This blog post is coming to you in two parts; the back story of newest single and a special letter to my own mother, the momager who would give Kris Jenner a run for her money, Mrs Jo "A Yo" Gallagher (its an inside family joke ... call her that in real life and she will drop kick you because she is that bitch).
This post is definitely based on a series of car thoughts (the infamous Hyundai i20, Harold) and a cruel mix of personal experience. It's going to concern "Don't Tell My Mother", which, I only realized, goes out into the world in less than a week! Well, this little Libra cannot express how stressed I am about it - so much so I nearly forgot about college exam results because of it - which I am now happy to announce to you that I am a college graduate! The single has already got it's debut airplay on KFM with the lovely Eoin Beatty and I'm coming from Manchester, ready and refreshed for a week of promotion.
I always said that every song I write has a story and the same can be said for the album but four songs in particular, have a story of their own that link together;
Strawberries - The very beginning of the whirlwind you naively let yourself into, called love.
Get Your Story Straight - When you realize the things you suspected were true all along ... no matter how many times you were made feel like a crazy person because you dared to question it. *insert eye roll here*
Don't Tell My Mother - That whole "second time's the charm" phase.
Lost Boy - Cop on. Go home. Goodnight. G'luck. You're not going to fix the situation no matter how hard you try. "The Good Quote" had a picture up one day that said
"You can't be his lover and his mother at the same time"
....and I would like to think that Lost Boy is the musical version of that quote.
So that's my Saga of Songs and I am sure there will be more sagas to come! But today we're just going to talk about Don't Tell My Mother.
This song was all based around the idea of going back. Yes, based on some of my own experiences but a lot of friends had given some input to the process with sharing their own experiences (don't tell them I said that though .. they'll be looking for commission!). So picture it - the first experience was just pure rotten *must be read in the Midlands accent, thanks*.
You got angry.
You ate your entire body weight or, if you're like me, didn't have an appetite at all .
Yet, you find yourself, months later, in the same old car, parked in the same old spot, talking for hours to a person you don't even recognize anymore.
Like in the song, you stare yourself down in the bathroom mirror and swear to yourself
you're no one's fool or toy, you are stronger, wiser, tougher than you were before.
You blare Independent Women Pt. 1 about a million times, only to be followed by I Don't Need a Man another million times (yeah sorry to the residents of Ballymahon but that was me, enjoy and get on my vibe).
DEAR GOD PLEASE LET ME BE TALKING ABOUT AN EXPERIENCE EVERYONE ELSE HAS FELT .. because reading that back I sound like an utter eejit.
But you've made your bed now you have to lie in it. When you've come to terms with this acceptance, the next thing is having to tell your inner circle - baring in mind these are the same people who spent weeks of their lives consoling and building you back up after the car crash that was Round One. Divulging that there's going to be a Round Two is the same as throwing all that time and support back in their faces. It's embarrassing. I don't know any of you who have experienced this but, for me, the worst part about it was the anxiety that came when you start to think about who to turn to if it all goes belly up again. Sometimes the ego just can't hear yet another
"Well, I told you so!"
I realize how depressing it all sounds but the team at Beardfire have done such a fantastic job on the production of this song that you may cry during it but you'll have a bop on the way, to this unsuspecting summer anthem! My inner tortured artist (that's a hefty dose of sarcasm if you're looking) whispers that the upbeat and summery feel to Don't Tell... hints towards the naivety of second chances. One could say that its the soundtrack for a girl who simply loves and hopes for better.
A sense of false optimism, we Libra's specialize in.
(you buying it? No .. okay well I one won't sell it so! Please enjoy this meme instead...)
But through all this time, the one person who sticks by you is your mam. My mother for those of you who don't know is the strongest woman you could meet. She is a hero. Not only do her three children (myself, Maria, my sister and Thomas, my brother) adore but so those everyone she comes into contact with.
On the way home from yet another gig this week, I started to think about the time I wrote this song and where my head was at. I was confused, paranoid and frustrated more than anything. You got the brunt of the latter but somehow you just understood and knew what was going on.
The first time you heard this song was in the Balor Arts Centre in Donegal, for the Ghostlight Sessions, run by Dean Maywood (download and stream his new EP now by the way!). We both knew what the song meant for me and I was frightened for the drive home, to have to cough up the words and having to deal with, what I suspected, would be your disappointment. I thought you would have forced me to talk and make me sit in my uncomfortableness. Instead, you said
"I knew it all along anyway."
Then you stopped the car and got a pizza for us to eat on the way home. (You hardly thought that we Gallaghers celebrate any other way?)
That kindness and awareness that a mother possesses needs to be celebrated. I sometimes wonder to myself, how you just know all your children's secrets? Did a midwife gift you with a third eye when contractions began? Will I get one if I ever decide to have children or will I be the only mother in the history of motherhood who doesn't? Also, knowing all our secrets ... how do you not kill us?
Anyway I suppose this letter is just to say thank you for not pushing me to talk sometimes and for also understanding that I need time to sort my thoughts. On the other side though, thank you for the tough love that came once I calmed down. Thank you for every time you told me to 'pull it together'. You probably don't even realize the effect that two pronged approach has had on all three of your children and all the young people who consider you a second mammy.
This next point, is not just about the situation at hand but for everything.
Thank you for never being smug when everything did go to shit!
Thank you for never saying "Well it's your own fault!". Thank you for never commenting when we go for our drives in the evenings.
Even though this song is about a stupid, mundane relationship, I want to dedicate any success it gets to you, Mam. You deserve a lot more than that for making us the strong young people we are and for all the things you have been through and still getting up in the morning and being nothing less of a superwoman. You are the best role model we could have asked for. But, for now, this is all I can give ... until the Range Rover comes ... it's on it's way!
Thank you for being the momager and just simply understanding that sometimes I don't want to tell my mother... even if she already knows.
(And Maria and Thomas, who added their own thoughts and feelings into this week's blog)
Stay Stunning Little Magpies
Don't Tell My Mother, from the debut album Searching For Magpies is released on all downloading and streaming platforms on June 28th.