Sean Silke

Songwriter • Composer • Musician
Contact Seán

About Sean Silke

Seán Silke is a prolific composer and musician with over 500 original songs in his back catalogue.

Three albums of Seán’s compositions are on independent release – “Unexamined Emotions” (14 pop songs dealing with affairs of the heart, sung by Ellen Cosgrove – 2019); “In the heart of the castle” (14 country-flavoured pop songs performed by Weekend Special – 2018); and “Unlucky in love” (15 dance songs featuring a variety of female artists and produced by Chris Kabs, a well-known solo artist/producer on the Dublin dance scene – 2020).

In addition, country singer, CC Cooper, released Seán’s composition, “He wants me back”, in October 2018. A dance collaboration with Argentinian DJ Beaster, “It’s a while since I cried”, was released in February 2020.

Seán currently has a schedule under way of releasing up to six singles from his collaborative dance project, CAMDEN PLACE. Singles released in Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 so far include “Polishing Chrome” and “Too much space” (both on PR Records, Stockholm); “A life in Photos” (on DaCosta Records, Derry); and “Will I make it to Springtime” (on Beardfire Music, Dublin). The last two tracks feature Seán, independent producer Rohan Healy, electronic producer Magician’s Assistant and singer-songwriter Gráinne Hunt.

On Release

Will I Make it to Springtime?

with Camden Place ft Magician’s Assistant, Gráinne Hunt (electronica)

Polishing Chrome

with Camden Place ft Jade C (dance)

it’s a while since I cried

with Beaster ft Jade C (dance)

Too much space

with Camden Place ft Jade C (dance)

A LIFE IN PHOTOS

with Camden Place ft. Magician’s Assistant, Gráinne Hunt (pop/electronica)

A LIFE IN PHOTOS
(Louise DaCosta Remix)

with Camden Place Ft Magician’s Assistant, Gráinne Hunt (dance)

FORTHCOMING RELEASES

Sneak Preview

Demos

Seán uses his SoundCloud account as a way of showcasing his extensive portfolio of compositions. In effect, his account is a library of his songs. Here are some examples. 

Video

About the songs

Unlucky in Love 

“Unlucky in love” is a collection of fifteen original dance songs. The tracks feature unusually thoughtful lyrics and imaginative arrangements.  The keynote concept was dance songs with psychologically intelligent lyrics. Seán wanted to create melodic catchy dance music which also covered a range of ideas and emotions not often covered by this genre.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SONGS >>

Click here to see a track listing of all the songs on “Unlucky in Love”. By clicking on any track title, the lyrics and song background information are revealed.

In the heart of the castle 

“In the heart of the castle” is an album of pop love songs with a country flavour. The atmosphere and lyrics of these 14 compositions are typical of Seán’s writing style. His speciality is warmly emotional and adult themes dealing in a powerful way with affairs of the heart.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SONGS >>

Click here to see a track listing of all the songs on “In the heart of the castle”. By clicking on any track title, the lyrics and song background information are revealed.

Unexamined Emotions

Romantic ballads in the huge Spanish-speaking market are characterised by strong melodies and expressive lyrics which connect deeply with the listener. Song themes deal in a powerful way with the heart and its emotions. Seán’s flair for touching lyrics and addictive melodies seems tailor-made for a project with obvious latin cultural influences.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SONGS >>

Click here to see a track listing of all the songs on “Unexamined Emotions”. By clicking on any track title, the lyrics and song background information are revealed.

About the songs

Unlucky in Love 

“Unlucky in love” is a collection of fifteen original dance songs. The tracks feature unusually thoughtful lyrics and imaginative arrangements. The keynote concept was dance songs with psychologically intelligent lyrics. Seán wanted to create melodic catchy dance music which also covered a range of ideas and emotions not often covered by this genre.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SONGS >>

Click here to see a track listing of all the songs on “Unlucky in Love”. By clicking on any track title, the lyrics and song background information are revealed.

In the heart of the castle 

“In the heart of the castle” is an album of pop love songs with a country flavour. The atmosphere and lyrics of these 14 compositions are typical of Seán’s writing style. His speciality is warmly emotional and adult themes dealing in a powerful way with affairs of the heart.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SONGS >>

Click here to see a track listing of all the songs on “In the heart of the castle”. By clicking on any track title, the lyrics and song background information are revealed.

Unexamined Emotions

Romantic ballads in the huge Spanish-speaking market are characterised by strong melodies and expressive lyrics which connect deeply with the listener. Song themes deal in a powerful way with the heart and its emotions. Seán’s flair for touching lyrics and addictive melodies seems tailor-made for a project with obvious latin cultural influences.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SONGS >>

Click here to see a track listing of all the songs on “Unexamined Emotions”. By clicking on any track title, the lyrics and song background information are revealed.

Press

Camden Place – Will I make it to Springtime

“The single is an ambient delight from the offset, and features Irish songwriter Seán Silke, independent production studio and label Beardfire Music, electronic producer Magician’s Assistant and singer-songwriter Grainne Hunt. Together, they have created a sonically alluring slice of electronica that feels perfect for these long winter days.”

Camden Place – Will I make it to Springtime

Blending woozy synths, transcendent drum beats, and singer-songwriter Grainne Hunt’s soft, celestial vocal, “Will I Make It To Springtime” is the perfect lo-fi slice of electronica to get you through the winter months.

Camden Place – Will I make it to Springtime

Featuring Irish songwriter Seán Silke, independent production studio and label Beardfire Music, electronic producer Magician’s Assistant and singer-songwriter Grainne Hunt, Camden Place have created an eclectic sound that feels undeniably refreshing. Combining off-kilter beats with dreamy soundscapes and poignant lyricism, Will I Make It To Springtime is an intelligent electronic track that showcases each collaborator’s talents effortlessly.

Camden Place – Will I make it to Springtime

Featuring Irish songwriter Seán Silke, independent production studio and label Beardfire Music, electronic producer Magician’s Assistant and singer-songwriter Grainne Hunt, Camden Place have created an eclectic sound that feels undeniably refreshing. Combining off-kilter beats with dreamy soundscapes and poignant lyricism, Will I Make It To Springtime is an intelligent electronic track that showcases each collaborator’s talents effortlessly.

Camden Place – Will I make it to Springtime

Introducing CAMDEN PLACE And Their ‘Atmospheric, Evocative, Shimmering, Heartfelt Electronica’

Camden Place – Will I make it to Springtime

“Will I make it to Springtime” deals with our sense of mortality, whether as an individual facing death or as a wider community almost driven demented by anxiety.

Camden Place – Will I make it to Springtime

“Will I Make it to Springtime” is an optimistic song, very appropriate for the pandemic and comforting us in a period of great emotional stress.

Camden place - A LIFE IN PHOTOS (Louise DaCosta Remix)

Collaborative dance project Camden Place have just dropped a truly vibrant remix of their single ‘A Life In Photos’ and we can’t get enough. ‘A Life In Photos’ combines progressive, future and deep house in order to create a sound that is perfect for the summer months.

Camden place - A LIFE IN PHOTOS (Louise DaCosta Remix)

Hats off to Camden Place,  Grainne Hunt & The Magician’s Assistant for creating such an incredibly emotive track!

Lyrics

“UNLUCKY IN LOVE” BY CHRIS KABS (ALBUM)

1. 20,000 VOLTS

(Silke/Kabs) 3:05

Can’t be direct, I take my time
I skirt the issue, the sorrow in your eyes
[Gifts and lies / Marking time]

The long day softened, here comes the new
A lonely kiss, and almost pulling through
[Gifts and lies / Marking time]

A kiss in so much loneliness
Is tempting and so sweet
I can’t shake off a feeling of defeat

A love we never knew
You were never gonna come on through
You can’t deliver, you are too remote
And I needed 20,000 volts
Always looked so confident
All you gave me were promises
You can’t deliver, you are too remote
And I needed 20,000 volts

Constant reassurance
Turn on the light, a laser in the gloom
[Gifts and lies / Marking time]

Carefully withholding
The love I need and some day it’ll be true
[Gifts and lies / Marking time]

A kiss in so much loneliness
Is tempting and so sweet
I can’t shake off a feeling of defeat

A love we never knew
You were never gonna come on through
You can’t deliver, you are too remote
And I needed 20,000 volts
Always looked so confident
All you gave me were promises
You can’t deliver, you are too remote
And I needed 20,000 volts

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.

 

 


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Dance music on one level appears to be easy to write. It is repetitive, often features the same chord sequence throughout and seldom showcases intellectual lyrics. But it is extremely difficult to write effortless-sounding dance music.

Ed Sheeran co-wrote an absolutely perfect dance hit when he composed “Shape of you”. From the memorable opening tune (now featured extensively in an expensive M&S advertising campaign) to spot on lyrics, not to mention a variety of internal melodies, “Shape of you” remains terrific even after numerous plays. The very best dance songs (Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” is another example) are works of art.

When I compose a dance song, I have the luxury of knowing that my producer/ arranger Chris Kabs will embellish the framework I give him with additional catchy tunes and well thought out rhythms, elements which make all the difference between an “okay” dance recording and a great one.

The words of “20,000 volts” deal with a relationship running out of steam – singer HeatheR bemoans the fact that her current man has consistently failed to deliver. She needs high electricity while he delivers only promises. Which is the hallmark of the 21st century! 

2. SEA OF DREAMS

(Silke/Kabs) 3:16

You dreamed the dream, so deep and wide
You dreamed the details while passersby
Were planning dinner and making lists
Imagination too crowded to think

You spent the hours in secret dreams
All so unlikely – you lacked the means
To make things happen, or so it seemed
You set out daily on the sea of dreams

And the dreams continue for they came alive
And you kept on going though the loneliness died
For the heart expands when love moves in
And you daily visit the sea of dreams

Gave yourself over to the power of dreams
You walked with your lover on Camden Street
Sat in a café where the students meet
They mingled with you on the sea of dreams

Locked in rapture, away you fly
Journey invisible to the eye
Like a gift from heaven, from your heart it streams
You set out daily on the sea of dreams

And the dreams continue for they came alive
And you kept on going though the loneliness died
For the heart expands when love moves in
And you daily visit the sea of dreams

You dreamed the dream, so deep and wide
You dreamed the details while passersby
Were planning dinner and making lists
Imagination too crowded to think

You spent the hours in secret dreams
All so unlikely – you lacked the means
To make things happen, or so it seemed
You set out daily on the sea of dreams

And the dreams continue for they came alive
And you kept on going though the loneliness died
For the heart expands when love moves in
And you daily visit the sea of dreams

Copyright © 2011 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.

 


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

What do you need to do to keep your dreams alive? How do you sustain the illusion? In many Latin American cultures, the dream of love saturates the culture. Love songs are not set aside for a niche market. Romantic love, overpowering romance, fascinates nearly everyone. Perhaps the dream is more intense where life offers few options.

“Sea of Dreams” is a tribute to those who continue to cultivate their inner spirits, who lavish attention on their imaginative lives, and who persist in carrying the torch, no matter what.

“Like a gift from heaven, from your heart it streams // You set out daily on the sea of dreams”.

I name check Dublin’s Camden Street in the lyrics for its vigour, its unrestrained night life and its vitality.

3. THE DEATH OF CULTURE

(Silke/Kabs) 3:06

She’s on her fourth lover / They cramp her style
She likes high drama / She rips up the sky
She cries like a baby / She howls at the moon
Acts like innocence / Can be bought in the store

So what’s her story? / Where’s the thread
That runs through the narrative / Making some sense?

