Best thing I've found for naming chords for you -


(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

It's a a standard Iphone 4. I use an iXZ interface - you can plug in guitar and XLR mics. I also use an App called Music Studio to record to the phone.

It's very cheap, flexible and sounds ok - but more to the point it's quick to put together anywhere.


(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Haven't been around these parts in a while. Used to be here regularly back in the day.

This is to thank Phil Williams who a long time ago took a limerick I wrote and put music to it - got me to thinking I could write a song. I'm several hundred down the line from that now.

Here's a fairly dirty Iphone recording of one I posted here a long while ago. … ecorded-on


(5 replies, posted in Poems)

Nice and simple - I like it !


(3 replies, posted in Songwriting)

This was inspired by "Crazy Heart". Story's changed a bit.

For those who don't know - "craic" is an irish word pronounced "crack" which means good fun, great conversation and everyone getting on together.

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A7 002020


(1 replies, posted in Songwriting)

A little blues for the holidays - a meaningless little thing !

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I play B7 = 021200 .


(2 replies, posted in Poems)

This feels likea straight Irish Trad song. Been working on the melody and I've added to the chorus - simple stuff, but it works.

Let me Lead You Astray.

Let me lead you astray
From your fields streams and rivers
To the streets, bars and mirrors
Where Belfast's crowding people gather

And in Botanic there'll be dancin',
Down the Empire, there'll be laughin'
Madden's fiddles will be flyin'
And we can go romancin'
We can go.
We can go,
We can go,
Go romancin'.

And there's lamplight by the river
Where we can kiss and watch the water.
Oh I can see you there
With your dark eyes and your dark hair.

And you'll be mine in the mornin'
As the sun breaks round the curtain
Your warm skin, pale as linen
And me beside you lyin'.


(1 replies, posted in Poems)

Song about misunderstandings - nations separated by a common language as they say.

When Big Joe came to town.

We put out the long red mat
When Big Joe came to town.
And he stood there in his boots and hat
Shakin hands all around.

Big Joe he came from Natches
By way of Portglenone
His mother tongue was rough
As any of our own.

It was when he started talkin,
And we tried to reply.
It was then the mix up started
No matter what we'd try

Divided by a common tongue
That's what we were
Dazed and confused
By a language that we share.
When a car has a boot and not a trunk
When  a honky-tonk's an old shebeen
And sheugh is nothin to do with corn,
Cos muck is what it means.

First he wanted a washroom
so I took him to the baths
Why he hid behind the bushes
I wasn't gonna ask.

When he asked me for a bourbon
And I handed him a biscuit
Well he called that a cookie,
And I knew I was losin' it.

I said we'd go out for the craic
But he said that he'd gone straight
I said I was glad for him
Considerin' his gait.

He got a cheer in the Busy Bee
When he said he stomped on hoods
Then got pulled of a car by the peelers,
Who would never have understood

It was in the bar where the bhoyos drink
He nearly lost the plot
When he said he could care less
And nearly got me shot

But we came to a simple solution
Gave each other plenty of space
Let the whole scheboombang sort itself
So no one would lose face.


(1 replies, posted in Poems)

Been away a while taking care of business - any hoo !

This is going to be a song for guys , you know, like the ones we sang in the showers after the game, or on the bus home. The title is a Belfast saying from back in the time of steam engines - Keep Her Lit

Keep 'er Lit.

When you're drivin' through the waters
East of the Mallaccas,
When the typhoon spins the sea
Into a plume.
When there's nothing you can pray for,
And nothing you want to die for.
There's one thing you must do -
And do it soon.

Keep 'er lit!
Keep''er lit!
Feed the fire in her belly
Keep 'er lit!
Then she'll need no explanation.
She'll rise above temptation.
She'll be your  sweet salvation.
Keep 'er lit !

When you're twenty and the world
Looks mighty scary
And you've suddenly realised
Why you are hairy
When the Lady's acting coy
And calling you a boy
Well it's time to light the fire
And seize the day

When you're standing in the desert
Deprived of all except your nightshirt
And there's not a Rio round
for half a hundert.
Well you can place your trust in this,
Cos it'll hit more than she'll miss,
Strike a light then, man
And grab a kiss

After thirty years of marriage,
When you're sick of peas and carrots,
And you're just not as interested
As you used-ter
When she's screaming for attention
And tired of your rejection
Give yourself some fuel injection
Turn her over!

When you're lyin' on your scratcher
And oul death's around the corner
When the family's cryin buckets
At the door.
Tell them all to quit their snivellin'
Touch the candle to the curtain,
Better go south where it's burnin',
Say no more.


(2 replies, posted in Songwriting)

I was in two or three minds whether to post this. It's about love and Ireland and the mess politics have made of both. This is Narrow Water Castle - … r_keep.asp .

Chordpro error: This is not a valid artistname. You will have to specify an artistname in the form {st: Artistname} in the beginning of the code.

I play

Asus4 - 002030
C6    - 002010
G6add9 (no 3rd) - 000030


(17 replies, posted in My local band and me)

Write him a song about MIG and TIG.

