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I hope you will enjoy my content and be entertained, learn stuff, and participate.
LyricSlinger Website Latest News
New song published – The Day Before Yesterday (21Sep20)
September has been a very busy and successful month, and the latest song to be created using my lyrics is called The Day Before Yesterday. The lyrics tell a story about a guy who has made some bad choices in life, including gambling addiction. And that lands him in trouble with some local gangsters. David Mize and Steve Miller have done a brilliant job of turning the vision in my head into reality, with a really sassy and classy song. Please check it out if you don’t want to be swimming with the fishes …
New song published on EP – We Got Rain (10Sep20)
I’m delighted that lyrics that I wrote have been included on an online EP that’s been realised by Parma Way. The EP is called ‘The Forty Elephants Gang‘ and ‘We Got Rain‘ is the song that I contributed to.
‘We Got Rain’ is a song about someone who was in love and perfectly happy and then in a moment that all vanishes. As the lyrics say ‘The Weatherman predicted sun, but we got rain’. Jen Carie has lent her beautiful vocals to this soulful song, with the music being expertly provided by Mike Cordray, Pablo Montenegro, Frederic Osuch, Fredric Schulz, and Alex Wilke.
Please have a listen to the album. If you like it, then please share it so that it can be heard by as many people as possible. Thanks.
New song published – Didn’t Have A Tractor (10Sep10)
Lyrics by Marc-Alan Barnette and Simon Wright. Vocals and all Music by Marc-Alan Barnette
I had a great time working with Nashville songwriter Marc-Alan Barnette to create a fun country music song, called ‘Didn’t Have A Tractor’!
The song came about after I decided to have a go at writing a first ever set of country lyrics. I posted on the MuseSongWriters website asking for some thoughts and advice on key things to consider when writing for the country genre as opposed to rock or pop music. Marc-Alan kindly offered loads of really useful insights from his illustrious career working with numerous musicians.
I then posted some lyrics for a song entitled ‘The Final Stretch’. Marc-Alan offered some suggestions around it but during the back and forth exchange we hit upon an idea for a completely different song. Both of us come from families with a farming background, and we ended up writing a song called ‘Didn’t Have A Tractor’ which is about a guy who can’t get the girl because he doesn’t have a tractor. I can’t think of any other songs that cover that topic!
Mister Barnette then kindly did a demo recording of the song idea on his phone. It brought a BIG smile to my face and I hope that you will enjoy it just as much! It was also a great education for me in how to write lyrics and create a song for country music. Who knows, maybe it will be the start of me writing a few more country-influenced songs.
Here are the lyrics:
DIDN’T HAVE A TRACTOR
Grandaddy owned a little farm, in the back of nowhere
I spent every day I could out there, All through every summer
Was a blonde girl at the farm next door, Melanie was her name,
Watched her fill out for 18 years, drove me near insane
But she had her sights on Billy Paul, head of the 4 H club
He had a shiny International Harvester, that left me in the dust
I DIDN’T HAVE A TRACTOR, TO DRIVE OFF WITH HER HEART
THAT WAS ALL A FACTOR, GUESS I’M JUST SPARE PARTS
JOHN DEERE OR MASSEY FERGUSON, COULD MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN HER PASSION
COULD HAVE IMPRESSED HER, BUT DIDN’T HAVE A TRACTOR
Mister Junior farmer of the year, has her wrapped around his combine
Guess there’s no turning her away, from being a Farmer’s bride
She’s riding behind him in his cab, sexy shorts, and baseball cap
He’s got smug looks and making faces, singing bout his “FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES”
But I’m hearing rumors, all about him
There’s more than bumper crops he’s bring in
Well my sweet grandpaw passed away, left me featured in his will
Melanie caught Mister Perfect Farmer plowing other fields
NOW I’VE GOT A TRACTOR, DRIVING WITH HER HEART
AND IT’S ALL A FACTOR, NOW I’M MORE THAN SPARE PARTS
GOT A NEW JOHN DEERE, 300 ACRES , WON’T BE LONG TILL WE HAVE BABIES
SEEMS THAT I’VE IMPRESSED HER, NOW I’M MORE THAN A TRACTOR
SEEMS THAT I’VE IMPRESSED HER, NOW I’VE GOT MORE THAN A TRACTOR
(Written by Marc-Alan Barnette and Simon Wright, September 2020)
New song published – Around These Parts (07Sep20)
I love the way my lyrics for Around These Parts have been turned into a striking and powerful song. The lyrics have these origin in thinking about how uneducated young men in inner city Belfast are sometimes preyed upon by paramilitary groups, who lure them into a life of crime and terrorism.
The lyrics were picked up though by Spanish musician Pablo Andres Garcia Perez who said that they resonated with him. Pablo has done a brilliant job of pulling together the song, working with Raymond Van Melzen (Mixing), Allen Conti (Drums) and Paul Harrison (Organ) to create a song that I think is really distinctive, compelling, and poetic. Please check it out!
Article published in Write Away Magazine (06Sep20)
I’ve had an article published in Write Away magazine’s September edition. The article is called ‘Pull The Lever‘ (which is the name of a song that I helped create) but the main thrust of the article is that lyrics are written to be judged as songs, not just as words. So don’t be discouraged if your lyrics are not winning Lyric writing contests. The proof of the pudding is how good they sound once they’ve been turned into that final song! I hope there are some tips within the article that you will find useful.
New song published – Felony Rodriquez (30Aug20)
From the team that produced Pull The Lever, here’s our new offering, called Felony Rodrguez. Rebecca Gay and Peter Dieck worked with me again on this one, and have created a truly great fun rock song. It’s a duet between Rebecca and Peter, and the idea is that this guy has met an exciting but dangerous woman on Tinder and is going on a date with her. He knows she’s trouble and that he may get burned but he’s not going to turn down her offer to jump into her sports car for a 100 miles per hour ride.
There’s lots of great guitar and the vocal exchanges between Peter and Rebecca work really well. One of the other highlights is some truly demonic laughter by Rebecca! 🙂
Please check the song out and remember you can buy it for just $0.99 on our Soundblend page. That’s a bargain!