The death of culture / The end of an age
Trade intelligence / For fashion and rage
Replace ideas / With a cynical phrase
The death of culture / The post-modern way

She’s on her fourth lover / Hasn’t lost her touch
He’s no improvement / He drinks too much
Reverse charisma / It’s zero hour
Pretends it’s not happening / Turns on the shower

So what’s her story? / Where’s the thread
That runs through the narrative / Making some sense?

The death of culture / The end of an age
Trade intelligence / For fashion and rage
Replace ideas / With a cynical phrase
The death of culture / The post-modern way

She changes her lovers/ She runs from her kids
Won’t listen to anyone / (Is) tempted to leave
Everything’s personal / Turns on her heels
Some sort of madness / Runs through her dreams

So what’s her story? / Where’s the thread
That runs through the narrative / Making some sense?

The death of culture / The end of an age
Trade intelligence / For fashion and rage
Replace ideas / With a cynical phrase
The death of culture / The post-modern way

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke): 

A friend in Lima has a sister who worries the family. She has had a series of undependable partners. Her family life is chaotic and she neglects her kids. She is at the mercy of her uncontrolled moods.  

This song takes a human tragedy and intertwines it with the musings of Nobel Prize winning Peruvian author, Mario Vargas Lllosa, about the decline of the intellect in modern society. His book, “The death of culture”, addresses (in the words of the Irish Times reviewer) “the chaos of hypocrisy and emptiness into which our globalised culture has plunged and to which we seem to have little option but to subscribe.”  

The same review (by Anne Haverty) adds – “We live in the Society of the Spectacle. A name that recalls the bread and circuses offered to a debased populace in the declining Roman empire. Exploited by the blind forces of rampant consumerism, we are reduced to being spectators of our own lives rather than actors in them.”  

Can you write a song a dance song about such things? Yes, you can. But whether or not it can be a chart hit remains to be seen!

4. NIGHT SHIFT, BABY

(Silke/Kabs) 4:47

Coming off night shift / She’s exhausted
Moves like a phantom / A little exalted
Mind on automatic / Yeah, she’s drifting
Someone took a chance / Her heart is lifting

Here comes her future / Bursting with hope
All those expectations / They are set out in a row

Night shift, baby / But it’s all looking good
Eyes may be closing / But her heart is full
Night shift, baby / Say goodbye to the blues
On track and steaming / And right in the groove

Moving down the corridor / She is thinking
Of new found energy / The weekend shimmers
Summoned up his courage / He asked her out
She never knew he fancied her / Goodbye to doubt

Here comes her future / Bursting with hope
All those expectations / They are set out in a row

Night shift, baby / But it’s all looking good
Eyes may be closing / But her heart is full
Night shift, baby / Say goodbye to the blues
On track and steaming / And right in the groove

Takes so little for a change of view
Someone to notice, take a second look
A night out planned and her heart on a roll
A new flame rising to warm the soul
Putting on make up, there’s a spring in her step
A sense of direction on the upper deck
Walking past shutters of the city shops
Heading for a rendezvous, no longer lost

Night shift, baby / But it’s all looking good
Eyes may be closing / But her heart is full
Night shift, baby / Say goodbye to the blues
On track and steaming / And right in the groove

Night shift, baby / But it’s all looking good
Eyes may be closing / But her heart is full
Night shift, baby / Say goodbye to the blues
On track and steaming / And right in the groove

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

I was in St. James’s Hospital in Dublin a while back and observed a nurse coming off night duty, tired but in good spirits. Which gave me the idea of an optimistic song structured around something most of us hate – the night shift. Instead of slumping home in a bad mood, the nurse’s love life is in full swing, her future is bursting with hope, and she is looking forward to an exciting weekend. The bluesy melody is just right for a song full of positive vibes.

5. DISCARDED

(Silke/Kabs) 4:10

I passed your house last night
You left your printer outside
I know you bought a new one
You left a little sign
Beside the old outdated one
Invitation to the world
‘Take me’, it said, ‘unwanted’
Surplus, need a new home

That’s exactly what you did to me / Discarded, by the wall
‘Take me, take me’, read the note / Seen and read by all
That’s what you do to everyone / Cynical to the core
Goodbye, goodbye, Mr. Sociopath / I am worth so much more
Not devalued / By a careless stroke
I am worth much more / Than words on a note

Truly, I could ruminate
Cry over wasted time
Instead I thank my lucky stars
I was foolish, and not blind
Could have settled for money
For all the outward signs
But fate was kind, discarded
(I) already read your mind

Despicable what you did to me / Discarded, by the wall
‘Take me, take me’, read the note / Seen and read by all
That’s what you do to everyone / Cynical to the core
Goodbye, goodbye, Mr. Sociopath / I am worth so much more
Not devalued / By a careless stroke
I am worth much more / Than words on a note

Discarded – such a masculine word
Full of dishonour and shame
I scorn you and all your tribe
Masters of the mundane
When I give my precious heart
To a fair and noble king
He will place me on an altar of joy
Give me everything

Despicable what you did to me / Discarded, by the wall
‘Take me, take me’, read the note / Seen and read by all
That’s what you do to everyone / Cynical to the core
Goodbye, goodbye, Mr. Sociopath / I am worth so much more
Not devalued / By a careless stroke / I am worth much more / Than words on a note

Copyright © 2015 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke): 

What would songwriters do without the topic of break ups? The end of relationships holds the key to analysing and understanding so many emotions. 

In the quirky “Discarded”, the heroine veers between relief at getting out early (escaping the clutches of a manipulative, selfish and dishonourable man) and devastation (being yet another victim of someone who discards everyone). 

She finds comfort in a strong feeling of self-worth, believing that she deserves “a fair and noble king” who will treat her well; she has not been devalued by the experience.

6. UNLUCKY IN LOVE

(Silke/Kabs) 3:41

Unlucky in love / That’s what you tell yourself
But lately I’ve been thinking / You oversell that line
No point pulling my punches
No point mincing my words
Time to say what you need to hear
You get what you deserve

Unlucky in love
You hold back, honey, you hold back
Unlucky in love
You weave in and out, you backtrack
A master of mixed messages
You hint, you imply, you pretend
Unlucky in love – It makes no sense

Unlucky in love
Not from my point of view
You place your money, you change your mind
You like to be untrue
You’re a guy who sleeps without dreaming
A rumour, a forgettable tune
You don’t absorb what life teaches
You slip in and out of the room

Unlucky in love
You hold back, honey, you hold back
Unlucky in love
You weave in and out, you backtrack
A master of mixed messages
You hint, you imply, you pretend
Unlucky in love – It makes no sense

I read some words about comfort
How a good friend nurtures the soul
You will always be inconsistent
Don’t understand drawing close
You’re a guy who sleeps without dreaming
A rumour, a forgettable tune
You don’t absorb what life teaches
You slip in and out of the room

Unlucky in love
You hold back, honey, you hold back
Unlucky in love
You weave in and out, you backtrack
A master of mixed messages
You hint, you imply, you pretend
Unlucky in love – It makes no sense

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke): 

We live in an age when the art of political spin has become something everyone engages in – through Facebook. We paint ourselves in the best possible light – a fun social life, fantastic holidays, everything going well.

“Unlucky in love” looks at a boyfriend who uses sophisticated personal spin. He has had a succession of romances but regards himself as ill-starred in love. But his current female interest will have none of this – your relationships fail, she says, because you know nothing about intimacy. You are a “master of mixed messages”, you hold back, you “weave in and out”.

I like the phrase “commitment-averse”: it sums up this situation perfectly.

7. FADING

(Silke/Kabs) 4:18

You’re fading, baby / See it in your face
Starting to look older / Like one who fell from grace
Too late for the make up / To flatter and conceal
You’re fading, baby / Slipping out of reach

You’re fading, baby / Energy is gone
You light up momentarily / Then drop the shutters down
You’re fading, baby / Need it be that way?
I’m ready and I’m willing / To smooth away the cares

I know you think it’s only life / On a losing roll
Barking at your coat tails / Routine takes its toll
But don’t you think that something could / Restore the former gleam?
I’m ready, willing and able, baby / To step into the breach

You’re fading, baby / Lost that early glow
Now, unlike the hopeful years, / You don’t light up the room
So tell me what price happiness / And being treated well?
I’m offering another road / I’m right here, take my hand

I know you think it’s only life / On a losing roll
Barking at your coat tails / Routine takes its toll
But don’t you think that something could / Restore the former gleam?
I’m ready, willing and able, baby / To step into the breach

You’re fading, baby / Need it be that way?
I’m ready and I’m willing / To smooth away the cares
To wrap my arms around you / Give the loving that you need
Before you start to freefall, baby / Pick a different dream

You’re fading, baby / Lost that early glow
Now, unlike the hopeful years, / You don’t light up the room
So tell me what price happiness / And being treated well?
I’m offering another road / I’m right here, take my hand
I’m right here, take my hand / I’m right here, take my hand
I’m right here, take my hand / Oh take my hand

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


 Background to the song (by Seán Silke): 

It’s a shock to see the appearance of someone you know quite well suddenly disimprove. I had this experience recently and the word “faded” came to mind. I constructed a love song in dance style around the idea (and changed the title from “Faded” to “Fading”). The lyrics fall into the “romantic rescue” category – where one person gives love to another to “save” them from their current fate. Whether or not this motive can ever successfully deliver happiness and mutual fulfilment is debatable but I reckon it has been an element of the love dynamic since time began. Ellen Cosgrove shows her usual flair with bluesy dance numbers on this track.

8. IT STAYS UNKNOWN

(Silke/Kabs) 3:24

It lies there, an undiscovered shore
Sun of paradise overhead
The surf is high, the waves sail in
And birds bob in the air
You can walk for miles along the sand
And never see a soul
Like you, it’s something perfect
Like you, it stays unknown

It lays its treasures open
It dazzles us with light
And yet remains mysterious
Dissolving into night
You cannot hold it in your hand
It cannot be enclosed
Like you, it’s something perfect
Like you, it stays unknown

It’s cool tonight, the day was hot
The evening brings a breeze
The seabirds linger for a while
Relaxed and calm and free
I keep on walking aimlessly
And never see a soul
Like you, it’s something perfect
Like you, it stays unknown

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK

So let me grasp the moonlight
The stars so pale and true
God can keep his heaven
As long as I keep you
I hold on to my longings
My dreams I carry home
Like you, they’re somehow perfect
Like you, they stay unknown

It lies there, an undiscovered shore
Sun of paradise overhead
The surf is high, the waves sail in
And birds bob in the air
You can walk for miles along the sand
And never see a soul
Like you, it’s something perfect
Like you, it stays unknown

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Huanchaco is the Bray of Trujillo (Peru) with the bonus of superb surfing conditions. Unlike Bray, it is haunted by bohemian and sports-mad foreigners. An attractive pier provides opportunities for gorgeous photographs as the sun sets in a blaze of colours (see here). 

Inundated with visitors at weekends, Huanchaco has long lost its original isolated loveliness. But if you drive northwards along the narrow twisting coastal road, you eventually come to the wonderful beach of Magdalena de Cao. No one comes here. 

You can imagine ancient explorers setting foot on these sands. “It stays unknown” is a song celebrating a memorable visit here and the lyrics liken the beach’s treasures to the enchantments of a lover. 

For one line, I am indebted to “The Seducer’s Diary” by Søren Kierkegaard – “God can keep his heaven so long as I can keep her.”

