Fil Campbell & Tom McFarland
All the songs tell stories that are all loosely connected to the theme of wishes – wishes for a bright future, for change, for musicians, for love and for a chance to go back in time.
This is my first collection of contemporary songs for quite a while. I’ve been collecting songs along the way and there were loads that I just wanted to have on record. Plus I had the added good fortune of (finally) persuading Tom to sing a song or two on this album. There are a couple of our own songs and several by my favourite Irish writers.
Musicians Fil Campbell – vocals, guitar, piano Tom McFarland – vocals, percussion James Blennerhassett – bass Seamus Brett – accordion Nuala Curran – cello John Fitzpatrick – fiddle, viola - string arrangement on Best Wishes Danny McGreevy - uilleann pipes, whistle on Emily Brendan Monaghan – whistles Gerard Thompson – guitar
Back There (Kerr) (3:42)
Come Rain or Come Shine (Francey) (3:34)
The Brightest Sky Blue (Cullen, Smith) (4:01) Best Wishes (Ashley) (3:06) Quiet Me (Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle) (3:38) Shine You Diamonds (McGettigan, McCoub) (2:59) Alana on the Lane (Lee, Moore) (3:47) A Wish for Emily (Campbell, Cullen) (3:57) Make the Morning Shine (Goss, Rhodes) (3:31) My Cavan Girl (Moore) (3:44)
The White Beach (Campbell, McFarland) (4:07)
Recorded at Ballyneddan Studio, Rostrevor, Co. Down – Spring 2015 Engineered, mixed and mastered by Tom McFarland Cover photo by Bobbie Hanvey Design by Noel at Apex Print and Media, Newry.
Back There (Tony Kerr) This song brings me back to the innocent days of childhood.
How’d be lose the knack of simple wonder Jumping up and down for no reason Rolling like a pair of marbles Laughing on the floor Long before the world grew around us How’d we do without a bedtime story How’d be get so strong That we don’t need one anymore
Chorus It’s in you, it’s in me It’s the way we used to be Full of innocence and glory running wild So alive we would scream Finding diamonds in the stream And we can make it back there In a heartbeat if we try.
In the days when time moved so slowly How we used to stare out the window How we wished the rain would stop So we could see the sun It doesn’t seem impossible to go there Doesn’t seem so long ago at that I just caught a glimpse of someone You when we were young. Chorus
Close your eyes, it’s light rushing down a hill You think you might forget but … You never will
Chorus We used to laugh at tomorrow And every time we laughed we cried And we can make it back there In a heartbeat if we try.
Come Rain or Come Shine (David Francey) Tom sings this gorgeous love song.
Long road, dark night Nothing but headlights But I’ll see some bright lights When I get home to you Framed in your doorway With your arms open wide I’ll hold you in my arms, enfold you inside
Chorus And I want to tell you Come rain or come shine That I'll always be your love If you'll always be mine
Sometimes I wonder what you see in me Is it someone you're wishing or hoping I'll be? Sometimes I wonder, I can't help myself Will your love go someplace, with somebody else?
Sometimes you wonder what I see in you Just picture the sun on an ocean of blue Just picture that ocean so deep and so wide Feel the sun on the water, feel the pull of the tide
The Brightest Sky Blue (Enda Cullen/Ian Smith) This story song caught my ear the first time I heard it – a tale of misconceptions and the consequences.
The graveyard is silent his neighbours long gone There’s no one to sit by his side Though he hardly noticed, he’s left on his own Sean’s been that way most of his life But once he was young with a heart that was light He ‘d hopes and intentions a few At that time in his life he’d a beautiful wife And her eyes smiled the brightest sky blue
Now Briege was the girl from the end of the lane Seemed time couldn’t keep them apart He told her he loved her and she felt the same They’d each lost and stolen a heart Her father agreed and the match it was done Sean’s hands made her wishes come true He built her cottage of white, with a thatch of pure gold And a door of the brightest sky blue
Now they lived a fine life for the early few years Til he saw a strange man leave their place She told him no lie, twas a man of the road His hand left its mark on her face Though his jealousy scared her, what hurt her the most Were the simple conclusions he drew And she never looked back as she lowered the latch On her door of the brightest sky blue
Sean saw she was gone and he knew he was wrong His heart bore more pain that his pride He nailed open the door as a signal to her That he needed his love by his side Autumn and spring, winters, Summers the same He kept hoping his dream would come true And for long years in vain he sat watching the lane Through her door of the brightest sky blue.