New song published – The End Of The World as part of a key change collab challenge (27Aug20)
I’ve had great fun taking part in collaboration challenges on the MuseSongWriters website this year. This is where a lyric writer teams up with a musician to create a song within a set time period. For this particular challenge, I was paired up with English musician Andy LeFevre and the challenge was to create a song that contained a distinct key change. And that key change should be linked to a change in mood within the lyrics.
Andy was great to work with and has done a fantastic job to take my lyrics and turn them into a really moving and beautiful song, Have a listen to The End Of The World and see if you can hear where the key change is? Also, I sometimes find that songs I’ve worked on that include animal sounds are particularly popular, so look out for the sound of seabirds on this one! 🙂
I’d also be interested to know how you interpret the meaning of the song? We had a few people who took different meanings to it than what myself and Andy had in mind. That’s fine. I think it’s actually pretty cool if a song can be interpreted in different ways, and hopefully the main thing is that you will enjoy the song!
Glory Days lyric given 5 Star Commended rating in UK Songwriters Lyric Contest (11Aug20)
I mentioned back in June that Elizabeth Auzan and I had co-written a lyric called Gallifrey which got a 4 Star Commended rating in a UK Songwriters Lyric Contest. Well, we decided to have another go in July and created a lyric called Glory Days. I’m glad to say that it got a 5 Star Commended rating, which I’m delighted with. Well done particularly to Elizabeth who had the idea for the lyrics and who created the first version. I provided some suggestions that contributed towards the final version, and it was a really rewarding experience again to work with a fellow songwriter on some lyrics! 🙂
As with our Gallifrey entry, we were taking part in a contest that was specifically about creating alternative lyrics to match the music and melody from the great Beatles song, Yesterday. Here’s a taster for some of the resultant lyrics that we came up with.
When life shimmered in a golden haze.
We would teach the world to change its ways
Oh, glory days.
Hard to admit we didn’t change the game
Greed and violence remain the same.
The world?s in flames
How could we have known?
Peace and love have been overthrown
We gasp and groan
Oh, where are you
Our glory days?
(Written by Elizabeth Auzan and Simon Wright, July 2020)
Why not have a go singing along while listening to The Beatles’ version of Yesterday?
Article published in Write Away Magazine (03Aug20)
I’ve had another article published in Write Away Magazine. My article is about making and utilising Connections when working in the music industry, whether you’re coming at it from the perspective of a lyric writer or a musician. I hope that the advice contained within it will be useful for some people. Please also check out the rest of the great content within this month’s edition.
New song published – Pull The Lever (28Jul20)
I love this fun new rock song that I’ve collaborated on with Rebecca Gay, Peter Dieck, and Daniel Christos. Pull The Lever is about a religious guy who goes to a gambling establishment to protest against the immorality of gambling. But he ends up not being able to take his eyes off one of the women who works there. So it’s a song about desire, temptation, and sin. The music is really vibrant and fun – there’s big guitar riffs, beautiful vocals, one arm bandit sound effects. Have a listen please!
YouTube video available – Without a Trace (17Jul20)
Rebecca Gay has added a YouTube video for the Without a Trace song that we worked on with Pascal Vanier and Paul Ramsey. Please check it out, give it a Like, and subscribe to Rebecca’s YouTube channel if so you don’t miss out on any new releases from this talented singer.
New song published – Without a Trace (11Jul20)
Without a Trace is, I think, my 9th completed song of the year, so I’m well on course to have an album’s worth of songs by the end of the year. 🙂
It came about after Canadian musician Pascal Vanier messaged me on the Kompoz music collaboration website. we had worked on some songs previously and he asked if i might be able to supply lyrics for a piece of music that he had created. I was happy to oblige, and Without a Trace is what emerged. Rebecca Gay came onboard to add sumptuous vocals, and Paul Ramsey provided a lovely lead guitar flourish. The song is about how sometimes people get lost and disappear, whether metaphorically or literally. Please give the song a listen!
Article published in Write Away Magazine (04Jul20)
I’ve had another article published in the online Write Away magazine. The article is called ‘Gallifrey – A Doctor Who inspired lyric’. It talks about a lyric that was co-written by myself and Elizabeth Auzan, which we then entered into the UK Songwriting Contest. We’re also working with a couple of musicians to turn it into a song which I’m really looking forward to sharing at a future point.
Article published in Write Away Magazine (22Jun20)
June’s edition of Write Away magazine is mostly about Country Music – yee-haw! Not really my genre but the magazine includes an article I wrote called ‘How to hone your lyric writing skills‘. The crux of the article is that no matter how good you become, it’s vital to keep practising, and keep improving. And that advice is relevant whatever genre you’re focused on.
4 Star Rating in UK Songwriters Lyric Contest (14Jun20)
I have received a 4 Star rating for the Gallifrey lyrics that I submitted to the UK Songwriting contest. The lyric was co-written by Elizabeth Auzan, and was part of a songwriting challenge to write new words to The Beatles’ song ‘Yesterday’. We ended up going with a Doctor Who theme with the new lyrics being the Doctor singing about his lost home planet of Gallifrey.
The ratings are out of 5 stars, so I’m pretty pleased with 4 stars for a first attempt. Even more excitingly, Elizabeth and I are working with musician Mark Adams to turn Gallifrey into a fully-fledged song.
New song published – War Zone in Peace Time (03Jun20)
I collaborated with Canadian musician Paul Canuck to create a song called War Zone in Peace Time. I provided the lyrics (which are about the current Covid-19 situation) and Paul expertly crafted it into a really cool song. I think it has a Bob Dylan protest song feel to it. Others have suggested that it has a bit of an Irish shanty flavour? The song was created as part of a Keep It Super Simple (K.I.S.S.) collaboration contest on the MuseSongWriters website, and there were a number of rules/restrictions that participants had to adhere to. You can read more about that on my ‘Latest Songs‘ page.
Elizabeth Auzan’s #Songsforcummings contribution (03Jun20)
Elizabeth Auzan, from Switzerland, has sent me her contribution to the #Songsforcummings meme, and has kindly said I can share it here. If anyone else fancies joining in, then please have a go and send me your suggestions!
