(4 replies, posted in Poems)

This will make one cracker of a song !


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

Sounds like it's done right in the states.

We came upon one of these caches while walking around an old (as in four - five hundred years, maybe more ) graveyard at a place called Layde. What got us interested was a newly carved name at the base of one of the stones - saying "Wizard of Zigton". It very clearly should not have been there as no-one has been buried in the place for about 150 years.

We did the internet search and sure enough there was a reference to a geocache which is under one of the grave surrounds. I can understand why people would be drawn to the place, it is beautiful, and in quiet repose ( I wrote a song about it which was posted on Chordie), but I thought cutting words into someone else's grave stone went too far.  There's a reference here http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de … 9424e9f156 .

If you're only turning over logs and stuff, Topdown, then go for it. Anything that drags kids away from the computer and pay per view is good in my book.


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

Our cake lasted 10 years - rock solid ice. Neither of us could face it - that's what makes a marriage ! Whiskey or vodka and coke helps.

The oldest trees lean a bit in the wind. If you both lean, you'll end up wrapped up together for a very long time.


(13 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I used to use soft picks, but I couldn't use them to shift to pick individual notes - I ended up trying to bend the picks to get them to stiffen up.

Now my daughter uses the old soft picks for sticking on my birthday card every year - it's the best use for them.

There are a lot of pick types - tortex is very good. It is thin, but returns to its original shape very quickly. I use Dunlop yellow 73's. It allows you to strum and pick. If you want to use a pick, then persevere with the loose hold on the pick. It pays dividends in the long run.


(13 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I've never gone from finger pickin to pickin, but there's a wealth of practicing in order to get comfortable with the pick itself. There seem to be 2 main areas.

1. Strumming - try and use the heaviest pick you feel comfortable with, hold it lightly when you strum and let the pick move slightly as it hits the strings. This prevents the pick catching on the strings. Look at the angle that the pick hits the string, it can be side on or twisted, it can be at 90 degrees, or 45 degrees whatever you feel best with.You can also take a look at the developing your right hand sections here - http://www.folkofthewood.com/Acoustic_G … ssons.html .

2. Cross Picking : You also need to be practicing picking individual strings in sequence. Take a look at Crosspicking Guitar and run through some of the exercises. See  http://www.folkofthewood.com/Crosspicki … sons.html.


(28 replies, posted in Acoustic)

You can try visualizing what is happening in the song, someone crying, the rain etc

I find this easiest with my own songs, where I have a fairly clear idea of the "plot".

The Greeks used to learn off hours of speeches by imagining they were on a journey that they would take regularly and know well. They would "plant" a visual clue at each turn of the road, or at familiar points. When they wanted to remember the speech they would then take a virtual walk in their mind. Imagine the Hotel California outside your front door, a massive tiffany lamppost outside the beer store etc.


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


In Ireland, the sky is crying.

May your heart find peace.


(7 replies, posted in Poems)

I've an extra two hours driving to work each day, now we're out of the house. Cars have suddenly become my obsession !

This is a relatively meaningless, but hopefully fun, poem.

I Took the Wrong Car, Baby

I took the wrong car, baby.
I took your wheels
Now it's over to you, baby.
Now you c'n chase me !!!!!

Your heavy metal's left home, baby
I took the keys
Now you gotta find me

I left the Jag up on bricks, baby
My old Chevy's in the street
Guess it's time to meet.

Your little stick shift's screamin'. baby
Corners on two wheels
Maybe you should find me.

Your paint's a little scuffed up, baby
I forgot about the brakes,
Cos I got what it takes.

Got my eyes on the mirror, baby
Longin' for your lights
Want you in my bed tonight


(5 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Car crash song ! Brilliant !


(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Used Sibelius once - for bluegrass songs. I'd be interested to see this.

Before you all say it. I'm out of the house while we have work done, so any proper recording will be waiting till the end of October ( yes, it's a big job - at the moment the back of the house is held up by scaffolding and the diggers are in !!! ). I also have to say that this song bears no resemblance to my personal circumstances - dontcha just love picking out new kitchen units and floor tiles  . . .

I just wouldn't trust the guy in this song!

The "A" in this is played 002225 .

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.


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

I'm not sure that Jerome was talking about preventive care. Over here preventive care is about not smoking, taking exercise, drinking moderately etc

It seems to me that it's about when a worry turns into a crisis. I want to be able to ask about my worries.

If I'm bleeding where I shouldn't be bleeding, or finding it difficult to climb the stairs, then I want to be able to ask a Doctor. That's not preventative care, it's medical care. if I have to wait until I hit the ground, then that's no care at all.


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

Reading this again reminded me of another part of the Health system here.

As part of the UK's membership of the EU, there is now an arrangement with all other EU states that you can get medical treatment throughout the EU. You get a card from the UK Gov't  and by showing it in Roumania, Italy, Germany, the hospital can claim back the cost from the UK Govt. It's in the back of my passport.

I suppose that's socialist too !

Elvis Costello recently talked about a song in which he mentions his concrete fingers. You know how they set like concrete when you're trying out a new chord, or a new song.

I like to value the times when I get those concrete fingers, cause it means there is more to learn, and I love the buzz when you can play it with ease.

Also what Duxrus said about having the guitar at hand - so when you're dressed up to go out and herself says she'll just be five minutes ( and you know you have half an hour ) - you just reach out. She's started calling it the wooden woman !!!


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

If there is to be rationing, then maybe it should be on the basis of clinical need, rather the ability to pay.  It'd be tough, but fair - and Doctors do it every day in life anyway.

