A true story...
On a wild November morning, I was on Porthleven
beach with my guitar trying to find a good
spot to play a few songs.
This probably sounds a bit odd and yes,
I suppose so, but there was a rather special
reason. I was asked to be there by Helen,
my lovely ex. house-mate, who was going to
propose to Susan, her partner, in the most
romantic fashion - waves crashing on the
beach and a beautiful, stormy sea as a magical
This unusual gig was to be the 'extra surprise'
as they arrived; I'd sing a few love songs
and help make the occasion even more romantic.
Luckily. the weather was good, if windy,
so things got under way with me perched on
a rock with my Takamine, praying it wouldn't
rain, looking like the cover picture on some
obscure folk LP.
It was high tide with only a tiny area of
beach available and a few intrepid beach strollers
were in close proximity as I began my 'performance'.
There was an old Cornish guy with his Border
Collie who made his presence felt immediately
as I started my first song by shouting at
point in buskin' ere boy.. you won't earn
a bloody penny".
I tried my best to signify I was just playing
for my friend who was in the process of proposing
marriage and that collecting money from beachcombers
wasn't really the object of the exercise.
However, I think he must have missed the
'Romantic' significance of the occasion because
throughout the twenty minutes or so I was
singing and Helen and Susan were locked in
a lover's embrace, he was shouting at his
dog who was playing a bit too close for comfort
to the water's edge and the enormous waves.
Anyway, the purpose of me being there was
to sing, and at the appropriate moment play
Helen's favourite, John Denver's "Annie's
Song". I cannot say it is one of my
most liked songs of all time because that
would be a lie, but nevertheless I was determined
to do it justice.
What I hadn't reckoned on was the Collie's
owners continuing and constant tirade at
his very wet dog throughout my performance.
He was only a few feet away from us and didn't
stop shouting at the poor animal from start
The previous night I had spent a few hours
memorising the words to the song so as not
to make any silly mistakes but not realising the
lyrics were about to change quite drastically
during my live rendition.
As I started singing, with Helen proposing
to Susan, the dog was still messing about at
the water's edge and the old guy was still
shouting at him to come back.
So, the new (revised) lyrics to Annie's
Song are now these...........................
You fill up my senses (You bloody bugger
Like a night in the forest (Get back 'ere
ya stupid animal!)
Like a mountain in springtime (Oye,
Clipper, come 'ere!)
Come let me love you (For
the very last time ya bastard!)
Let me die in your arms (You stupid dog!)
Amongst all this mayhem the real business
was beautifully done and Susan said "Yes"!
At that moment I thought I saw Clipper being swept
out to sea. As we walked away from the beach
toward the Harbour Inn for a celebration
drink I heard someone shouting..
... "Clipper ya bastard.. stop messing
about..where the hell are ya?"
It's okay, the dog was fine.