(4 replies, posted in Poems)

Yes, one last time would finish it, but I didn't want it finished, I wanted a new start.

Just posted the finished song.


(5 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Follow where your ears lead. Work on a chord sequence of three or four chords. Then start  replacing a root chord with a "fancy " chord with the same root note till you get something interesting.

Try playing the fancy chords with the same one root note - eg G7, G11, G13, Gsus2add4 - whatever - just to see how they all connect to each other.

Start off in one key, choose a note within that key and see how many fancy chords have that note within them - it can be endless, but your ears will pull you through.


(4 replies, posted in Poems)

Critique it to bits if you will, folks !

Snow on the Dancefloor.

There was just a wooden floor
With the slightest spring for dancin'
There was just a low-set stage
And a glitter ball in the ceilin'.

But here was where I found the nerve.
Here was where I cast the dice
Asked you for another dance,
And looked you in those deep blue eyes.

But now it's winter
Cold and dark
Even the shadows have fled
For there's snow on the dancefloor,
Pain in my heart
And an empty pillow on my bed.

Somehow we always battled
Against the storm outside.
Could hear it, sometimes see it
But never brought it to mind.

Guess it was me that broke the lock
And let the winter in
A foolish thing, regretted since
But that's how ends begin.

You said you'd never walk away
I'm sure I said the same
But finally I think we learnt
We'd both been playing games.

So I kicked out the fire doors
And we went our separate way
You went east, I went west
With no regrets we said.

So what is it that brought me back
To the ruins of this roofless  dance hall
With snow on the dance floor, one standin' wall.
What is it still makes me thrill?

It isn't the music, isn't the lights
It isn't the stars in the sky
I't's the sight of those blue eyes come back to me
And we're gonna make it this time.


(8 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the comments - I appreciate them.

Corn stalk braids would be like these corn dollies (http://maddy2001-ivil.tripod.com/corndollies/id5.html ). although I'm really thinking of simpler ones along the line of this St Bridget's cross ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMj7RJDwp8U ).

Lena picked up on the innocence of plaiting straw or rushes.


(8 replies, posted in Songwriting)


I was thinking of an american family member returning for a summer.

Yes I was seeing the lammas Fair at ballycastle-o (http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/LammasFair.html )

"Were you ever at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
To some Dulse and Yellow Man
At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!"

For those not in the know dulse is edible seaweed and yellow man is a hard version of sugar honeycomb.


(8 replies, posted in Songwriting)

With a hat tip to Tennessee Williams. This is wholly fictional.

I am determined to get this up over the weekend - three others are recorded and hope to have them up too.

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.


(6 replies, posted in Poems)

This is good Jets, there's a good old fashioned song in there.

It reminded me of the Brocken Spectre - http://www.touchingthelight.co.uk/featu … cken.shtml .


(7 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Sorry, but I have to agree with you, Russell. Doubts and worries.

16 is too young for this. What parent would let their 16 year old head off across the ocean, risking capsize and death, for 5 months on their own ? At 18 you can make your own decisions.

My daughters sail, Belfast people always have. When they were learning they had a class trip across the bay. I went out to the headland to watch them sail (and to fish, I must admit ). The eldest daughter capsized ( turtled ) in front of me and took a long, long time to come up. She was only 60 yards out. But there was nothing I could do.

Will the next "record" be a 14 year old - and when does that become abusive ?

Follow the money !


(3 replies, posted in Songwriting)

If you've been with a lady for twenty-odd years you have memories that build into mountains of love.

The chords are simple - it's their names that are difficult. See below.

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.

Dmadd9  003230

C6add9(n0 5th) - 000210

G6add9 - 000035

Hi Jim,

This is a great song. A lot of my songs start from the same place - a few words that make you think. My problem is that I'm going deaf and a lot of what I hear is only half what people say most of the time - still, the confusion  can be fun !!

Mind you, your neighbour's wife is now looking at you with different coloured spectacles.


(7 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the wonderful comments - I'm humbled. Thank you ! And, yes, it's deeply bluesy, and deeply . . . . hey gotta leave something to the imagination !

I hope to get this recorded this weekend, although Rod Stewart is in town on Saturday. and she and I will be dancing the night away - depends whether Sunday happens in our house.!. I've three others recorded, though I'm not happy with one of them, so there'll be some new content on Myspace.

There's one triple meaning, Phil, but you could be right with the rest ; )

Jody - I think both have their merits, they're both good. I love your southern phrasing !


(12 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Think about your posture - are you twisting yourself around the guitar, are you tightening your shoulders,arms, wrists, fingers etc. If so, you could try shaking yourself loose before you play, deliberately thinking about loosening the muscles that you are tightening before you play. you can also shake your fretting hand loose while you play - for instance hitting open strings within the chord - it will often give your muscles the break they need.

Another thing is your breathing. many people stop breathing while they play, and gasp breaths whenever they can. Try finding a breathing pattern that matches the strum pattern. It all reduces the stress level.


(26 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

A tattoo - No , that'd be worse than the B chord . . . . . . . ducks as various missiles fly past head.


(7 replies, posted in Songwriting)

A very simple song - like the very simple pleasure of playing cards with someone you love.

