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LyricSlinger Website Latest News
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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