Born to break rules
Lockdown’s up n runnin’
I’m out on the highway
Driving to my parents
Two hundred miles away
Yeah, darlin’, it really happened
Don’t matter that I made the rules
Don’t care if my wife is sick
I’m taking you for fools
Like true politicians
Boris’s gang of patricians
Lies disguised as truth
Out of the polling booth
Born to break rules
Born to break rules
(Born to be wild – Steppenwolf, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egMWlD3fLJ8
There’s been a challenge posted on Twitter, on the hashtag of #Songsforcummings, to re-work the lyrics to well known songs. This, of course, relates to the political scandal that surrounds the 260 mile journey that Boris Johnson’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings took from London to Durham during the Covid-19 lockdown. For those who don’t know, Cummings was part of the team who came up with the lockdown rules but then drove his wife (who had suspected Coronavirus) and young son to his parents home in the north of England. And then to top it all, he took a drive to Barnard Castle (on his wife’s birthday) and his excuse was that he had had the virus and it has affected his eyes, so he wanted to do a test drive to the castle to see if he was fit to drive all the way back home. And as you would, if you were unsure about whether you could see well enough to drive, he put his wife and son in the car for this test drive!
So anyway, I had a go at writing alternative lyrics for some songs. You can see my lyrics below, plus a link to YouTube videos of the original songs. Hope you enjoy and maybe are inspired to have a go too!
(I can’t get no) Satisfaction
Eyesight to the blind
I was driving with my ill woman
I wished to God that I could see fine
I was driving to Barnard Castle
I could hardly see the road’s white line
Every time I go to the Castle
It brings eyesight to the blind
Breaking the law
There I was completely breaking
All the rules we said
All those miles, it’s so elating
When we should be sick in bed.
Rules, smules, I don’t care
If you live or die
Yeah, I might as well drive
With my son and sick wife.
Breaking the Law, Breaking the Law …
(Breaking the Law – Judas Priest https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=GEy6ThJwE3s&feature=emb_logo )
Featured Albums page updated (27May20)
I’ve updated my Featured Albums page to include details of another album that one of my lyrics featured on. This one is from a few months ago. The album is called Wave Exchange and the band is The Rock Station.
Got a mention on Planet Rock radio station (24May20)
Thanks to Planet Rock DJ Toby Jepson for reading out a story that I’d sent him on his show this evening. I mentioned how I think of Chilli Pot Noodle when I hear Little Angels songs – the band that he was lead singer of. I think it’s because I was eating a pot noodle when I first heard a Little Angels song (Kicking up Dust) in my 1st year at uni in 1990! Wonder if anyone else associates a band with a particular type of food?
Stuck in Scotland with no ray gun comedy sketch (23May20)
I’ve updated the ‘My Comedy Sketches‘ page to include the script for a sci fi comedy sketch that I wrote away back in May 2001. It’s called ‘Stuck in Scotland with no ray gun’ and is about an alien called Zorg who crash-lands in Bonnybridge, and is picked up for questioning by the local Police Inspector and by two mysterious Special Agents.
New song available with YouTube video (12May20)
A lyric I wrote called ‘Why don’t we see what we’re doing?’ has been turned into a fantastic song, and made available via a YouTube video. Jorge Paulo supplied magical guitar that I think is a bit reminiscent of Carlos Santana. Alex Zulaika added drums, and Mike Patterson supplied the vocals. It’s a really high quality production, and I love the video that Jorge put together for it!
New song available on an online album (07May20)
I’m very excited to have been included as one of the lyric writers in metal band No Clear Sky’s second album, which is called ‘Black Mold – Volume 2‘! The song that I provided lyrics for is track 4 on the album and is called One by One. It’s an anti war song, which is quite apt as we prepare to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. A whole host of talented people contributed to what is a really dynamic high quality album, with many of the participants being members of the Kompoz music collaboration website.
‘One by One”s credits are as follows: Vocals – Frank Ruiz, Bass guitar – Sergey Engel, Drums – Brian Henry, Guitar and Production – Tsevtomir Ivanov. You can also listen to ‘One by One’ on YouTube. Please check it and the album out. And, if you like it, then why not buy it as an online download on No Clear Sky’s Bandcamp page- you can name your own price which is a cool setup.
Article published in Write Away magazine (04May20)
I’ve had an article published in the May edition of Write Away magazine. My article is called ‘Are you writing enough lyrics?’ and appears on pages 8-9 of the online magazine. It’s free to read so please check it out. The article itself was inspired by watching a Facebook Live that Nashville professional songwriter Marc-Alan Barnette, in which he commented that in order to be successful it’s necessary to write a large number of songs each year. My article talks about how all songwriters and lyric writers can benefit from making similar commitments to increase their output.
My first instrument contribution?! – Percussive Adventures Experiment (28Apr20)
I recently saw a really cool collaboration on the Kompoz website, where German musician Minime had suggested that musicians pull together an instrumental song using unusual percussion instruments. The end result is really cool and includes instruments as diverse as a comb, a frying pan, scissors, paper being ripped, and matches. I had an idea and thought I’d join in. My contribution was to twist a Rubix Cube and my older son helped me to record the sound that made.
Check out the track and see how many strange instruments you can make out within the Percussive Adventures Experiment mix?!
New Song Published – Paper Airplanes (26Apr20)
How are you spending this Coronavirus lockdown? Maybe you’ve developed a crush on someone and are thinking how to let the other person know? The protagonist of my latest song is trying to do so by sending messages written on paper airplanes! Paper Airplanes is a really fun quirky song, with great vocals by Kim Noble and great music by Richard Williams and JeanLui.
It’s also a really good example of how lyrics sometimes evolve. Initially, I wrote a lyric entitled Self Isolate With You but after feedback received on the MuseSongWriters website I changed it to be called Paper Aeroplanes. I then posted it on the Kompoz website to see if I could get some musicians to work on it. Kim liked it and asked if she could sing it from a female perspective which I had no problems with. The title got changed to the American spelling of Paper Airplanes and the lyrics got tweaked some more.
I love the end result and I hope that you will enjoy it too. Who knows, maybe you’ll even starting creating some paper airplanes/aeroplanes to test out whether this unusual approach might lead to love?! 🙂
New Song Published – Out on the Streets (09Apr20)
Check out my new song, Out on the Streets. I’m really proud of this great song that I got to collaborate on with American musician Justin Osowiecki on the MuseSongWriters website. And its evolution was really cool. Lyrically, it emerged as a sequel to a lyric that I wrote for a song called ‘Stand for you’ that I worked on with Stephen Kalpin for a Christmas charity album. I took the main protagonist from that song, an American army veteran called Riley who had become homeless. I wanted to explore his story in more depth.
