The Sock Bag

Other than a few knock-around party/jamming high-school acts, I first started playing live music as part of the duo “Dave & Earl” (later renamed “The Butler Did It”). This is Dave.

Davo & I started playing together at the Bridge Mall Inn upon the suggestion of Pat McCabe and other people whom we couldn’t argue with despite not liking one another at first… (we’ve been great friends for 16 years now). We played serious sounding songs including Leonard Cohan covers & the theme from M.A.S.H but also occasionally got more goofy and wrote (or improvised on stage) jaunty tunes will silly lyrics because we were criminally under prepared (and a little too self confident) most of the time.

One of these songs was “The Sock Bag”. It was about a bag of odd socks. We played it once.

I’m not sure if it was Davo himself, or his brother Chrisso (whose band, The Rye Catchers I would later join & are still singing for these days) or our good friend Paddy O, but someone suggested I put all the particularly foolish songs of mine in “The Sock Bag” and leave them there. It was a good suggestion.

These type of songs never suited Dave & I, or The Rye Catchers or The Red Cents (the band that The Butler Did It eventually morphed into) but since I started playing kids music I’ve pulled out one or two songs from the sock bag, darned them a bit, and given them new life.

“Jam Maker” (a ska song about a man who makes jam) is now a particular crowd favourite. I’m still working on “The Sock Bag”.


I like to think this cow with a Rorschach test on its face understands the importance of keeping some kind of record of your creative efforts & notions; be it in a journal, a notepad, a sketchbook or on your computer. You never know when the inspiration or situation may come that allows an idea to be completed.

A note…

This post that I started to write last year is dedicated to Paddy O (1972-2011). I often played my new songs to him first because he always gave the best advice. I wouldn’t be half the musician, or man, I am today without your encouragement, mate.



About earlleonardmusicforkids

Earl Leonard is a talented musician with an honest rocking style. Kids love his enthusiam and sense of fun. Performances for early primary and pre-school aged children are structured to leave room for participation; including changing well known song lyrics with the help of the kids. Songwriting workshops for grades 3 and up open a world of creativity; exploring language rhythm and rhyme. through all the fun and games children learn about words and music.
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