BILL and SUE-ON HILLMAN: A 50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY
www.hillmanweb.com/book
presents
CD Album 10
24 of Our Best Original Songs
www.hillmanweb.com/albums/album10.html


INSIDE THE DISC:
Notes ~ Lyrics ~ Song Links ~ Photos
www.hillmanweb.com/albums/album10a.html
PART I: Tracks 1-12
Continued in Part I: Tracks 13-24

Click for full-screen images

Click for full-screen images



Read the Career Timeline Here
Read the Recording Anecdotes for Each Song Here

CREDITS
MUSICIANS
BILL HILLMAN: Vocals ~ Guitars: Lead, Rhythm, Synth
ALAN CLARK (from Dire Straits): Synthesizers, Piano, Clavinet, Strings
SUE-ON HILLMAN: Vocals ~ Drums ~ Percussion ~ Keyboards
BARRY FORMAN: Bass ~ Fiddle
KEVIN PAHL: Grand Piano ~ Fender-Rhodes Piano ~ Clavinet
KERRY MORRIS: Drums ~ Bass
LARRY CLARK: Vibes ~ Piano ~ Organ
ALAN JONES: Piano ~ Organ
JOHN ASHCROFT: Synthesizers
TED PALEY: Drums

DESPERADO:
MICK SANDBROOK: Bass ~ Backup Vocals
JOHN WHITTINGHAM: Guitar ~ Backup Vocals
ALUN EDWARDS: Congas ~ Backup Vocals
COLON BRADLEY: Guitar ~ Backup Vocals
PAUL DRUCKERS: Drums

ALSO
Mark La France ~ Gord Osland ~ Joe Fagin ~
Lloyd Ryan ~ Ian Hunter ~ Ken Blair ~ 
Terry Fleetwood ~ Bernie Watson ~ Alan Studholme

STUDIOS
GUARDIAN STUDIOS 
    Durham (Pity Me), England ~ Engineer: Terry Gavaghan
IMPULSE SOUND STUDIO
     Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (Wallsend), England ~ Engineer: Mickey Sweeney
GOOSEBERRY SOUND STUDIOS 
     London (Soho), England ~ Engineer: Mark Lusardi
CENTURY 21 STUDIOS
     Winnipeg, Manitoba ~ Engineers: John Hildebrand ~ John Smith
     Colin Bennett ~ Harry Hildebrand

PRE AND POST PRODUCTION
MAPLE GROVE STUDIOS: Strathclair and Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
STUDIO ONE: Brandon, Manitoba

All Songs Written, Arranged, and Produced by Bill Hillman
        (with Desperado* & Alan Jones**)
Album Concept and Design by Bill Hillman
Photography Courtesy Jim Atkinson / Atkinson Photo, Brandon, MB
All Songs Published by Maple Grove Music (SOCAN)
CONTACTS FOR DISTRIBUTION AND LIVE PERFORMANCE:
Bill and Sue-On Hillman 
hillmans@westman.wave.ca


RELATED CD 10 FEATURES
CD 10 Lyrics & Recording Vignettes
Career Time Line
Hillman CD Song List
On-Line CD Catalogue


BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN
Hear all the songs from Volume 10 CD
24 Original Songs
Vol. 10: 24 ORIGINAL SONGS
Written, Arranged and Produced by Bill Hillman (SOCAN)
(with Desperado* & Alan Jones**)
Copyright Bill & Sue-On Hillman and  published by Maple Grove Music PRO
Copyright and Performing Rights on all other songs are property of their respective songwriters and publishing companies.
Unauthorized Download and distribution is prohibited.

LISTEN HERE

 
1. Sail On 747©
2. One Night Stand©
3. Bye Bye Ja Ja©
4. Hold Me Darlin'©
5. Montana©
6. Shelter©
7. Cajun Stomp©
8. Freedom Trilogy©
9. Lady Luck*
10. Farther Away©
11. China Lady©
12. China Song©
13. John Campbell - Pioneer©
14. Harvest©
15. Massacre©
16. In Sadness©
17. Goodtime Jamboree©
18. Stranger Please©
19. Blue Shallow River©
20. Two Loving Arms©
21. Reelin' in Soho©
22. While You're Away**
23. Listen to Me Cry©
24. Bring Back the Good Times*
Satisfied©


