Snow Patrol news & community since 2008.

I Can Hover: Songs For Seamus Heaney

Yesterday I was very privileged to play the On Home Ground festival in Magherafelt in honour of Noble Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney who some of you may already know was an inspiration to me and who sadly passed away last year. I may write some more on the festival soon but for now i’d like to post the lyrics i wrote for the 5 new songs i played at the event in honour of the great Northern Irish poet. The songs are not directly inspired by specific poems nor are they my attempts to meet his brilliance rather they are inspired by his main inspirations namely Ireland, nature and family. He once was asked how he started to write and he answered that inspiration usually came from a sliver of memory. So i did the same for these songs. Any tiny spark of memory of my childhood in Ireland I would let guide me. There are songs, like The Church, about my grandmother’s (who is still the most extraordinary person I have ever known) death, and a song about the time my dad and I were shot by an idiot shooting at a low-flying duck (It’s A Day Like That), i was six at the time, and there are songs about Ireland north south east and west (I Think Of Home  &  I Still Love You). They are of course not touched with the same divine genius of Seamus Heaney but I humbly over them to his memory, to his fans, to our fans and to his wonderful family and extended family many of whom i met last night. It was a pleasure. Last night meant the world to me to say thank you to Mr Heaney for everything he gave me in life for it wasn’t until I read him that i started writing in the first place. Everything from me over the last twenty years starts with him.

And you’re right, songs don’t tend to make much sound without music. Until we decide which, if any, of these we are to record for the next Snow Patrol album they can just sit here quietly and behave. Or not behave. In honour of Heaney, a writer of such immense passion, i hope the latter.

———————————————————————-

I Think Of Home

I remember trips to belfast

On that train that hugs the coast

The fields turned quickly into golf course

The golf course just as fast to fields

It was a callow boast I’ll grant you

To know it all when we knew none

Those days we walked the streets of belfast

Like our kingdom come had come

I think of home I often do

You gotta know I love you now

In this light how could I not

I think of us just silly kids

Bet we thought we’d never age

And if we did we’d never dare say

And I remember trips to derry

On the old car’s freezing seats

And I know fountain street in winter

My grandma’s laugh the greatest noise

It’s sure been harder since she left us

And none of us have been the same

But the light she left is endless

And I still see her every day

I think of home….

I remember trips through ireland

One caravan, two dogs, the sky

My father yelling points of interest

Us snotty kids just rolled our eyes

The punched out teeth of irish history

Mistakes were made let’s leave it there

There one’s thing we can all agree on

There’s beauty north, south, east and west

I think of home….

————————————————————

The Church

If silence is golden

Those days were a golden age

Just you and your bible

Open at your last page

And those words trembled from me

As I read in the church that day

With so many family

All lost for the words to say

Why right then

When I was so far from home

No goodbyes

Just an earthquake of words through a phone

To this day

I hear your voice all the time in mind

I know you’re here

Somehow still guiding me

If you’re not the tiger

You’re likely the tiger’s prey

When too many thought that

You thought a different way

In an Ireland so broken

Of heart and of blood and bone

You were a light ray

So rare yet you weren’t alone

Why right then

When I was so far from home

No goodbyes

Just an earthquake of words through a phone

To this day

I hear your voice all the time in mind

I know you’re here

Somehow still guiding me

———————————————————

Like Golden Waves

It’s not the smell of the regal pine

It’s not the humming of the bees

It’s the depth of my father’s laugh

That takes me back

And through the eyes of some childhood daze

I see our garden as it was

There was more colour in those days I’m sure

But I’m not sure why

And the swings are rusted out by now

But freshly painted they were then

And I remember trying to loop the loop

Of course I never did

Here I come like some guileless lamb

Chasing footballs in the grass

Likely dreaming playing windsor park

Although I still do

The sunsets fell then like golden waves

But maybe that was all a dream

Those weren’t the end of the days of god

Cause god is always in the trees

I’m just a boy maybe five or six

I wanted only what I knew

It was a simple little kingdom then

Or so I thought

Cause in the streets not so far from here

There are boys around my age

And they’re alive in a dangerous land

That I don’t know yet

The sunsets fell then like golden waves

But maybe that was all a dream

Those weren’t the end of the days of god

Cause god is always in the trees

——————————————————————-

It’s A Day Like That

The pheasants hung in silence

And I remember feeling sad

Because the last time that I saw them they were flying

My father took me with him

It was ours and ours alone

Standing waist to water before sunrise

The smell of wax-proof jacket

Turned acrid in the rain

And every time I smell it now I think of then

The stunning smack of buckshot

Then thump, then blood, then shock

My father calming me with gentle mighty hands

It’s days like that you don’t know what hit you

It’s days like that you’re not sure who you are

But it’s days like that you know you’re not alone

And it’s days like that you know how much you’re loved

Some thirty odd years later

In the Ulster hospital

You put those gentle hands of yours in mine again

But this time not so mighty

Maybe this time cause you need to

And we connect the dots from child to man to child

It’s days like these you don’t know what hit you

It’s days like these you’re not sure who you are

But it’s days like these you know you’re not alone

And it’s days like these you know how much you’re loved

——————————————————————

I Still Love You

I stepped still shaking from the slowing train

Out onto streets that used to know my name

Felt you in every single breath that I took that day

Though it’s been years it feels no time at all

And etched and echoed in these city’s walls

Is each and every word of cruelty and joy we ever said

But I still love you

I still love you

Hard to believe in something you can’t hold

No matter how it hurts or what your told

The rose is beautiful but it can also draw your blood

Two crows perch close like they are man and wife

So tendered feathered it looked the sweetest life

So now I know for sure that there is love on this side of town

And I still love you

I still love you

———————————————————

gL   x

Click here to view the post at his Tumblr blog.

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