Simon Armitage once observed that there are two types of poems - those that try to work out the chemical equation for language, and those that tell stories and sings songs..These are very much the latter, a handful of lyrics and verses written over number of years, many being commissioned to celebrate or commemorate public events, others being part of larger projects in theatre, radio and television. Erotic, witty, flippant, poignant and always melodic, Travelling Songs is a kind of busker's handbook, the kind of work that might win a poet a decent meal when singing for his supper. Or as the author comments, 'Describing yourself as a poet is often seen as a challenge or even an alibi. In those circumstances, it's worth having a few tunes up your sleeve to prove it.'

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