A submarine.

On The Beach

‘On the Beach’ is on the Back Story album – a collection of old demos released in late 2023.


The sun baked down as I stumbled across the ground.
And I climbed way up to the top of the hill,
And they all seem higher and they always will…
To think I once had a postcard of this view,
Sent by you, how things change.

Tarmac sheets criss and cross this land,
It almost seems as if they were planned
To link the red brick piles of utility tiles.
It goes on for miles, down to the beach

I am here on the beach, I am here on the beach

The parching of the soil is a lonely sound,
But it’s all that’s left for me to hear.
And the blue sky, once imagined, now seems so real.
It joins the sea down by the beach

I am here on the beach, I am here on the beach
But you’re out of reach.

Copyright 1995 Graham Armfield

Song history

This song was originally written in the early 1980s during a holiday to southern Spain.

Near where I was staying there were loads of half-finished and deserted house and road developments that seemed to be randomly strewn across the hillside. In the parched soil this seemed like some dystopian post-apocalyptic landscape.

Coincidentally I’d just been reading ‘On the Beach’ by Neville Shute – the cheerful story of the end of the world after a nuclear war.

This is one of the few songs I’ve written where the lyrics came first. I married the desolate lyrics to a gentle acoustic chord sequence and the song was complete.

The song became a regular in the live set of Reset and a very rough 4 track demo was recorded in late 1983.

A later recording was released as part of the Heart Made of Stone EP by Shnaffel in 1995, although this was a completely solo recording. It’s this version that features on the Back Story album

Recently I’ve been playing ‘On the Beach’ at open-mic nights where it’s been sung by Tracy Ginn.