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I'd Have Her - Artwork: Eva Krusche

I’d Have Her is one of the oldest songs that we currently play and has been on the gig list since around 2006, which is when the predecessorial band entity Gurdan Thomas (GT) was formed. It was one of a handful of songs first written after the birth of Thomas and although it was recorded for a self released low tech, low budget album ‘Graceful Rabbits’ since then, although it’s always been a crowd pleaser it was never recorded properly until the first album of the new LDS project, finally released in 2022.

The song was first written on piano and at the start of GT I was in the band as a solitary member and was traipsing the open mic scene with guitar in hand. Sometimes these venues had a piano, but mostly not and my Brother suggested that perhaps I make a guitar version of the song.

I took up his suggestion, but it was no easy task. The technique of playing piano and guitar are very different. With piano you can play with two hands and create very different parts rhythmically and also quite far apart in pitch, whereas on guitar, all the notes are spanned by one hand and the rhythm is created with the other. So this results in piano parts sometimes being very difficult to reproduce on a guitar. Of course it goes the other way too, it’s very difficult to reproduce the strumming effect of guitar on a piano.

The difficulty lay in the chord progression. In the Chorus, the bass line has a chromatic nature, meaning it moves one semitone or half step at a time which, when combined with the chords above it and that the bass isn’t always playing the root of the chord (the tonic, or bottom note) it poses some technical difficulty and results in some unusual chord fingerings. Of course this is if one wishes to play alone. If one had a bass player it would not be too difficult. But at this time I was totally alone. (cue a solitary violin playing melancholy lines).

If you’re interested the chord progression for the chorus is:

Cm  G/B  C7/Bb  F/A  Ab  Cm/G  G

I’d Have Her

I’ll tell you a story of a boy that went to sea,

To escape from his own longing for a girl he couldn’t see,

So jealous, so hungry, so sad this tale don’t end happily,

Far at sea in his bottle,

You’d hear him whisper hopelessly to the sea,

I’d have her,
If she’d let me,

But I know I’d let her down,

I’d try to, so gently,

Forget this pain and turn the ship around.

Running away, live for today,

Pillaging, dating and general play,

A pirates life for me,

But it’s no dash comedy,

Divine intervention of course would be the only salvation,

But this boy is Atheist, no remorse..

You’ll find him floating down the river dressed in black,
He don’t know where he’s going,
But he won’t be coming back.


Ian Chapman: vocals, guitars,

Dine Doneff: guitars, percussion, e-bass, djembe

Sandra Hollstein: accordeon

Johannes Url: drums

Producer: Dine Doneff

Music, Lyrics & Arrangement: Ian Chapman

I'd Have Her on this lo-fi album is track 6
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