Justin then hit upon the idea of doing the song in a Beastie Boys / Rage Against The machine style. Our collaboration was part of a contest where participants were asked to challenge themselves to go outside their usual comfort zones. Justin doesn’t normally create hard riff-laden songs with vocals that are part rapped, but he rose to the challenge fantastically. We were both really proud of the song that emerged and I hope that you will like it too.
‘Bamboozled’ sketch added to my Comedy Sketches page (20Mar20)
This Bamboozled sketch is from 2009 and is another one about the threat of a flu pandemic! I really like this one. It’s quite crazy and absurd but I think the characters are really funny, and the subject matter suddenly has added relevance. I guess I really should write one about the Coronavirus pandemic in order to have a trilogy. Feel free to share links to this page so that these sketches can go ‘viral’ ….
Comedy Sketches page updated with ‘Suicide Sneezers’ sketch (14Mar20)
The current Coronavirus global health crisis is extremely alarming, and I hope that people can keep well. Humour is often a good way to deal with such stressful events, and I remembered that I had written a comedy sketch in 2012, called Suicide Sneezers, that was about a previous pandemic scare! I hope that you enjoy reading it, and that it’s not too close to what our future holds!
New Song Published (18Mar20)
I was delighted when regular musical collaborator James Fraser picked up my Broken Flowers lyric to work into a folksy song. James provided guitar, composition, and vocals. He was joined by Nigel Robinson (piano and percussion), and Kris Pride (backing vocals). The opening lyrics are ‘All the scars that you carry / Are like babies in a morgue / Hard to look at / But beautiful in their own way / Hauntingly sad’, which gives a good indication of the tone of the song. It’s a story about someone who has become broken by life, and is being visited by a guy who once loved her and still does.
Article Published in Write Away Magazine (04Mar20)
I wrote about my experience of participating in February Album Writing Month in the March edition of Write Away magazine. My article can be found on pages 8 and 9 of the magazine which is free to read online. Check it out and also all the other great articles that are featured within the magazine. It’s a great resource for lyric writers and has some very interesting content even if you’re not already a songwriter!
Site views hits 5,000! (13Feb20)
While I know that it’s tiny compared to many websites/blogs, I’m pleased to have got to over 5,000 site views. Hopefully, I can continue to grow the site by adding content that people will find interesting.
I’m participating in FAWM 2020 (12Feb20)
I recently heard about the FAWM website, which stands for February Album Writing Month. The idea is that lyric writers and musicians make a concerted effort to write as many lyrics and/or songs as possible during February. I’ve set myself the target of writing 14 lyrics. I’ve posted 3 so far, so have some work to do, but it’s helped inspire me to hopefully create more lyrics than I otherwise would have done. Check out the site and join the fun!
New Blog Post Published (09Feb20)
It’s been long overdue but I’ve added another blog post to this site. It’s called ‘Lyric writing for kids. What happens when you get kids to write lyrics?!‘ and was inspired by being stuck inside at the weekend due to storm Ciara. I needed some indoor activity to do with my sons (who are aged 9 and 6) and hit upon the idea of getting them to pretend they were in a rock band. With my help, they had to come up with a band name, band logo, the cover art for their debut album, and write the lyrics to their first hit single! It was great fun, and I also had fun documenting it (with pictures) in my subsequent blog post! I hope you enjoy reading it.
Article Published in Write Away Magazine (04Feb20)
I’ve had an article called ‘The Promise of Love’ included in the February edition of the free online lyrics magazine, Write Away. You can find my article on pages 8 and 9. The Promise of Love is a lyric that I wrote, and the article uses it to illustrate some useful tips that lyric writers should consider when progressing a project. In particular, being open to new ideas and interpretations that may emerge once musicians start to collaborate with you on your lyric. Check the magazine out. Jane Shields does a great job in pulling all the content together and this month’s edition is full of great articles!
New Song Published (30Jan20)
It’s very apt that this song has gone live on the eve of Brexit Day in the UK. Apt because when I wrote the lyrics to this song, I saw the Bone Shaker as a metaphor for when politicians stir up nationalistic passions (for their own selfish ends) but it gets out of hand, and then suddenly you get wars, or countries that tear themselves apart. Hopefully, the Bone Shaker will not prove to be prophetic about the UK’s descent into madness. I had a great and large team of musicians who helped pull this fun metal song together. And it was certainly a great example of the benefits of international collaboration. I was initially supported by Jon Garcia (bass), Victor Parro (guitar) and Alex Zulaika (drums), who are all from Spain. Then Mike Patterson (vocals), Josh Miller (lead guitar) and WillwWay (mixing) came in to complete the song. They are all from the United States, while I am Irish and live in Scotland. I hope you enjoy listening to the final result of all our efforts!
Wave Exchange CD arrived! (12Jan20)
Delighted that my copy of the ‘Wave Exchange’ CD by rock band The Rock Station has arrived! The Rock Station is a band comprised of musicians and lyric writers from around the world, who started collaborating on the Kompoz website. The album includes 11 great songs. I provided the lyrics for a track called ‘Growler’. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to do more work with this talented bunch of people. And you too can get your hands on the album via either the Amazon US or Amazon UK websites.
Article published in Write Away Magazine (04Jan20)
January’s edition of Write Away magazine is now available to read online, for free. I have an article included on pages 14 and 15. It’s called ‘Lyric Writing – The Art of Simplicity’. Check it out to see you can make your lyrics more compelling but cutting out superfluous words. The article uses examples of lyrics from Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Leonard Cohen, and Nick Cave to demonstrate that simplicity, rather than literary floweriness, is often at the heart of fantastic songs.
