Irish Tears was another tune written during my “coffee house” heyday period. As with most Americans born in the states, I have a mixed bag of ancestors. On my father’s side of the family, I have both Scots and Irish in the family tree of genetic code.
As a personal disclaimer, I have not been to Ireland and I have no personal experience of living there. I have read books and seen movies that take place in that part of the world. I’ve also known a few folks from Ireland.
One of the major social issues in the 20th century for the people of Ireland was what came to be known as “The Troubles.” In writing Irish Tears, I sought to express my impressions of the conflict in Northern Ireland, as an outsider. What I have come to learn is that the conflict there began centuries ago. And, it boiled over into concentrated unrest and violence in the late 1960’s lasting for three decades.
In the song lyrics, I wanted to evoke a feeling of shock and disgust without taking sides about who was right and wrong in that conflict. As with all other wars and violence around the world, I think it’s the children who are impacted the worst. If they live, they must deal with the horror of it and survive the insanity somehow in the aftermath.
“Sun shines down on the cold, burnt ground where the children never smile
Joy ride cars roll through landscape scars, it’s a war zone, mile by mile
Sticks and stones turn to guns and bombs in the hands of a nine year old
Irish blood falls on bitter soil, mixing in with Irish tears”
I had heard a song by an Irish band, U2, called Sunday, Bloody Sunday in the early 1980’s. Their powerful musical statement got my attention. It was a part of my inspiration to write Irish Tears later on.
I must have succeeded in capturing something in my musical exploration and expression. I played Irish Tears for one Irish gentleman I met and he connected with the song so much that he asked for a copy of the recorded version. Even though I’ve never met any of my distant relatives from the “old country”, I would be curious to hear their response to what I think is one of my hardest hitting and emotional songs.
I chose not to include Irish Tears on my album, Older and Wiser. So, if you want to hear it and get a free download (as well as read the liner notes for it), click here.