Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

 Montréal, Quebec, CAN
SoloFolkBluegrass

Dave Clarke is one of Canada’s finest acoustic guitarists. He is best known for his work with the Montreal-based folkgrass trio Steel Rail and Juno-award winner David Francey, but he has a growing reputation as a solo performer of original songs and guitar instrumentals.

Biography

Dave Clarke is one of Canada’s finest acoustic guitarists. He is best known for his work with the Montreal-based folkgrass trio Steel Rail and Juno-award winner David Francey but he has a growing reputation as a solo performer, producer and arranger. Clarke’s solo shows feature an appealing mix of compelling original guitar pieces and songs co-written with lyric partner Lucinda Chodan.

His first solo album, a collection of original guitar instrumentals called Guitar Songs, was released in late 2002 to critical acclaim. His recent recording, Reunion, is a collection of new songs and instrumentals and features collaborations with David Francey, Geoff Somers, Bill Garrett and Sue Lothrop, Tammy Fassaert and James Whittall, as well as a number of solo performances.

Lyrics

Gold and Green

Written By: Lucinda Chodan

Gold and green
Were the colours of our home team
Long shadows on the football field
So long ago
Gold and green
And the bluest skies you’ve ever seen
A dozen boys when life was sweet
And time was slow

Now and then
In the window of the A and M
The reflection of an older man
Looks back at me
His hair is grey
Round shoulders and a tired face
Not the boy who stood so straight
At seventeen

I heard that Scotty killed a man
And had to run away
One night Mickey rolled the car
He never was the same
One by one somehow they all
Began to drift away
And me, I stayed here on the farm
And nothing seemed to change

Now I see
Lying here in front of me
This year’s harvest, next year’s dreams
On the ground
Gold and green
They’re the colours of the poplar leaves
They shiver in the autumn breeze
And then fall down
Gold and green

Just Waiting for a Train

Written By: Dave Clarke

I came down from a northern town
Chased by the wind and the rain
Won’t be long till I’m homeward bound
I’m just waiting for a train

I’ve been on this road so long
Each town looks the same
Now my travelling’s almost done
I’m just waiting for a train

Cho:
When the evening sky fades to black
Gonna lay my burdens by the railroad track
I’ll get on board – I won’t look back
I’m just waiting for a train

Teenage girl looks to the sky
And back down the track again
Grandma kisses her goodbye
And now she’s waiting for a train

Weary mother out in the crowd
Baby’s crying again
Those college boys laughing way too loud
They’re all waiting for a train

Cho:

We make our journeys all alone
No two lives the same
We’re all looking for a way back home
We’re all waiting for a train

Snows of December

Written By: Dave Clarke & Lucinda Chodan

Granny took the morning train
Brought the sunshine when she came
Even in the pouring rain
She chased the clouds away
A young cowboy, just turned five
On her knee I would ride
And we laughed till we cried
In those golden days

Now the shows of December
Fall on the field where she lies
All my days I will remember
The light in her laughing brown eyes

When I was a boy at school
Bent on breaking all the rules
Only quiet time I knew
Was playing my guitar
Granny listened while I’d play
Afterwards she’d always say
“I know you’ll find your way
If you’re true to who you are”

Now the snows…

Granny never seemed to change
But somehow time just slipped away
Even though her hair was grey
Her heart was evergreen
She still loved the smell of spring
Loved the wild geese on the wing
Loved the way Vince Gill could sing
And still believed in me

Now the snows…

In My Home Town

Written By: Dave Clarke & David Francey

In my home town the buildings rise
They stand against the cold blue sky
And they shine so bright in the winter sun
It’s a long way up and a long way down
All the way to the cold hard ground
Where shadows fall and dreams come undone
Down at the mission there's not much to say
The boys get ready for another day

In my home town
In my home town
It's hand to mouth, and mouth to hand
On the frozen streets of the promised land
They're going down
In my home town

The river throws its arms around
The waking heart of the winter town
The wind cuts through his coat
Down to his bones
He stands and shivers in the line
Thinks of all he left behind
The ones he knew are gone and he's alone
And the crowd that passes by they hardly see
The likes of him or her or you or me

In my home town…

The mountain pulls the tired sun
Lights come on, one by one
Night time falls like cold dark shroud
And every night the helping hand
Held out to the drowning man
Who stands there silent too gone to speak out loud
The fallen wait without a sound
Some are lost but some are found

In my home town…

Bay of Bengal

Written By: Dave Clarke & Lucinda Chodan

I remember the day
We sat on the bay
With the sun going down
Beside the sea wall
We watched the moon rise
In dark southern skies
And heard the waves roll
On the Bay of Bengal

Sail away one more time
You’re sailing away while we stay behind
We’ll travel no more
To that faraway shore
Where the sun always shines
On the Bay of Bengal

A bitter wind blows
The first winter snow
Is filling the streets
Of cold Montreal
Somewhere far away
There’s light on the bay
The water is calm
On the Bay of Bengal

Sail away one more time ….

Light fades away
At the end of the day
One last goodbye
And then darkness falls
Somewhere far away
The sky’s turning grey
The sun’s coming up
On the Bay of Bengal

Sail away one more time…

You Have My Heart

Written By: Dave Clarke & Lucinda Chodan

When I find myself alone
And you’re far away from home
It’s the same
All day through
Night and day
Missing you

So I count the hours you’re gone
Sing along with each sad song
Even though
We’re apart
You should know
You have my heart

Sometimes I’m battered
I’m torn and tattered
And so blue
When I feel lonely
I always only
Think of you

And when all our days are done
You’ll still be the only one
Always knew
From the start
It’s still true
You have my heart

It was you
From the start
It’s still true
You have my heart

The Day the Winter Goes

Written By: Dave Clarke & Lucinda Chodan

Brown rushes, white white snow
The day the winter goes
Blue sky and one black crow
The day the winter goes

Bare branches, brown and gray
The sun is back again
Blue water on the bay
The sun is back again

Black highway, open road
The day the winter goes
Bright fields and golden glow
The day the winter goes

Warm wind and weather vane
The sun is back again
Light on a window pane
The sun is back again

Brown rushes, white white snow
The day the winter goes
Blue sky and one black crow
The day the winter goes

Only Love

Written By: Dave Clarke

The hard age came calling
From a clear blue sky
And brought the towers to the ground
No time to mourn the fallen
No time to wonder why
And the world turned without a sound

Only love, only love
Somewhere, somehow
No power here
And none above
Only love can save us now

Mothers keep on crying
Fathers look away
Your sons must fight in far off lands
Your leaders are lying
Their honour can not be saved
In the blood and oil and sand

Only love, only love…

Only love, only love
Only love can save us now

Over the Malahat

Written By: Dave Clarke

Instrumental - no lyrics

Reunion

Written By: Dave Clarke

Instrumental - no lyrics

Discography

Solo recordings:

Guitar Songs (2002, Crossties Music)
Reunion (2007, Crossties Music)

With Steel Rail:
A Thousand Miles of Snow (1995, Crossties Music)
The Road Less Travelled (2000,, Crossties Music)
River Song (2005, Crossties Music)