Order the CD containing all these songs and the other Hillman CDs here:
ORDER HERE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION IS A VIOLATION OF APPLICABLE LAWS


INSIDE:
Notes ~ Lyrics ~ Links ~ Photos

BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN CD NO. 10 : 24 ORIGINAL SONGS
Words ~ Music ~ Production by Bill Hillman
Studios in UK: London, Newcastle and Durham ~ Studio in Canada: Winnipeg
This was the first of three CDs on which we collated songs from our 9-album vinyl output and singles releases. The 24 songs featured here are all original -- all but three written by Bill Hillman, who also produced and played guitar on all tracks. The early sessions were recorded in Winnipeg with all the later sessions done during performance tours in England in London, Newcastle, and Durham.  The CD was mastered digitally in Winnipeg and Brandon and pressed in Toronto. Photos and insert design were by Bill and Sue-On.

The information featured on this page is excerpted from our online career bio: BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN: A 50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY ~ GIG NOTES SECTION  and our ALBUMS series on our main Website: www.hillmanweb.com  These sites contain thousands of career photos, anecdotes, clippings, lyrics as well as 100 songs in MP3 format.



From the CBC-TV Bio/Doc at www.hillmanweb.com/book/media/bio
1. SAIL ON 747
www.erbzine.com/cd/1001SailOn747.mp3
This is a Rock-a-Billy flavoured song. My first exposure to rock 'n' roll was through the Memphis Sun Records artists: Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Ike Turner, et al. The excitement generated by these early rockers has been a major musical influence.

The idea for the song came during a long wait at London's Heathrow Airport during a work-to-rule strike. Sue-On was pregnant with our first child, Ja-On, and we perhaps were a little nostalgic and homesick after having toured for seven weeks in a foreign land. It had been a very successful tour culminating with the recording of five sides in a London studio, but we have always been 'homebodies,' -- a defence, I guess, from the craziness of the road.

It was approaching harvest time on the prairies and we were looking forward to experiencing our unique fall rituals and even seeing the stubble fires which light up the night skies on every horizon. We had loved the experience of this, our first tour of England -- the Newcastle Brown Ale, the ocean, the history, the Geordies, clubs, football, housie, BBC, Blackpool ... everything -- but it was time for homefires.

The song was recorded three years later at Guardian Studios in northern England, during our third tour of the UK. This 24-track studio was set up in two adjacent row houses on High Street, in the tiny village of Pity Me, just outside the beautiful, historic City of Durham. The studio was a labour of love and brain child of owner/engineer Terry Gavaghan who saw it as a means of getting 'off the road' while still staying in the music industry. He invested the money he had saved touring as lead guitarist for the Carpenters -- here in this quaint little Yorkshire village. This choice of locale was perhaps not as unusual as it might first appear as England's Northeast is saturated with clubs and musicians. In fact, Alan Clark of Mark Knopfler's Dire Straits band played all the keyboards on the 20 songs that came out of those sessions.

We later performed Sail On at the televised Manitoba Association of Country Artists (MACA) Awards during Country Music Week ceremonies where we were backed by a large stage band complete with fully-charted arrangements -- quite a contrast to the small combo approach we took on the record.

SAIL ON 747
Sail on mighty 747 Sail on, sail on
Sail away to Manitoba sunshine (Repeat)
Bobbin' around - city to town England shore to shore
Boogie Woogie Rock - Tutti Frutti Bop
They always shout for more

But there comes a time for home fires
Prairie skies and nights
Wheatfields far horizons
Far off farmhouse lights

CHORUS
Newcastle Brown Ale - North Sea gales
Wee cars and Geordie cowboys
Football - Housie - Telly and sweet tea
Blackpool's grown-up toys

2. ONE NIGHT STAND
www.erbzine.com/cd/1002OneNightStand.mp3
This autobiographical effort was written during a rather laid-back and reflective mood. Although we tour far afield most summers, the remainder of each year is spent playing one-nighters. The experiences we have shared while performing in a different town every night has developed bonds with which only musicians can identify. The fact that we are married has seemed to intensify marital bonds as well. Our closest lifelong friends have always been musicians and some of our most cherished moments could only have come about through our performing experiences.

Dovetailing other careers with our music has been the source of some frustration over the years -- family and teaching careers have always come first. This has meant that we have not always been able to follow up music opportunities, but the moment we step on stage, any stage, the rush of performing kicks in -- a cure-all for all maladies.

