So here’s Whirlpool, song #79, from 1987.

    I hope you enjoy this episode, once again exploring the songwriting process, with anecdotes and also some new improvised music, enjoy.

    www.petepascoe.wordpress.com is my blog. Lots of links to more of my music and art there.

    12 albums streaming presently.

    Sign up to my email list on my website. www.petepascoe.com

    And of course, if you’re new here, there’s another 205 episodes to catch up on - in no particular order (that’s 205 songs + a 100 hours of anecdotes, life observations and songwriting stuff).

    • 33 min

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