9. HONEY AND CREAM

(Silke/Kabs) 3:23

Lay it on me, baby,
All that honey and cream
Those “take your time” kisses
Make me ready for sleep

Roll over, baby,
Let me tell you the news
Gotta give me real real lovin’
No substitute

Don’t want the symbols
What money can buy
Just be mad about me, baby,
Crazy with desire

Lay it on me, baby,
All that honey and cream
Those “take your time” kisses
Make me ready for sleep

Jump to attention
When I enter the room
So hot, so hot I’ll make you, baby
Wanna go home soon

I’ll be devastating
Good enough to eat
Make you proud of me, baby,
When we hit the street

Tell me you adore me, honey
Every valley and curve
Love it, love it when we spend the night talking
Until the break of dawn
Love it, love it when we spend the night talking
Until the break of dawn

Lay it on me, baby,
All that honey and cream
Those “take your time” kisses
Make me ready for sleep

They call them sweet nothings
Like it’s insincere
(But) It’s the only thing that matters, baby
You can take it from me

Jump to attention
When I enter the room
So hot, so hot I’ll make you, baby
Wanna go home soon

I’ll be devastating
Good enough to eat
Make you proud of me, baby,
When we hit the street

Tell me you adore me, honey
Every valley and curve
Love it, love it when we spend the night talking
Until the break of dawn
Love it, love it when we spend the night talking
Until the break of dawn

Copyright © 2013, 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

In 2012, when I began to learn my craft in more detail and started recording demos to upload onto Soundcloud, I worked with a young woman from Lagos (Nigeria) named Juliet Areghan. “Honey and Cream” was the first recording we made together. I envisaged the song as a jazz-blues number; it was a thrill to develop a striking dance version with Chris Kabs some five years later.

“Honey and Cream” is like a modern-day “Song of Solomon”, celebrating the total infatuation of romantic love – those unrepeatable conversational highs, that swooning desire, and the overwhelming sensuality exuded by the beloved one.

10. ARETHA'S FACE

(Silke/Kabs) 4:05

Hope shining out
And a little reserve
A price to pay for ecstasy
Something great unveiled
She is ready for destiny
The spirit of her race
And when I look at you
I see Aretha’s face
And when I look at you
I see Aretha’s face

Not quite innocence
Ripples of grace
A comet at the starting blocks
Fireworks before they flare
All she needs is a song to sing
A symphony arranged
And when I look at you
I see Aretha’s face
And when I look at you
I see Aretha’s face

Testifying (yeah) – Aretha doing her thing
Liberating (yeah) – the music sets her free
Testifying (yeah) – Aretha doing her thing
Liberating (yeah) – the music sets her free

Piano in the corner
Sits and feels the keys
She looks insignificant
Until she starts to sing
Then she’s gone, she’s flying
To a place without any cares
Aretha soars to heaven
To say a little prayer
Aretha soars to heaven
To say a little prayer

Testifying (yeah) – Aretha doing her thing
Liberating (yeah) – the music sets her free
Testifying (yeah) – Aretha doing her thing
Liberating (yeah) – the music sets her free

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


 Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

“Aretha’s face” is about Aretha Franklin in the Fame recording studios getting ready to make her first recording for the Atlantic record label. There are some famous black and white photographs which show her to be both confident and vulnerable at that time. The song is about the excitement of that time – a great artist ready for take off, her voice and unique style ready to soar.

(you can see some fine shots of Aretha at the piano at the bottom of this website page)

11. WRITE ME A LETTER, BABY

(Silke/Kabs) 5:00

Write me a letter, baby
Woo me with words
Let me linger over
The feelings you stir
Seduce me with some poetry
Captured by a phrase
Alone I will consider you
In a secret place
I will think of you
In a secret place

Write me a letter, baby
Uncommon nowadays
Nothing electronic
Something on a page
Make an impression
On this heart of mine
Make me believe in
Romance divine
Wanna believe in
Romance divine

Stretch that bow and arrow
Carefully take aim
Put your thoughts in order
Write with art and grace
Feed my imagination
Make my spirit soar
You can win me over
In the silence of my room
Yes I will surrender
In the silence of my room

INSTRUMENTAL SOLO

Write me a letter, baby
Slowly, by degrees
Words invade my being
Sweeter than a kiss
Soft delicate phrases
Take hold of my mind
Let me move as in a dream
And leave the world behind
In a dream
I leave the world behind

Stretch that bow and arrow
Carefully take aim
Put your thoughts in order
Write with art and grace
Feed my imagination
Make my spirit soar
You can win me over
In the silence of my room
Let me read your letter
In the silence of my room
Let me read your letter
In the silence of my room

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke): 

The lost art of letter writing has been replaced by texts and (sometimes) by Facebook declarations of affection. But nothing can more powerfully convey the intimacy of love than a carefully crafted letter. Such is the theme of “Write me a love letter”.

The song emphasises the concrete nature of a letter. It is something you can touch, re-read, store safely for future reference and enjoy all over again at another time. A really sincere and expressive letter is something to relish, something that even years later can bring a blush of pleasure to the face.  

The Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, was a fan of the love letter as an effective means of communicating one’s feelings. He wrote:“A letter is a secret communication; you are master of the situation, (and)  feel no pressure from anyone’s presence ..”  In my song, a girl longs to receive a romantic letter which would feed her imagination and make her spirits soar. Because, Facebook fans, that’s what a love letter achieves!

12. AT THE TOUCH OF LOVE I AWAKEN

(Silke/Kabs) 3:20

Sleep makes my eyelids heavy
They tremble and they close
Floating down the corridor
The melody of my soul
He hasn’t yet engaged me
No contact face-to-face
Yet his look is firm and tender
Holds me like an embrace

Before I was a secret blush
My feelings well concealed
(But) At the touch of love I awaken
Awaken to a dream
My heart is pounding, my soul is high
My skin takes on a sheen
At the touch of love I awaken
Awaken to a dream

Eyes rest on me, just a gaze
Lingers like a touch
What is that strange mystery
That oh so alien force?
No longer an observer
Can’t let the moment slip
All of a sudden surprised by love
A necessary thrill

Before I was a secret blush
My feelings well concealed
(But) At the touch of love I awaken
Awaken to a dream
My heart is pounding, my soul is high
My skin takes on a sheen
At the touch of love I awaken
Awaken to a dream

Before I was a secret blush
My feelings well concealed
(But) At the touch of love I awaken
Awaken to a dream

Copyright © 2016, 2018 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

This dreamy composition was inspired by thoughts in “The Seducer’s Diary” by Soren Kierkegaard. Here are some extracts from the book.

  • Today my eyes have for the first time rested upon her. Someone has said that sleep can make the eyelids so heavy that they close of themselves; perhaps my glance has a similar effect upon Cordelia. Her eyes close, and yet an obscure force stirs within her.
  • It is at the touch of love that she awakens; before that she is dream…
  • I can make her forget both time and eternity.
  • He approaches on the wings of longing.
  • She moves in the melody of her own soul.
  • I can no longer remain a mere observer without letting the moment slip from me. She has to be surprised, that is necessary; but to surprise her one must be on the alert.
  • He will be able to let his eye rest upon a girl with a desultory tenderness that affects her in the same way as if he had accidentally touched her; he will be able to hold her as firmly with his eye as if he held her in his embrace…
13. WHAT IT FELT LIKE THEN

(Silke/Kabs) 3:34

What could go wrong / We had our youth
Paid daily worship / At the shrine of love
I did all this / Got little in return

Wanted things fixed / Have a thing about change
Hate improvising / Like things the same
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Life untroubled / Once in a while
A soft bed of dreams / A promise of light
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Life dealt a hand / Which suited me well
The cards were careless / I fumbled the game
I try to recall / What it felt like then

A time without worry / Everything is right
Smooth is the passage / Sweet the night
A soft bed of dreams / A promise of light

Once in a while / There’s a happy end
We take to the side roads / Daylight fades
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Life untroubled / Once in a while
A soft bed of dreams / A promise of light
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Life dealt a hand / Which suited me well
The cards were careless / I fumbled the game
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Remember that wedding / In the heart of the south
Things fell apart / As if without thought
I went for a cigarette / And kept on walking

I thought my luck / Unlimited
Not how it works / My portion ends
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Life untroubled / Once in a while
A soft bed of dreams / A promise of light
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Life dealt a hand / Which suited me well
The cards were careless / I fumbled the game
I try to recall / What it felt like then

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke): 

Songs of regret have a haunting quality because we all have gone through events we would change if we could. “What it felt like then” is a song in which happy times are recalled side by side with bad decisions taken.  

If you take a wrong road in life, all you can do is look back and remember how good it was once upon a time. 

14. IT'S BABY

(Silke/Kabs) 4:26

It’s baby
Haven’t been in touch for a while
Now I’m back in town, I’d like to spend a little time
Catching up on the news
Seeing how things are with you
A little good will is due
Hope we can meet real soon

It’s baby
I know I messed up last time
I went crazy, I raised the bar too high
But a girl can change
I hope you can make me some space
Another time, another place
Not too late to re-engage

(Boy) Hello, baby
You never really left my mind
Oh baby, you lodged in there like a virus
Though I remember
The glory of your eyes
Can’t forget you sucked me dry
And I know there is no turning back

It’s baby
The girl who really wore you out
I went crazy, I clung to you like a cloud
And I ground you down
Shattered your resolve
I know it’s asking a lot
Maybe we can make a new start

Hello, baby
It is hard drawing lines in the sand
You’re compelling
That was always your strength
But love is only one part of the deal
You still have those bottomless needs
And I know there is no turning back

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK (PIANO)

It’s baby
I know I messed up last time
I went crazy, I raised the bar too high
But a girl can change
I hope you can make me some space
Another time, another place
Not too late to re-engage

Hello, baby
It is hard drawing lines in the sand
You’re compelling
That was always your strength
But love is only one part of the deal
You still have those bottomless needs
And I know there is no turning back

Yes love is only one part of the deal
You still have those bottomless needs
And I know there is no turning back
And I know there is no turning back
Oh yeah

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Letting go is a big issue when a relationship breaks down. The other risk is being tempted to mend fences. “It’s baby” is a song structured in a call and response fashion. The girl is phoning up her -ex late at night, reaching out and hoping for a reconciliation. She accepts that she was at fault but hopes it is not too late to start again. At first, it looks like the boy is ready to re-engage, but then he recalls just why things went badly the first time round; and he knows that nothing has changed to justify a second attempt. The lyrics fit many failed or struggling romances and are all the more poignant for being so realistic

15. THE LAST TIME

(Silke/Kabs) 3:47

I turn to look at my house of dreams
I hold them close, they are so complete
For the last time, for the last time
Future promises on their knees
A string of pearls tumbling free
For the last time, for the last time

And so we are together for the very last time
Cresting the ocean, all our hopes on the line
Ferry in the harbour waiting for the tide
Count up the promises and kiss them goodbye
For the last time, for the last time
For the last time, for the last time

No longer willing to protect
Do I want to remember, do I wanna forget
For the last time, for the last time
With so much care this house of dreams
Was reconstructed piece by piece
For the last time, for the last time

And so we are together for the very last time
Cresting the ocean, all our hopes on the line
Ferry in the harbour waiting for the tide
Count up the promises and kiss them goodbye
For the last time, for the last time
For the last time, for the last time

Tuning up for the time of my life
Putting my nerves aside
Run my fingers along the frets
Thinking of so many lies
Sound of courage, sound of faith
On my own, facing the wind and the rain

No longer willing to protect
Do I want to remember, do I want to forget
For the last time, for the last time
With so much care this house of dreams
Was reconstructed piece by piece
For the last time, for the last time

And so we are together for the very last time
Cresting the ocean, all our hopes on the line
Ferry in the harbour waiting for the tide
Count up all the promises and kiss them goodbye
For the last time, for the last time
For the last time, for the last time

Copyright © 2013 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Not too long after his death, the Irish Independent published a tribute supplement to Con Houlihan, the much loved sports writer and essayist. Two quotations in one of the featured pieces made an impression on me.