There’s a letter for Briege if one day she returns He wrote out just what I should do In his last will and test he’d one simple request Have the door of the cottage removed I ordered the best men the town could provide I’d the planks stripped and painted anew Sean his past he regrets now he’ll go to his rest In a box of the brightest sky blue.
Best Wishes (Steve Ashley) I learned this from the singing of Grace Notes in Yorkshire and fell in love with it.
Long may the sun shine On your bones and on your skin Long may good fortune shine Upon your kith and kin Long may the laughter lines Grow into your face And long may you mastermind A perfect state of grace May you always love and season well And keep good company May you always act and reason well Wherever you may be And long may the music keep you Gentle and in thrall And long may its beauty shine To pleasure one and all
Long may your passion Take a stand against all wrongs And long may the fashion last That welcomes all your songs Long may your journey take you Down a friendly road And long may you learn the ways That lighten up your load May you always keep good melody And never lose your key May you always keep your memory And keep your spirit free And long may the music keep you Underneath its spell And long may you keep it live And always play it well
Quiet Me (Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle) Life as a song, and a bit of Irish blues.
There’s a song in my soul That begs to be free It lies there a waiting Sometimes whispers to me It’s the perfect combination Of love, fear and sin The song being written Will come from within.
It’s best when kept secret Never rehearsed Each day a new chorus Each moment a verse It may never be finished It may never begin The song being written Will come from within
Quiet me, so I don’t miss it Keep me still oh my Quiet me, so I can hear it The sweet song of my life
My head’s full of static From the noise of the day I’m drowning in details And the choices to make But I face my responsibilities Hey I walk the line Doing strained casting rhythms On the passing of time
And each numbered heartbeat, Each precious breath Each fleeting moment We’re closer to death So I count my many blessings, Let the choir begin The song being written Will come from within Chorus
Shine You Diamonds
(Mc Gettigan/ Mc Coubrey) Here’s to you the silent heroes
Chorus Here’s to you the silent heroes, Ever there if we should call. Left unsung, you merit haloes. We salute you one and all.
Build our homes, our streets and highways, Light us in the dark of night, Buses, trains and planes and skyways, Rarely found in the limelight. Keep our families from danger, Grow your crops out on the farm, Help the lost and greet the stranger. Take the weak ones by the arm
To the hand that rocks the cradle To the best four legged friend to the helpful hands of healing to the love that never ends To the search and rescue angels Bring us home from stormy seas To the early morning risers Keeping watch while we're asleep
Bridge We live our own story line in every step we take Sometimes we forget to shine a light on the things you make. Chorus
Checkout girls and window cleaners, Sparks that fly and plumbers too, Butchers, bakers, football trainers. Where would we be without you? You guide us on you give us wisdom, take us gently through it all, In the war you bring us freedom, Pick us up if we should fall. Chorus.
Alana in the Lane (Paul Lee / Thom Moore) Remembering a day with a much loved little girl
Alana goes her way, down Ballybrooney Lane, and back again. She walks me slowly now, always the same thing: my mind is on the day, and Alana in the lane.
To the Manor House we go: a field of cows up there all stop and stare. They scare this tiny thing who clings so close to me – all hides and horns and eyes! – but Alana doesn't cry.
The future's full of questions now, all of them with rain. The farmer and his famous cows, and Ballybrooney Lane.