Article published in Write Away Magazine (04Dec19)
I had a special article published in the December issue of Write Away magazine. Special because it was promoting a very worthwhile cause that I have been involved with for the last two years. My article is called ‘Hope for Homeless Heroes’ Hearts II – a Christmas Charity album’. The album was the brainchild of American musician Stephen Kalpin, and my contribution was to write an original lyric for a song called ‘Stand for you’. My article includes the lyrics for that song, and also information about the album and how you can purchase either the album or the Stand for you song. All money generated is going to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Check out my article and it would be great if you can spare a few pence or dimes to support the charity! You can also go directly to the Hope for Homeless Heroes’ Hearts website we created to support the charity
New Song Published (15Nov19)
Very pleased with the way my lyric Mercury’s Rising has turned out, having been entrusted to the extremely capable hands of American musicians Bobby Watson and George Schiessl. The lyric was written whilst I was listening to a lot of Chris Cornell’s music. I know that I had his voice in my head when I was imagining how it would sound, and the dark subject matter is perhaps also influenced by Cornell’s tragic demise. It’s also a lyric that I wrote about in the August edition of Write Away magazine, so it was great to see if move from concept to a finished song!
Article published in Write Away Magazine (04Nov19)
An article that I wrote about my ‘All That Matters’ lyric has been included in the November edition of Jane Shields’ excellent Write Away online lyric writing magazine. The magazine is free to read and contains lots of interesting articles and useful. My article can be found on pages 14 and 15. Check it and the whole magazine out! And, if you like it, you can subscribe to receive future editions via the Write Away website. My All That Matters lyric is about the importance of friendship, especially during tough times, and you can listen to it via my LyricSlinger Latest Songs page.
Lyric Writing Bio written (26Oct19)
I was asked to write my Musical Bio recently, which would be used by a PR company who are going to promote a charity album that I have contributed a lyric to. More about that album in due course but I thought it would be useful to share the bio that I came up with. I used advice from an article entitled ‘How to write a great musician bio by yourself‘ from the Music Industry How To website, which said that the essence of a good bio is to tell a story rather than just list achievements. Here’s what I came up with:
Simon Wright’s Lyric Writing Bio
Coming out of the sock drawer to become the Lyric Slinger
While at university, Simon Wright told a friend that his dream was to write a lyric that would appear on a Skid Row album. However, there didn’t appear to be an obvious path to achieve such a goal so, for many years, Simon’s lyrics ended up filed away or stuffed into sock drawers and cupboards.
Simon’s writing career took a different path as he wrote comedy sketches and staged comedy shows in Scotland. Then one day, he discovered a music collaboration website, Kompoz.com, that allows lyric writers and musicians to come together to create songs. Suddenly his lyrics could come out of the sock drawer and magically be transformed into songs.
Since 2016, Simon has worked with musicians from across the world to create songs that range from folk, to soft rock, hard rock, and metal. Along the way, he has collaborated with a singer whose band opened for Dio in the 1980s and a guitarist who has the distinction of having taken to the stage after a young Jimi Hendrix!
In 2018, Simon took his lyric writing to a new level, by launching a website called LyricSlinger.co.uk to promote his lyrics and the songs that have been created from them. And while this former comedy writer can be said to have got serious about lyric writing, a comedic seam still lies beneath the surface. Simon’s website proclaims that ‘By day Simon works as a customer messaging guru for a large UK bank but at night he transforms into the LyricSlinger. Words flash from his pen and fingers, like lightning bolts, emblazoning themselves onto paper or screen. Or something like that …’
Simon can work using either a lyrics-first or music-first writing approach, and is always happy to collaborate with new artists to continue his lyrical and musical education. Born in Ireland, Simon went to the same school as Oscar Wilde (different years!) and this focus on continued learning fits with Wilde’s quote that ‘Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching’!
My lyric included on Wave Exchange album, by The Rock Station! (15Oct19)
I’m very excited that a lyric that I wrote has been included on an album that is now available to buy. It’s for a song called ‘Growler’ that features on The Rock Station’s debut album, ‘Wave Exchange’. The Rock Station is a band comprised of musicians and lyric writers from various countries, who all met on music collaboration website, www.kompoz.com. The band credits are listed as:
Guitars: Mike Lucas
Bass Guitar: Andy Gupta
Drums: Paul Schlichting
Vocals: Bob Campbell
Lyrics: John Scunziano, Bob Campbell, Simon Wright
Keyboards: Andy, Mike and Paul
Article published in Write Away Magazine (04Oct19)
I’ve had another article published in the excellent Write Away online lyric writing magazine. My article’s called ‘Offbeat Inspiration’ and features in the October 2019 edition. Instead of showcasing one of my lyrics, it’s a general article about how lyric writers can find inspiration from musical or lyrical snippets that they may ordinarily have discarded. I illustrate this by talking about the creative inspiration that was behind three legendary rock songs – Sweet Child O’mine by Guns N’Roses, Seasons of Wither by Aerosmith, and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Check out page 14 of the magazine to discover the origins of those famous songs. There’s loads of good content within the magazine and Joni Mitchell fans may be particularly keen to check out the feature on her.
Article published in Write Away Magazine (04Sep19)
I’ve had an article, called ‘Yes’ it’s political’, featured in the September edition of the online Write Away Magazine. Wonder how many of you recognise what band/song that article title takes its inspiration from?! Answers on a postcard … or something. As well as talking about some examples of famous songs that were influenced by political events. my article also mentions a song called ‘I’ll Hide‘. This is a song that was created, from a lyric I wrote, by an amazing Finnish singer called Parmia Vaala, supported by English guitarist James Fraser. The song is about climate change and I thoroughly recommend that you check it out.
New song published (27Sep19)
This song was the first time that I’ve worked with Ette, a really talented musician from Estonia. I love the cool vibe that he created for this song, including a reggae feel at the start. And we were delighted when we were joined by Markus Palsson, from Sweden, who provided his usual sumptuous vocals. I love the way that All That Matters has worked out and strongly recommend that you take a few moments to listen to it.
The lyric is about the value of enduring friendship, especially through tough times in people’s lives.
New song published (18Sep19)
Another collab with James Fraser and Nigel Robinson – we’ve probably worked on enough songs now to have an album! 🙂
Not Broken Down is a song that is about someone who finds love when they thought that ship had sailed. It’s got quite an uplifting positive message at its core, and James and Nigel have done a great job of crafting it into a really great song.
New song published (17Jul19)
I really love the guitar riffs in this song. Great work by regular musical collaborators, James Fraser, Nigel Robinson, and Peter Zero.
The lyrics to War Face are about those times when life is getting you down but you still have to get up, put your war face on, and tackle life’s daily challenges. Probably something that a lot of people will be able to identify with, although hopefully not all the time.