Con Houlihan wrote – “I look at my house of dreams and it isn’t there anymore” …. “Three sad words in any language – the last time”. These evocative thoughts created the springboard for my song, “The last time”. Our house of dreams is something we hold together with difficulty. At times we reconstruct it. And there also comes the time when it no longer exists.

Surprisingly, “The last time” is a dance tune, the upbeat music softening the bitterness of the resigned tone.

“UNEXAMINED EMOTIONS” BY ELLEN COSGROVE (ALBUM)

1. A BACKWARD LOOK
(Silke/Kabs) 4:46

As he walks away
Without a backward look
It is a parting
Never understood
City traffic like a dream
Pounding through my blood

How can he leave
Without a backward look?
Do I not deserve
To see his body turn?
A long glance of regret
Before I am finally spurned?

Feel the sun on my skin
Heats me from above
And warms my weary heart
Like a lover should
I sit in the city square
A light breeze on my face
And long for a backward look
And the path of loss retraced

As he walks away
A lifetime is defined
I know with total certainty
All I have left is time
His regrets as keen as mine
The blind leading the blind

Feel the sun on my skin
Heats me from above
And warms my weary heart
Like a lover should
I sit in the city square
A light breeze on my face
And long for a backward look
And the path of loss retraced

As he walks away
Without a backward look
It is a parting
Never understood

Copyright © 2011 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved. 


 

Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

I am fond of the Catalonia region of Spain and spend ten days there every summer. The weather is great at that time of year, and in the quieter provincial towns there is a tremendous sense of atmosphere, especial in the town squares or plazas. People-watching is enjoyable and rewarding; a number of my favourite compositions were written at outdoor coffee tables, inspired by the facial expressions or body language of the passersby.

“A backward look” celebrates this world. In the moment of final parting, a lover fails to look back. He walks out of the heroine’s life, apparently without regret. The heat of the sun contrasts with the pain of loss. She still does not understand why their love failed and longs for another opportunity. Most of all, she feels the hurt of that unwillingness to look back one final time.

2. IT WASN'T YOUR CHOICE TO MAKE
(Silke/Kabs) 3:35

You were happy with me, weren’t you?
It wasn’t that something went wrong
One thing after another
No, it was an ending without a cause
There’s a toxin in the water
There’s turmoil in the air
But listen to me when I say this
It wasn’t your choice to make

And now the damage is done
There’s no going back
I’ve no bad memories
They sustain me instead
That’s the problem with happiness
It’s a seductive place
That’s why I keep on saying to you
It wasn’t your choice to make / It wasn’t your choice to make

There’s a man in the airport wandering around
Looking for something to clean
Maybe that’s where you went wrong
Chasing a treacherous dream
It’s not about variety
Being able to make a change
That’s why I keep on telling you
It wasn’t your choice to make

Sometimes I think it was down to me
I could have made things work
In the dead of night my blood runs cold
My stomach starts to churn
But why submit to your habit
Of pointing the finger of blame?
That’s why I keep on telling you
It wasn’t your choice to make / It wasn’t your choice to make
It wasn’t your choice to make / It wasn’t your choice to make

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Some decisions should be made together .. and yet one person takes control and (as we say in Ireland) loses the run of themselves, and ruins everything. “It wasn’t your choice to make” is a song about the kind of man who is always looking for something better than what lies within his grasp. Nothing went wrong with his relationship and still he ended it. It’s as if there is something poisonous in one’s temperament and even current happiness isn’t enough to satisfy. The idea for the song was suggested by this quotation – “The difficulty of forgetting a woman with whom you have been happy is that the imagination tirelessly continues to evoke and embellish moments of the past.” (from De L’Amour by Stendhal)

3. THEY DANCE THE MARINERA
(Silke/Kabs) 3:37

In a place called El Sombrero
Not far from where she lives
A gracious senorita
Steps out onto a stage
Her partner too is elegant
I’ve often seen them there
They lift the hearts of those who come
They dance the Marinera

He is a caballero
And she is strong and brave
Pursuing her with passion
She pulls back, like the waves
Then falls towards his waiting arms
Floating through the air
They lift the hearts of those who come
They dance the Marinera

The music swells, the ritual
Retains its strange allure
Though very often repeated
It’s part of what we are
The to and fro, the energy
All in a minor key
The simple love, the bitter sweet
The ever ever vibrant dreams

Our hearts ready and willing
Not worn out by the years
Nothing to do with the evidence
We see what we want to see
And so we choose illusion
The sun that heats the air
They lift the hearts of those who come
They dance the Marinera

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

In 2016 during my annual visit to the Peruvian coastal city of Trujillo, friends took me to a cabaret restaurant called “El Sombrero” in the city centre. This is a rather brash tourist trap which, due due to its excellent food and vibrant floor show, is also popular with locals. At intervals, an elaborately dressed couple danced the Marinera, the legendary Peruvian dance to which an entire festival is dedicated in the closing weeks of January. Unconsciously, I used this sentimental occasion to describe the national character. In essence, I believe the Peruvian temperament to be a combination of life in a minor key and an endless faith in dreams. Peruvian hearts are not worn out by hardship and disappointment but instead choose on a daily basis to hope and dream – “we see what we want to see”; “we choose illusion”. It is a good recipe for life.

4. I AM NOT UNTOUCHABLE
(Silke/Kabs) 4:26

He is distant, he is charming
A man of the world
With honour, persistence
He gets things done
There is something between us / Unrealised
He’s looking and longing / From afar he admires

But I am not untouchable
I’m not out of reach
Waiting for an overture
Waiting for a kiss
Baby I am not untouchable
Not out of your league
With some imagination
Spend your life with me

A world without values
That’s how we live
Misuse of power
All innocence dead
We cannot escape it / We tire and lose faith
The unending struggle / The daily debate

But I am not untouchable
I’m not out of reach
Waiting for an overture
Waiting for a kiss
Baby I am not untouchable
Not out of your league
With some imagination
Spend your life with me

Putting off decisions
Becomes a way of life
So too our language
Elaborate and trite
But am I not a treasure /And just within grasp
A little less talk now / It’s the moment to act

I am not untouchable / I’m not out of reach
Waiting for an overture / I’m waiting for a kiss
Baby I am not untouchable / Not out of your league
With some imagination / Spend your life with me
I am not untouchable / I’m not out of reach
Waiting for an overture / Waiting for a kiss
Baby I am not untouchable

Copyright © 2014 Seán Silke/Ellen Cosgrove. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

This song is inspired by The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos), a 2009 Argentine crime thriller film directed, produced and edited by Juan José Campanella. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards.

The story describes the buried romance between a retired judiciary employee and a judge who worked together 25 years previously. Their investigation into a 1974 rape and murder case still overshadows them. The setting is the period of Argentina’s Dirty War (1976–1983), a violent time when criminals often went unpunished.

In 1999, retired official Benjamín Espósito is having trouble getting started on his first novel. He pays a visit to the offices of Judge Irene Menéndez-Hastings to tell her about his plans to recount the story of the Coloto case, the one they both worked on when she was his new department chief and he was the agent assigned to the case. The potential affair all those years ago between Irene and Benjamin was complicated by the difference in their social backgrounds. Benjamin seemed unaware that Irene had fallen for him, or perhaps he choose not to pursue her because she was out of his league.

5. LIKE A SERENADE
(Silke/Kabs) 3:15

Late bar is empty, the music is still
Leaves a girl unsettled
Fox in the alley a sinister friend
Alone but not lonesome
Long after midnight, the taxis in bed
Street sounds are fading
Bell from the town hall it heralds the day
Peaceful like a serenade

Late when we parted, some things best unsaid
Streets are silent
Shop windows sleeping the sleep of the dead
Calm times unrivalled
Late walking home and the night turns to grey
Hope springs eternal
Bell from the town hall it heralds the day
Peaceful like a serenade

Sun thinks of rising, renewing the day
Nice and slowly
Early deliveries just under way
Crisp air unfolding
Cupping the flame as the cigarette flares
Deeply inhaling
Bell from the town hall it heralds the day
Peaceful like a serenade
Like a serenade
Like a serenade
Like a serenade

Copyright © 2011 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved. The melody is adapted in part from “Gymnopédie 1” written by Erik Satie (1866-1925).


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

The French composer, Erik Satie (1866-1925), was a musician very much ahead of his time. Even today his work has a modern feel, totally in keeping with current minimalist and ambient music trends. He is best known to the general public for a number of melodies often included in classical music anthologies. One of these tunes is “Gymnopédie No. 1”. In 2011, I wrote a set of lyrics about walking through Rathmines late at night. Eventually, the idea of using the Satie melody occurred to me. The result is a restful lullaby, put across delicately by Ellen Cosgrove.

6. A TABLE AND A SQUARE
(Silke/Kabs) 3:18

She smokes a cigarette
Cool but ill-advised
Somehow looks expectant
A mist across her eyes
He watches from a distance
Too battle-scarred to care
She and he are separated by
A table and a square

An empty space beneath the sun
The light intense and cruel
The bell rings out to tell the time
The midday hour – it’s noon
And shoppers move discreetly
In the quiet pools of shade
While she and he are separated by
A table and a square

So where is love, she asks
The masterpiece of life
The dream every traveller seeks
The taste of paradise
I long to be a babe in arms
Held tight and still adored
Not cast adrift on a careless sea
Hiding behind words

One day he’ll come early
She’s already in place
He will slowly recognise
Something in her face
And powerfully calling
It engulfs him like a wave
Time for them to be united by
A table and a square

Copyright © 2015 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

I love the squares (or plazas) of Northern Spain, especially one in the town of Vic. Except on market day, the great space of the plaza is empty, decorated only by the sun and the shadows of the afternoon. There is nothing nicer than spending a few hours here doing nothing, enjoying a coffee and watching the teenagers, the shoppers and the lovers. “A table and a square” was written in the Plaza at Vic and tries in some way to capture the magic of Spanish life and culture.

7. YOU TOLD ME BEFORE
(Silke/Kabs) 5:23

You told me before / I remember it now
I wasn’t ready to hear
The voice of reason / The voice of truth
For I preferred to dream
I decided to live in the present / Put the future on hold
Sounds like a good philosophy / But winter comes hard and cold

You told me before / You cannot take the blame
(Gave) plenty of warning / It hurts all the same
I have no excuses / You told me before
You don’t take pleasure in / Unheeded words
You told me before

You told me before / I remember it now
It didn’t sink into my brain
The thoughts and feelings escaped me
Poured off my skin like rain
There is something wrong with the system / An error in the code
I cannot process the data / It simply ebbs and flows

You told me before / You cannot take the blame
(Gave) plenty of warning / It hurts all the same
I have no excuses / You told me before
You don’t take pleasure in / Unheeded words
You told me before

You told me before / I remember it now
I wasn’t in listening mode
Hundreds of messages swimming around
Not easy to master the code
In hindsight I know the stories you tell
Were issued as clear as a bell
Sender-Receiver, we take them, we leave them
And heap up a mound of regrets

You told me before / You cannot take the blame
(Gave) plenty of warning / It hurts all the same
I have no excuses / You told me before
You don’t take pleasure in / Unheeded words
You told me before

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


 Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

It’s an awful feeling to realise that you received plenty of warning from a friend about a likely bad outcome yet ignored the evidence. In affairs of the heart, it’s an even worse feeling.If your loved one has effectively put you on notice and yet you continue to “put the future on hold”, then you will inevitably reap what you sow. “You told me before” speaks eloquently of a wasted romance. Although it was a very special relationship, the lover “wasn’t in listening mode” but now fully accepts that she has no one but herself to blame.

