Jane’s Ukulele and Singing Practice

September 2017

Jane’s studio was largely as it was when she died on 23 November 2016. I renewed tidying up the room because visiting family and friends need a place to sleep. One of her portable recording machines was a Fostex MR-8 Digital Multitracker which recorded onto Compact Flash cards. Most of the studio hardware is a mystery to me, and I had no idea how to operate different devices. I removed a 1GB Compact Flash card and put it in a card reader in my desktop PC.

There was a single wave file which VLC Media Player said was 57 minutes long. I heard singing and ukulele accompaniment I’d never heard before. I made notes of the start and finish times of the songs and managed to convert sections of the wave files into MP3 files. These are practice sessions and some songs have the odd stumble or two – but the ukulele playing is good – as is the singing.

Maybe you’ll think of me when you are on your own” are the poignant opening words to the first song, as if Jane is singing to me.

01 – Maybe

02 – I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire

03 – I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper

04 – Sunny Afternoon

05 – I Washed my Hands in Muddy Water

06 – Maybe (take 2) + Mister Dreamseller

07 – It’s a Heartache

08 – The Road Ahead

09 – Dream a Little Dream of Me

More Discoveries

Amongst Jane’s CDs I found a test burning of an audio CD. I used Windows Media Player to rip the tracks to MP3 format. These tracks have a full backing with bass, drums (from samples), keyboards etc.

01 – Everybody Knows

02 – Instrumental

03 – Good Thing

04 – Thrasher

05 – I’ll Remember You

Track 16 on the audio CD I compiled is Last Trip to Tulsa which has good acoustic guitar and singing.

Well, I used to drive a cab
You know
I heard a siren scream
Pulled over to the corner
And I fell into a dream
There were
Two men eating pennies
And three young girls who cried
The West coast is falling
I see rocks in the sky
The preacher took his bible
And laid it on the stool
He said: with
The congregation running
Why should I play the fool?
Well, I used to be a woman
You know
I took you for a ride
I let you fly my airplane
It looked good for your pride
Cause you’re
The kind of man you know
Who likes what he says
I wonder what’s it’s like
To be so far over my head
Well, the lady made the wedding
And she brought along the ring
She got down on her knees
And said: Let’s
Get on with this thing
Well, I used to be a folk singer
Keeping managers alive
When you saw me on a corner
And told me I was jive
So I unlocked your mind, you know
To see what I could see
If you guarantee the postage
I’ll mail you back the key
Well I woke up in the morning
With an arrow through my nose
There was an Indian in the corner
Trying on my clothes
Well, I used to be asleep
You know
With blankets on my bed
I stayed there for a while
Until they discovered I was dead
The coroner was friendly
And I liked him quite a lot
If I hadn’t have been a woman
I guess I’d never have been caught
They gave me back my house and car
And nothing more was said
Well, I was driving
Down the freeway
When my car ran out of gas
Pulled over to the station
But I was afraid to ask
The servicemen were yellow
And the gasoline was green
Although I knew I couldn’t
I thought that I was gonna scream
That was on my last trip to Tulsa
Just before the snow
If you ever need a ride there
Be sure to let me know
I was chopping down a palm tree
When a friend dropped by to ask
If I would feel less lonely
If he helped me swing the axe
I said: No, it’s
Not a case of being lonely
We have here
I’ve been working on this palm tree
For eighty seven years
I said: No, it’s
Not a case of being lonely
We have here
I’ve been working on this palm tree
For eighty seven years
He said: Go get lost!
And walked towards his Cadillac
I chopped down the palm tree
And it landed on his back