ACROSS THE YEARS

THE SONGS

To begin with I wrote about emotions and how I saw the world – through young, immature eyes. Then I wrote songs about the past. Not as I knew it, but how I heard it told. I wrote about the days when mail was carried by men on horseback, and when poor people were sent to the workhouse. But, as the years passed, I wrote about pivotal events. Incidents that changed people’s lives, not always for the better. More often than not I have taken a political stance. Laid blame at the feet of corrupt governments and rulers. Pointed a finger to shame those who were responsible. Those who should have known better.

The title track of my latest album, Last Port of Call, highlights the global refugee crisis that shows no signs of receding or being addressed by those in power.I hope the words of my songs strike a chord with you and serve their purpose by sending a positive message to the world.

Whether the issues be the environment, climate change, the treatment of animals or the behaviour of humans towards each other, we need to find a way forward. We need to make a better world for us and all creatures to live in.       Toni

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ACROSS THE YEARS is an A4 size book with 100 songs and 167 pages. Many of the songs are illustrated as shown here with Leaving Heidelberg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All CDs are normally £10 but if bought with the song book are only £5

Click on the cover of your chosen CD to buy the song book and the CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I began writing songs at the age of ten and playing in folk clubs at seventeen. As a singer-songwriter I have performed at folk venues throughout the UK and Germany, and recorded seven albums. My latest CD, Last Port of Call, was released in 2019. The track listings for each album, with reviews of the albums, are provided at the end of the book.

I thought it was time I compiled another song book. I have selected one hundred songs from those I’ve written over the years and listed them in the order in which they were written. Most have been recorded and the album provided with the song title. The songs cover topics ranging from legends of old England, to stories of magic and imagination, as well as social injustice, the environment and animal welfare. The Appalachian dulcimer, guitar, bouzouki, fiddle and hurdy gurdy are used to accompany the songs, while my passion for Irish music (born and cultivated in the Irish pubs of Manchester) results in the occasional set of fiddle tunes. On some albums French tunes are played on the dulcimer or hurdy gurdy.

Over the years I have appeared many times on local and national television and radio, when my songs and music have been broadcast.

While living in Heidelberg, Germany, in the 1980s, I presented the first of my shows entitled All Over England, consisting of my own songs and illustrated using slides I took. The show has been performed in Germany, Austria and the UK. Having learned to speak the language, I began to introduce my songs in German at folk music events in Germany. The explanations for some of the songs in this book have been provided in both English and German.

Booked in 1982 to play at the Harlekinade, a folk festival in Ludwigshafen, Germany, I was voted the best performer in the duo/solo section.

Travelling round the UK and Germany performing my songs has been great fun, while the rest of my life has evolved round science. I am a wildlife biologist, with a PhD in polecat behaviour, and was a university lecturer for sixteen years. I have been interviewed many times on national radio and television, including Countryfile, Love Your Garden and The One Show, discussing wildlife and hedgehog conservation.

Five years spent running music therapy sessions for people with learning difficulties resulted in the traditionally published book: Music Makes a Difference.

Writing stories with a passion began in 2012 with a book of poems, inspired by the loss of a close friend. To date I have published twelve books, including eight novels. Three non-fiction books about hedgehogs are based on my experiences gathered while running York Hedgehog Rescue since 1990. In 2017 I was awarded an Animal Action Award by IFAWUK for outstanding achievement in the field of hedgehog care and conservation.

Throughout my life music has been a driving force and the passion for writing songs has never left me. I hope you enjoy the songs in this book.