8. AT THE VILLA
(Silke/Kabs) 5:28

That week at the villa/ We took our breakfast late
A deep blue pool / And a swinging gate
Birds near silent / In the overpowering heat
Just like our heartbeats / Almost as still

That week at the villa/ A big sky overhead
Blue, without mercy / And our bodies felt like lead
In the distance / Those submissive hills
Just like our love / Almost as still

That week at the villa/ Thought we were getting on track
Both looking forward / Though there’s no going back
Recovering something / Something lost on the way
Once automatic / And now out of play

That week at the villa / We were filled with hope
Unrealistic / There no longer was scope
The heavy afternoon / With a heat that kills
Just like our love / Almost as still

A few friends joined us / Walking by the shore
Evening breezes / A little coolness in store
Light conversation / Summer dust upon the floor
Spirits were lifted / For a few hours more

That week at the villa / It was sheer agony
Deferring feelings / So painful and so deep
The sun reproaches / Our indefinite wills
Just like our passion / Almost as still

One more outing / And one final chance
Then we decided / Time to finish the dance
Expectations / All those longings unfulfilled
Didn’t work out / So we locked up the villa
Didn’t work out / We locked up the villa

Copyright © 2005, 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved. The melody used is that of “I cherish my illusions still” copyright © 2005 Seán Silke.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Some songs have a troubled creative history. The words may be right but the melody isn’t quite strong enough and has to be ditched with reluctance. But perhaps a recycled tune (one composed for another set of unsuccessful lyrics) can be matched perfectly with the surviving words? This is what happened with “At the villa”, written in 2005 and paired with a much better tune in 2016. Although the song has no chorus as such, and depends on a repeated verse melody, the narrative is compelling and draws you in. The theme is that of a summer holiday in an Italian villa where a rocky relationship hopes to find a safe harbour but doesn’t.

9. TIME LONG PAST
(Silke/Kabs) 3:30

In the shady evening glow I read your letters once again
Read until the dawn filled my room with grey
Then I quenched my light and I put them all away
And I prayed for sleep to ease the pain

Like the ghost of a good friend dead is time long past
Words that are forever fled is time long past
A hope which is forever past, a love so sweet it could not last
Like the ghost of a good friend dead is time long past

But I tried to sleep in vain, I could not rest or pray
For thought of you in the slow broadening day
And I thought of the rain in the place where we used to be
And of the way your love changed me

There were sweet dreams in the night of time long past
Was it sadness or delight in time long past
Each day a shadow onward cast which made us wish it yet might last
There were sweet dreams in the night of time long past

People come and people go but your memory stays with me
Innocence was all you had, all I wish you now to be
You say you love me now as then and you know I feel the same
Still I’ll go on missing you till I fall in love again

There is regret, almost remorse for time long past
It’s like a cruel mysterious loss is time long past
A father watches until at last beauty is like remembrance cast
There is regret, almost remorse for time long past

Copyright © 1983 and 2004 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved. The lyrics of verses 2, 4 and 6 are heavily based on “Time long past” by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822).


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

The English poet, Shelley, is not someone you expect to get a songwriting credit in a dance song but he must accept this fate, thanks to my wide-ranging literary influences. Half of the lyrics are adapted from Shelley’s poem, “Time long past”, while the rest of the song indulges in the poetic fashion of that era which romanticised loss, death and memories. In part, this may have been due to the relative shortness of the life span in past centuries.

10. INTO THE DARKNESS
(Silke/Kabs) 4:13

Blacker than midnight
No chance of a cure
I’m facing the music
Indifferent but true
Outside a cat is crying
A distant alarm
This soul surrenders
Swimming into the dark

Into the darkness, a silent farewell
Into the darkness, no fanfare, no bells
On my way out, alone in the end
Into the darkness, ebbing away

Somewhat reconciled
Calm as a grave
Not without resentment
All that knowledge gone to waste
A taxi sweeps by
The wee wee hours asleep
A fox hunts silently
And the world turns its back on me

Into the darkness, a silent farewell
Into the darkness, no fanfare, no bells
On my way out, alone in the end
Into the darkness, ebbing away

Stars so impassive
Eloquent and bleak
Like an empty promise
Like the shops in Christmas week
Blacker than midnight
No chance of a cure
I’m facing the music
Indifferent but true

Into the darkness, a silent farewell
Into the darkness, no fanfare, no bells
On my way out, alone in the end
Into the darkness, ebbing away

Copyright © 2009 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


 Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

The writer Nuala O’ Faolain revealed in a devastating radio interview with Marian Finucane on April 12th 2008 that she was dying of cancer. The honesty and naked emotion of the interview created a sensation in Ireland.

Among other things, Nuala said – “.. the very essence of this experience is aloneness .. the steroids keep you awake at night. So it is two in the morning or four in the morning and you’re walking around and all you know is that whatever it is you are feeling or thinking is yours and nobody else’s. And there is nobody else to lay it off on and that aloneness is the centre and the thing that you never know when you are well …”

(Marion Finucane) “You said it wasn’t so much you leaving the world as the world leaving you”. (Nuala) “I thought there would be me and the world, but the world turned its back on me, the world said to me that’s enough of you now and what’s more we’re not going to give you any little treats at the end”.

“Into the darkness” is an interpretation of Nuala’s bleak realism facing inevitable death.

You can read the full interview here 

11. THE SHELTER OF HIS HANDS
(Silke/Kabs) 2:52

His hands move me
Know how to catch the eye
Have a life of their own
Like butterflies

Makes it look easy
Though most of it is planned
Is it safe
In the shelter of his hands?

His hands encourage
Saying he will abide
Seeking confidences
How long will that survive?

Hands insistent
A pressure I withstand
Is it safe
In the shelter of his hands?

His hands a warning
Fingers can betray
Secret information
Giving him away

Without innocence
An agenda of their own
Makes me uneasy
Like the promise of snow

How can I be sure
He will understand?
Is it safe
In the shelter of his hands?

A touch that I resist
Though under his command
None too safe
In the shelter of his hands
None too safe
In the shelter of his hands

Copyright © 2012, 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

“The shelter of his hands” is a deceptive song, with straightforward lyrics and a simple direct melody. There is a relaxed country music feel, yet the words are not what they at first seem. The singer is in a relationship where the mutual attraction is strong. Yet there are doubts. The girl’s lover promises a safe haven but she suspects manipulation. He controls each effect he creates. The movements of his hands invite trust but there is something in them that gives him away. There is no security here.

12. FALL IN, BABY
(Silke/Kabs) 3:33

I soak you up / I suck you in
I drink your mouth / I lick your lips

Fall in, baby / Just let go
Fall in, baby / Nice and slow

And we can sink forever / Into the abyss
We can sink forever / Perishing with a kiss

To you I cling / To you I cleave
Becoming one / Floating off to sea

Fall in, baby / Just let go
Fall in, baby / Nice and slow

Lean into me, baby / It is time to yield
Give in, give in to temptation / Paradise by degrees

Instrumental section

Touch my face tender / Quench our mutual thirst
Kisses never ending / Kick off from the shore

Fall in, baby / Just let go
Fall in, baby / Nice and slow

To you I cling / To you I cleave
Becoming one / Floating off to sea

And we can sink forever / Into the abyss
We can sink forever / Perishing with a kiss

Instrumental section

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved. Any unauthorised broadcasting, public performance, copying or re-recording will constitute an infringement of copyright.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Swimming in Ireland always carries a health warning. Why? Because the sea (and rivers) are always freezing here and the initial plunge creates the risk of cardiac arrest. My memories of childhood visits to indoor swimming pools cause me to break out in a cold sweat. As a result, using the image of immersing yourself in water (to describe love’s sensual pleasures) does not necessarily communicate unlimited delight. But let’s press on with the analogy, nonetheless. “Fall in, baby” uses maritime phrases liberally to list the pleasures of love’s sweet dream. Ellen Cosgrove urges us to give in to temptation.

13. WITHOUT ANOTHER WORD
(Silke/Cosgrove) 4:12

Has something happened?
I see it in your eyes
Your look of hurt, the light gone out
A kind of dazed surprise
Do I imagine phantoms
Where nothing has occurred
And you will simply turn away
Without another word
You will simply turn away / Without another word

Has something happened?
Was there a change of mood?
A melancholy undertone
Like winter here too soon
It’s good to talk but here you are
All ready to adjourn
And once again you turn away
Without another word
Once again you turn away / Without another word

Face it now or you will be haunted
By the life you never chose
If you shut your eyes to what’s happening
Don’t say that I closed the door

Has something happened?
The moon is riding high
Cars move slowly down the street
Clouds sail across the sky
How can you choke emotion back
And bear it all alone?
For once again you turn away
Without another word
Once again you turn away / Without another word

Copyright © 2014 Seán Silke/Ellen Cosgrove. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

When a song gets written easily, there is usually something wrong with it. But “Without another word” entered this world rapidly yet apparently perfect in every way. The mystery of creativity. The song might be described as a companion piece to “A backward look”, sharing something of the same poignant emotion which accompanies an unexpected break up.

14. SAY GOODBYE TO THE DRAMA QUEEN
(Silke/Kabs) 5:10

You’re so good at cutting your losses
I’m such a pro at playing the fool
You’re adept at ending the cycle
You have absolutely nothing to prove
See this face, not the face of a victor
See these tears, as you leave the room

Say goodbye to the big time diva
Say goodbye to the drama queen
Turning my back on cheap emotion
Walking away from a hollow dream
No more falling for the illusion
Nothing ever as it seems
Say goodbye to the big time diva
Say goodbye to the drama queen

Made your decision, left me abandoned,
I look like the loser but you’re the fool
I was your one chance to touch the heavens
In your hands spectacular love
I may be wounded, I will not be broken
I will recover, I will be strong

Say goodbye to the big time diva
Say goodbye to the drama queen
Turning my back on cheap emotion
Walking away from a hollow dream
No more falling for the illusion
Nothing ever as it seems
Say goodbye to the big time diva
Say goodbye to the drama queen

You’ll discover you were unworthy
A wiser love will enter my world
You threw away a pearl of great value
The only thing worth fighting for
I may be wounded, I will not be broken
I will recover, I will be strong

Say goodbye to the big time diva / Say goodbye to the drama queen
Turning my back on cheap emotion / Walking away from a hollow dream
No more falling for the illusion / Nothing ever as it seems
Say goodbye to the big time diva / Say goodbye to the drama queen

Copyright © 2012 Seán Silke/Chris Kabs. All rights reserved.


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

A friend experienced a traumatic break up with a long term lover in 2012. Her usual sunny disposition disappeared. She was wracked with a sense of loss and abandonment. She revisited over and over again the character flaws of her ex-beloved. She resolved to be more self-protective in the future, more logical, more aware of the downsides for her. She resented the way he said goodbye so easily. She blamed herself for her dramatically romantic sensibilities. She fought to hold on to her own value as a person. All of these emotions gave rise to the anthemic “Say goodbye to the drama queen”. It is a song about getting through disaster with your self-worth intact.

