Queen St

Episode #89 Queen St    (Song starts at 6;58)

This is the podcast where you get to hear how it feels to be a songwriter. 

How do I do this? What I do I talk about? 

The answers seem to come as I follow my nose, as I record what comes into my mind in the moment. 

As a songwriter, you instinctively know when to jot notes down, when a phrase catches your ear in a certain way. It might be something that someone says in passing, or a sentence or two that just pop into your mind..

For that to happen, I find I need to make room for those sort of moments. To make room, in my head, to clear the slate a bit, I like getting out into nature. 

On this week’s episode, I take you with me down at the beach to catch that bit of fresh air.

The song Queen St came about after I jotted down the sights I could recall from earlier in the day: at lunchtime on a Friday, Paul Dredge and I set up to busk rather hopefully – outside a bank. In Queens St, the main Street of Auckland’s CBD, in New Zealand,

Later on, as soon as I sang and played the first line, that’s when I knew I had a song. All you really need to do is make a start.  Songwriting is so much like painting (which I do as well – you can check out a painting I did today of Sorrento, via, Australia, here: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com).

The start gives you the feeling. That’s number one. It gives you energy and a reason to write the next line, which leads on to the next …and … pretty soon you’ve got a whole page of lyrics to work with.

This song was one of those ‘words first, music second’ songs. I always used to write songs like that. These days I mainly find myself writing the music & words at the same time, which is fun. 

As I recorded this episode, I was trying to recall what age I was when I wrote the song, I said 19 or 20, but it was more like 27. 

Paul Dredge and I were on the road. It was a free, fun time in our lives. I think that sense of freedom comes through in this song.

Ok, join me now for a half hour chat, with some music and some new music for you to listen to. There’s some very nice vocal harmonies on this recording. 

Here we go…

Life Is

Episode #88:   Life Is   (Song starts at 4:27)

Welcome to another episode. It’s great that this podcast is being listened to and enjoyed by listeners around the world. I’m very grateful to you all for tuning in each week. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. 

I guess that’s the power of music, the intrigue… The interest in ‘where the heck does a song come from? 

This week again, we set out to come up with some more ideas about that.  

It’s certainly a journey of rediscovery for me as I look back on these songs. Interestingly, I seldom forget a melody, or the feel of a song that I’ve written ( and there are 800 + ). 

The subject of this week’s song, ‘Life is’, certainly could have been a slow ballad. I opted for a medium tempo piano version of a guitar ‘finger picking’ style of delivery. I’m pleased I did.

Part of keeping the creative flow happening is having a laugh. As the years go by, I’m surer than ever that’s true. Songwriter can tend to be introspective serious loners, at times.. 

Me, I like to think I’m gregarious. I love having a good laugh. Obviously, it lifts your spirits – and so can music and words. 

I hope you enjoy this episode. I did. It’s so much fun, just ‘winging it’. There’s no script. I like to let the music and words, memories and observations that pop up ‘in the moment’ lead the way: 

I describe how it feels to walk up a river fishing, imagining what it’s like down in the depths.. 

I also recount some happy memories I have, as a youngster, spending some time with my grandparents. This is because I see in my songbook I’ve dedicated this song to my grandparents.

The song finishes with the lines:

‘Life is short, life is long, play your life like a happy song’ – and I am. Welcome to another slice of the life of a songwriter,  as I share my thoughts with you.. 

Here we go.. Enjoy!

The Drum

Episode #87: The Drum  (Song starts 5.14)

Where did this song come from? The first line is: ‘The rocking train challenges my pen to stay upon the page’. 

Yep, I was on the train when I wrote these lyrics.  It feels great to be a songwriter, to close my eyes and just write whatever pops into my mind. I don’t question it, I’ll just write something, knowing (and it definitely is a ‘knowing) that something will ‘answer’ me.

It’s exactly like this. It feels like a sense of ‘give and take’, as you float ideas freely.  A sense of play and some positive energy goes a long way. ..

Before we get to the train, I take you for the walk I follow when I catch the bus and train to get to a piano teaching job I have – when it’s happening. 

We’re opening up again here in Melbourne, after 86 weeks of extended lockdowns. Starting again from next week, I’ll be back on the train twice a week – and most likely, I’ll be sitting there with a pen and paper. I’ll be miles away, somewhere in my mind. 

