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The Hardship Diaries

by Dave McPherson

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    Signed CD version of my debut solo album, The Hardship Diaries.

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 21 Dave McPherson releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Athanasy Sadness Songs, Naked Dreamoirs, HARD RESET, RARITIES COMPENDIUM VICENNIUM: HEAVY RIFFAGE, RARITIES COMPENDIUM VICENNIUM: ELECTRONICA, RARITIES COMPENDIUM VICENNIUM: SOLO, The Soul Truth, In Lightning 2012, and 13 more. , and , .

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Let's sink another drink & think about the things we used to believe. Let's sit here sipping beer, the static atmosphere is just what we need. Here we go again, we're such foolish men, but it's not the same as back then. Some people wait a lifetime & some simply accept. Some of us crashland, some of us eject. Some restore the blood flow, some just let it go blue. Some of us obsess some move on to something new. She makes me dream of being a strong man. And it's true, of all the people, there's only you I think of when the ship is going down. Let's get it right this time, too many ugly stories with ugly endings. Let's build some walls around us, a fort for pacifists to share. Here we go again, but it's not the same my friends, the 4th jonquil begins.
He cloaks his tears, disguises his fears. The man he was has disappeared. He sleeps alone, his restless mind is overgrown. Some used to call him father. Seven years since he held his son. Time is the cruelest thing. But his ex-wife has found a new life. Now he drinks away his future longing for a broken past. And he knows the only one to blame is him. We say too much, we don't listen. Is this all we are? We drink too much, we don't do enough until it's too late. She is too polite, and out of spite they walk all over her. She prays all night, her hands pressed so tight. Comfort in a blind faith. Five years since anyone touched her. Touched her with her consent. She's too scared to live her life. She's too scared to make mistakes and new regrets so she just hides. But she knows the only one she's hiding from is her. We live a lie then we wonder why? Is this all we are? We hurt those we love 'til they've had enough & then it's too late. Is this all we are?
I could sing to you all night about what went wrong & what felt right. I know that I'm to blame & it feels so strange but where is the good in goodbye? All I can offer you is my all. 'Cause we used to promise, promise to stay. We used to call each other every day. We used to listen to the music. I know I'm withering away. I know my impatience pushes you away. I know everything that I do wrong, I'll tell the world in this little song of mine. I wouldn't know quite how to move on. I know I sound hopeless, I sound like a fool. But when you're around me I lose my cool. I know I'm too honest in my music. You know that I'm ready, I wasn't before. Maybe you'll forget me but I'm still yours. Do you still listen to my music? I now pronounce you man & music. You might not get the girl but here's a guitar go use it. And I really, really, really, really hate that stupid Cupid. You pulled back your bow & you got me in my heart, my messed up bloody heart. But I'll always know where I belong. We used to make fire & we used to fight. We used to hold each other every night. We used to dissect all my music. We don't shut the door on us, we won't close the book. We walk away from each other but we turn around just to look. Are we still listening to the music? I now pronounce you man & music. I promise that all this hardship will be worth it.
I'm the temple & the architect. It's up to me to complete the project. And I need to make more money to do those things they do. So I'll just sit here & play sweet music for you. I'm on board a plane but it feels like I'm on the ground. I'm on a ship but it feels like the bottom, the bottom of the ocean. I'm on a train but it has no windows. I'm on a bus but not the kind I'm used to. Oh I don't know what to say, she puts me in a good mood. Oh I don't know what to say, she puts me in a good mood. All I ever wanted is right here. The horizon, I'll confront it. I'll journey just to seize my dreams. I'll search for buried treasure. But I'll always make sure I come home to you. I get nervous when I hold on to my dreams. I get angry when I say things that I don't mean. But I'm not afraid. And I will remain. Remain en route. This isn't the last time that I'll pursue this dream. A dream that is rolled up in a pipe. A scroll I hold close to my heart. A fruit that is almost ripe. And I will do this 'til I die.
I'm trying to think before I speak but sometimes I think too much & this awkward silence needs to be filled up. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy acts foolish even more just because he doesn't want anything to go wrong. I want to say that I don't want to play any games, I just wanna hang out, hang out, hang out with you all day, it's that simple. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I'm not a robot & I can be quite naive. Let's lay this out on the table. Some days I'm an extrovert but baby you turn me into an introvert. I'm only acting nervous 'cause I like you. A mixture of confidence & insecurity all wash over me. I'm only acting stupid because I'm scared of losing you before I even had you. Despite all of my little hiccups you're gonna see me again, maybe you like my stumbles, the way I mumble & shake. I'm gonna make you an offer you'll probably refuse but I've got nothing to lose. Baby you make me sick in the best way. I could play it cool but like I said I don't like to play games, I won't name names but I've done that before & someone always gets hurt. Someone always gets hurt in the pursuit of what it is we all seek. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy messes it up because he cares too much.
Love Rats 03:21
Did you accidentally cheat on him repeatedly? Did you serve betrayal and lust obsequiously? Does he know his loyalty is the butt of a joke? Does he know you cover your lover's musky scent with cigarette smoke? There is hope in everything but I don't know quite where to look. There is a song in everyone but I cannot find my own hook. There is a flame in everyone so let's make a fire tonight. We'll simultaneously spontaneously combust you must me trust me lover. If I can forgive myself then surely I can forgive anybody else. But I can't forgive you, you know what you did, you broke a heart once already broken into two and I can't forgive you. Did you accidentally cheat on her secretly? Do you continue to lie to her disobediently? One woman's beauty was never enough for men like you, Do you ever take responsibility for those wicked things you do?