“IN THE HEART OF THE CASTLE” BY WEEKEND SPECIAL (ALBUM)

1. MAKING THE MOST OF LOVE
You entered my life / Unexpectedly
I had already parked my dreams
But here you are / Knocking at my door
Out of the shadows / I sail across the floor
I taste the magic, I taste the promises in store

No holding back / I will run into your arms
Drink the good wine to the full
You take my hand / And like the wind I respond
I turn my face to the sun
Making the most of love

I was resigned / An uncertain age
Life on hold / I walked off the stage
But here you are / Looking for love
Oh so weary of / Of substitutes
You have been too much, you have been too much on your own

No holding back / I will run into your arms
Drink the good wine to the full
You take my hand / And like the wind I respond
I turn my face to the sun
Making the most of love

There’s a dog on the street lost his owner
There’s a girlfriend some loser set aside
I don’t know enough about anything
And I’m trembling, with nothing to hide

No holding back / I will run into your arms
Drink the good wine to the full

No holding back / I will run into your arms
Drink the good wine to the full
You take my hand / And like the wind I respond
I turn my face to the sun
Making the most of love
Making the most of love
Making the most of love

Copyright © 2014 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved.  

4’38”


 

Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

No more than paying your dues in the world of music, often a similar period of hardship and perseverance can be required as regards affairs of the heart. The right person remains elusive. That mix of deep friendship, trust, confidence, fun and romance is rare. Yet sometimes – relatively late in life – it all comes to pass. An unrecorded recent song of mine, called “Late”, speaks of love arriving unpunctually yet still fresh, full-blooded and powerful. “Making the most of love” has a similar theme and benefits from a cracking melody in the chorus.

The song has no specific back story, though I seem to remember that the kick off point for the lyrics was the phrase “I had already parked my dreams”. At least her dreams are not discarded but merely parked. And when all seems hopeless, “here you are / knocking at my door”.

2. NO NEED TO ASK
You’re slow on the uptake / That I can see
You’ve been neglected / No self-belief
But baby I want you / I sense your need
Ready to show you / Not too late to dream

Are you gonna sleepwalk / The rest of your life?
Doors lie half open / And you walk on by
Baby I’m on offer / To my great surprise
I wasn’t out looking / When heaven arrived

Sometime’s it’s obvious / Open up your eyes
Not so mysterious / Not in disguise
Love is wide open, baby / I’m here at last
Standing before you / No need to ask

You’ve been abandoned / Need to come back
See what’s in front of you / Get back on track
A little less thinking / A little less doubt
Look my direction / I speak without sound

Right out of nowhere / A fall-to-earth star
And I quickly valued / The diamond you are
What’s life done to you / Left you so scarred
I’m standing before you / No need to ask

Sometime’s it’s obvious / Open up your eyes
Not so mysterious / Not in disguise
Love is wide open, baby / I’m here at last
Standing before you / No need to ask
Standing before you / No need to ask

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’34”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Juan Gabriel, the famous Mexican singer noted for highly dramatic renditions of romantic songs, was once the object of a whispering campaign, alleging involvement in sexual abuse. When asked about this in a tv interview, his reply became legendary. What he said was “lo que se ve, no se pregunta”. This is hard to translate into English; the sense of what he said was – “In view of who and what you see before you, there is no need to ask that question”.

Juan Gabriel was talking about character. You see who I am, he was saying. My character is known to all and has been for decades. It is obvious what kind of man I am. I adapted this lyric idea to feature in a song which uses the more prosaic English phrase, “No need to ask”. The singer asks her new lover to take on board what he must surely see. Live less in your head and respond to what is standing in front of you, she says. “Look my direction / I speak without sound”. In short, no need to ask.

3. REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES
No need to be sad now
I am still by your side
Keep your eyes open
I ‘ll send you a sign
Always a dreamer
And that hasn’t changed
Remember the good times
And help me remain

Snuffed out like a candle
That’s what it may seem
But you can take courage
You can fill my dreams
Hold on to the memories
And linger awhile
Remember the good times
And help me survive

And think of me smiling
Setting off on the road
Like the soul of a nation
I will not grow old
Though destiny called me
It would not explain
Remember the good times
So I may remain

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK

And think of me smiling
Setting off on the road
Like the soul of a nation
I will not grow old
Though destiny called me
It would not explain
Remember the good times
So I may remain
Remember the good times
So I may remain

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK

Copyright © 2013, 2016 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’49”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

A close friend died tragically in Peru in 2013. As the months passed, there was something very striking about the state of mind of her friends and family. They behaved as if she were a living presence. Some spoke of regular dreams where Maria “visited” and spoke to them. Her mother told me of seeing her on a bus journey into the city. A nun in Lima commented: “Our loved ones are still here as a vivid presence: we keep them alive by means of our memories of the good times”. This conscious decision to keep Maria alive by speaking of her in everyday conversation and refusing to let her go struck me as a very profound understanding of death and loss. In “Remember the good times”, I use the device of having the “dead” person sing the lyrics, communicating a message of love and hope from the “other side”.

4. SOMEONE WHO NO LONGER EXISTS
I’m not the girl I was / I’m changed, I’m bitter
Younger days are gone / I expect little
I’m not the girl I was / I feel angry and cheated
I persist in loving / Someone who no longer exists

I’m not the girl I was / Once I was always fresh
Coming back to your arms / Totally unchanged
But we are not untouched / Unaffected by the years
I persist in loving / Someone who no longer exists

We never really thought about / What it was we wanted
You would be my everything / And me your holy fountain
Now we pay the price / Lost at sea and drifting
I persist in loving / Someone who no longer exists

A friend of mine once said / “If any man is good to me,
I will love him to the end” / She’d do anything for a kiss
Me, I lack attention / Nothing ever sticks
I persist in loving / Someone who no longer exists

We never really thought about / What it was we wanted
You would be my everything / And me your holy fountain
Now we pay the price / Lost at sea and drifting
I persist in loving / Someone who no longer exists

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’16”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

In relation to a 2013 dance song I wrote called “The Last Time”, I observed – “Our house of dreams is something we hold together with difficulty. At times we reconstruct it. And there also comes the time when it no longer exists”. This is also the theme of “Someone who no longer exists”. The lyrics speak of a young enthusiastic optimistic girl whose emotions have turned bitter. She finds herself deluded; she loves an illusion. The man to whom she gave her heart is now a different person. She blames her situation on allowing drift in her life – she is paying the price for never defining and never really taking hold of what she wanted.

5. WHO CAN SILENCE THE WIND?
The quiet streets in shadow
Hidden away from the world
Yet they come in their hundreds
A nation on the move
We hold our flowers overhead
We crowd around the grave
His was a passing well concealed
– But who can silence the wind?

A man who spoke in the name
Of wind and clouds and stars
Ink on pages cannot fade
He reaches out from the past
Called the moon to his table
His spirit could not rest
Now we come to say goodbye
And pay our last respects

We are blessed – he holds a mirror to our dreams
Words that make us see
For him we light these candles
Who can silence the wind?

The church bells they are pealing
Even the stones cry out
No one can suppress the truth
And death it has no power
So we keep on reciting
His eternal words
Honour paid where it is due
– Who can silence the wind?

No more speeches, time to lay
His mortal frame to rest
Faithful to his vision
He passed the final test
Candles in the summer rain
Flickering and frail
Somehow undiminished
– Who can silence the wind?

We are blessed – he holds a mirror to our dreams
Words that make us see
For him we light these candles
Who can silence the wind?
Who can silence the wind? Who can silence the wind?

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

5’25”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

This song paints a picture of the funeral of Boris Pasternak, author of “Dr Zhivago”. A much loved poet in Russia long before his great novel appeared, a moving description of Pasternak’s funeral appears in Anna Pasternak’s “Lara – the untold love story that inspired Doctor Zhivago” (published by William Collins, 2016).

In a Wikipedia article, a flavour of the mood behind the song can be gleaned.

“Shortly before his death, a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church had given Pasternak the last rites. Later, in the strictest secrecy, a Russian Orthodox funeral liturgy, or Panikhida, was offered in the family’s dacha….Despite only a small notice appearing in the Literary Gazette, handwritten notices carrying the date and time of the funeral were posted throughout the Moscow subway system. As a result, thousands of admirers braved Militia and KGB surveillance to attend Pasternak’s funeral in Peredelkino.

Someone was about to put the lid on the coffin, and another person in gray trousers… said in an agitated voice: “That’s enough, we don’t need any more speeches! Close the coffin!” But people would not be silenced so easily. Someone in a colored, open-necked shirt who looked like a worker started to speak: “Sleep peacefully, dear Boris Leonidovich! We do not know all your works, but we swear to you at this hour: the day will come when we shall know them all. We do not believe anything bad about your book. And what can we say about all you others, all you brother writers who have brought such disgrace upon yourselves that no words can describe it. Rest in peace, Boris Leonidovich!”

As the spectators cheered, the bells of Peredelkino’s Church of the Transfiguration began to toll. Written prayers for the dead were then placed upon Pasternak’s forehead and the coffin was closed and buried. Pasternak’s gravesite would go on to become a major shrine for members of the Soviet dissident movement.

You can read the full Wikipedia article here.

6. CROWDED
Crowded
You got too close too soon
And like a familiar tune
By you I’m surrounded
Confounded
Attentiveness I don’t deserve
Emotions I’d rather conserve
I’ve too much, too much to learn
Baby, it’s crowded

Accepted
I must share the blame
Thought we looked at life the same
But that’s a rare exception
I floundered
Finding we were in too deep
Cost of loving too steep
I am struggling in my sleep
Baby, it’s crowded

Seemed to develop in little steps
But suddenly I am out of my depth
Don’t know why I’m so astounded
It’s happened before, hemmed in again and bounded

Crowded
A tangled state of mind
That leaves all lovers behind
I am simply ungrounded
Relentless
I cannot come to terms
With trust and faithfulness
I’ve too much, too much to learn
Baby, it’s senseless

Seemed to develop in little steps
But suddenly I am out of my depth
Don’t know why I’m so astounded
It’s happened before, hemmed in again and bounded

Crowded
Though it’s a quiet room
Welcoming and so cool
By you I feel hounded
Surrounded
Attentiveness I don’t deserve
Emotions I’d rather conserve
I’ve too much, too much to learn
Baby, it’s crowded / Baby, it’s crowded

Copyright © 2005 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’55”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Although categorised as a love song, “Crowded” is lyrically unconventional. The heroine realises she wants out of her current relationship. She feels hemmed in, overpowered by the attentiveness of her boyfriend. She finds herself not really sharing many common points of view with him, despite an initially promising start. Floundering may be a frequent state of affairs in the world of romance but songs rarely deal with the topic. Here, the lyrics are extremely direct, in stark contrast to the mellow melody.

