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Lullabye Baby. A song by Randall Stephen Hall. There’s a storm overhead And the…

Lullabye Baby.
A song by Randall Stephen Hall.

There’s a storm overhead
And the rain’s blowing in.
So I wait for you’re your thunder.
See the light on your skin.
I would wait here forever.
I would pace til’ I drop.
For the thing that I need
Is the sound of your knock.

Cross the barbed wire
And the ditches.
I would pitch after you.
Flying bullets and your barrage
Just to hear, “How are you?”
I would break through your high walls
And the doors you have locked.
For I know how you’re feeling.
Let me be like your rock.

Chorus.

My Lullabye baby
My lullabye girl.
All your world’s in a whirl now
My lullabye girl.
My lullabye baby
My lullabye star.
Oh lullabye baby
Sleep so safe where you are.

Like a raft in the ocean.
Cling to me on your waves.
Let me save your emotions.
Set me free, like a slave.
Let the wind catch your sails now.
Lift you up, cross the foam.
I will follow where you go now.
You will never be alone.

Chorus.

https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/lullabye-baby-23-9-12


Lullabye Baby 23.9.12
soundcloud.com
A father writes his daughter a song. She lives in a high tower so he writes the song on a paper airplane and casts it out upon the breeze from his …

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Tom Foolery. A song by Randall Stephen Hall 2011. I am a Peep O’ Day Boy A Whit…

Tom Foolery.
A song by Randall Stephen Hall 2011.

I am a Peep O’ Day Boy
A White Boy and a fool.
Full of fears and fathoms.
I’m drowning in your rules.
Caught up in your mincer.
The chancer’s big estate.
Mangled by the memories
That stand to guard his gate.

I’m leaving for the city.
My children need a start.
The narrow streets they beckon.
From the narrow ground we bark.
The master’s dogs are chained up
So I’m off to seek a bite.
Go work up in the factory.
Replace my day for night.

Chorus.

Tom Foolery, Tom Foolery
Lord Tom, my master still.
He’s opened up this factory.
He has to pay his bills.
We stand in line and march around
Beating his big drum.
But nothing ever changes
For he’s still number one.

They’re sending a big squad of us
Off to the great war.
Lord Tom, he makes munitions.
They leave here from his door.
Barbed wire and rubber tyres.
A bayonet or two.
He’d like make some uniforms
To help us all help you.

Chorus.

It was a big adventure.
So glorious and proud.
Lord Tom is glad to see us.
He said to call around.
He’d like to give us work now
But he needs some men with legs.
So I sit out by the factory
Play music now and beg.

Chorus.

https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/tom-foolery-7-6-12


Tom Foolery. 7.6.12
soundcloud.com
The song begins at a time when people are moving into Belfast and the bigger industrial cities throughout Britain and Ireland. They leave the count…

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Re-Wired. 2013 A song by Randall Stephen Hall. We’re all makin’ babies. Some…

Re-Wired. 2013
A song by Randall Stephen Hall.

We’re all makin’ babies.
Some are even Prods.
Some are bloody Catholics.
Some are silly sods.
Some will grow up beautiful
Or look like a potato.
I don’t care just what you are
You big soft red tomato.

Across all this community
There’s lots of things to share.
Like Cancer, Death and S.T.Ds.
So watch it, just take care.
But catchin’ Love is like the cold
It makes you hot and tired.
Go see the Electrician
And get your bloody head re-wired.

Chorus.

Re-wired, re-wired, I got my head re-wired.
My enemy’s my friend now
My hatred’s all expired.
Re-wired, re-wired, I got it done for free.
I love everybody
So come and sit on my knee.

The next time anybody
Takes a look at you.
Asks you what your name is
Where you live and what you do.
Take your left or right foot
And kick them up the ass.
They need their head examined.
So give them a free pass.

Chorus.

