As readers of this blog know, I love to write fiction. One of my other huge interests is music and from time to time I write songs. The reason I bring it up is that I'll be playing this weekend at an open mic night in Medfield, Massachusetts at North Street Coffeehouse.
For the occasion, I've decided to play the two songs I wrote about my travels in Ireland. As you might expect for a writer, there's a story behind each song. Twenty-two years ago, I took my first trip to the isle and loved the unique character of its towns and villages. I also had heard about Irish music, but the scene at small clubs just amazed me. In place after place, musicians would gather in a corner and play a wide variety of Celtic music. This was my real introduction to the Celtic sound and I couldn't get enough of it. I thought about my experiences for quite a while, then I sat down and started to write a song. The result was Irish Man. I recorded a version for a song contest last year and you can hear it here on Gather.com.
Last summer, I went to Ireland again, this time on a business trip to an area southwest of Dublin. On the first trip, I hadn't spent much time in Dublin, so I made a point of taking a bus into town and checking it out. Ireland had changed a lot since my first visit and Dublin is at the epicenter of the economic changes going on. In Europe, the phrase they use to describe Ireland is the Celtic Tiger. By the time I arrived, Ireland was beginning to feel it's own downturn, but the economy was still much stronger than what I'd seen on the first visit. Dublin is a great walking city and I wrote about my walk through parts of town in another post here. The city is steeped in history and in strolling from place to place, I kept running into references to the many writers who had lived and gone to school in Dublin. I wanted to capture a bit of that, and that became the nugget for another song. About a month ago, I decided the time and had and started writing words. Perhaps thirty minutes later, I had all of the music and my first pass at the lyrics. The song is called Dublin Walk and builds on the impressions built up by several walks through the city that week.
I've played Irish Man in public many times, including once earlier this summer for a church group. But this will be the first time I've played Dublin Walk for anybody other than my family. I'm looking forward to it. If you're in the area, stop by. As an added bonus, my son has a band and they also will be playing. The last time I went to this coffeehouse, we had a great night listening to all of the local talent and the headlining act. This should be fun.