Sing Under the Bridges Songblog: Tell Me Something That I Don't Know

Straight-to-DVD.jpeg

(Welcome to the song blog for the new album... Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting blogs on each of the songs, with some background information, details on musician’s credits, lyrics and a link to the track itself if you want to listen while you read. Please feel free to make a comment, and to share the posts with anyone you think might be interested!)

This whole album seemed to be full of contrasts when I listened back to it – folk things, soul things, country things… I wondered what it would be like to turn it to your advantage, to make the songs zig and zag in different directions, take a tour through the genres, like the mid-period Beatles albums used to do.

So here we are – I thought the boldest thing would be to kick off with something that was completely unlike what had gone before.

Shortly after the MAC opened in Belfast, we went to see the wonderful Ponydance dance troupe (pictured above right) perform their show Straight to DVD, and roared and laughed our way through it (they’re great – they kind of redefine what modern dance means). But in the middle of it there was an old soul/jazz shuffle tune that they played which I adored.

I have no idea what it was, but I came home wanting to write and record something like that. Of course, all these big intentions get bent slightly out of shape as soon as you begin the recording process. But it was still a lot of fun, and I’m very pleased with the feel of the whole thing, and Linley Hamilton’s New Orleans trumpet solo in particular.

Lyrically, it’s a fairly straight-ahead little love song. I wanted to give something of the ‘glass half-full’ feel of our lives, I suppose. And I’m secretly very proud of that line: ‘Everytime I look in those big green eyes, I feel my leaky little boat capsize’.

(everytime we go to Canada, Andrea’s trying to get me into a canoe. I always tell her that I’m only used to getting into vessels that I can also drive me car onto and order a cooked breakfast). I’m also very proud that I wrote the horn parts for the song – I may be one of the slowest arrangers in the world, but I’m pleased with how this one turned out.

MUSICIANS: Anthony Toner – vocals and guitars; Clive Culbertson – bass; Peter McKinney – drums; John McCullough – piano; Linley Hamilton – trumpet; Meilana Gillard - saxophone

LYRICS:

Tell Me Something That I Don’t Know

Sunshine hits the river:

a thousand flashbulbs pop in my face.

I’m caught walking with you on my arm -

it feels good.

So hold the front back and the back page,

and all the pages in the middle.

Small news in the big town,

it feels good.

My friends tell me not to let you go,

I say: ‘ha! Tell me something that I don’t know.’

Every time I look in those big green eyes,

I feel my leaky little boat capsize.

So hold tight to your paddle,

lose whatever weighs you down,

and sing under the bridges,

it feels good.

My friends tell me not to let you go,

I say: ‘ha! Tell me something that I don’t know.’

Every time I look in those big green eyes,

it gives my wheezy little heart a surprise.

All the mistakes that you make

come undone in the water.

They ride down to the ocean.

It feels good.