The beginning of 2021 was tough. Although I didn't publicly talk about it until now, I lost my last grandparent in the middle of the January Lockdown. Sheila was my Dad's Mam. She used to mind us when both my parents worked in the early 1990s. My Mother worked in Drogheda's "rag trade" in Ushers in Greenhills, making things like Golf Towels and Tea Towels in the trade that Drogheda's most prolific songwriter, John Shiels, had worked in over 130 years ago.
Most of my formative years were with "Granny across the Green", as we called her. It was across the Green because we all lived in Ballsgrove. Anybody who has seen Ballsgrove's Green would know that all 8 acres of it seemed like a considerable distance to young 4-year-old legs! And in a funny spin back to Sheils, my Granny originally came from Mell and she too worked in the Rag Trade in her youth. Sheila could well have been the "nice little neat little factory maid" that Shiels wrote about in his song "The Factory Maid". We miss her dearly.
Despite all the January Lockdown gloom and the loss of a loved one, there was a song that held firm. It's no wonder that "The Hope that Hope will give" came your way. The song was intended to be a charge of Hope looking at better days. Andrea Delaney from Anúna reallly owned the song.
Since the release of the song a few people have asked "what does the hope that hope will give even mean?". Well it's a bit like being at a party. Imagine everyone in the room waited for everyone else to say hello. It would be a weird party wouldn't it? Hope can be taken that way. If we start with a bit and share it with somebody else we can get the ball rolling and then its not too long until it rolls back!
Welcome to Ballsgrove has been a pivot point for many memories. The title single was like all the planets aligning in a way. You all got it, and that was a thrill. In the same session as that title track, we laid down most of the other songs. Not alot has seen the light of day yet. There are loads of reasons for this. Not being able to travel freely was a drag. And so was getting people free on the days when everybody else was free! See, I work weekends. And have committed to minding my twin girls for most of the weekdays. So I am on those funny Soccer Mom hours!
Consequently, simple things didn't happen as they should have, partially because of my work commitments and partially because of travel restrictions. Despite all that, we are getting there!
As for when the Album will be out, the plot has thickened a little bit! There will now be a short documentary to accompany the Album. We have already had three amazing people take part in interviews. More are planned. The first day of filming suddenly made the Album and Documentary a work of great substance. It will mean the Album will have to wait a little while longer. I can't wait to share everything when its finished.
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