Being a songwriter is a fine thing, for a number of reasons. One great thing is: all I need is a pen and paper and I’m away. You don’t need much gear. It’s such a pleasure. 

I had a band practice before I recorded this episode. Performing music is also a great thing. So is recording music, both of which I enjoy doing.

On that note, If you’d like to hear more of some of the music I’ve recorded, I have albums streaming on most platforms –  solo and with others. ( www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com has 13 albums).

As a songwriter, it’s like you’re always just a breath away from a new idea – and one new idea is all it takes to get a new song really underway. The song seems to take on its own energy, and you just kind of try to get out of the road of your pen. Or you let your fingers just wander on the keys of the piano. It really is the best feeling. 

Ok, join me today, as we look at ‘The Drum’. This song explores the idea of us all be interconnected – a timely theme, as we reconnect after the Covid lockdowns.

If you’re new here, welcome. I hope you enjoy today’s episode. If you do – and want to hear more – there’s another 86 Episodes waiting for you. And there’ll be another episode next week. 

Here we go… The Drum…..Rollin’ !

The Best Story

Episode #86: The Best Story      (Song starts at 4:38)

Hi there. Join me this week, as I go back in time again, to a wooden table and chairs at the local park. This is where I wrote the lyrics for this week’s featured song. 

I break a few songwriting rules with this song. Originally, there was no structure to the sentences – not one rhyme either. It could’ve remained a poem (I include a reading of the lyrics as a poem on this episode), but something enticed me – against all odds, really – to turn these words into lyrics and marry them to a melody.

As is most often the case, I’m glad I did. 

Every now and then, you’ll notice, as we look at the lyrics, that I look up and take in my surroundings. Being out in nature is good for the soul. I enjoy writing outdoors occasionally. 

On this episode, I talk about ‘writing on the breath’ – it’s something I think I do naturally, to tell the truth. It’s just one facet of this whole songwriting process that I’d never considered, before I started recording these podcast episodes. 

I’m so pleased I did. This podcast has become more than just a collection of songwriting ideas and tips. I always knew it would. But it’s surprised me, the amount of information, and sense of excitement that awaits me each week.

This week is no exception. Come and see where the ‘afternoon clouds, drifting like a watercolour’ take us. 

A few dogs and birds (from the park) get a mention – and the gum trees – they’re so beautiful here in Melbourne, Australia where I reside. It was good to be out and about – and I’m glad I wrote some lyrics when I was at the park, in Sandringham, about 7 years ago.

The Mornington Peninsula is where I continue to write my story, these days. This podcast is becoming part of it. So, in a sense, you’re part of my story too, because that’s the nature of storytelling: you (hopefully) engage the listeners emotions, something rings true. So you listen closer to see what going to be said next.

Each week we (all) have to wait to find out where the story is going to take us, as each episode is completely unscripted. I have fun using this process of exploration, following the feelings and images that come to mind as I l talk about  the featured song of the week.

Ok, I hope now you’re ready to dive in and have listen to this episode. If it’s your first time here, a very warm welcome to you – and you are welcome here. This is not some exclusive group. I firmly believe the arts should be an inclusive domain. 

So I talk in a relaxed manner, not dwelling overly on the theory, the ‘nuts and bolts’. I do get these concepts across, but I manage to convey the information in a manner that does not alienate a listener that is not into music theory. These ‘technical’ moments come and go. A healthy dose of humour helps.

These episodes are more a celebration of songwriting, of life (I guess my version of life), really. It’s part of my story. It’s the artist’s way: to observe, reflect, then create and share. 

Ok, join me now. Here we go….”Rollin’…welcome to another episode of Song and A Chat …”    Enjoy! 

Made Me Realise

Episode #85:  Made Me Realise    (Song starts 7:20)

This week’s episode has a nice laid back mood again. This is how I felt when I wrote Made Me Realise (song #41) back in 1987. I can still till remember the evening this song came to me as I let my fingers wander on the keys where they would and let my voice float where it chose to go.

This is the podcast where one of my aims is to give you the feeling of how it feels to be in the shoes of a songwriter.
I try to give you an insight as to where the featured song of the week came from (I’ve composed 800 or so, so it’s fun dipping into the pool and see which one comes up each week).
There was a thunderstorm passing by as I recorded this episode. My studio isn’t exactly sound proof. You hear the wind and the rain on the roof. I don’t mind that.
It certainly added to proceedings..with a bit of atmosphere.
Speaking of atmosphere. You’ll get to hear the call of the black cockatoo ! Unexpected? Yeah, but I love being out in nature. It sort of wipes the slate clean.

