The Strokes – Last Night (Cover)

For my sins I don’t have a large swathe of cover songs. I think this is because I prefer writing and performing my own songs rather than destroying established songs with a bad cover. People will always compare a cover to the original, which is an obvious standard I suppose, so trying to make a cover your own is, I think, vitally important. I should note here that I have by no means made this song my own…I like playing it because it is a massive deviation from the original but, to my ears, still sounds good. Have a listen to and see what you think…


The Kraken

The beauty and uniqueness of music is incredible. It’s fascinating how many people in the world, experiencing different life events, could be listening to a single song and finding it fits with their own unique situation. This for me is what I find most interesting about music. I love how my interpretation of a song can change depending on my mood, thoughts and feelings. I have taken different meanings from different songs over the years and I have been able to find solace from these lyrics and the music. This has never been truer when listening to Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane” and, later with The Travelling Wilburys, ‘Tweeter and the Monkey Man’.

I find music, like poetry, is open to interpretation. The analysis of my music will be different from person to person depending on their own life experiences. For me, Fleetwood Mac songs, such as Landslide, Silver Springs, and Songbird, have evoked a range of different thoughts and images in my mind depending on where I have been in my own life at the time of listening. I attempt to tell my own stories through my lyrics, but I know these lyrics will take on different meanings dependent on the person listening. I think that ‘The Kraken’ is a song which can take on a story of its own.

‘The Kraken’ is a failed love story between a peasant man and a rich lady. The massive disparity of wealth in their lives means that they are not allowed to be together – ‘status isn’t new and then you had to go’. The man decides to join a sea-ship expedition to find wealth, whether it be from piracy or claiming a large chest of treasure from an old map ‘Goonies style’ is not known. The plan is to get wealthy very quickly to be deemed worthy and fit to marry the lady he has fallen in love with. The Kraken enters at this stage to put an end to the man’s mission and prevent him ever seeing his love again. Now a Kraken, immortalised by Clash of the Titans (the original one folks) and, later, Pirates of the Carribean, is a ‘mythical’ sea creature which is essentially a big, giant, massive octopus. I suppose there is a hint of Moby Dick in the story that I tell only the giant whale is replaced by the Kraken. The Kraken whose ‘arms breach through the hull, arms that never wave’.

In my own mind I like to think that the lady’s father, not mentioned to in the story, is Davey Jones and he has released the Kraken in order to get rid of this peasant who is not worthy of his daughter…and then he sends him to the fuckin’ locker!!


To Begin (the morning…)

Many times in my life I have listened to different music genres and artists. My own musical taste has developed and grown with each passing life stage. Over the years I have experienced a range of musical influences whether it be a YouTube video with two million views or a 5am conversation in the heart of Donegal with friends. It’s only natural that we become influenced by the world around us and that these influences spur us on in our own creative journey.

I can clearly remember which band influenced me to look at my old, dusty guitar with a renewed interest and to start playing after a long period of musical neglect. However no particular artist, song or album has influenced me to start writing my own music.  Each of my songs have taken on a life and journey of their own. Each song is unique and may have been influenced by a current event in the world, an everyday phrase, a passing stranger on the street or simply a feeling.  Each song has its own story to tell and I can say with absolute clarity it was the author of horror fiction, Stephen King, who influenced me to finally put pen to paper and to let my songs tell their own story.

I have a sentimental passion for music and how it has the power to resurface memories, good and bad. Maybe I lend too much weight to the songs I write and the messages which are contained within them. I suppose this is a natural proudness people exhibit when they create. I think that a listener can connect or relate to my songs in some way – but not in an obscure horoscope way where you link the song to every possible part of your life. I suppose that is why I am writing this. To let you know that the following songs and connecting life experiences are mine but which, I feel, a lot of people can relate to.

For too long I have stared at the walls in my house, singing to my university statue, endeavouring to get better but being confident with my own style. I have been told at times that I need to live in the real world…but the world of the Matrix, where you are as good as you think you are, is much more fun!

I suppose a word of caution is needed before you continue. I have never denied that singing is something which I equally dread and love. The former as I do not profess to be a singer (which you will shortly find out). This, however, is why the latter is so important. I love writing my own songs, singing my own songs and listening to my own songs. Although people have attempted to comfort me with ‘You know that they said that Bob Dylan couldn’t sing either’ I realistically understand that I wasn’t gifted with the gift of the singing gab. Nevertheless, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Can musical beauty be in the ear of the beholder too? You don’t have to whole heartedly believe that this is so. If, however, this is something which you can accept then you may appreciate what is to follow.

I hope this can, at the very least, inspire the reader to pick up an abandoned instrument, put pen to paper, be brave and put the fear of embarrassment to the side and let their creative side roam free.

N.B I haven’t allocated myself a fixed amount of time to begin or end this ‘project’ if that indeed is what it is. I only know that I have a song book which has been created over the past few years which contains self-written songs…songs which touch on a multitude of different subjects and life experiences. This is not a blog about my life but rather about how I have endeavoured to write music, some of which reflect or touch on life experiences, and how this has evolved over the years.

Here is “Where Will You Sail?” (Acoustic).