One Night Stand was recorded at Impulse Studios at Walls End in Newcastle-On-Tyne, England. The studio is located close to the eastern limit of Hadrian's Wall -- a wall built by the Romans to keep out the wild Scottish tribes. The wall was not too successful in holding back Scots from the studio ... we invaded successfully, as did quite a number of Celtic groups, such as the Chieftains, who used the studio regularly.

These Newcastle Sessions came about at the end of our second tour of Britain and resulted in 14 songs for Album #7. One Night Stand was culled as a single and was our first charted song to break the Top 10. We eventually performed it on the CBC network-televised Canada Country Music Week concert at the Winnipeg Centennial Auditorium - backed up with a 20-piece orchestra. Our fondest memories of this event, however, centred around our backstage bull sessions with fellow entertainers George Hamilton IV and The Family Brown, swapping stories about performing in England.

ONE NIGHT STAND
(Standing Up For Rock 'n' Roll)

Make the same ole rounds
Hit the same ole towns
Picking Country and Rock 'n' Roll
Crowd gettin' loud
Band gettin' louder
Till the whole thing's outa control

Hey, Hey Alright
Gonna be alright tonight

We boogie all night
Watch 'em brawl and fight
People never listen like they should
They want the same old songs
Say there ain't nothing wrong
With 'Roll Over...'
...and 'Johnny B. Good'

Chorus
It's a one night stand
And we're standing up for rock 'n' roll

Fifteen years
Of smoke and beers
And fifteen thousand bars
Nights get lonely
When you're on your own
With nothing but your old guitar

It's a one-night stand
And we're standing up for rock 'n' roll

3. BYE BYE JA JA
www.erbzine.com/cd/1003ByeByeJaJa.mp3
I wrote this song near the tail end of the Disco phenomenon - in fact, the original title was Disco Stomp, but I have adopted the subtitle since the Disco fad mercifully has fallen from favour (even though live DJs with their dead music have survived and have greatly reduced the number of venues for live bands).

Since Sue-On and I had just backed Barry Forman on two fiddle albums and we had just finished an album of our own Cajun songs, it seemed natural to combine all these influences. The song has a "what if...?" premise - what if a John Travolta-type denizen of the once-famous disco hangouts, Regine's and Club 54, was transferred from the New York disco scene to a backwoods, bayou town in Louisiana?

While writing this I repeated the hook "Bye Bye" so often that it found its way into our toddler-son Ja-On's vocabulary. For months, the last words we heard as we left to play nightly gigs were "Bye Bye Da Da". His constant input on this one was such that I just had to use his name in christening the song's main character.

Curiously, despite the Cajun theme and all the Cajun-style music we have done, this song features no fiddle. We recorded it in Durham with the English show band, Desperado and there was a shortage of fiddlers in the area. However, later in this session we did attempt a 5-string banjo imitation on a synth for the Eagles song Take It Easy - but that's another story.

DISCO STOMP (Bye Bye Ja Ja)

Ja Ja got a transfer
Not what he asked for
They shipped him down to Louisian'
Bye bye to New York City
Oo ain't that a pity
Ja Ja was a macho man

Ja Ja said, "What? No!"
"Ain't no Disco!"
How'm I gonna get it on
Then Ja Ja met a honey
She said, "Y'all talk funny."
And she took him to the place of action

Now it's Bye Bye -- Bye Bye
Bye to Regine and '54
Bye Bye -- Bye Bye -- Bye Bye Bye
Ain't gonna disco no more

Then a country Cajun band
Jumped up on the stand
Playin' fiddles and squeeze box songs
With a granny on a crowbar
Two cousins on the guitar
Poor Ja Ja said, "I don't belong!"

"I don't see no lights!"
I don't see no tights!"
"Ain't no floor to do my boogie on!"
He sat in a glower
Big-city wallflower
Till they passed the swamp jug around

He took one sip
It hit him on the lip
And it burned down to his heels
He fell down -- hit the ground
Jumped up and spun around
Stomped and shouted, "Aaaaaheeeee!"

4. HOLD ME DARLIN'
www.erbzine.com/cd/1004HoldMeDarlin.mp3
This ballad is just an old-fashioned country love song I wrote to show off Sue-On's gutsy emotional delivery. It came out of the Durham/Pity Me sessions with Desperado. Their drummer had some trouble with the country 3/4 rhythm so Sue-On moved into the drum booth to do the drums - nothing new for her as she has done drums on about half our records.