7. HEADING ON HOME TO YOU
As the sky turns red and then darkens
As the stars make friends with the moon
As the night presses down on the highway
I am heading, heading on home to you

As cornfields give way to the desert
Mysterious flowers in bloom
As the lights of the city draw closer
I am heading, heading on home to you

Though I’m oceans away from your bedroom
And it seems we are too long apart
Remember the bonds that enfold us
I am inches, inches away from your heart

And at last I sit into the taxi
There’s a flight I must catch very soon
I am bound for the same destination
I am heading, heading on home to you

As the sky turns red and then darkens
As the stars make friends with the moon
As the night presses down on the highway
I am heading, heading on home to you

Though I’m oceans away from your bedroom
And it seems we are too long apart
Remember the bonds that enfold us
I am inches, inches away from your heart

And at last I sit into the taxi
There’s a flight I must catch very soon
I am bound for the same destination
I am heading, heading on home to you
I am heading, heading on home to you

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

4’23”


 Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Shakespeare knew what he was talking about when he wrote “Parting is such sweet sorrow”. Love songs dealing with the topic of separation can be both incredibly sad and incredibly sweet. I wrote “Heading on home to you” for my wife who finds my annual 3-week absence in Peru hard going. The lyrics describe aspects of the South American landscape – fields of maize and sugar cane, rapid night fall, coach travel through wildernesses, and welcoming city lights. But mostly the song speaks of keeping faith with your loved one and being reunited.

8. IN ANOTHER LIFE, IN ANOTHER WORLD
I knew he was the man of my dreams
Thought I was the girl for him
Impressions were created then
Turns out they were not shared
So much depends on a look and a smile
And sound interpretation
It’s fatal when you go off course
Lose all sense of direction

In another life, in another world
The sky would be sunlit, my voice would be heard
In another land, in another’s heart
My soul would find refuge, escape from the dark
In another life, in another world
Show adoration, show me trust
In another soul, in another’s dream
Love would be tender, attentive and real / Oh so real

Solomon loved a secret place
Where flowers filled the earth
The singing of exotic birds
Vines so sweet with scent
My beloved is mine and I am hers
So wrote the lovesick king
Winter is past, the rain is gone
Rise up and come on in

In another life, in another world
The sky would be sunlit, my voice would be heard
In another land, in another’s heart
My soul would find refuge, escape from the dark
In another life, in another world
Show adoration, show me trust
In another soul, in another’s dream
Love would be tender, attentive and real / Oh so real

In another life, in another world
The sky would be sunlit, my voice would be heard
In another land, in another’s heart
My soul would find refuge, escape from the dark
In another life, in another world
Show adoration, show me trust
In another soul, in another’s dream
Love would be tender, attentive and real / Oh so real

Copyright © 2004 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’44”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Misinterpreting emotions is a constant danger in romances. What means a great deal to you may not resonate at all with your prospective partner. Yet because you react on a certain emotional level, you assume that your lover feels the same way.

“In another life, in another world” talks of those dreams of the heart which are not necessarily shared. Nevertheless, the heroine continues to carry the flame, longing for a future opportunity when she will be cherished and worshipped as she deserves to be.

The verse which mentions King Solomon is a reference to the “Song of Solomon”, a neglected Old Testament book full of sensual love poetry.

9. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR LOVE
O were you the only card life dealt me?
Was I a careless fool to turn you down?
But so often we postpone our sorrow for another time
I’ll take my pain and my heartache now

I can’t believe you ever loved me
You never treated me like you cared
What you will not trouble to cherish you deserve to lose for good
I packed my suitcase and I went away

If you’re looking for love, go look under my pillow
If you’re looking for love, you’ll find my clothes are gone
You’ve come looking for love too late, too late, my darling
And love has now departed with the dawn

Conversations on street corners are my refuge
They help to keep my loneliness at bay
As I look back on that dusty town where all my dreams were new
I wonder even now could it work again

If you’re looking for love, go look under my pillow
If you’re looking for love, you’ll find my clothes are gone
You’ve come looking for love too late, too late, my darling
And love has now departed with the dawn
And love has now departed with the dawn

Copyright © 2004 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’43”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Country songs would seem on the surface to be easy to write. The melodies aren’t adventurous, the lyrics deal with everyday life. And at times a songwriter can toss off a solid effort in an hour or two. But I find that simplicity takes a lot of time. “If you’re looking for love” first saw the light of day in 1983 but it wasn’t until 22 years later that a final satisfactory version emerged. So what was the problem? It’s hard to identify a good explanation now. The chorus was always strong; I think the verse was too complicated and I had to resist the temptation to be clever.

10. WORTHY TO BE LOVED
I had waited an eternity
To hear those words
And when they came to me
The dam burst
Restraint collapsed
And tears they flowed
Not just salt
But rivers of feeling
Grief let go
Blessed relief
What relief to know
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved

I had waited an eternity
For absent letters
And the phone to ring
And the voice of love
And the words like rain
Wash the past away
Cleanse the pain
But rivers of feeling
Grief let go
Blessed relief
What relief to know
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved

I had waited an eternity
Never realised
He knew my needs
He had to talk
I had to hear
Such healing words
And years of tears
But rivers of feeling
Grief let go
Blessed relief
What relief to know
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved, to be worthy
To be loved

Copyright © 2009 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

4’31”


 Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

The idea for the song came from the following passage in Granta 104 written by Siri Hustvedt:

“My father was very ill when I finished my third novel and sent my parents the manuscript, but he was still living at home…One afternoon, the phone rang, and to my surprise it was my father. He rarely called. I usually spoke to my mother, and she would put my father on for a chat. Without warning, he launched into a discourse on the book, heaping praise on my literary efforts. And I began to sob. He talked, and I sobbed. He talked more, and I sobbed more. Years of tears. I would never have predicted so violent a reaction. But then, you see, he knew. He knew how much I wanted his sanction, his approval, his admiration … We were changed then, my father and I. The distance between us fell away, and when we sat together in the months before his death, we talked as friends, as strong equals, as two real, not ideal people who had found each other again.”

“Worthy to be loved” was also inspired by the spectacularly emotional scene in the Hugh Grant/Emma Thompson film, “Sense and Sensibility”, where a protracted and uncertain romance is resolved.

Edward, an unemployed country parson, has been imprudently engaged for a time but has been released from this contract, although his first love, Elinor, is unaware of this development. Edward calls on Elinor’s home to seek her hand in marriage. When she realises the purpose of his visit and the fact that he is free to become engaged to her, she bursts into uncontrollable tears. Edward continues speaking, explaining that for years he believed that she felt only friendship for him whereas “my heart always has been and will be yours”.

Emma Thompson’s acting is truly inspired, showing how years of repressed emotions are suddenly and unexpectedly released.

As the lyrics of “Worthy to be loved” say – “I had waited an eternity / Never realised / He knew my needs / He had to talk / I had to hear / Such healing words / And years of tears / And rivers of feeling / Grief let go / Blessed relief / What relief to know / To be loved, to be worthy.”

You can watch the scene from the movie here.

11. LOST MY BALANCE
Lost my balance – how about you?
Kind of unsteady, my aim not true
Thoughts infected, troubled and deep
Recriminations in my sleep
Feel like leaping into the blue
Lost my balance – how about you?

Lost my balance, are you ready
To take the hand of one so unsteady?
Let me fall into your arms
Sweetly drowning in your charms

Lost my balance, thanks to you
Totally shaken through and through
In my bedroom, longing to be
Linger(ing) in your company
Taking in your every move
Lost my balance – how about you?

Lost my balance, are you ready
To take the hand of one so unsteady?
Let me fall into your arms
Sweetly drowning in your charms

Lost my balance, not myself
I’m behaving like someone else
Not in character, miles adrift
In raptures over the loved one’s lips
Memorising each facial line
Analysing each look, each smile

Lost my balance, are you ready
To take the hand of one so unsteady?
Let me fall into your arms
Sweetly drowning in your charms

Copyright © 2005 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’29”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

We speak in the western world of falling in love, of an assault on our senses, of something which shakes us to the core. “Lost my balance” teases out the emotions which falling in love generates – broken sleep, racing thoughts, a sense of uncontrolled drift, daydreaming about the loved one, a feeling of euphoria when sharing intimate moments. In short, the unbalanced heroine is “sweetly drowning in your charms”.

12. SOMEHOW IT DOESN'T SOUND THE SAME
People try to fool themselves
They’re different from the way they’re made
I’m still learning to face the facts
Though dreams are what I prefer
But I need to be realistic
For you are less than straight
You know the drill, you make the moves,
The truth I still await

Somehow it doesn’t sound the same
When you speak the words
Somehow it doesn’t sound the same
Like a hidden door
I see your lips are moving
Phrases nicely framed
I should have known with you it never sounds the same
It never sounds the same

I’m a lover gambling all
Willing to take up my sword
Resting on that careless bed
Hanging on your every word
The flattery of sweet talk, baby,
Like a slow-burning cigarette
I felt my fingers trembling
Close by lay regret

Somehow it doesn’t sound the same
When you speak the words
Somehow it doesn’t sound the same
Like a hidden door
I see your lips are moving
Phrases nicely framed
I should have known with you it never sounds the same
It never sounds the same

Here’s what a woman really needs
Not too hard to work it out
Attentiveness, the touch of a hand
Respect and a tender heart
When a man gives that to a woman
It makes her love so strong
Nothing in the world can unravel
That complicated cord

Somehow it doesn’t sound the same
When you speak the words
Somehow it doesn’t sound the same
Like a hidden door
I see your lips are moving
Phrases nicely framed
I should have known with you it never sounds the same
It never sounds the same
It never sounds the same
It never sounds the same

Copyright © 2005 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

4’32”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

A frequent theme in my lyrics is that of misunderstanding. In “Somehow it doesn’t sound the same”, the lovers use similar phrases to express their commitment to one another. But the meaning of these phrases is not identical.

The song is set against the background of a romance which is coming to a close. In a hotel room, we see a girl about to “face the facts”. She realises that her lover is not trustworthy. He makes the correct moves but he does not tell the truth. She needs more than flattering “sweet talk”. But her instinct is to hang on to her illusions, even though he cannot deliver what she wants.

In the final verse, she defines the kind of love she needs – attentiveness, respect, tenderness and touch. It’s not a bad summary of what sincere love can deliver.

13. HE'S CRYING AT LAST
He’s crying at last
Midnight comes to us all
On a back road / Poisoning the soul
It’s tidal, enormous
It washes, it crushes
He’s crying / Time for him to purge

He’s crying at last
Welling up from below
A force of nature / No one can subdue
How can he get through it?
He can he endure
That for which there is no cure?

He’s crying at last
Over his unconscious mind
The tide of memory sweeps
No point resisting
The sorrow insistent
A loss so vast and so deep

He’s crying at last
First light – she fills his heart
She’s still here / Calling from the past
He shut down, he turned away
Walked out in the autumn rain
But now he’s crying at last

INSTRUMENTAL SOLO

He’s crying at last
First light – she fills his heart
She’s still here / Calling from the past
He shut down, he turned away
Walked out in the autumn rain
But now he’s crying at last
And now he’s crying at last
And now he’s crying at last

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’24”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Roy and Claudette Orbison shared a love for motorcycles. They were travelling home from Bristol, Tennessee, on June 6th 1966 when she hit a truck which had pulled out in front of her. She died instantly. Roy Orbison’s mother used the phrase “He’s crying at last” when speaking to Fred Foster of Monument Records, months after the death of Roy’s wife, Claudette. In the wake of his overpowering loss, Roy shut down and only began to truly grieve and slowly recover long after the accident. Roy Orbison was a man acquainted with tragedy – in 1968 his two oldest sons died when his home burned down. “He’s crying at last” is a tribute to the unique writer and interpreter of such all time mournful classics as “In dreams”, “Running scared”, “It’s over”, “Crying” and “Only the lonely”.

