Harvey (Listening Man)

This song about listening and holiness in everyday life was written by English Roman Catholic musician, teacher and at-that-time religious sister Estelle White (Sister Estelle), based on her experiences as a child in an area surrounded by mining pits.   It is a secular song, rather than specifically a hymn  (ref) though touching on spiritual themes - and includes the sub-title
The New Testament reminds us that a saint is not just a great spiritual leader.

It was first published in Faith, Folk and Festivity by Galliard Ltd in 1969, but does not appear to have been published in any hymn-books since then.  CCLI shows that copyright is now (2018) held by Stainer & Bell Ltd and McCrimmon Publishing, and is administered by Stainer & Bell Ltd - suggesting that it may have been published in some non-religious song-books, or perhaps even as a stand-alone piece.

Faith Folk and Festivity has the phrase "From Harvey and Co" with the song, however as explained here this refers to the people and life experiences which contributed to the writing, not to alternate authors.

No on-line examples have been found:   Please leave a message in the Comments box at the bottom of the page if you know of any.

The tune, also written by White, is unnamed.   It has a 6/8 time signature. In the key of Dm, the first few notes are ED FA FG D_ DD, with accompanying chords Dm / Gm.




Lyrics

1.Harvey's in his forties, he's tall and rather thin
You'd know that he's a miner by the blue scars on his skin.

Chorus
And he listens with his hands, he listens with his face
He listens with the whole of him at any time or place
For Harvey is a listening man, he'll listen all his days.

Down behind the slagheap, on every Saturday,
He hears the grasses growing and a lark a mile away.

2. When he's with his pigeons and children mill around
He tells them how to follow every gentle cooing sound

3. Old men on the park bench, they rattle memories door
To root out every treasure and he's heard it all before

4. Often in the local, his foot up on the rail
He bends his head, respectful of the silence when words fail.

5. Down the pit a stone falls, for someone that's the end
And as they think of kinfolk, well, it's Harvey that they send.

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