No need to cast around: a grown-up holds her hand, she's safe and sound. To make her feel at ease I laugh out loud, so proud to be the one to stand with Alana by the hand.
Then somehow comes the day that nothing in the world can keep away. And all that's left to do, as much for me as you, is to hold the mem'ry plain of Alana in the lane.
A Wish for Emily (Fil Campbell & Enda Patrick Cullen) A second generation emigrating with a battered suitcase to America.
The battered suitcase sits in place Behind our kitchen door it waits For another generation’s waif To take it to America Same words my mother said to me I’ll whisper to you Emily Just know that you will always be Mo leanbh - gra mo chroi
Chorus Remember love, when music fades And light dissolves to darker shades Whenever you may feel the need I’ll be with you and you with me
Oh Emily, enjoy the sights Of Central Park and Broadway’s lights I remember all of her delights Brooklyn Heights was home When New York City’s winter leaves When Northern snows begin to ease When you smell her cherry-blossom-breeze You’ll feel how loving she can be Chorus
Oh Emily don’t be afraid It’s just our ‘parting of the ways’ But soon as we find better days This road will draw you home The tears that hide behind my smile Make little of 3,000 miles They’ll separate me from my child About to prove she’s grown Chorus
Your battered suitcase sits in place Beside our kitchen door it waits Now another generation’s waif…. Takes it to America
Make the Morning Shine (Kieran Goss/Kimmie Rhodes) Don’t we all have these mornings when all we wish for is some sunshine!
Storm clouds gather under troubled skies Lost and lonely in the dark night I’m out here looking for a place to hide Give me shelter from the rain
Send me flowers all around my door Sing me songs like you’ve always sung before And lead me by the light of love shining on my life Make the morning sun shine Make the morning shine
Like the grass beneath neath the winter snow Waiting for a summer day give me shelter from the wind and cold And make the winter go away
My Cavan Girl (Thom Moore) Thom Moore’s lyrics are so beautiful, sung here by Tom.
As I walk the road from Killeshandra weary I sit down For it's 12 long miles around the lake to get to Cavan Town Though Oughter and the road I go once seemed beyond compare Now I curse the time it takes to reach my Cavan girl so fair
The autumn shades are on the leaves, the trees will soon be bare Each red-coat leaf around me seems the colours of her hair My gaze retreats defies my feet and once again I sigh For the broken pool of sky reminds me, the colour of her eyes
At the Cavan cross each Sunday morning, there she can be found And she seems to have the eye of every boy in Cavan Town If my luck will hold I'll have the golden summer of her smile And to break the hearts of Cavan men she'll walk with me awhile
So next Sunday evening finds me homeward – Killeshandra Bound To work the week till I return and court in Cavan Town When asked if she would be my bride, at least she'd not say no So next Sunday morning 'rouse myself and back to her I'll go
The White Beach (Campbell/McFarland) The story of an event that happened near us, where people were up in arms that the local landlord had closed off access to a favourite beach
Walking by the sea today I wandered back in time I can still recall my father’s hand Holding on to mine And the first time that he took me To a hidden piece of shore That his own father showed to him Many years before
He told me lots of stories from the time he was a lad About family summer Sundays with the picnics on the strand And about the Yankee soldiers that stayed there in the war Who danced at Ballyedmond and walked with sweethearts on the shore
Chorus And he said “Walk with me to the white beach And we'll walk there one more time Come and walk with me to the white beach And I'll take your hand in mine Come and walk with me to the white beach Past the Pond Field on the way We'll cross the moat together Come and walk with me today”
Then he told me of the anger when the landlord closed the way And a fence was built around the Moat and the Pond Field drained away He couldn’t understand just how they failed to see What the lovely White Beach meant to you and me Chorus
Now I’m thinking of the white beach
In my mind’s eye I can see
That lonely stretch of strand
That holds such memories for m
And when I’m on a foreign shore
With children of my own
I’ll tell them of the White Beach
Close to my Rostrevor home.
And I’ll say Chorus