You don’t have to listen
To what I’m singin’ then.
Go switch off your wee radio
Your heart, your mind, your friend’s.
I haven’t gone away you know
I’m waitin’ here for you.
He is the Electrician
He’s goona throw his switch for you.
Chorus.

https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/re-wired-1-12-12


Re-Wired 1.12.12
soundcloud.com
“Re-Wired” was mainly shaped by being born and growing up in Belfast. It’s not meant to offend people’s views of themselves as either …

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To the Moon. By Randall Stephen Hall 2009. Like a number of songs I have writte…

To the Moon.
By Randall Stephen Hall 2009.

Like a number of songs I have written,
this one just appeared. Nice and simple.
With a clear message of optimism and hope
for our shared future. Very influenced by growing up
and going to school in North Belfast, during the 1960’s
and 1970’s.

We have so much potential within us that we never access.
It makes me sad to see this current crop of children having their heads dipped in all the old hatreds as if nothing has changed at all.

But some cracks have appeared in the dam. (Our great dam of fear). One day we’ll all be flooded by something new, with different choices regarding who we could be, rather than the sad old things that we are. (That includes the young who don’t see the opportunity.)

To the Moon.

Look at the sun
It is so far away.
And my heart is locked up
With your keys now.
When will you return?
When will you set me free
And we will fly free to the moon.

Chorus.
I am calling, can you hear me?
I am with you, I am listening.
Give me shelter from the wind
And the rain in my face.
And we will fly to the moon.
Oh, we will fly to the moon.

My love for you
Has always been in this place.
Generations lost
But we search for each other.
They set us all together.
Then they set us all apart.
But still we will fly to the moon.

Chorus.

Sister and mother
Oh father and brother.
We are coming in from the cold now.
Put those toys away
They won’t do you any good.
Can’t you see we are flying to the moon.

Chorus.

https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/to-the-moon


To The Moon 2009
soundcloud.com
I wrote this song “To the Moon”, prior to 2009. At the time I had no intention of recording a CD, which I did, at home, on Garageband. Th…

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Bonnie Child. A song by Randall Stephen Hall. ©2013. https://soundcloud.com/rand…

Bonnie Child.
A song by Randall Stephen Hall. ©2013.
https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/bonnie-child-5-10-13

During the 18th century in Ireland, certain sections of society, mainly Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, were unable to receive an education easily or legally. This was a measure, created by the English authorities to force these groups to convert to the high church, or the Anglican Church, the official church of the state since the reformation.

For some people the only means to gain some form of education was to join the class of a hedgerow teacher. These were traveling men. Some learned with a classical education. While some taught by the hedgerow, others taught in barns and other sheltered spaces.

One such teacher was Thomas MacArtney, who worked in East Antrim. He was well liked by his pupils, whose parents provided a space for him to work in. For a time he would sleep in a small space created in the side of a cave by the sea, still visible on the Blackhead Path, not far from Whitehead. It is still known as a the Schoolmaster’s Bed Chamber.

He also taught in a place known as Windy Gap, where an old, small schoolhouse still exists. Though it is no longer a school. Not far from Ballycarry, the village mentioned in my other song, “The Ballad of Willie Nelson.

Here are the lyrics for Bonnie Child . . .

BONNIE CHILD. ©2013 R.S.Hall.

Come to me my bonnie child.
Come to me and rest a while.
And I will tell you all about these mysteries.
Come and I will set you free.

Come and dance along my road.
Let me lift your heavy load.
Shelter by my hedge
As the birds wheel in the sky.
Somehow, we’ll all get on by.

Chorus.

And though your father is so far away.
He’ll come and lift you up some day.
All lonely children need to play.
So come, come and follow me.
Yes, come, oh come and follow me.
………………………………………

The swallows they are in the sky.
Catching words as they go by.
Your mother rarely listens
To your heart that wants to sing.
Your heart is like a bell so let it ring.

Chorus.

Come to me my bonnie child.
Your clothes are rags, your eyes are wild.
The sun shines from your heart.
As you watch this day go by.
I look at you now I wonder why.

CHORUS.


Bonnie Child 5.10.13
soundcloud.com
During the 18th century, in Ireland, certain sections of society, mainly Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, were unable to receive an education leg…

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The Ballad of Willie Nelson. A song by Randall Stephen Hall ©2012 https://soundc…

The Ballad of Willie Nelson.
A song by Randall Stephen Hall ©2012
https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/the-ballad-of-willie-nelson

Oh Willie Nelson
What can you do?
They’ve captured your world.
They’ve done captured you.
For taking some horses
Up Donegore Hill.
Looks like you will die in the morning.