The curious thing about the studio drums is that they had been purchased in England from the estate of the late Keith Moon of The Who. The studio owner had been a buddy of Moon's and shared many stories of their antics around London. 

The studio piano also had some claim to fame, being the French upright used on Elton John's Honky Chateau album... Oh, the stories they could tell.

Hold Me Darlin' first appeared on Album 9 - On Stage in England. In answer to DJ response we later released it as a single.
 
 

HOLD ME DARLIN'
Please hold me darling
I don't feel like crying tonight
Tears are for lonesome times
So hold me darling
Your arms are my shelter tonight
Lovin's so right with you

Fighting the flame
But now we've lost
Playing the game
And paying the cost
We've tried for so long
To survive these nights
But love can't be wrong
When it feels so right

5. MONTANA
www.erbzine.com/cd/1005Montana.mp3
We have spent many summers touring Western USA and Canada -- performing with American acts on grandstands at rodeos and State, Provincial and County Fairs. Many acts were from Nashville, but the ones we found most interesting were the variety acts from California.

Our US booking agents were the Bardines who were veterans of the last days of Vaudeville, so it was not surprising to find a multitude of fascinating, experienced acts on the bill. We rubbed shoulders with, and took show biz lessons from, magicians, ventriloquists, comedy pickpockets, trick cyclists, dancers, standup comics, tenor banjo players, chorus girls, singers, acrobats . . . the gamut.

When we were not listening to inside stories about Greats such as Bob Hope, Ed Sullivan, and the Marx Brothers, we basked in the aura of enthusiasm that surrounded these seasoned entertainers. All of this played out against an almost incongruous backdrop of the 'wild west.' Inexplicably this, coupled with my love for geography and heritage, seemed to pull me back into the traditions of the western setting we were touring - hence this song.

We tried to convey some of the Montana Big Sky feel through some unusual studio effects which included flanging the strings and fading the ending with a lonely wind effect.

MONTANA
(Written in Missoula, Montana during our 1974 tour of the NW USA)

Rolling down the highway -- we're southern bound
Wind from the bus blows the sweet grass 'round
Kalispell, Missoula and their rodeos
Play a little fiddle and a dosey doe

Dancing and prancing -- the ponies a-flying
Cowboys cussing and their ladies a-crying
Pick a little tune, a jig and a song
Montana crowd wanna sing along

Chorus
Montana
Your song goes on
Echoing through the sky
Montana
I'll sing your song
Till the day I die

Phantoms and shadows on the far horizon
Stories of the redman and herds of bison
Railroad, wagon, trader and miner
Lawman, outlaws, and old moonshiners

Shaken outa my dreams by the tires a-whining
Just another sound of the Old West dying
Can't live the past but I'll sing it in song
Kindle old times as we roll along

6. SHELTER
 http://www.erbzine.com/cd/1006Shelter.mp3
I have the good fortune to be able to write love songs for my wife - after which I can hear her sing them to me every night . . .  nice work if you can get it. This was such a song BUT the setting for the creation of the recorded version of this ballad could hardly be called romantic.

After finishing our first tour of 30 one-nighters in the Northeast of England, our English musician friend Mick Sandbrook drove us down to London which was experiencing the worst heat wave and drought of this century. What was normally lush greenery had been scorched brown and wilted and buildings which held a standing boast that they needed no air conditioning had become unbearably stagnant.

We picked Gooseberry Recording Studios from an advert in the British rock paper Melody Maker. The ensuing telephone conversation clinched the deal as they swore that their studio was always cool and their previous cliental included such clean-cut groups as the Sex Pistols. On the first day of the session we lugged our gear down to Bromley Station in Kent and boarded a train that took us to Charing Cross, London. We sweated across to Trafalgar Square where we hailed a cabbie who mistakenly drove us half-way across London because he couldn't cut through our 'Canajun' accents.