14. IN THE HEART OF THE CASTLE
In the heart of the castle
She keeps watch
Guardian of the things that count
And faithful to the last

Waiting when she needs to wait
Ready to embrace
The sources of her happiness
The sun upon her face

Another sun in the mountains
The air so clean and thin
Where we encounter treasures
To cherish through the years

In the heart of the castle
She is still
Considering, remembering
The promises fulfilled

And when the wanderer returns
Content to be back home
He counts his many blessings
Tired of being alone

In the heart, in the heart of the castle
She calls his name
In the heart of the castle
There burns a faithful flame
Can you see it – a faithful flame
Can you see it – sun upon her face
Can you see it – ready to embrace
Can you see it – a faithful flame

Copyright © 2016 Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy/ Alexander Healy/ David Anthony Healy. All rights reserved. 

3’52”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

This song is dedicated to my wife who tolerates my obsession with Peru and allows me an annual visit to the birthplace of our daughters. “In the heart of the castle” honours those who keep faith when patient waiting is required. The song remembers memorable events and places. Above all, it speaks to those whose energy and commitment keeps the flame burning at the very heart of home.

“HE WANTS ME BACK” BY C.C. COOPER (SINGLE)

HE WANTS ME BACK
He wants me back
Though he cut me loose
And the lawyers came
And they did their worst
All those bitter words
And the tears we shed
Now he wants me back
And I wish I was dead, wish I was dead

He wants me back
He looks sincere
He was always handsome
Made my heart skip a beat
He was sweet, he was solid
He never wavered a bit
Now he wants me back
And I wish I was dead, wish I was dead

For the pain was enormous
Deep betrayal too
How could this girl deserve
That treatment from you
Some kind of crisis
A crazy crazy spell
I can’t forgive him
He put me through hell

And he wants me back
Though the sky fell in
And we sold the house
And we told the kids
I moved to the city
The bridges were burned
Now he wants me back
But I will not turn, will not turn

He wants me back
Though he cut me loose
And the lawyers came
And they did their worst
In the heart of the night
An unbearable ache
Now he wants me back
Is it really too late, really too late?

He wants me back
He wants me back

Copyright © 2018 Seán Silke/Rohan Healy/CC Cooper. All rights reserved.

3’24”


Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

This is a classic country/soul tearjerker with a great back story. A friend in the States had been married for 25 years. Her husband went through a mid-life crisis (no other woman involved) and looked for a divorce. It’s two years later, the divorce is in place, the house is sold, and he wants her back. The song describes the emotional trauma, the intense heartbreak and the unbelievable pain of the dilemma which the divorced woman now faces. It is not a story with a happy ending; it is about the agony before whatever resolution occurs.

“WILL I MAKE IT TO SPRINGTIME?” BY CAMDEN PLACE FT. MAGICIAN’S ASSISTANT AND GRÁINNE HUNT (SINGLE)

WILL I MAKE IT TO SPRINGTIME?
Will I make it to springtime?
I want to live some more
Is it that hope fails me
And there’s nowhere else to go?
Do I have much else to say,
Something I need to pass on?
Or am I afraid of silence,
Of a night which has no dawn?

Will I make it to springtime?
I picture a solemn hall
Where people speak in soft voices
Paying tribute to one who has gone
I give no thought to the endgame
Refuse to plan in time
When really the words are not for me
But for those we leave behind

Will I make it to springtime?
I value each extra day
Sun creeps into the bedroom
Contented I turn the page
Turn the page
Turn the page

Copyright © 2020 Dean Doyle/ Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy. All rights reserved.

3’13”


 

Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

This single deals with our sense of time and life slipping away, a feeling obviously accentuated by the pandemic. The melancholy quality of the melody matches the anxiousness of the lyrics, while at the same time creating a soothing mood. Towards the end, the song tries to reach out and touch the delicate hope we are all trying to keep intact.

“POLISHING CHROME” BY CAMDEN PLACE FT JADE C (SINGLE)

POLISHING CHROME
The window gives no relief
Streets are cold and gray
Sun seems to hide its light
Summer so far away

Once more she’s on her own
Working the midnight shift
Dreaming of a better life
Right now she feels adrift

How come she said goodbye
To all that she held so dear
Mopping floors and polishing chrome
Eating away the years

INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDE

This job is just for now
No sign she’s gonna leave
She’s one who stands in line
Doesn’t make much from tips

Going back home in June
Longing to feel the sun
Renew her body, re-charge her heart
Learn to have faith again

How come she said goodbye
To all that she held so dear
Mopping floors and polishing chrome
Eating away the years

INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDE

She feels the pull of home
Fascination of the past
Tide is on the turn
Future is fading fast

Meanwhile another land
Where the sun never hides its light
People speak in a different tongue
With words so warm and bright

How come she said goodbye
To all that she held so dear
Mopping floors and polishing chrome
Eating away the years

INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDE

Copyright © 2020 Seán Silke/Rohan Healy. All rights reserved.

3’30”


 

Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

I have always had a fondness for downmarket restaurants, including a memorable first date in Forte’s of O’Connell Street many moons ago. A favourite for years was the Bistro sit-in chipper on the South Circular Road near Leonard’s Corner, home of a fantastic bacon, sausage and chips option and much loved by taxi drivers (especially those working for VIP Taxis). When it re-opened following renovations, the Bistro was under new management and the seating facilities had been gutted. The food wasn’t remotely as good, either.

My current top choice (aside from the Embassy Grill in Ballsbridge) is Eddie Rocket’s of Rathmines – great staff, fast service, a top class burger. Although Eddie Rockets is a franchise and you should receive identical quality in all of their outlets, the fast food connoisseur will detect quality differences!

All this is by way of a long-winded introduction to my song, “Polishing chrome”, which pays tribute to the predominantly immigrant staff who work in the fast food industry. It is a hard life with long hours, thin tips and a very modest wage. Yet the staff are invariably cheerful, and carry warm dreams of home in their hearts as they go about their work. In Eddie Rocket’s, when not serving customers, the staff are constantly cleaning, which explains the title of the song.

“IT’S A WHILE SINCE I CRIED” BY BEASTER FT JADE C (SINGLE)

IT'S A WHILE SINCE I CRIED
It’s a while since I cried
I keep myself contained
Try to control
The fury, the rage
The all-consuming sadness
That leaks everywhere
The feeling of solitude
The burden of shame

It’s a while since I cried
In the dark of my room
I cannot believe you
You say time heals all wounds
Not all boats are lifted
On the rising tide
I keep it all hidden
It’s a while since I cried

It’s a while since I cried
Dogs cry out in the night
The moon full yet silent
How come I still survive?
I cry for lost children
And wrongs unavenged
I pack up my grievances
All emotion spent

It’s a while since I cried
But I’m not coping well
I find no comfort
In the emptiness of space
It’s quiet, I listen
Cars pass in the night
Recalling lost love
It’s a while since I cried
It’s quiet, I listen / Cars pass in the night
Recalling lost love / It’s a while since I cried

Not all boats are lifted / On the rising tide
I keep it all hidden / It’s a while since I cried

Copyright © 2019 Matias Barroso/ Seán Silke/ Rohan Healy. All rights reserved.

4’02”


 

Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

I am a great fan of the Belgian detective series, “Professor T” (three series of which are available on All 4, part of the Channel 4 “Walter Presents” platform). In the first series, there is a very poignant storyline where one of the senior detective staff has taken to the drink, coping badly with the death of his daughter in a road accident. There is also the ongoing issue of difficult relations between Christina, the police boss, and Professor T, the criminologist from the local university who provides a consultancy service to the police. A romance which ended badly between Professor T and Christina is creating ongoing reverberations. At one point, some says “Time heals all wounds, doesn’t it?” which, of course, is completely untrue in both these situations. My latest song, “It’s a while since I cried”, reflects these on these sad and tricky life emotions.

“TOO MUCH SPACE” BY CAMDEN PLACE FT JADE C (SINGLE)

TOO MUCH SPACE
Too much space / Take up too much space
And he can’t breathe
Takes its toll / He’s running low
That’s why he’ll leave

Too much at stake / Give him a break
Cos he can’t breathe
Too much space / Take up too much space
He needs to feel

The weight of your touch / Caresses and such
To meet his needs
A gentle stroke / A face so close
So he can breathe

The petals close / The darkness knows
It’s time for sleep
In your heart you know / Don’t fail to show
What he needs

Too much space / Take up too much space
And he can’t breathe
Takes its toll / He’s running low
That’s why he’ll leave

He will take care of you / He knows you through and through
He holds you oh so tight / He can’t keep up the fight
Can you take off his shoes / And help him to renew
It is an endless road / As love and life unfold

Too much space / Take up too much space
And he can’t breathe
Takes its toll / He’s running low
He needs to feel

The weight of your touch / Caresses and such
To meet his needs
A gentle stroke / A face so close
So he can breathe

The petals close / The darkness knows
It’s time for sleep
In your heart you know / Don’t fail to show
What he needs

Too much space / Take up too much space
And he can’t breathe
Takes its toll / He’s running low
He needs to feel

Copyright © 2018 Seán Silke/Rohan Healy. All rights reserved.

3’21”


 

Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

You don’t often come across advice songs (where one friend advises another about her love life). “Too much space” is a dance track which falls into this category.

A girl gives counsel to her friend who is killing a relationship by being too demanding and in his face. It’s a kind of claustrophobia. The loved one wants to take care of her but he needs to be looked after as well. The friend suggests that less intensity is required, a gentler love. It’s quite a deep theme for a dance song but I think it works.

Some of these ideas were inspired by the Danish tv series, “Dicte – Crime Reporter”. The plot lines aren’t great but the characters are interesting. There is Torsten, the stay-at-home dad, and his workaholic wife, Anne, whose lack of commitment to her family threatens the marriage. Torsten tends admirably to his wife’s emotional needs but is beginning to run out of steam. There is also the on-off relationship between Dicte and her traumatised partner, Bo, recovering badly from a hostage situation in Lebanon while on a news assignment. Dicte’s daughter, Rose, is another conflicted character, not to mention Nina, a police investigator coping with a bullying boss.

“A LIFE IN PHOTOS” BY CAMDEN PLACE FT. MAGICIAN’S ASSISTANT AND GRÁINNE HUNT (SINGLE)

A LIFE IN PHOTOS
She did what she had to do
Chasing the past / Hunting a dream long over
Sits in a prison cell / Search at an end
Reviewing a life in photos

Some black and white photographs
Yellow with age / A boy stands on the sand
Looks at the camera / Sunny yet blank
A stranger holding his hand

It didn’t end happily
Nothing worked out / Couldn’t retrieve what they stole
He turns to his innocent bride
Future unthreatened, future untold

Could such desperation
Touch you or me / Till we were going under
Who knows what has she gained / A desolate cell
Reviewing a life in photos

Now he’s so confident
Healthy and true / Vibrant with hope
She cannot recover / The sacrificed years
Reviewing a life in photos

It didn’t end happily
Nothing worked out / Couldn’t retrieve what they stole
He turns to his innocent bride
Future unthreatened, future untold

Flips through the images
Each one a blow / With each one her heart turns over
Sits at a table / Walls closing in
Reviewing a life in photos

Copyright © 2017 Seán Silke / Rohan Healy / Dean Doyle. All rights reserved.

4’06”


 

Background to the song (by Seán Silke):

Inspired by a scene in television series, “The Tunnel-Vengeance”. Lana Khasanovic has spent a decade looking for her missing son, presumably trafficked from Bosnia. The plot is extremely improbable, requiring genius-level planning and execution by her youthful accomplice, Anton. But the standard of acting throughout is terrific, and a scene near the end where Lana goes through a small collection of photographs documenting her son’s contented life (as an adored adopted son) is memorable.

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