Old Carrickfergus
Was where he was sent.
To lie in the jail
To say his ahmens.
But the morning is coming.
He’s ringin’ his bell.
And Death’s on his way
With some stories to tell.

Chorus.

Oh Willie, Oh Willie Nelson.
Oh Willie, Willie my boy.
Come to me all of my children.
Won’t you come to me,
Won’t you come to me.
Come to me now.

Over the hedgerow
And over the river.
A misty old morning
To make a boy cold.
They’re making the gallows
From your family tree.
To play there once more
So your mother can see.

Chorus.

More songs at www.soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall

Video clips at www.randallstephenhall.com/videos

Background.

I live in East Antrim. I have lived not far from Balycarry for about twenty four years. I grew up in Belfast and lived there for thirty two years. That makes me almost 56. So I have lived 40 years longer than young Willie, the subject of my song.

I was doing some research in the Linenhall Library when I happened to come across his story. Ireland was a totally different place in 1798 when young Willie, only 16, took some horses to rebels, gathering on Donegore Hill for the Battle of Antrim.

When he was tried the judge decided that he would make an example of Willie Nelson. So it was decided that he would be hung from the family tree, outside his mother’s house in Ballycarry.

I was aware that the Presbyterian church in Ballycarry, on the site of an ancient monastery, (the townland of the weir) is the first Presbyterian church in Ireland, 1613. How ironic it seems that so many Presbyterians, took up arms from East Antrim, to fight for a different Ireland just like Willie Nelson.

How sad it is that a different Ireland has never emerged amongst us. All because (as Jonathan Swift conceived) we can’t agree which end we crack an egg.

On a misty morning, recently, I went back to Templecorran ruins in Ballycarry, unaware that I would be led to the graveside of this martyr. When I found the gravestone, I was quite surprised.

I was really angry when I came across this story. The injustice of it burned in me until I had written and recorded the song. My band, the Moon Shed, played a Spring Gig in the Linenhall Library this year, and in the audience was Hector Nelson and his wife Alison. We played the Ballad of Willie Nelson and Hector listened. A living relative of Willie. Some awareness brought to his story.

How the world turns.


The Ballad of Willie Nelson.
soundcloud.com
Willie Nelson was a young man caught up in the 1798 Rebellion, County Antrim, Ireland. He lived in Ballycarry and I believe his mother was a teach…

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LONELY (Song for the Disappeared). A song by Randall Stephen Hall ©2009. https:/…

LONELY (Song for the Disappeared).
A song by Randall Stephen Hall ©2009.
https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/lonely-24-9-13

I’m lonely, I’m lonely
Some friendship I seek.
I’m down in the ground
Near the rock by the peak.

They bundled me up now
Just after the bang.
I’d a headache for weeks
From their gun in the van.

My name is young Billy, Paul, Anthony, Drew.
My face in the papers, well I’m winkin’ at you.
They lost my young soul way out in the bog
No X marks the spot.
Do you own any dog? (for I’m lonely).

Chorus.

I’m lonely, I’m so lonely
Operator won’t you please
Won’t you pick up my call.
I’m lonely, but I’m smiling at you.
No change in my pocket
But I’ve got a lovely view.

I used to be young now.
I once had a name.
I remember my roll
In Old Harry’s Game.

But I said the wrong thing.
Said it in the wrong place.
They fingered me out.
Taxi’d me to this place (where I’m lonely).

Chorus

Up High Town and Divis, Ballygowan and Doagh.
There’s many a road has it’s cluster of ghosts.
Dumped from a car.
Like a seed in the ground.
Waiting to grow
Like a flower that you’ve found
Like a flower you’ve found.

Chorus.

*Any humour in this song has been used with respect in mind for anyone who has suffered in this way.

When I was growing up in Belfast you would hear stories on the news of people being left out on the edge of Belfast. Along with the old cars and the tired bedsteads, the un-wanted and the no longer needed.