The bird's cry is that of a beautiful song. Broken shards of myrrh beneath it's weathered talons. Spring dawns, the freshly plumed phoenix spreads it's wings & glares at the inviting skyline. Wading through the waters of resilience. Whilst you drown in a quandary of ambivalence. The bravest sailors discard doubt to the fathoms below. Rise to the surface to those hopeful shores you know. You cannot forgive & I cannot forget. So we commit our love to the depths of regret. Beautiful puzzles under amaranth skies. Hearts with muzzles & a ghostly reprise. I wear no disguise, I wear no cape. I wish to survive, not to escape. I used to believe only in you but now my belief resides in me. No more metaphors, no more cryptic wars, we'll never again share a key.
Hummingbird 02:58
I wish you the best of luck, you've got so much going for you. Yeah it's true that we've had our ups & downs but it is nice to leave a happy farewell from both of us. You've influenced me in so many ways some good some bad, some things are sad but I suppose this is meant to be. Independently we walk away from each other for the very last time. I hope you don't regret this like I do, hummingbird. No-one can control the uncontrollable hummingbird. I hope he makes you happy, I hope he takes care of you, I hope you hope you have not made a big mistake 'cause you know that I own one of the biggest mistakes of all. Time takes all away, ticking away all the pain that we made for ourselves in the name of love & loss. At what cost did we prove that we truly care? You were all I wanted but I'm unwanted, hummingbird. I thought that you were all I needed but doubt succeeded, hummingbird. This is the end of the end my hummingbird...
Last Year 05:39
Last year I drank a lot, I drank 'til I fell down. Last year I smoked a lot 'til my lungs turned brown. Last year I crawled in circles, this year I'm climbing up the clouds. But I don't know where I went wrong. I was lost & now I'm found but now you're gone. 'Cause I'm not a Saint but I can paint myself into a better picture. One day you'll see me in a big golden frame & it'll hit ya. Last year I promised myself I'd stop writing songs about girls but you're a woman. Last year I let you down & I know I should've been around instead of drinking in town. Last year I was a little boy, now I feel like a young man with so many plans. Let's call it even, we've got something to believe in & you know this. You know this is true, I'm talking to you, so don't cut me out. I know you've got doubts but don't be too hasty & waste me like I wasted myself. I'm sorry for last year. I understand you & I read you like a book & I know why you think that you've got to do this. You think these are all just empty words made pretty with my guitar thinking that there's no way that I could ever prove this. You're holding on to the past but it won't last because I know that I can make you laugh & smile. And I know that I could make all this pain worthwhile. We'll take it slow but if you want to move fast I'm at your pace. And I know this sounds crazy but you know you amaze me, I'll never be lazy unless it's to be lazy with you. I guess I'll see you around. You don't know how much I'm gonna prove myself to you, with or without.
An optimist's heart connected to a pessimist's mind. A glitch in the matrix we secretly long to find. Victims remain victims because they behave like victims. Don't know how love came through me? I wore a bullet proof vest. The building dances like jelly just before it falls on top of me. The rubble shrouds my eyes with dust but it's the light beyond that I can see. A fair hand touches all my poor weathered fingertips. You are the greatest gift that life could ever give a man, a man like me. And I've been in hibernation for way too long. Seasonal affective drunken disorder. Let's hide away in a European lagoon somewhere across the border. I'll trade a kiss for a promise. A promise never cracked by dishonesty. Come, take my hand. Put on my coat. We'll shelter from rain under my favourite oak tree. I'll keep you warm. I'll part with my heart for you.
Obsession is a young man's game but it's made me feel too old far too young. I reach out for the unreachable, ambition misguides me into the deepest abyss. You know I couldn't do this forever even though I said that I could. It is such a waste of energy to pursue a girl smothered in uncertainty. You'll never make up your mind & life is far too short. And I don't think I owe you anymore. So I look on to the horizon, got my eyes on other things. I don't think I want you anymore. This isn't me saying the way I was living was ok, I've learned my lesson there a thousand times & more. I've made such stronger bonds with the people around me since I emptied out all the ugliness in my head. Maybe you're scared that I have finally realised I'm ok without you. We all want what we can't have. We hold on to the past until it passes by our... Hearts hold on to memories until they become our enemies.
The words got in the way of the actions. The truth got distorted by distractions. What can we learn from this? How to grow new skin. Take it all on the chin, pull it out from within. Cut me out, embrace doubt. It's hard to be just a memory. It hurts to be discarded. I wish that I'd been stronger, all or nothing, but I disregarded what was right for you & me. This is no fairytale. I know this is hard for you too & I'm not the protagonist of this song. I don't feel sorry for myself, I know what I've done wrong. I know that this will all heal, I know we can be strong. But I think I know why we didn't let go for so long. This is no fairytale, there is no happy ending. The prince is a pauper, there's no point in pretending. If I see you again I don't know what I'll say to you. I'm sure we'll both be doing fine, I'm sure it'll heal in time. This is no fairytale, there is no happy ending.


This was my first official album release after quite a few years of deciding on songs & which direction to take. I wanted my first album to have no drums or bass in order to initially separate my solo sound from InMe's. I used GarageBand to create all the orchestral elements. It is largely an album about love, redemption & forgiveness.


released April 10, 2011

Written & performed by Dave McPherson.
Programming by Dave McPherson.
Produced & engineered by Mike Curtis.


all rights reserved



Dave McPherson Brentwood, UK

Music |ˈmyo͞ozik|
1 the art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

Music is my life. An oft-used cliché yet nonetheless true for me. I've devoted most of my existence to exploring it in every way & in turn it has enabled me to travel the world & meet new friends all over.

Hope you like my sounds!
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