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Secrets, Stories & Songs (With Bonus CD - Amazon Exclusive): 1 [Audiobook, Illustrated] [Paperback]

Dave Cousins , Dick Greener , John Hill-Turner
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Aug 2010
Dave Cousins' of the Strawbs complete song lyrics with description of how, why or where the songs were written. Paperback - size 234 x 156, Illustrated with photographs, and a 17 track audio CD. Bonus CD - The Spoken Word of Dave Cousins: 1. Hanging In The Gallery, 2. Tears, 3. Fingertips, 4. Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios, 5. Joey And Me, 6. So Shall Our Love Die, 7. Face Down in The Well, 8. The Plain, 9. Haiku, 10. Grace Darling, 11. Sealed With A Traitor's Kiss, 12. The Soldier's Tale, 13. Beside The Rio Grande, 14. The Vision Of The Lady Of The Lake, 15. Evergreen, 16. Stone Cold Is The Woman's Heart, 17. Copenhagen.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Witchwood Media; 1st edition (2 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956588700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956588708
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 790,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

So often people have asked me about the meaning of my songs, and so often I have avoided revealing too much. It was only when I set out to compile a book of my complete lyrics that I realised that unless they had some form of explanation they would remain oblique and incomprehensible. Perhaps they still are. Perhaps they should have remained so. As I read them through from beginning to end (well for now) I realise that they are autobiographical. My life is summed up in my words, for better or for worse. I have included everything that I could find. Some lyrics are embarrassing, especially in the early days, but I resisted the urge to edit them ruthlessly so that I could trace the development of my style, if there is such a thing. The songs appear in the order of their first release, otherwise chronologically, as far as I can remember. I have only changed odd words where it has corrected the grammar. I must give especial thanks to my co-writers without whom many of the songs would not have been written. Thanks for being a part of it all for so long

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars poetic and beautiful 7 Aug 2010
An excellent book for both lovers of Dave Cousins songs and lovers of poetic verse. the book is niceley presented.
It works its way through over 200 lyrics. Most are from estabished songs but also includes songs that are largely unknown. Using the many albums by Dave Cousins with the Strawbs, and Dave Cousins as a solo artist, and other scources as a template, we work our way through each album, song by song. Each page has the song lyrics of a song along with a brief comment from Dave Cousins along with a small image of the album the song first appeard on. One or two lyrics also contain a brief note about guitar tuning and there is one extra page with brief notes about tuning for guitar, banjo and dulcimer. There are a few nicely placed photos in the book to act as illustration to some of the songs or photos of Dave.
There is also the CD of Dave speaking in spoken word the lyrics of just 17 songs. This CD is a nice addition. This was a genius idea to have Dave actualy read some of his poetic words. However, I think the lyrics are too closely tracked together. I would have prefered a few extra seconds between each song to allow a pause for thought and to add impact to the quality of each song because playing the CD straight through can feel a bit rushed and the lyrics of each song almost seem on top of one another. However Dave does a fine job of reading the lyrics and its interesting to listen to.
The book highlights the poetic brilliance of familiar songs. And also shows off the magic of lyrics of songs and albums often over looked by some people. For some people the best Strawbs albums came from the early seventies, but this book shows how great the lyrics are on albums that came both before and after the heyday of the Strawbs and Dave Cousins.
The book illustrates that Dave is a great song writer, but also a fine poet. Its a beautiful book that I will treasure always.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Declared interest 9 Sep 2010
I have to declare an interest in this book as during the Strawbs 'Bursting at the Seams' era, I worked with the band as their lighting man.

It was on a sell out UK tour, which lasted some 7 weeks, when Part of their Union - not one of Dave's songs - was number one in the charts, that I met my wife to be, Lucy. We have now been married some 36 years!

In the book Dave includes the lyrics from Uncle Tom Cobley, the musical that he and I wrote together and which was performed in Plymouth.

At that time, in the mid 80's, as Dave says in the book he was running the local radio station, Devonair. After that he moved on and we rather lost touch until he contacted me recently to check on the script for Uncle Tom Cobley and tell me about the book.

I have to say I was expecting a slim volume with lots of words tightly packed on a few pages and no pictures. But I was very pleasently surprised to see the finished book that has just been published.

Dave's back catalogue is extensive to say the least and would be impressive for its volume alone but it is also the quality of his work that marks out this book and its contents.

In many way though Dave Cousins, and the Strawbs, has/have a loyal band who have followed the band through its many formats and re-incarnations, Dave's work has I think largely gone unrecognised by a 'mainstream' audience.

The book re-dresses that to some extent and places on record his large repertoire which I think will delight devotees of his music and should also find additional fans amongst those not as familiar with his work.

The quality of the book, its clear, attractive and accessible layout and the often intriguing photographs are first class and aptly match and illustrate the lyrics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, fabulous. 17 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This could be my personal book of the year. Books this good are rare. Books like this are rare too. Of all the musicians and singers I have followed as a fan over the years, only Christy Moore's One Voice: My Life in Song compares. "Secrets, Stories and Songs" is a big book - almost 400 pages for your money.

What you get is effectively several hundred songs (I haven't counted!), set out as poetry (which they are, of course). They represent something pretty close to the complete canon of Dave Cousin's self-penned works. On top of this, the book is full of previously unseen photos, and dozens of side bars telling something of the stories behind the songs. I can't claim to have worked my way through it all yet, but I am licking my lips at the prospect.

But that's certainly not all. In the back is a 17 track CD on to which Dave Cousins has recorded many of the best as spoken word pieces. This is gilding the already bright golden lily, in my opinion, as I'm sure this CD would stand on its own two feet as a collector's item sold at concerts etc. However, to have it with the book is, as my title says, just fabulous.

I bought this at the same time as the wholly useless Songs Written by Dave Cousins: Grace Darling, Lay Down, I Only Want My Love to Grow in You, Autumn, Benedictus, Lemon Pie, Charmer I hope they publish my review panning that one. That experience made "Secrets, Stories and Songs" even more of a delight. Having completely wasted my money on the former, the latter comes as worth far more than the cover price to us life-long Dave Cousins fans.

This book seems to have gone out of stock very soon after publication. Get yours when you can. You won't regret it, I promise.
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