Eventually, we found the Soho studio... it was an underground studio - literally and figuratively. In stunned amazement we dragged our equipment through a sidewalk manhole and down a ladder into a dark, damp... but cool... converted cellar and coal bin. The advertised 16-track recording console had only 13 working tracks and most of these were usable only with the help of chewing gum, rubber bands and constant spraying and banging. I squeezed into a tiny closet with my acoustic guitar and a studio mike to isolate my playing from the sounds that our keyboardists Kevin Pahl and Alan Jones were able to eke out of the beat-up piano. The session drummer and bassist were good - in fact, I have since seen their names on many movie and concert credits out of England - but our session was constantly interrupted as they had to climb up the manhole ladder to confer with other clients. We closed the session at 10 PM because we had to run through the streets to Charing Cross to catch the last train home to Bromley. Our engineer suggested that we might want to stay underground a little longer because there had been Tong wars and Chinese unrest on the streets above all evening. I called the song Shelter - we needed it.

Hear the whole story in the song, Reelin' In Soho later on this CD
SHELTER
Your loving brings me comfort
Like shelter to a runaway child
(Repeat)
Come to me
And fill this longing inside

Your loving soothes my troubles
Like water to a fevered brow
(Repeat)
Come to me
And fill this longing inside

And when you touch me
With soft hands so lightly
I can't help but want you
And hold you so tightly

Your loving flows like music
It keeps running through my mind
(Repeat)
Come to me
And fill this longing inside


7. CAJUN STOMP
www.erbzine.com/cd/1007CajunStomp.mp3
Throughout our first decade of recording, I wrote many cajun- flavoured songs. One reason for this was to feature our bassist, Barry Forman, who was also a champion fiddler. Another reason, however, was that such tunes lent themselves to an exciting stage presentation in which we could feature Sue-On's driving backbeat on drums. 

All this was done about 10 years before this southern-style music really caught on - maybe we should have hung in there a little longer. The song did win some money for us though, in the American Song Festival contest out of California.

CAJUN STOMP
I'm an alligator hunter, a moonshine runner,...
A hard-lovin' Cajun man
Born out on the bayou
With a fishin' pole in my hand
Come Saturday I'm pushin',
My pirou through the bush 'n'...
Alligators and Spanish Moss
Get to town 'bout the time
The dancers start kickin' off

CHORUS:
Where the band's playing fiddles and...
Guitars in the middle of the floor
Where the flirty flirty girlies...
Whirl and twirl around till way past four
Where losers and boozers
Can toss their troubles to a friend
And young folks, old folks,
Stomp and fly like the wind

When the Louisiana sun comes peepin' into town...
I'll be creepin' back across the bay
Back into the shack
Where I reckon I was born to stay
But after six days of swamp, I'm getting ready to stomp
And get back to all my bayou belles
Thinkin' 'bout the good times
I whoop, stomp, holler and yell


8. FREEDOM TRILOGY
www.erbzine.com/cd/1008FreedomTrilogy.mp3

We based this song on some old folk music themes. Previous to the recording session we had done the number as an acoustic-backed duet - usually at folk concerts or for small gatherings. Thanks to Alan Clark's synth arrangements and the temptation to do layered vocal overdubs, the finished recording differed considerably from our stage version.

FREEDOM TRILOGY
No more Auction Block for me
No more, no more
No more Auction Block for me
Many thousand gone

No more driver's lash for me
No more, no more
No more driver's lash for me
Many thousand gone

He was a friend of mine
He was a friend of mine
He died for love and freedom
He died a million times
He was a friend of mine

He died on Freedom Road
He died on Freedom Road
Spent a long time a travellin'
Travellin' here below
He died on Freedom Road

9. LADY LUCK
www.erbzine.com/cd/1009LadyLuck.mp3
This effort was the culmination of a joint international project. We spent a week in Durham's Guardian Studios with Desperado, a Middlesbrough-based English show band. After pooling our efforts on the backing tracks, we each did our own version of the final vocals and mix. The result was that they had songs to release as singles and we had enough originals and covers for a complete album. I felt that we needed synth arrangements and since our regular keyboard player, Kevin Pahl, couldn't accompany us on this third tour, I hired one of the musicians whom we had met in the local clubs. He did a fantastic job for us and we really weren't too surprised when we learned a few months later that he had joined Mark Knopler's Dire Straits as a regular. He would be a major force behind all the Dire Straits hits and successful live tours for the next 10 years. Clark is still on the road performing all the Dire Straits hits in his new band Straits.

Desperado was comprised of Alun Edwards (vocals, congas, percussion), Mick Sandbrook (vocals, bass), John Whittingham (vocals, guitar), Colon Bradley (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Paul Duckers (drums) - all from the Middlesbrough, County Cleveland area. Paul Rodgers of Bad Company had come out of this group a few years before.

