Christy Moore gives his own track-by-track analysis of the songs on his latest landmark album.
From The Irish Post 7/9/96
Phyllis McGee was a woman I knew who died a few years ago. She sent me this card and on it were the words of a man who was a victim of the Nazis. His name was Pastor Niemoller. The song was inspired by that card and it's about what happens if we remain silent. It's a horrible subject, but I need to remember that silence is a dangerous thing. We cannot observe things in silence because the consequence of observing the suffering of others in silence is that we become victims ourselves.
This is a response to the difficulty I have with the deity always being lumbered with gender. We've always been told that God is Him and I just don't accept that. I'm saying that just for a day let God be a she. For me God is an It, but that would be offensive. So today let it be God WOMAN. Maybe it'll cause somebody to think.
I did a 'Bloody Sunday' commemoration concert in Derry three years ago and before the concert I realised I should write something about it. I spoke to two people who were there on Bloody Sunday and they wrote down their thoughts on a piece of paper. One of them said his mind locked shut and it couldn't be opened until somebody admitted responsibility or said 'I was wrong'. I performed the nexus of the song that night and it developed from there. You have to talk about these. There's a lot of people in England who believe the people shot on Bloody Sunday were terrorists. John Major said the only thing they were prepared to admit was they weren't armed at the time. How does that sound to their families?
Two years ago my wife bought a copy of this framed folk tale at an auction. I used to look at it every day. It was written by Paula Meehan and one day I rang her and asked if I could try to sing it. It's a marvellous lyric.
This is a trip down memory lane. Or as far down memory lane as I can go. From my early teens to my middle years. The song says it all really.
Nigel Rolfe wrote the lyric - he's a performance artist who lives in Ireland, a wonderful artist whose work, I think is important. I've played bodhran with him a few times, I've even sung Danny Boy with him. This is a very complex song.
A painful song perhaps the heaviest song I've ever written. I decided the only way I could do it would be to sing it as beautifully as I could. I heard a woman on the radio one day describing pain and I stopped the car and wrote down what she said and that was the basis of the song. We have an old saying in Ireland: "Ah sure, God works in strange ways". That's what its about.
There's not a word of a lie here this is exactly the way I heard the news about Seamus Heaney getting the Nobel Prize. It's a jibe, but a gentle one. Like when Stephen Roche won the Tour de France the BBC announced it as the first time the Tour had been won by an English-speaking rider."
This is about the politics of meat and how a country can be affected by it. Since I wrote and recorded it the whole BSE thing blew up in Britain which gave it a new meaning, so it works on different levels. It's not really so much about meat as the people who sell it and process it and the power they wield across the globe.
In Ireland lately the government has taken to building these things called interpretative centres. What happens is you take a beautiful place, like a lovely mountain, and you take a bunch of fat-arsed Yanks to the mountain and put them in this interpretive centre to look at a video of it.
For 50 years I've lived on an island with a neighbours, but I don't know them and never get to meet them and we know so little about each other and each other's culture. This song is an attempt to reach out to them. It could be north and south of Dublin. It could be the two sides of the Mersey. It could be north and south of the Thames. It could be whatever you want it to be. I showed Bono the original lyric, he took it and tore it asunder and The Edge wrote a melody to it.
When Rory Gallagher died it touched a chord with everybody on the island. People who didn't even know his music loved him. I barely knew him but I liked the look in his eye. I don't see this as a sad song. I always feel good when I sing it. Blacks and whites and blues and greens all mixed together...