Being in the outdoors brings me clarity of thought – and that is exactly what you need, as a songwriter. In the moment, you’re being: your own secretary; rhythm maker; tempo keeper; melody writer; lyricist; the list goes on…not to mention you’re accessing all the theory you’ve learned as you play in the moment and attempt to follow the feeling of where the song is taking you as it slowly presents itself.
Paul and I talked about this the other week on the BP Diner episode…the mystique of songwriting. It’s a fine art. I feel lucky to be a songwriter.

I also have been thinking of introducing some other writing here and there (as spoken word), eg :some diary entries that are relative to proceedings. So I do that on this episode, describing the Dawn at a beautiful river mouth at lake Taupo, New Zealand.
You’ll also get to visit the (Espy) Esplanade hotel in St Kilda, in Melbourne Australia, where I now reside ( I’m an ex kiwi). The version you hear of Made Me Realise is our band, Pete Pascoe and the Patient hum, playing the song live for the very first time, about 7 years ago at this great venue.
Given that the song was written in 1987, that’s a long time to wait, as a song writer. We finally recorded a version of the song recently, as a band (all instruments live, together, plus overdubs of strings and Organ, etc. on the album The Roughest Cut. Streaming now. Made Me realise is track number one.
Y’gotta be patient some times… That’s 33 years after I wrote the song!
Ok for now, sit back, enjoy the show. I did, even if my ‘magic lamp’ when out twice – of its own accord – when I was recording. Bizarre. It was one of those evenings.
Anyhow, join me now… Here we go ….enjoy!
Www.petepascoe.wordpress.com is my blog, which I mention (lots of art and more music here – the lyrics are here too).


At What Cost

Episode #84: At What Cost     (Song starts at 4:38)

Welcome. This week’s episode has very peaceful feeling about it. The 30 minutes or so just floated by for me, as I recorded it. 

I’m really enjoying myself as I talk, no notes, no pre-production. 

Tonight I just walked into my studio, thinking “What song shall I talk about..” And this one jumped out at me.

I let the song lead the way each week. I’ve found over the weeks that by having fun, ‘playing’, if you will, it leads my thoughts to some concepts that perhaps I never would have got to as I analyse the songwriting process. 

Even the word analysing seems too cold to use as a description of what I’m up to here. 

It’s 30 minutes of relaxed chat. I’m not trying to twist any arms. There’s no underlying persuasive subtext here. What you hear is what you get. 

I’m an honest, creative songwriter, writing songs for the love of it after all these years.

At What Cost (song #548, written in 2010), came through when I was just noodling on the piano. A nice peaceful little riff happened. The light goes on. The thoughts are focussed, the potential of the music is considered, a decision is made : the intention to carry it through to a finished song is made. 

With this song, I put myself somehow inside the mind of my friend as he was observing what was turning out to be the end of a major romantic relationship in his life. There’s a sense of recognising this during the course of the song, with another realisation of more at the end (I love my ‘punchlines’).

There’s definitely a commitment when you decide you are in the process of writing a song – and it seems like some sort of ‘agreement’ to work together with the creative muse happens. It’s not a ‘contract’, that’s too harsh, But it did feel this: from the word go, the first song, all those years ago…it felt like: “Yes, you will be helped to create this music – on the condition you do your best to share it and put it out in the world”. 

Since that day, many years ago, that’s what I’ve tried to do: keep writing, recording and sharing it. 

I hope you enjoy getting ‘inside a song’ & stepping into the shoes of a songwriter, again, this week – more than that, I hope you enjoy the sound of my voice as I speak, too – people have let me know they find me relaxing and entertaining to listen to. Great! 

I really like this recording, too. This is such good fun, please do join me now for half an hour of creative exploration (and if this is your first time here, welcome, again. There are 80-odd previous episodes to listen to…).

If you like the song, check out the album: The Man In Blue (streaming now).

Sign up to my email list: info@petepascoe.com – each week you’ll get the links and a bit of inside information about: A new painting, a blog post, a podcast episode and YouTube video.

