I’ve been working on a four song project for the last while and it’s nearly there. I’ve always wanted to try for a big song in the old tradition, like Little Musgrave, or The Well Below The Valley. I wanted the song to have a large canvas and a human dilemma at its heart. I came up with a song called The Lady Avonlee. It clocked in at 18 verses and I managed to get the bones of it recorded last year with the help of Eoghain O’Neill on bass and Ray Fean on drums. Then two more stories began to tap me on the shoulder and demanded to be told. Patrick’s Hill is a story from my childhood of an American Wake. The year was 1957…so the tale is relatively modern. Then I read a book by Susan Murgatroyd about the O’Hara-Burke/Wills expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1860. The book is called The Dig Tree and is obligatory reading for anyone interested in exploration. The resulting song is called Drop Dead Day.
Since there was a journeying thread running through the songs, I decided to record Micheál O’Domhnaill’s version of Lord Franklin. I added bass and drums. Happily Mícheál’s sister Tríona agreed to sing on it with me .
One way or another all the songs contain a human dilemma element. Decisions taken or decisions ignored….not the stuff that will have you dancing at the disco…but interesting questions to old fogies like myself. Apart from Franklin, they all pass the seven minute mark…so not exactly radio friendly. Over the intervening months, other musicians such as Mick McAuley, Triona Ní Dhomhnaill, Dave Keary, David Power, and Fiachra Trench have added their tuppence worth.
The results will surface in the next couple of months in the form of an Ep..probably as a download, and here I’m thinking that Drop Dead Day would not be a bad title for the Ep. So if thought that I had given up recording and devoted my time to the daily crossword and the consuming of cream buns….well you were close, but I have been turning up at the office too.
Look out….Drop Dead Day is just around the corner,
Love and best wishes,