Roy Harper (singer)

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Roy Harper (born 12 June 1941) is an English folk rock singer, songwriter and guitarist who has been a professional musician since 1964. Harper has released 32 albums (including 10 live albums) across his 50-year career. As a musician, Harper is known for his distinctive fingerstyle playing and lengthy, lyrical, complex compositions, reflecting his love of jazz and the poet John Keats.

  • DESCENDANTS OF SMITH: If we manage to get out the 'back door', the technology available in four million years may perhaps rival the twentieth century christian concept of 'judgement day'. Probably much sooner. Meanwhile, which one is Smith?
  • GARDEN OF URANIUM: I moved to a house in Lincolnshire. The government were threatening to dump "low level" nuclear waste about fifteen miles away. The plans were dropped a few months before the last general election. The proposals now seem to have resurfaced somewhere under the North Sea! (among other sites proposed since the election)
  • GOVERNMENT SURPLUS: Employment figures and history books are 'cooked'. Young people are manipulated. The status quo is maintained by an insidious mafiosi piping drugs to the unsuspecting by means of an ever expanding cycloptic media.
  • PINCHES OF SALT: Are the humanoids pilling the chemistry into reactions they have no control over? Have the wolves of the universal law already started to blow the door down? Is the back door still open? Who the hell cares with a hundred billion freon - filled hair sprays still on sale? Who am I to ctiticise my own crisis?
  • STILL LIFE: The short British wintertime as seen from within my cocoon. Snow three feet deep in places. Icicles. The small ones outside fighting for survival. Dusk before four. Yellow light in the crisp still. A jackdaw's wing beat precisely preserved. An atmosphere.

From the album ...descendants of Smith (CD-EMC 3524, 1988)

  • Led Zeppelin recorded the song Hats off to (Roy) Harper. (Led Zeppelin III, 1970)

Song Lyrics[edit]

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  • And half the blasted idiots are stuck in Yugoslavia
    With hardly a Dinar
    And looking no cleaner
    Than a Chinese wrestler's jock-strap
    Cooked in chip fat
    On a greasy day
    • "You Don’t Need Money" on Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith (1968)
  • I'm sorry that you thought of us as painful and superfluous
    But please don't think I'm that thick skinned to want my seed in any old wind
    I can't believe we'll just exist as figments of each others past
    Where is it at to get to this, when lawyers lurk where lovers kissed?
    • "Naked Flame" on Bullinamingvase (1977)
  • Watford Gap, Watford Gap
    A plate of grease and a load of crap
  • One of those days in England with a sword in every pond
    And birds in every garden in the land
    • "One of Those Days in England" on Bullinamingvase (1977)
  • You ask what is the quality of life
    Seeking to justify the part you play
    And mask, what seems a worthless fate
    • "Short and Sweet" on The Unknown Soldier (1980)