i began writing and recording the songs for the album in late april 2020. a couple of the songs had been wrote prior to that. i started out with the intention of writing mostly about my life and experiences in wales as a sheep farmer up in the hills of the lleyn peninsula. as it turned out five out of eleven of the album tracks were directly related to my time on the farm. a few had to be left off the album because of various reasons.
out of the five tracks 'dragonflies' was written literally. it is about a lifecycle and the promise of a good summer and the hope of eternal wellbeing. i got the idea whilst working in one of the barns. a big old dragonfly landed to catch the warmth of the sun. he sat there right beside me, glistening in the sun, pink and green refracted light. my song 'little farm in the country' is about my wife and i finding our farm many years ago and is descriptive. we used to travel down at week-ends into north wales. always we called in at the fairy glen which was a pub near conwy. 'man in the sky' is about a fella i knew who used to paramotor all over the peninsula and occasionally he would land in one of my fields. i always fancied a go at it myself but it was an all consuming pass time and i never had enough time. i enjoyed his passion for it and the song is about him. 'Yesterdays man' is a song inspired by the mountains and especially being on tre ceiri, which is an ancient hill fort on the summit of one of the rival mountains, very near to my farm. a magical place that seeps into you and never leaves. the actual song is about my experience up there and confronting the past. i came down the mountain a changed man! the last song on the album about living in wales is the title track . the night skies were simply amazing. i used to spend many a night, star struck, laid out staring at the milky way. one time, i remember, after a few drinks, falling asleep and staring at the night sky. suddenly my german shepherd appeared running and licking my face. i carried on dozing and he became imprinted into my dream and i wrote the song a few years later. so really that song, i wrote for him, his name is zac and he is just about to have his fourteenth birthday, i am so lucky to have him and he means everything to me. thanks zac !
the remaining songs on the album are mostly personal experiences that i hope others can relate to. the first track on the album 'inbetween the lightning strikes' is a story about a fella that gets seduced by a ghost. maybe it's his desires or someone he knows or doesn't know or its just in his mind. he can't work it out. he begins to question his own mind. eventually he yields to whatever is with him. i wanted to continue the story later in the album but felt it better to leave the outcome to anothers imagination. 'black eyeliner' is the single from the album. i wrote it about an alcoholic and her loveless relationship with a devoted friend who wanted more from their relationship. her friend stays loyal despite being treat like a doormat right to the end. the black eyeliner must have been something to do with a certain singer that died far too young of o.d. and maybe this song fits with her life too? tragic. Well, 'sugar and sand' is a personal song about a childhood relationship with a girl. we went away together on a coach trip and i feel it ended there for us, although at the time we didn't realise it! looking back after all the years you seem to put things together more and feel a bit sorry about it but hey thats love! the sugar and sand is the sweetness tinged with unpleasentness or the sand that runs through your hands but the sugar leaves a sweet taste after all the years...you choose!
'black horses' is my most uncomfortable song, personally. it is a song that i wrote about my beautiful sister-in-law that sadly left us far too early. i found it hard to sing and play the song when i wrote it. the song really wrote itself and i struggled with it emotionally. i still find it emotional to perform. the song is a tribute to her. she struggled with brain cancer and it really was the most horrendous thing. however, through all of it she continued to look after her horses and had a very special relationship with them. so much so she did insist on her horse to be present at the funeral which of course was arranged. i know she will be riding her horses forever, there is no doubt in my mind. her name was suzi and she was a very special person, a real one off.
i wrote 'dust' early in 2020. i wrote it whilst i was chopping trees. i couldn't find any paper so i had to write the first verse and chorus in the mud and come back later in the day with my phone to get the words. it's a song about work and starting out. my first job was in the steelworks. it was a fact that for me it had to be down the pit or in the steel. all my family were miners and they were all on strike at that time, so i went into the steelworks and asked for a job. they must have liked my tenacity and i got one. i must have made the right decision as i worked twenty years in there. the song is a parody really. i know eveyone is always concerned about their kids and all that, but come on, we need men as well. maybe we did have it just as bad back then, maybe the kids or is it the adults today think that they are hard done, maybe its just the same in many ways? nothing changes does it? the factory is not literal but the basis for the transformation/processing of us all in whatever decade or century.
the last song on the album, 'book of love' is my song about me and my faults. i made it hard to hear so no-one gets to know them! its really trying to be a long lost demo from the time that someone went into a dime recording studio and recorded a song to someone that they loved. it got lost in time and then turned up years later as a really crappy recording but the guy is laying is heart out.
thanks for reading all that and well done if you did. leave me a message if you tuned in or not? cheers,