Killed during the troubles. Some, never to be found again.

“The Disappeared.”

Their voices no longer heard. Their faces never seen again, other than smiling out from the page of a newspaper or on a local T.V. news report.

This song appeared from nowhere one day, like a phantom phone call. So this is what the words are based on.

The idea of someone trying to get in touch, not realising that
they can’t make that call by using a telephone. For they have no change nor do they have the means to move the coins.

Though we, still have ears to listen.
We still have that second chance to hear.


Lonely 24.9.13
soundcloud.com
LONELY (Song for the Disappeared) 1. I’m lonely, I’m lonely Some friendship I seek. I’m down in the ground Near the rock by…

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Homeless Son. A song by Randall Stephen Hall ©2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?…

Homeless Son.
A song by Randall Stephen Hall ©2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgmW9sTwixE

Said your name was Jesus.
Said you were the one.
Said you were here to save me
When I was very young.

Said you’re here to stop all wars
Stop all men from beatin’ whores.
Stop all hunger in the world
Make us happy boys and girls.

Chorus.

But, why do I feel like a homeless son.
So, why do I feel like a homeless son.
Can you tell me why, I’m a homeless son
Without you?

Verse 2.

You said that love was everything.
Said you’d call that you would ring.
Said you were going far away.
That you’d be back, see me some day.

You said you’d comfort the young and old.
Hold them in your hands and when all told
Lift them up into your lovin’ arms.
Save the children from all harm.

Chorus.

So why do I feel like this helpless son.
So, why do I feel like this helpless son.
Can you tell me why I am this helpless son
Without you, without you?

Verse 3.

Still see where you’re comin’ from
But I can’t stick still, I can’t belong.
Got to keep movin’, just movin’ on
And some day soon, I’m gonna see you home.

Until that time, rest easy friend.
I’ll wait to see you comin’, just round the bend.
We’ll be waitin’ in a big crowd for you
To watch all the magic tricks you do.

Chorus.

Until that time, I’ll be just a homeless son.
Until that time, I’ll be, just a homeless son.
Til’ that time I’ll remain you’re homeless son
Without you, without you.


Homeless Son 28 7 13
www.youtube.com
www.randallstephenhall.com This song was written in 2011. I began recording it then too. The guitar and vocal is from the first day I wrote it, early one aft…

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Moon Shed Play the Crescent Arts Centre. 27.9.13 The Moon Shed. Playing at the C…

Moon Shed Play the Crescent Arts Centre. 27.9.13 The Moon Shed. Playing at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. Friday. 27.9.13. At 8.00 p.m. Tickets £7.00 or £5.00
concession. Hope you can make it. http://crescentarts.ticketsolve.com/shows/873501540/events

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FOLK N’ FUSION, it’s official! Randall Stephen Hall explains his original brand…

FOLK N’ FUSION, it’s official!
Randall Stephen Hall explains his original brand of music
and the phrase he coined, to describe it.
www.randallstephenhall.com

When I was a wee man I tended to listen to everything around me as I was growing up in the little cultural bubble we now know as Northern Ireland. We tend to look beyond ourselves and these shores for many of our loves in music, which in turn, influences us when we play music locally.

Whether it was Jazz, Rock n’ Roll, Folk, Pop or Comedy on the radio it all went into my wee lugs. I didn’t differentiate between the sounds, other than to decide whether I liked it or not.

This was the deciding factor. Did I like it? Did it move me? Move me enough to want to hear it again or buy a record?

I was very influenced by my older brother and sister, who both had very wide tastes in music. My brother had all manner of stuff in his record collection from Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Still Nash & Young, the Dubliners, Van Morrison to The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Lindisfarne, Harry Nilsson and Elton John. The Beatles too. My sister, on the older hand liked Soul music and Black music in general, along with the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and Led Zeppelin.

One common theme in a lot of this music was harmonies and background vocals. I would have a lot of admiration for American Doo Wop groups of the 1950’s along with many Blues players, R&B and rhythm in general.