On the GDP figure, it sounds like you're being taxed by the insurance companies, rather than the government !

One thing I would like to know - in the Irish republic as well as the US - is what happens if you are elderly with a small pension and no kids - and you get very sick ?


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

This story has made it big over here, people are jumping up and down to put the record straight on the NHS.

This is now what we are hearing about the US Health system - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree … healthcare . Is that a true picture ?

One interesting figure I saw was that the US spends 16% of GDP on health - the UK spends just 8 %.


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

Gotta chime in on the National Health Service.

Apart from Dentistry, it's free at the point of need. If tomorrow I decided to do an Evil Kinevil out this window to my right, and ended up in four pieces under one of the buses that were passing - the NHS would patch me up ( but only if I were still alive ) for free. I may also have a sore head.

Waiting lists are a pain, but I don't have to pay for the family doctor, they still do home visits. I can get a same day appointment if I am prepared to wait at the end of the day and don't ask for a specific doctor. I had a cancer scare a few years ago, and I had all the tests for free ( including some tests where tests aren't ever supposed to go). Mum has been in and out of hospital a lot over the past few years - no need for insurance or worry over how bills will ever be paid. 

All our kids were brought into the world with the NHS, every gripe or bicycle fall was dealt with by the NHS all without having to think about it being the wrong end of the month.

The big thing is that we know if we get really sick we don't have the worry of selling the house to pay the bill.

There was a Conservative politician on US TV saying that the NHS was "a 60 year mistake". The guy is a fool and is probably in a minority of one - even his Party leader is saying that he "stands four square behind the NHS" - and he is the heir to Margaret Thatcher.


(13 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Hey Selso,

very  poignant song - there's a line somewhere between the blues and old time that you have made your own here


(14 replies, posted in Poems)


I'm a bit gobsmacked at the response. Thank you all.

Kajima, go ahead. i've been searching for a melody to do it justice. It hasn't quite jelled yet, but it will.

I've been away - annual leave. We'll be out of the House for a while as we are having work done, so my time on line will be limited for the next few months.


(3 replies, posted in Poems)

This all came from waking up this morning with the first line running through my head.

It will be a duet, which is a first !

Katy , My Katy.

(Chorus 1)
Katy, my Katy, I'm missin' you so.
Armagh Gaol's walls are stiflin' cold.
Katy, my Katy, I don't want to go.
But Armagh Gaol's walls are made of thick stone

(Chorus 2)
John, my dear John, I have to let you go.
A future without you is all that I'll know
John, my dear John, I have to say "No".
The past is a closed book. They told me so.

(Voice 1)
They're hangin' Sean Savage for shootin John Bligh.
The Land Agent's people have the cops on their side
The beak wouldn't listen when I said it was I.
Sean was the leader, so Sean has to die.

Chorus 1

(Voice 2)
I'm forbidden to visit, I'm locked in my room
They say the Master will send for me soon
You're leaving for Botany Bay this forenoon
They say your friend Sean is doomed.

Chorus 2

(Voice 1)
Don't listen to Crawford, the man damned my eyes.
And the way that he watched you, that wasn't right
He'll play you along, for him you're the prize
As long as I'm gone, please don't heed his lies.

Chorus 1

(Voice 2)
We pleaded to save you, but no-one would move
Till Crawford said he would, but he needed proof
That Sean shot John Bligh, Sean, and not you
And that I forget you forever, and marry him soon

Chorus 2

(Voice 1)
When I can return, you and I,  we will wed
Kiss in the evening when the sky turns bright red
Sleep through the night with nothing to dread
Wake in the morning with kids round the bed

Chorus 1

(Voice 2)
Lord Crawford's carriage waits in the road
He's smiling at me while my bags are all stowed,
Don't fret, John, or worry. Just let me go.
Your life's been spared, and you'll never know.

Chorus 2

Chorus 1


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

Is it a muscle or joint issue?

I take glucosamine for a day or two when my finger joints hurt.


(3 replies, posted in Poems)

Hi Badeye,

"Till you got a pain in your side"

I couldn't have resisted "backside".

Herself and a mate went down to Dublin to see U2 (they were on the guest list somehow) on Friday last. They were supposed to get the bus, but ended up going by car and almost missing the start of the concert.

The oldest with his girlfriend went the next night by bus. It's a 24 hour service and apparently the queues were out the door an round the back for the return to Belfast. Apparently, it was all dead romantic though.

This reminded me of a line in a song by Guy Clarke -

"The shortest distance between two towns / Is riding in a Limo with the window down."


(6 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Suddenly, I saw the "Dare . . .Dare" as being directed at the "I" in this. Each encounter is really a test to see if they can avoid committment!


(7 replies, posted in Songwriting)

daddycool wrote:

mother showed me some old photo's

I know what you mean with this one. Mum keeps threatening to drag out the old photos. It's like a ticking time bomb. We'll all end up in tears.


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

Lessons, help and criticism on Chordie isn't given for free - it's given for love. That would be love of the guitar.

Saying that it's for free feels like it's being cheapened, given a value and stuck on a shelf - the cheap shelf.

There's no point in sitting like Canute, ordering the waves to turn back. Access to information without payment is what the internet is about. That in itself has created huge markets for guitars, strings, cd's, instruction videos, capos, tuners, recorders, gig bags etc.

Also how many more guitar teachers are now teaching because of the market built by the songs and lessons given for love? Maybe we should criticise the guitar teachers who don't want to put the effort into building their own teaching businesses - going fishing without bait.

How many of us would never have picked up a guitar or gone back to it if we had not been able to get our hands on songs to play. The old systems of sheet music and so on restricted the development of that market.