They are different types of welding that the guys I grew up with used to talk knowledgably about - back in the days when we had a shipyard on ol Belfast.

Sure you'll be complaining about him by the middle of next week anyway - so enjoy the loss !


(4 replies, posted in Poems)

Just a silly poem - I may ressurrect the chorus for something else.

Some Days are Meant.

Some days are meant for singin'
So that's just what I do
Some days are meant for lovin'
Those days I dream of you
Some days are meant for thinkin,
Long and hard and all
The best days are meant for kissin'
You'll find those are the days I call.

I missed you on that Monday
You were dryin' out your hair.
Or so you screamed through the letter box
From halfway up the stair.

I missed you on the Tuesday,
Clothes not back from the 'drette
I didn't know there was one,
And I've never found it yet.

I missed you on the Wednesday
You said the cat was sick
But I saw it scratchin' it's ass in the driveway
There was nothing wrong with it

On Thursday I took to wonderin'
If there was more than met the eye
Of course I volunteered the notion
It might be some other guy.

So I came back on the Friday
'Course you asked me where I'd been
I said is that a pair of boots I see
Or are my old eyes lying.

Well you chased me all round Saturday,
Nearly caught me one time too
Till I discovered you liked the chase
And turned the tables on you.

Well, I saw the Doctor on the Sunday night
For the black eye and the nose
I don't blame you, if the cat had moved
I wouldn't have got those.


(17 replies, posted in My local band and me)

A couple of days is bad enough - a week is a long time !


(3 replies, posted in Poems)

Distances Deceive.

On one side of the world you are cryin'.
And there's nothing I can do
No way to reach and help
No way to comfort you

It's distance that deceives
I can see you
I can hear you
Your the one in my heart
And I love you
But you're in a different day
Far, so very far away
And I can't reach out and touch you.

You're here on this screen before me,
Who thought that this would ever do.
I try to dry the tears on your cheeks
But this shaking hand it can't pass through

So I listen to you weeping
And I watch your shoulders heaving
But all I have is words
That not even I believe in.

And I'm as mute as desert dust.
I'm as worthless as the sand.
The right words kicked from under me.
Guess that's cos I'm a man.

Then it comes time to drop the link
And, blink, your face is gone.
I'm left here empty as the arid miles
That stood between us all along.


(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

I suppose my experience of the banjo is from Irish Trad sessions when the banjo and fiddle tend to drown out everything else. Mind you I almost bought an open back tenor a year or so ago. It's tuned the same as the mandolin that I play.

look forward to the vids.


(6 replies, posted in Songwriting)

No your hulain' the right hula. I just twiated everything you could twist the last time I tried it !


(7 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Thanks everyone.

There are too many people I know fit this song - particularly that Irish guy in the mirror !


(5 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Thanks everyone - I appreciate the comments.

I managed to get this recorded, so I'll have it and a few of the others up shortly.


(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Love the sweet simplicity of this.

Can't for the life of me see how a banjo could ever have had anything to do with it . . !


(6 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Very Kool, Daddy - maybe the mention of a hula should come with a health warning ?

It's clearly that time of year when Sun rhymes with fun - other times it just rhymes with DONE !!


(7 replies, posted in Songwriting)

With apologies to Lena - I have re-used a chord sequence from a melody that I added to to a poem of hers about a Garden seat. I think it's probably more appropriate for this bubbly little number.

There's no end to this song - you just keep repeating until you go crazy - and then exit with the last line. See below for easy chords.

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C6    -    002010
Cadd9 no5th -  030210


(1 replies, posted in Poems)

Wanted a twist on the old line " I'm a survivor". Think I got that - with just a hint of menace too.

I'm a survivor

I'm a survivor
Just arrived at your front door.
If I could trouble you for a glass of water,
I won't ask for nothin' more.

I won't hang around your kitchen,
I won't dawdle in the hall
I won't comment on the pictures
No, you won't see me at all.

Cos I'm a survivor,
I'm the guy it happened to.
A whipping boy, a scape goat,
Now, ain't that the truth ?

I won't drop my boots beneath the stairs,
Won't ask you for a bed,
Won't even ask for stiff'un o'whiskey
Not so much as a slice of bread.

No. I came here cos I made it
And I wanted you to know
That the guy you thought you'd sent to hell
Soaked up every low blow.

Yes, I'm a survivor
And the thing that I've gotta say
Is that honour means more than vengeance
Though that may still see it's day.

But for now, I'll leave contented
Happy to see the fright in your eye,
I'll leave you here to ponder,
If I'll come back to take what's mine ?


(4 replies, posted in Poems)

Hi Lena,

Sad, I remember the Stardust. Couldn't ever beat Christy Moore's song on the tragedy.

It's a sin he had to stop singing the truth.

I'm from the Shankill, which will mean something to some of you - and my wife is from the Falls. The first concert we went to together was Christy Moore in Beechmount on the Falls.


(7 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Can't get the audio on this, Chris. I'll try again.


(5 replies, posted in Songwriting)

This has moved from poem ( or verse or whatever) to song.

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ASUS4  -  002230
D*    -    000235