New song published (13Jun19)
Have had another song published on Soundblend.’Darkness‘ is a bleak little tale of a failed romance. (I don’t tend to do upbeat songs that you can dance to. Sorry!)
James Fraser, my regular musical collaborator (and one-time sharer of a stage with Jimi Hendrix) has added baritone guitar and vocals, expertly turning it into an interesting song that is worth checking out. So check it out!
Remembering D-Day on its 75th anniversary (03Jun19)
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. It’s very poignant to hear stories from those who were there and we should be very appreciative that subsequent generations haven’t had to go through similar experiences. It’s great that we now have friendship across Western Europe, but worrying to see new waves of right wing populism rearing its head in the UK and other countries. Anyway, what I wanted to do today is honour those who served in past wars to safeguard of from tyranny. And to share my song Portraits of War which is about the horror and poignancy of conflict.
Give Portraits of War a listen. I think it’s one of my best lyrics and Justin Serrano, James Fraser, and Susan Fidler did an awesome job with it. Here is a snippet of the lyrics:
Portraits of war
I sketch a calloused face
Those eyes still glint despite the pain,
Mud runs like mascara
Tear drop tracks made by the rain.
The bombs explode like fireworks
As we shoot the jolly breeze,
Young Johnston’s in the corner
Looking like he’s just asleep.
Portraits of war
Portraits of war
Life, the bloody canvass
Stained crimson to the core
Portraits of war.
Article published in Write Away magazine (May 2019)
I’ve become a regular contributor to Write Away magazine, an online magazine focused on lyric writing. The May 2019 edition is now out and you can find my article, entitled ‘Collaboration – Bringing Lyric Writers and Musicians together’, on page 9 of the magazine. It’s free to read so why not check it out, and also the other excellent articles.
Mykk Freeman R.I.P. (07May19)
I am saddened beyond words at the news that my friend Mykk Freeman has unexpectedly passed away. I got to know Mykk on the Kompoz music comparison website. I wish I had got to know him earlier but we have been working on a major collaboration this year. He was a massive talent, with huge creative vision, but most of all he was a great guy who gave his talents freely to so many other people. I know that he will not be forgotten by those who knew him.
Song entered in Collab Contest (09Apr19)
I’ve been having fun working with American musician Joe in a Song Collaboration Contest on the MuseSongWriters website. My job has been to supply the lyrics and Joe has then done a great job of adding the music and vocals. And he’s even done a YouTube video of him singing a live recording of our song, Said Goodbye. Check it out!
The contest has had an interesting approach. All participants were given the picture that you can see above and asked to write a song of no more than 3 minutes that was inspired by it. To me, it looked like it could have been immigrants fleeing from Europe to a better life in the United States, maybe at some point in the early(ish) 20th century. Some of my family emigrated from Ireland to either Canada or the United States so that kind of played a role in the lyric that emerged.
The contest is still ongoing but by the standard of the songs that I’ve heard so far my verdict is that everyone is a winner regardless of how the voting pans out!
New blog post published (06Apr19) – Edinburgh Gig Review: Electric Boys and Last Great Dreamers
I’ve posted a new blog article. It’s called ‘Edinburgh Gig Review: Electric Boys and Last Great Dreamers‘. I’ve recently got back into going to gigs so thought I’d take the opportunity to write about what was a fantastic experience.
Article published in Write Away Magazine (April 2019)
I’ve had a 3rd article published in Write Away magazine, a new lyric writing magazine. My article is called The Cut Up Lyric Technique and you can read it for free online. The Cut Up technique was used by people such as David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, and Johnny Cash so it’s well worth checking out! Write Away is a great magazine and this month’s edition includes some great articles, including How to Copyright your Creative Works, 5 Essential Elements for Songwriting, and a feature on Man in Black Johnny Cash. Make sure you check out all the fab content!
New song published (28Mar19) – Madly in love with you
I had a nice surprise this week when I discovered that 3 musicians had picked up a lyric that I wrote in 2016 and turned it into a lovely quirky song. It’s an Italian American effort with Riccardo Della Pelle on vocals, Fabrizio Formicone on sax and banjo, and Brian Henry on drums.
There’s a story behind the words that appear in Verse 3 (see below) which I’ve detailed in my LyricSlinger Latest Songs page!
Now I see the wind blow
As the train rushes in,
And the children scream
But it’s all in vain.
And the feathers fly up
Like an angel’s shredded wings,
The metal beast is unhurt
I hear its dark heart sing.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day (17Mar19)
Given that it’s St Patrick’s Day and I’m Irish, here is a song about a fictitious Irish man, Boots O’Reilly. My lyric was expertly translated into a song by my regular collaborator, James Fraser.
I’ve shown the chorus below, which is based on an old Irish blessing.
‘May the road rise up to meet you
Fields stay green and rivers blue
May the road rise up to meet you
We’re all just walking through’
(Written by Simon Wright. March 2018)
New song published (22Feb19) – River Reaper
It’s taken longer than I’d have hoped but I have my first new published song of 2019! And it’s been worth the wait with regular collaborators James Fraser and Nigel Robinson having done a great job with the River Reaper.
The lyric was inspired by a painting that my wife did, which looked like it had the Grim Reaper walking beside a river. I wrote a lyric that is essentially about how death sometimes stalks river banks. My musician friends then turned it into a nicely moody song!
Enuff Z’nuff gig (13Feb19)
I don’t get to gigs as much as I’d like but I really enjoyed seeing Enuff Z’nuff play at Bannermans in Edinburgh. (They were ably supported by The Last Great Dreamers, and by Terragazi). I managed to get a selfie with Chip Z’nuff. Not the greatest pic of me but Chip looks every inch the over the top rock star!
Topical song about Shackleton’s 1915 Antarctic expedition! (11Feb19)
The BBC (and other news outlets) have been reporting on an exciting attempt to find famous explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship The Endurance, which was lost in the Antarctic during an ill-fated polar expedition in 1915.
The story of how Shackleton got his men home safely after his ship was crushed by sea-ice is one of the most amazing survival stories of all time. It inspired me to write a lyric called ‘Counting the days down‘, which was then turned into a song by my regular musical collaborator, James Fraser.
Have a listen to my song and make sure you read up on the story!
