Singer, Songwriter, Voice Over Artist, Producer, Copywriter
Fifty Greatest Misses
50 of my songs and stories written during and about my 50+ years living, so far...
Disclaimer... The artist (me) wishes to excuse some of the following... the crackle, cackle, buzz and pop, lazy lyrics and piquant pitching, bitching, scandal and slander. Any similarity to anyone alive or dead is occasionally unintentional.
Seven years ago last Saturday my son was born and as is traditional we celebrated in a style befitting a 7 year old boy, it went something like this: 30 6-7 year olds dive bombing en masse from a giant bouncy slide, while stuffed with cheese and ham sambos, cocktail sausages, rice crispie buns, ice cream, giant chocolate cake in the shape of the number 7. Everything was proceeding quite satisfactorily till the birthday boy suffered 2nd degree burns to his knee on the afore mentioned inflatable and howled so loud I lost sensation on the right side of my face. A little disconcerting as I was also having both to remain alert for suspected concussion, appendicitis and left ventricular atrophy among the afore mentioned guests and mediate between 1 furious 80 something year old who had wedged her car against a lamp post, (my fault for living near lamp posts) and who was in the throes of early onset hypothermia, and 1 non English speaking in law who was bearing up womanly… Nonetheless it was a huge success!
Today it is my birthday and I am happy to report that there was no repeat of the above other than the cake bit, not a number 7 or a number 51 in sight! I had hoped to have completed this 50 greatest misses compilation within the Golden Jubilee Year itself but it doesn’t really matter. I will try to upload the remaining 20 tunes before my 52nd Birthday I promise.
Happy Birthday to me! xxxx
PS. I think Birthday Song was the first recording made by Rhatigan with Bryn on drums. A very happy day as I recall.
Suzanne Rhatigan Vocals, Guitar…
John Morrison Bass…
Bryn Burrows Drums…
As my 6 year old said the other day ‘I hate life, things just happen’. Before you call social services this was in response to the realisation that his longed for new denim jacket was too small! It was hard to hear though as this last week my family had an unimaginable and devastating blow.
My lovely brother in law fell from a considerable height while on holiday and is now in a very bad way. I’m not going to go into the details because I am heartbroken and it isn’t really my story to tell. It’s easy to feel right now that life and ‘the way things just happen’ really sucks but when someone you love is desperately clinging on to it you realise just how precious life is.
So I’m sending this tune out to Cathy and Tossie and their family not so much because the sentiment fits the circumstances but because it is a tune I know my sister really likes and that’s all. X
What kind of day am I having today? I’m not entirely sure. I feel tired but in a good way having had a fun weekend followed by another Happy Monday session with The Station House gang. No matter how crap I feel on a Monday I never regret pushing myself out the door to play with this group of musicians. You never know who will show up. Usually more guitars than strictly necessary but last night there was a little surprise in the shape of a gorgeous French accordion player. Suddenly we were transported from a pub in rainy Raheny to a bijoux café in Mont Martre. Radiohead’s Creep became Le Creep and not at all creepy but dreamy and sexy and Kings of Leon more Ooh la la than blah blah, a big improvement.
So now I’m scrolling through the remaining Greatest Misses looking for something that captures my amorphous mood! I can’t decide so here are 2. 1st up… Lick. In fairness Lick doesn’t leave too much to the imagination lyrically but that’s ok. “I want to lick you all over all over then take what’s left and lick it” that’ll do! Then Zero Crossing a kind of hymn to audio editing, if there could be such a thing. Oh well comme ci comme ca!
Lick and Zero Crossing was our 1st foray into hard disc recording and sequencing. I think they worked out quite well but when we played the songs live with Paul on drums they hit another level nothing beats a live drummer for beats. I feel quite exhausted just thinking about it, think I’ll have a lie down!
What does it mean to be Irish? I don’t think I ever appreciated the good fortune I had being born Irish till I’d left Ireland and made my way to London in the mid eighties and later to New York. I was however very keen to assure anyone who was in any doubt that I was Irish, even though I really didn’t feel I had many or any Irish credentials. I felt a bit of a sham to be honest. I had no meaningful connection to anything ‘Irish’ growing up. Neither of my parents spoke any Irish, they came from a generation and section of Irish society that rejected most Gaelic culture, perhaps because of it’s association with armed Republicanism, which they were fiercely opposed to.
So if I don’t have the ‘Cúpla Focal’ and I can’t play the tin whistle am I still Irish? Hell yeah! One part of Irish culture I do identify with is storytelling. I have the gift/curse of the gab so to speak. My songs are pretty much just me gabbing about what ever is on my mind. These days that’s ranges from the heady world of neighbourhood watch and schoolyard politics to the on going struggle of the soul to stay connected to something that touches and is current. There’s also the melancholy factor, I have a touch of that too. It’s that thing of never being really happy. Always holding onto a bit of sadness, a little darkness in the centre.
One thing we Irish diaspora love to do is pine, usually in song. You know the kind of thing, ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ and ‘Spansil Hill’ etc etc… Endless verses about how we wish we could be back in the small towns and villages we ran out of. None of it makes sense it’s all about guilt and longing and yearning, lovely jolly stuff.
When Nick Bicát asked me to write a song for a film about an Irish singer on the decline on the London circuit who makes a comeback, I came up with Homeward bound. I was still making the pilgrimage home every Christmas on the boat, this was before Ryan Air and affordable air travel and so it wasn’t hard to conjure up the genuine emotion and anxiety every returning émigré feels at one time or other. Homeward Bound shamelessly cashed in on all that stuff for all it’s worth but to no avail. The song was rejected and the film never made as far as I know, so that alone qualifies it for a place in the Fifty Greatest Misses! I don’t have any other tunes that sound ‘Irish’ and it is Paddy’s day, so Homeward Bound it is!
Suzanne Rhatigan Vocal, guitar, harmonica
Recorded live today 17-03-2014 for the day that’s in it…