New England – The Reason behind the Rhyme
My name is Shane Ó Fearghail and I write songs. As a songwriter I have written many songs. Some for me and some for you. For me songs are a force. They have a time and a place. A joy factor. They can be therapeutic or simply crucial; sometimes cruel. ‘New England’ could well be one of those songs.
I love art and I love music. As a songwriter with conviction and an artist with a conscience I try to use that, and where I can approach topical issues with care. I feel any songwriter with an ounce of social awareness should use their craft to engage conversation, draw attention to an issue and call out an injustice that they feel warrants concern or focus and do so with craft, with care. To sound out issues that are relevant and need attention. I should also mention I love comedy. For the very same reason!
With ‘New England’ I tried to do that and approach a subject that was important to me, if a little close to the bone. It is because of the nature of this particular song, that I feel I should give an explanation. The subject matter is dark. It is complicated, and could be seen by some to be controversial. With my words I have tried to be as honest as I can be, with the lyrics of this song being based on actual events. To me these words tell a true story.
In writing this song and telling that story I never set out to offend anyone or to have to defend a position. It’s just a song, written from a place of empathy and a strange sense of solidarity; as a result of the events that were unfolding in England and Europe in real time over the last four years.
Watch The Video
‘New England” – Breaking down the song.
‘New England’, is a ballad of reflection. It is written from the perspective of a young boy sitting down with his father, who tells him the old stories, as they look back across the waves of time and tide in search of understanding. It is an honest account of a shared history. The catalyst for writing this song was the Grenfell Tower Disaster*. Brexit was its motivation. The history of colonial imperialism was the song’s driving force.
Written in a traditional ballad style, ‘New England’ has three verses. Each verse is separated by a chorus. They in turn lead to an outro and a musical reprise. The song was written in the narrative form and is six minutes thirty two seconds in length. The subject matter is historical in context. Each verse deals with separate issues from past to present. Each chorus through repetition and lyrical development, sets out to root the listener to the message by way of a “lyrical softening”, of the harder factual information; thus using the chorus as a “hook”!
“From Shane’s new album ‘Born from Tradition’, ‘New England’, the official video, is a ballad of reflection. Written from the perspective of a boy who looks across the waves of time and tide, in search of understanding; the song is an honest account of a shared history. The song was officially release with video on 23rd April 2021 at 13:00 CET.
Vocals, Banjo, Harmonica, Guitar – Shane Ó Fearghail. Violin – Claudia Heidegger.
Backing Vocals – Sabine Mann, Claudia Heidegger & Fergus McKay.
Recorded & Mastered at AP Studios Dublin & The Craic Haus Vienna.
Produced & Anitmated by Shane Ó Feaghail.
Irish Famine Artwork inspired by The Famine Memorial Dublin. Sculpture by Rowan Gillespie.
Special thanks to Sabine at Holda Studios, Jeff Burns at Sad Opera Entertainment, Geri at Arge Music Austria, Sinéad at IASCA, IMRO and all our sponsors.