Handmade Life

from by Jennifer Crook

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I wrote this some ten years ago following a visit to West Wales. Some great musical motifs by Maclaine Colston feature in this new arrangement.


Robert was a lawyer, made his daddy proud
Never fitted in with the cocktail crowd
He had the looks and the first degree
And the sense to ask, well what about me?
I’ve got a customary cosmo girl
But there’s not much love left in my world
I think I’m heading for a heart attack
It’s a dead-end street along a one-way track

He’s running to the hills, he’s running for his life
He’s tearing up the bills, and paying off his wife
Heading for the hills with a shovel and a knife
Gone to build a handmade life
Gone to build a handmade life

He met a girl and they settled down
And sold organic veg in town
Every day trying to make ends meet
Putting clothes on the kids and shoes on their feet
It’s always harder than it seems -
A shoestring life for a few small dreams
The men in grey try to claim the land
And the bricks they laid with their own fair hands

Living in the hills is not an easy life
And if you’ve got the will you’d think you’d have the right
But after all the years, the struggle and the strife
Nothing beats a handmade life
Nothing beats a handmade life

Pretty Pollyanna was a patchwork girl
With dreams to see the big wide world
So she gathered every shell in sight
And strung them round the moon each night
She grew and grew up to be five foot ten
She could strut her stuff with the best of them
She found her ticket in a suit and tie
Of a wealthy man with a roving eye

She’s running to the city she wants to get a life
She’ll be sitting pretty if she plays it right
But she traded all her treasures when he took her for his wife
Forsaken was the handmade life

And shiny things can look like gold if you don’t look too close
Be careful now for what you sold might be what you need the most

Too many years not keeping score
If not for love what is life for?
She begs the bottom of her G&T
Where did the music go and all the poetry?
She had a longing for the mountain air
The sound of spring and her favourite chair
She called her mother on the telephone
Put the kettle on I’m coming home

She’s running to the hills she’s running for her life
She’s giving up the pills and the four-wheel drive
She doesn’t care about the money if her heart survives
Gone to build a handmade life

She’s gone to build a handmade life…

© Jennifer Crook 2010


from Black Fly EP, released February 22, 2010


all rights reserved



Jennifer Crook Bath, UK

"I urge you to give this a listen. This is contemporary songwriting and performing at it's best"****Maverick

"Heart-wrenchingly gorgeous music" Roots & Fusion

Telegraph***Best Folk Albums of 2014 (Carnforth Station)

“I’m really, really loving the new album ‘Merry-Go-Round’ - it’s beautiful” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
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