It was while recording the vocal tracks for this song that we were drawn into the realm of the supernatural. The hour was late - around midnight at Guardian Studios, Pity Me - the bed tracks were in the can, and we had just removed the drums from the isolation cubicle which was to double as my vocal booth. Sue-On had gone across the street to make a telephone call while Terry, Alan and Mick sat staring at me through the control room glass, waiting for me to sing along with the backing tracks of Lady Luck. Part way into the song there was a brilliant flash of light around me and someone turned off the 24-track recorder.

Wondering what the problem was, I looked inquisitively toward the guys at the console. They had strange looks on their faces and I heard Terry's voice over the cans, directing me to come in. My first thought was that something had happened to destroy the master tape. Terry phoned his neighbour friend while I tried to get Mick to tell me what had happened. The neighbour rushed in saying, "She's back!???"

All three in the control room had seen a brilliant light radiating from a negative image of a small person standing close to me. Terry explained that years ago a young girl who lived here in this row house, the one that he had converted into his studio, had run out into the path of a lorry and had been struck down. They carried her into this room and had laid her dying body on a sofa in the same area as the vocal booth.

The ghostly image of this girl has appeared frequently, usually in conjunction with some calamity - in this case her visit must have been brought about by my singing. Stories about the 'ghost' (Guardian Angel?) abound and her picture is displayed in the pub down the street. I suggested to Terry that he should include the story in his advertising, but he seemed very reluctant - in fact, he was afraid it would drive away business. I saw no ghost but I did see a brilliant light...and the shocked and frightened looks on my cohorts' faces.

LADY LUCK (Words and Music by Desperado)
Walking down the dusty road
On my mind a heavy load
Lady Luck don't ever shine on me
Golden opportunities
Thoughts and dreams  of what might be
Lady Luck don't ever shine on me

Chorus
It takes more than a trick
To make yourself rich in this town
And the man at the table says
You're playin' it oh so cool
He said, "Lay your money down
A fortune's comin' 'round
Never let the game beat you."

A steady line of one-bit wins
Ease my mind so I begin to
Lay down dollars like I was layin' whores
Then the big one this was it
Ten thousand dollars on a red card hit
Lady Luck don't ever shine on me

10. FARTHER AWAY
www.erbzine.com/cd/1010FartherAway.mp3
I wrote this one under pressure. One of the sponsors for our first tour of England was the Traynor Sound Equipment Company of Toronto, who were trying to promote their sound equipment in England. 

Upon our arrival at Heathrow Airport we were directed to pick up the gear at a music shop in Bromley, Kent. Here we found a grand old house near the station which offered overnight bed and breakfast lodging. We were so fond of these digs that, after our six week tour in the North, we returned to this B&B for RandR.

Since we could commute easily to London by train, I impulsively booked studio time in Soho . . . the only problem was a lack of material to record. Shortly before we left Canada we had recorded enough original songs for Album 6 and all I had left were scraps of unpolished song ideas in my head. Our room opened onto a gorgeous English garden where I immediately started to bounce song ideas off Sue-On. After we came up with something akin to music, the four of us - Kevin, Alan, Sue-On and myself - threw together some hurried arrangements which we hoped would cut down on studio time. We eventually recorded our of my songs and one of Al's at the session.
 


FARTHER AWAY
Pride holds a million tears inside
They drown the love I try to hide
While every passing moment
Leads you farther away

Love only promised can not last
Time only fades away the past
And every passing moment
Leads you farther away

Away from love
Which could have been
Away from life
We could have seen
Away from hopes,
Tomorrows and dreams

11. CHINA LADY
 http://www.erbzine.com/cd/1011ChinaLady.mp3
This song was written as sort of metaphor. It was inspired by memories of the rather difficult time that Sue-On and I had during our three year courtship. One of the obstacles we faced was Sue-On's being sent to live and work with relatives for a year in distant Winnipeg. This attempt to separate us was not successful, but it was often a sad and stressful time for both of us. We were able to marry when Sue-On turned 18 . . . the start of a long and beautiful journey. A true love story.

