10 days, 10 songs - Finally

 'Feel the breezes in the leaves above you - the here and now, and the ones who love you...' The one and only Stephanie Young: at one with, er, nature, actually.THE PLAYWRIGHT STEPHANIE Young is a hurricane that blows through me every now and then. One of Andrea’s oldest friends, she has been a huge inspiration and encouragement to me over the last four years. She’s an enormously talented writer with razor sharp comic timing and a heart huge as the moon.

  When I was writing the songs for the Sky for Every Day album, I remember discussing lyric ideas with her and Andrea between wine glasses and dirty plates at the kitchen table. She stayed with us in Coleraine for about six weeks, and during that time I was writing songs in the kitchen while she worked on her play in the spare room and Andrea was script editing in her office upstairs and preparing to direct a play for Nuala McKeever. I remember thinking that we’d created this little factory of creativity, and it was like a teenage dream come true, being surrounded by artists at work.

  Stephanie lives in London and it’s always like getting my batteries recharged when we get together. She came to Belfast last Christmas and we skipped and giggled through the snow together. A few years ago, Stephanie made some big decisions about her life that roused a riot of emotions in me – I was fearful for her heart, I was exalted by her choice, excited at the enormity of what she was doing, and intrigued all at the same time. The bones of this song emerged.

  The first time she came over to stay with us, we visited Belfast, and as I came out of some doorway, she and Andrea were walking towards me on Botanic Avenue, the sunshine coming down through the trees on them both smiling, and I was so hugely happy that they were both in my life. The first verse was aimed at both of them, I suppose: ‘Everybody in the world should know your name today – you can feel your little toes upon the rungs. People stand aside as you go walking by – negativity just dies upon their tongues’.

  I remember at the time I was listening over and over again to Iain Archer’s lovely album Magnetic North (left), and this guitar pattern and melody seemed very Archer-esque to me at the time. The song was a Christmas gift to Stephanie in 2009, and I recorded a completely solo version for her then, with just me and the guitar. I’d never thought of it as something for the rest of the world. But in the months that followed, I would find myself playing it every now and then, and it grew on me. When I considered it for this album, I had an idea that I wanted to expand the sound, so I was already thinking of using a drum loop and some horns and harmony vocals.

  I can’t imagine anyone sounding better than Eilidh Patterson on it. We were supposed to fade the track while Linley played the trumpet solo, but his playing was so gorgeous that we kept every note. That’s why it ended up lasting five and a half minutes. I had hoped that this would be the one that we pushed out to the radio stations, but I reasoned (probably quite correctly) that the minute any radio presenter saw that it was over five minutes long, they wouldn’t touch it. In pop terms, we still live in a three minute world. Maybe less.

(She and another of our best friends, Christine Mofardin, have put together their own production company and they're working on a short film that will use some of this music. For a treat, read Stephanie's beautifully written and often hair-straighteningly funny blog. Click RIGHT HERE)

The musicians are:

Anthony Toner – guitars, vocals, percussion

Clive Culbertson – bass, vocals

John McCullough – piano

Eilidh Patterson – vocals

Linley Hamilton – trumpet

David Howell - saxophone

FINALLY - lyrics 

Everybody in the world should know your name today.

You can feel your little toes upon the rungs.

People stand aside as you go walking by,

negativity just dies upon their tongues.

Feel the breezes in the leaves above you,

the here and now and the ones who love you.


Finally, you find home – and it’s a state of mind.

Finally you find home – it’s been here all this time.


Every step you’ve made has brought you here today.

Every choice that you made, right or wrong.

And you live in light and love and fear today.

Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you strong.

And you wonder why it took so long to

figure out where you went wrong, then you see...


Finally, you find home – and it’s a state of mind.

Finally you find home – it’s been here all this time.


What you were looking for has finally found you:

The world wants to put its arms around you, finally...