Back There

by Fil Campbell & Tom McFarland

Released 2015
Glenshee Music
Released 2015
Glenshee Music
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.
NOTES
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

Songs

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

Chorus

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

Chorus

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

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