We have had a long relationship with oriental culture. We have a deep respect for oriental art, music, traditions and martial arts. Our living, recreation, and work areas are all adorned with Chinese art and furnishings, of which the Chinese moon door on the cover of CD Vol. 10 is a good example. This appreciation of 'the East' has carried over into other areas as well. As a family sport and discipline we studied Wado Kai Karate -- a martial arts style developed by Supreme Instructor Masaru Shintani, 8th Dan. Under the instruction of Sensei Bruce Dunning, we have both achieved the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt.

We assembled our regular Canadian cast of characters to record this one at Century 21 Studios -- a very up-to-date facility housed in a converted synagogue in Winnipeg's North End. This entourage was made up of musician friends we have worked with for many years: Alan Jones is a physiotherapist, musician and  songwriter blinded as a child in wartime England. We encouraged him to try to get some kind of an oriental sound out of the massive Yamaha studio organ. Kevin Pahl is daredevil cropduster and musician extraordinaire who did a fine job at eking a vibes/celeste-like sound out of the Fender Rhodes piano. Barry Forman a champion fiddler, car dealer and former teacher  thumped away on bass -- a task he performed so many  times on our sessions. Sue-On and I were singing while playing drums and guitar.

Meanwhile, engineer John Smith -- who had worked with the Beatles at Abbey Road and had received a credit on their double White Album -- tried to pull it all together in the control room. Also sitting in at the console for this session was another musician friend -- Kerry Morris -- pilot, hang glider, computer systems analyst - who joined us a few years later as our regular bassist and drummer.

CHINA LADY
O China Lady
Though you are far away
You're haunting me night and day
With your laughing eyes

O China Lady
In every dream I see
A vision of you and me
Under China skies

When the moon shines
Through the prairie sky
And the cold wind wails
And calls your name
I'm on some foreign shore
By the ocean's roar
Long ago - Far away

O China Lady
I'm living in misery
Surrounded by memories
Of our last goodbye


12. CHINA SONG
 http://www.erbzine.com/cd/1012ChinaSong.mp3
I wrote China Song with considerable help from Sue-On -- if you listen closely it should be easy to pick out her contributions -- I am not exactly fluent in Chinese. From our first meeting I have been constantly amazed at what this person -- my soul mate -- is capable of achieving.

Sue-On was born in southern China, but her family lost everything there during the Communist Revolution. At age two she was smuggled out of China with a neighbour family and lived with her grandmother in Hong Kong until her mother and siblings were able to follow. Eventually, at age 10, she and her mother were allowed to join her father in Newdale, a small prairie town in Canada, where he and his father had owned restaurants for many years. She mastered English and adapted to the new culture while working in her family's restaurant.

After we married she joined me in performing on stage --  singing, and playing drums and keyboards. She then completed University (BA, B.Ed) and worked as a high school teacher, as well spending time as a Field Supervisor  for the University of Manitoba and Brandon University -- all this while maintaining a frenetic performing schedule and raising three kids. When we took over the long-established Choy family restaurant -- SOO's in Brandon -- she added the role of restaurant manager and entrepreneur to her slate of accomplishments. We sold the restaurant after ten years and Sue-On resumed her role as an educator. This time she worked as an English for Academic Purposes instructor at Brandon University -- teaching international students from all over the world. Not the least of her achievements has been her ability to put up with my idiosyncrasies through all these years.

It is ironic, considering all the trouble Sue-On's family had in getting out of China that, for a while, Beijing became one of our largest radio audiences. Sue-On's brother-in-law, Wai Kai was captured by the authorities after having paid to be smuggled out of the country by boat. It was 17 years before he was able to join his wife and daughter in Canada. After coming to Brandon, he stayed in touch with a friend who had been assigned the job of music programmer for Radio Beijing. When China relaxed its ban on 'things Western,' there was a great thirst for music from America and some of the first imported tapes they heard were ours -- Choy revenge?

CHINA SONG
(Chinese Lyrics)

Tears dim my eyes
Leaves drift to the ground
Cold winter wind
Chills to the bone
Time lingers on
But love has passed me by
All I have are dreams
Of you and home

CHINESE LYRICS ............

Continued in Part II: Tracks 13-24
HILLMAN ALBUM WALL CONTENTS
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Album
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100 Songs
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CD 10
Originals
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Early Years
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Forman
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ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX | II
SEVEN
EIGHT
NINE


BILL and SUE-ON HILLMAN: A 50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY

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5. Roots | Influences
6. +1000 Photos in Collages
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