Work started on a sci fi concept collaboration (January 2019)
I’ve started writing some lyrics and script for what may turn out to be an epic sci fi musical collaboration. The idea is that a small group of humans flee Planet Earth in search of a new start amongst the stars. So far I’ve written 5 parts, with at least another 9 to go. It’s taking me back to a previous time when I used to write comedy sketches for theatre performance. Great fun! Hopefully I’ll be able to share finished tracks at some point in the future.
Article published in new Lyrics magazine (January 2019)
I’ve had an article published in the 1st edition of a new lyric writing magazine that has been launched by lyricist Jane Shields. My article is entitled ‘Become a ‘past’ master at lyric writing’ and is about how songwriters can use historical stories as inspiration for lyric writing.
You can view the magazine online or pay just £3 to get a paper copy – here’s the link, https://www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk/…
New song published (26Dec18) – Olives and Clementines
Olives and Clementines will probably be my last published song of 2018. In total I’ve ended up with 24 songs completed for the year, which is a new record for me! Indeed, I could claim 27 songs as there are another 3 that are essentially finished but I don’t have the final files through from the musician yet.
This song came about from watching a very moving BBC documentary about the plight of ordinary people who are stuck in war-torn Palestine. The lyric has been skilfully crafted into a gentle song by my regular contributor, James Fraser. I’d like to thank James for all the support he has provided over the year!
New song published (30Nov18) – Army of the Damned
Army of the Damned is a song that was great fun to write and it’s been even more fun to see it brought to life by a talented bunch of musicians. I wrote it with a view to it being a doom-laden Black Sabbath type of song, and I had Wilfred Owen’s Dulce Et Decorum Est poem in mind when I was trying to depict the sheer awfulness of war.
Anand Gupta picked up my lyric and said that it would work well with a music track that he was working on. The music then progressed with involvement also from Heron Almeida and Paul Schlichting. And the great vocals were added by Bob Campbell. I think the end result is awesome!
New song published (29Nov18) – White Feathers
White Feathers is a song that was inspired by a story that I read from the First World War in the run up to Remembrance Day. I took that story, applied some creative licence, and turned it into a lyric. It’s about a boy who signs up to fight after a box of white feathers (signifying cowardice) is delivered to his family’s doorstep.
James Fraser was moved by the lyric and has given it the treatment that it deserves with some beautiful music. Have a listen!
Christmas Charity album available! (November 2018)
I have contributed a lyric to a song called ‘Stand for you’, which is featured on a Christmas charity album. The album is called ‘Hope for Homeless Heroes‘ Hearts’ and proceeds will help support homeless veterans in the US.
The album is available to buy on CD Baby’s website, via digital download and costs $8.99. So if you’re looking for ideas for Christmas presents, and like to help worthwhile causes, then that can be 1 item ticked off your list.
What you get with the album is some sumptuous easy listening Christmas classics, plus some nice surprises. Hopefully, one of those nice surprises is hearing a Christmas heavy rock song right at the end. That’s how ‘Stand for you’ ended up and I’m indebted to Stephen Kalpin (guitar, bass, and album mastermind), and Bob Campbell (vocals, drums, production) for turning my lyric into a song that is hopefully both fun and impassioned.
New song published (11Oct18) – Hold On
Hold On is one of several songs from this year that I’m particularly proud to have been involved with. Most of the songs I’ve previously collaborated on have been guitar-driven tunes but when I heard Tommy Helsten’s beautiful piano track I just had to have a go at writing lyrics for it.
Things got even better when Kim Noble picked up my lyric and sang vocals. I think this is my first collab with Kim and her vocals are fantastic – just right for this song. Jean Toudou completed our very cosmopolitan* virtual band by providing drums and bass. Please check it out. You can even buy it if you like for a cost that I’m sure is less than you’d pay for a fizzy drink!
* Participants on this song were based in Thailand, the United States, Spain, and Scotland! 🙂
New song published (26Sep18) – I’ll Hide
I’ll Hide is my first collab with extremely talented Finnish vocalist Parmia Vaala. She took my ‘Six degrees (and gone)’ initial lyric and took it off in a really interesting electronic direction.
I think it sounds amazing and I hope that you will enjoy listening to it. The song topic’s pretty important, as it’s about the disastrous consequences that will befall our planet if the average global temperature increases by 6 degrees Celsius.
New song published (25Sep18) – Underwater
Underwater is a song that’s about someone who is fed up with office life and lives to get away to the serenity that he experiences when he dives underwater.
James Fraser (song arrangement, vocals, guitar, bass) and Nigel Robinson (drums and keyboards) teamed up with me again to turn this into an atmospheric interesting song.
New song published (23Sep18) – Make Dreams Come True
Make Dreams Come True is a song about a musician who is out there busking trying to sell his or her CD but it’s not going well. Then another person (the singer) tells them not to give up and that they can make it if they’re prepared to work hard enough. So it’s a nice uplifting song and lyric.
Incidentally, I wrote the lyric to a pre-existing music track, so an interesting experience for me of making my words fit to an existing structure. The music was done by Steffen O (keyboards, music composition, production), James Fraser (Guitar, bass, vocals), Susan FidlerSongs (backing vocals) and Chris Bouchard (drums). I think it sounds brilliant!
New song published (18Sep18) – Six Degrees (And Gone)
Six Degrees (And Gone) is an interesting song for two reasons. Firstly, it came about after I read an article about the disastrous outcomes that would occur if the planet’s average temperatures were to increase by 6 degrees Celsius. Secondly, it’s inspired two separate versions. This version was led by the music of James Fraser, with the wonderful Parmia Vaala then adding amazing vocals. Nigel Robinson then added some great drums.
However, Parmia has also taken my lyrics and created a second version, called ‘I’ll Hide’. I’m really looking forward to sharing that version as well once it’s ready as it’s going to be awesome!
New song published (17Sep18) – This Dog
This Dog was a slightly quirky lyric that I wrote about a homeless dog who has had a tough time but still keeps wagging his tail. He’s still optimistic that a better time is right around the next corner. I am delighted that Suzana Stoimenova picked it up and helped turn it into an amazing song. It’s the first time I’ve worked with Suzana and I love her distinctive vocals! She also contributed various instruments and song arrangement. Ronnie Allison provided guitar that complements the song so well. And Paul Schlichting then did a great job of mastering all the tracks.
Listen to This Dog and enjoy!