When I was in my early teens I got a guitar, paid for five lessons without any real musical ambitions other than being curious about the sound you could make. Around the age of sixteen I got a Burns and Mullen electric guitar and a tiny WEM amp my friends referred to as “The Matchbox”. I was invited to join a garage band with friends from school, called ESSENCE. We just did covers.

At art college in Belfast I played in another group called SIXTELÉ. This was during the Punk era. We played in the Harp Bar and other local venues with punks (who actually looked like punks). So if I ever was a punk, I must have internalized it.

This, of course, was during the Troubles. They began in 1969, just as I was moving on to grammar school which broadened my horizons in some ways, with music and art, history and English, the main components of what I do now. I wasn’t thinking of this at the time. I was just drawn to certain subjects. Living in Belfast, tended to make you develop inward looking and insular hobbies. Song writing was one of them.

After college I worked in a few local Advertising Agencies before going freelance to specialize as an illustrator in advertising and design for over ten years. All these experiences taught me a lot but again reflected an eclectic approach to my art, in general.

I left art college in 1980 and continued to write songs going though a period of about five years where I created a lot of home recordings with two friends. We called ourselves MUDSI MUNTU, an African word, meaning “Men of the Village”. Derek, one of the musicians had lived in Africa as a child. We were aware of events in Soweto, South Africa, around 1980, where it was illegal to record on a Sunday.

We happened to get together on a Sunday afternoon and even then, a few of our tracks were influenced by African High Life music, along with folk, funk and other styles. It never seemed right to stick to one thing.We never played live, creating three song collections.

I got married in 1983 (just celebrated thirty years) and took up wall papering, gardening, knocking down walls, stripping floors and all the usual stuff. Our daughters were born in 1985 and 1987. I went freelance in 1988 so the music almost stopped completely. My output reduced to a trickle. However, I kept on getting ideas while my main focus was on creating images.

Time passed and through creating a few self published books I was asked to come and tell some stories in schools, which I enjoyed doing. One thing I would bring along was a Kenyan hand drum, which makes a great sound. A present from a Tear Fund shop in Belfast.

As I had little or no recording equipment I began to write songs on the drum and record them onto cassette until I got a laptop in 2006. (Though my use of computers began in 1997.) The laptop came with a little recording programme called Garage Band and, over time, I began to fall into home recording once again, after a wee gap of twenty four years.

In 2009 I created a wee collection of songs and poems. One of my initial experiments at recording was “The Wee Wee Man”. It’s amazing what you can create with a laptop and a tiny USB mic. I had a lot of fun with that and because of my Ferguson side of the family, this track came out all “North Antrim” in sound, yet with a Kenyan hand drum. (Hey boy! That’s Cookin !’.) I was touching base with just a few of my ancestors. The voices and the humour reflect that. Where as “The Reiver and the Gael” shows a more serious side to my writing.

I happened to get some fairly regular airplay on the Gerry Anderson Radio Show, in 2010 on BBC, Radio Foyle, Radio Ulster. It was Gerry who got me to play live again on the radio, along with my friend John McKeever who got me back into playing and writing songs as well as playing the mandolin. Playing with Barry Tipping, Rohan Young and Michael Sands has been great craic too, in “The Moon Shed”, along with other traditional musicians like Aodán Mac Shéafraidh

So hopefully you are getting an inkling that this “FOLK & FUSION” didn’t begin a few years ago with recent recordings. It very much depended on who my ancestors were. My father played piano by ear and my mother sang in the Ulster singers. I grew up watching American musicals, the radio, plus the music of my brother and sister. All before I touched a guitar. When I did, I loved the drone of two stings playing off each other.

So I suppose “FOLK & FUSION” is more about an attitide, an open attitude, to ideas, culture and music. I am a fusion of many things. I accept that and I am open to what that opportunity brings. Folk and Fusion is an unusual field.

My change in the spelling to “Folk n’ Fusion” is just because I like to make people smile at themselves and at their rich, varied cultural traditions, here on this wee sod, Culbeg, the music from the wee corner.

In up-loading my music at My Space and Sound I was asked, what genre the music was. So I just came up with the term “Folk n’ Fusion”, partly because it was a good description and partly because it made me smile