I play E7  - 020100

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.


(17 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Three, Zip, Zip !

Congratulations - 16 days to go too. Will you be taking a rest, or working on the 400 ?


(8 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Hey Daddy.

Takes me back to saturday morning TV as a kid,every episode a horse chase, every programme a baddie who looked the same.


(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Good to see some critiquing happening on chordie.

It happens on other sites where people follow their muse. You're braver than I have been, Kenny. It would be nice to agree that we can critique songs and lyrics, albeit gently, and no hard feelings. Perhaps we could agree to write CRITIQUE NEEDED in the Subject line of anything we post for that purpose.

There's a lot we can learn about rhyme and rythm within songs, never mind how we build melody and find the chords to pull it together


(5 replies, posted in Poems)


Well I had never heard of MR Barry and Mr Holland until you mentioned it. Very interesting stuff.

One of Mr Barry's contemporaries - John Paul Jones - knocked a few stones off the top of Carrickfergus Castle - about 20 minutes drive away from where I sit.


I very much agree, although you have to understand that, being Irish, we have to have a real fight, and therefore join both sides to make it more even !

Just a few years before, a few Irish guys got into a scrap while fighting against the Mexicans. They were called Bill Travis, Jim Bowie and a certain David Crockett. (OK don't hang me, their people were Irish.)

I met a descendant of Davy Crockett around twenty years ago. her name was Alessie McCrossan ( Nee Crockett) she was a great, great, great whatever grand-daughter. She was a feisty lady, involved in her community and in politics. They named a local Community facility after her.


(3 replies, posted in Poems)

Thought I should try a Woody Guthrie type of lyric on the recession - with a bit of humour. This is what came out. It's fixin to be a bouncy little two chord song (C & G) when it's finished.

On the Up-Side

Oh it's hard times
Credit crunching times
Money's buyin' less
And I sing this song
Cause my job's gone
And the country's in a mess.

   But on the up-side
   On the south-side
   There's a fireside
   Where she sits
   And i can be there
   In a half hour
   And we can
   Dance and kiss

Oh it's hard times
Hangin' banker times
Think I'll try and get a loan.
Sure a billion's nothin,
When the economy's rotten,
Hey, I can spend it on my own.

Oh it's hard times
Any - job - you - can times -
Boss is workin' in McDee's.
My gal's in a quandary,
Checkin' all our money,
Cos it's printed fake, you see

Oh it's hard times
Recession-chic times
but I ain't gonna cry
Buy my pants and tops
From the charity shops
And gonna love her till I die.


(5 replies, posted in Poems)

The Chieftains ( irish music's long famed heroes ) have brought out an album of Irish and Mexican music. It's based on the story of "Los Patricios". I had never heard of them before. There were an irish ( and other ethnic) battalion that fought for Mexico against the US in the Mexican American War.

Many of those who fought in Texas were recruited as they stepped off the Famine ships that had had brought them from Ireland to America - from hunger to horror. Some of them eventually decided that the Mexican army suited them better. 30 of them were hanged at Chatapulpec as the us flag was raised above the town.

Their story is quite simply a tragedy - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick's_Battalion  .Apparently,The Mexican Government commemorate los patricios with a piped lament every year.

The Famine Battalion.

   Behind the guns,
   In Monterey
   You stood
   Beside Your brother
   In gunsmoke and noise
   Beneath a flag of green
   You stood
   Beside Your brother.

The soil smelt sweet
The weather warm
As you crushed it in your hand
Blighted, black
and rotten
You cursed ill-favoured land.

And the ships that sailed
To life and Texas
Meant you survived the famine
But waitin' on
The other shore
Was a war for that famine batallion.

It's a long way from Leitrim
To the shores of Mexico.
It's a long way from one side to the other,
A uniform's a uniform
And guns can point both ways,
But a brother will always be a brother.

And now the pipes
Seem out of place
As they lament your slaughter
As the spangled banner rose
Above Chapultepec
And the Churubusco river


(12 replies, posted in Recording)

What a wonderful voice MKM -  is there any Irish in it ?

I always thought it was a Scottish song because it mentions the Clyde river.

This is a version by Cara Dillon another wonderful singer, although from Dungiven, only an hour's drive from Belfast.



(15 replies, posted in Songwriting)

"you couldn't take the pain of what has past.
Then you laughed,
Such a]pretty laugh."

Heart breaking, ken. Wonderful lyric. I like the detail of "the long stem red rose".


(69 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Ah Boxty . . . . last tasted at a Ceili in Fermanagh 25 years ago!

We also have "Fadge" or taty bread in the North http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Irish- … akes-21371 Would it be anything akin to potato pancakes ?

I'd appreciate a recipe for Hush Puppies if you have one?


(1 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

The BBC have announced that the Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren has died aged 64. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8610701.stm .

I uised to think of him as a bit of a user who just made money from punk, but you have to give it to him, he and the Pistols changed culture and future generations - I think for the better.


(5 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Found this one in my head a few days ago - where it came from, I don't know -  all just a bit of craic, as we say over here.

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

E7   - 020100
Fmaj7  - 003210
G6  - 020030