New song published (09Sep18) – Mr Smith and Mr Wesson
Mr Smith and Mr Wesson was a really fun lyric to write. It tells a fictitious tale of a couple who attempt to rob a bank but things don’t quite go to plan! James Fraser picked it up and did a fantastic job of layering music around it, and then Nigel Robinson joined us to add drums and keyboard.
I hope people will check this song out and that you will enjoy it! Look out for some great harmonica and cool special effects. 🙂
From the archives – Black Heart Lane
I’m taking part in a collaboration contest on the MuseSongWriters website at the moment. It’s been great fun and I hope to share the end result at a later point. However, it prompted me to dig out a song from 2017 that came from a collaboration with another musician on the Muse site. It’s called Black Heart Lane and it’s really catchy and cool! Mike Birch (music and production) and Scott Palmer (vocals) did a great job with it. Check it out and see for yourself!
New song published (30Aug18) – Out on my feet
Out on my feet is a song about someone who is having a tough time in life. They’re bone tired and having to get through the grind of the day’s tasks, knowing that the next day is going to be the same but also knowing that they will get through it, keep on going.
James Fraser and Nigel Robinson teamed up to turn my lyric into a really cool song. James provided vocals, guitar, bass, and production, while Nigel provided keyboards and drums. Thanks guys!
Met the man who went on stage AFTER Jimi Hendrix (24Aug18)
I had the pleasure of meeting my regular Internet collaborator James Fraser for the first time. We had a pint and some chat at Sandy Bells pub in Edinburgh. It was lovely to catch up and be able to discuss music and the songs that we have worked on together. James also presented me with a couple of copies of an album that he had put together of the songs we have worked on.
I also took the opportunity to ask him about a really cool claim to fame that he has; that he was in a band that went on stage after the legendary Jimi Hendrix! To read about how that came about, check out the HendrixNorthEast page
New song published (14Aug18) – Counting the days down
Counting the days down was a really enjoyable lyric to write and I’m so pleased with the way James Fraser has skillfully crafted it into a lovely song. It’s based on the incredible true story of Ernest Shackleton’s failed attempt to cross the Antarctic continent from one coast to the other via the South Pole.
With their main boat, the Endurance, having become trapped in ice, the crew had to make their way to remote Elephant Island. From there, it turns into one of the greatest tales of heroism of all time as Shackleton and 5 other men (including navigator Frank Worsley) set off in a small boat to alert the world to their plight. Their only hope was the implausible one of making it through the fierce Antarctic seas to reach a whaling port from where help could be summoned.
New custom designed Lyric Slinger cartoon image created (12Aug18)
I’d like to thank talented artist Gemma Upson for providing me with a lovely drawing of a Lyric Slinger cartoon figure. I provided a rough creative brief and she’s done a great job with it. He’s very cool and I expect he’ll be making regular appearances on the site! 🙂 Check out Gemma’s work on her Crazy Box Canvas Facebook page.
New song published (12Aug18) – Lady of the Lake
Lady of the Lake is a lyric that I wrote back in January. I’d discovered Nick Drake’s music on YouTube and had spent a lot of time listening to his fantastic songs. What a talent he was and such a shame that he didn’t have a happier life. Anyway, I guess you could say that Lady of the Lake was inspired by Drake’s works. Great work by James Fraser (vocals, guitar, bass, and production) and by Nigel Robinson (piano, strings, accordion) to breathe life into this one!
New song published (22Jul18) – Molly Brooker
Molly Brooker is a dark tale about a woman who lives alone and begins a romance with a prisoner who is in jail for murder. James Fraser picked it up and did vocals, guitar, bass and production. Roddy Potter added drums. And then Alice Minguez provided the finishing touches with some haunting vocals to provide a glimpse into Molly’s side of the story. VERY pleased with the way this one turned out and I hope you enjoy it too!
New song published (21Jul18) – Boots O’Reilly
Boots O’Reilly is a fictitious Irish character who I pictured had led a colourful life, including lots of time on the open road. The lyric has actually written for a songwriting collaboration contest on the MuseSongWriters website but wasn’t used. I then posted it on the Kompoz website and was delighted when regular collaborator James Fraser picked it up. James has done a great job with it. He used 2 acoustic guitars, Irish bouzouki, tin whistle, and bodhran. And also handled the vocals and all production. 🙂
New song published (01Jul18) – A Little Meadow
I have a new song for you to listen to. It’s called ‘A little meadow‘ and is a quirky love song. It’s about two people who find love when they least expect to. For one of them, love literally comes in on a wave. The song features the incredible talents of James Fraser who did all music and production, as well as the male vocals. What a talented guy! And then James and I had the delight of Alice Minguez coming in to do the female vocals. I love the way that duet works. And I owe a lot to another lyric writer (Ty) on the MuseSongWriters website who suggested to me that it should be done as a male/female vocal. Great idea, Ty!
There are a few other songs that are works in progress at the moment. Hopefully, I’ll be able to unveil some of them soon!
New Page added – My Latest Songs
I’ve added a page that shows My Latest Songs . Check it out – it’s got all the songs that have been completed so far this year from my lyrics.
Award winning song created – Footprints in the snow
Yay, I had great fun working with talented musician, Josh Castagno, on a Song Collaboration contest on the MuseSongwriters website. The standard of songs that each pairing produced was really high and I loved the variety of genres and styles that people came up with. Taking part was a win in itself but we had the added bonus of being voted the winning song by our fellow participants! 🙂 The song is called ‘Footprints in the snow‘. Please listen to it and I hope that you will enjoy it. One of our fellow contest participants said they could see it being done by The Lumineers – what do you think?
1st YouTube video created – Poor John Druitt
I have my first YouTube music video thanks to the excellent work of my Kompoz collaborator musician, James Fraser. It’s for a lyric that I wrote called ‘Poor John Druitt’ about a person who was named as a suspect in the 1888 Jack the Ripper murder case. Vocals, all music and production by James Fraser. Check out the Poor John Druitt video and you can also buy the song on Soundblend.
Dio connection? Ghosts
Check out another completed song collaboration, Ghosts. It features a singer whose former band XLR8 once opened for Dio! Ghosts is about ethnic cleansing and I started the lyric in 2006 and completed it in 2016! It was originally a reflection on the Balkans War. Deep, huh?
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