Blog: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com 

YouTube: Pete Pascoe Art and Music

Website: www.petepascoe.com

Music on: www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com  and Streaming everywhere


BP Diner

Episode #83: BP Diner    (Song starts at 8:38) 

On this episode I have Mr Paul Dredge (from New Zealand), along with me.

We wrote this song about (surprise) the BP Diner…it was a petrol and food place, which was opposite a resort I worked at with Paul Dredge. To get the full picture (and more stories), have a look at this blog post from a while back:  The Hazy Line /Wairakei Resort. https://thehazyline.wordpress.com/2020/12/22/the-wairakei-resort-gig/

One grey rainy morning we were sitting in the hotel room. It was the night after a gig. We decided to write a song, as it was too wet for golf. Paul started strumming and after a short while we came up with BP Diner together. 

This episode touches on the friendship I have with Paul. Having someone you can really trust is a great – and necessary –  thing, when it comes to co-writing songs.

It’s a subtle dance, nudging a feeling into an idea, as you start to give it form, not getting too far ahead, not getting bogged down as you go along. 

Paul and I didn’t. We were lost in the ‘now’. We really enjoyed bringing the song together that morning.

Join us at Wairakei Resort, as we reminisce on what was a pretty special time.

The recording on this podcast is from the album ‘Lost In Time’ (bandcamp link). It counts as demo, really, by today’s standards…it was one of 12 songs recorded and mixed in 2 days. One take for drums, piano and guitar. Then Over dubs ( one take) lead guitar & bass. Then one for vocals recorded at the same time. Great fun and I’m so pleased with the result.

I made a video which you can view on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pZ6bLf2Vc0 ..It was one of my first efforts, actually. You can see some of the scenes we talk about on this episode. 

For now, sit back and enjoy a relaxed tale of how a song came together and gain some insights into this fascinating process.

You’ll also get to hear anecdotes & memories of the musical past of 2 songwriters.


‘Paul’s poetic ramblings’   https://paulspoeticramblings.wordpress.com/author/pfdredge/

Slippery Slope – Jazz album (Paul Dredge on Spotify)

‘BP Diner’ Lyrics on www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

Don’t Miss The Bus (piano/vocal album)    band camp link


Old Hat In The Sun / Life In One Day

Episode #82: Old Hat In The Sun / Life In One Day    (Songs start at 6:18 & 22:07)

Hi there. I’m writing these show notes immediately after recording this episode (which is what I normally do) … Although I also normally listen back through as the recording ‘bounces’, ready to be put online as a stereo file. 

This time, I’ve stopped the tape. Just wanting to really soak up this moment and try to tell you how I’m feeling. 

I’m feeling pretty good. Unexpectedly, I ended up writing a full song, in the moment (words and music) in this episode. 

The song Old Hat In The Sun was written by a younger me. At 21, the lyrics are about wanting to get it ‘all sorted out’, ( my life, the world ) by … oh, by the time I turned 22. Ha. I wrote this song in 1986, it’s song #6 in my songbook. 

Fast forward now to 2021 and I feel like over these last few years I’ve been letting go of some old dreams, redefining some new ones. Ahh, the voice of experience (and I’m sure if I’m around in my 90s and look back I’ll have a chuckle about me writing this, making plans, now)…

Anyhow, this letting go was the subject of this week’s blog post if you would like to check it out, the lyrics to this week’s song – and this brand new song are there: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

I’m as passionate about my music as I ever was. I hope to still be singing and playing my songs in my 80s. Why not. 

In this episode, as I say, I ended up writing a song as if I’ve travelled back in time, with a message for my younger self: something along the lines of: ‘slowing down a bit might not be a bad idea’

It’s been so busy again this week, creatively, maybe that’s something I still haven’t learned. 

I just feel so strongly that each day, each week, that I’m alive and breathing, I want to create good stuff. So while I’m on here earth, that’s what I’m doing. That’s what I’m up to here: fun, entertainment and information.

Ok, so it’s a ‘two for one’ deal this week. Also, join me in my primary school class. Then, at 17, in UCLA as an exchange student (Akio was the trumpeter from Japan, by the way) & then as a 21 year old thinking about ‘it all’ – including the old man with an old hat in the sun. 

Hope you enjoy this one episode much as I enjoyed recording it. 


Episode #81: Remote   (Song starts at 7:02)

I’ve changed things up a bit this week: here’s a lively, slightly edgy sort of a pop song from a while back. 

The word ‘remote’ is a bit of a pun in this song. There’s a line about me not having a remote to turn off the incoming creative inspirational visions that are pretty much constant for me. Best I can do is get out into remote nature, away from things made by humans. 

I did that by going fishing this week. I recount a misadventure I had with a beautiful gannet. He got a bit tied up with my fishing lure and I had to do a bit of a catch and release. Poor old bird (by the way, it seemed completely unharmed and immediately resumed his patrolling up and down the beach, looking for his dinner).

My hands were a bit pecked. Not too badly though, as I still manage to play the piano on this episode, demonstrating aspects of the song musically. 

It always amazes me, where the songs come from. In this case, back in 1998, I was lying in bed, thinking about buying a ticket to a Bob Dylan concert ticket. Good old Bob – even when I’m not listening to his music he inspires me. I’m a big, big fan. 

It was a fun song to dig up today. One of 14 songs which we (Paul Dredge, Earl Pollard and myself) recorded in an afternoon. In the recording studio, I love working quickly. I get inspired and it all a happens. I like to keep moving. It’s the same with songwriting. I to make a start and just carry on with it there and then and finish it – quickly. 

I write my songs diligently in my song books and then I flick through them randomly from time to time playing and singing at the piano. When I do this I honour what’s been done so far, go what comes to me naturally, and I’ll edit them, add riffs, alter the melody, etc. So there’s, in effect, 700 odd songs with a lot of pre-production thinking and work already done. 

Incidentally, Remote will be released later this year on an album of 14 songs. I’ve re-recorded the vocals and remixed the songs we recorded back in 1998 . 

Ok. sit back, I’ll talk you through where the lyrics came from, talk about the music – and a couple of excursions at the beach. 


Everything Comes To An End

Episode #80: Everything Comes To An End  (Song starts  4:16)

Hi there, thanks for stopping by and checking out the show notes for today’s episode. 

This podcast is where you’ll get to hear a how a song comes together and gain an insight into what makes a songwriter tick. It’s proving to be an ongoing exploration. I never realised it was so complicated. Writing songs is something I’ve never taken for granted. It’s hugely rewarding. I find songwriting to be a very quick and enjoyable process…

A couple of things I’ve picked up from these episodes: How definitely it feels like you leave the room, you go into another world – it’s like being in a movie, when you’re in the creative act of writing a song.

You feel like you’re casting around, somewhere deep within, waiting for an idea to pop up. What pops up is a feeling. An emotion. Sometimes it comes complete with whole sentences. Sometimes you see characters acting out a scene that somehow makes sense to you. It rings true.

That’s the key (or one of them), as a songwriter, I would say this is pretty much number one: it must ring true to you. If you’re going to expect the audience to buy it. People instinctively know when something doesn’t feel right. It’s like trying to pull the wool over a two year old’s eyes when you say ” no there’s no ice cream left” and they look you in the eye with that look. Yep. Fail. 

So feeling is the key. Back in 2014, I wrote this one (song #602) in the middle of a busy day at a primary school where I teach piano. You’ll see it took a huge sense of focus to get a song written that day. 

That’s another big thing. You gotta have tenacity – stick with it and believe in yourself. In fact, I think you get beyond that whole ‘believing in yourself or not’ as an artist … It’s part of the journey. Yes, you do doubt your work (after all these years I do, from time to time –  both the paintings I do and the songs I write). It can be a mood thing. So it pays to watch yourself – don’t be too hard on a creative project you’ve got underway. If you’ve hit a rough patch maybe just go get some sunshine, have a rest and come back to it and perhaps you’ll see it doesn’t have to be thrown out after all. 

Ok on with the show. I hope you enjoy today’s song and I hope you enjoy the chat.

Recording these podcasts episodes each week is a rock solid part of my schedule. It’s a most enjoyable thing to be doing. Each episode flows for me. I generally record the 30 minutes without stopping. It’s all off the cuff. Before I hit the record button, I have very little idea about what I’m going to talk about each time. I always have a feeling it’s going to be fun and entertaining. At a time of such unknowns, it’s particularly nice to have this time waiting for me. 

It’s waiting for you too. See you when you hit play.