An Accidental Songwriter and Moors, Music and Meditation. Catalyst into Songwriting: Songs 10 and 11. Something Needs to Happen and Farewell Sweet Sister.

It is true , nearly all of the time that every cloud has a silver lining. This was indeed the case with my unexpected and accidental start into songwriting. There are times on our human journey that are just downright hard, no matter how you look at it.

I was having one of those times, eight years ago. There was a deep family dilemma which meant I did not think I would possibly ever see one of my  dear  sisters again. This sister – although two years younger than me – has been almost like a twin. I was quieter and shy, creative  and dreamy as a child, she was headstrong and talkative and a natural born quick thinking leader. I was also born very early, which meant as a child that I took a little longer to mature, which meant we were at about the same place in  terms of development. We were like two halves of one whole- finishing each others sentences – gesticulating unconsciously as mirror images. To be parted from her in such a way was an agony of heart, soul and mind. 

At a parallel point we, my husband, boys and I, had not long moved to Scotland- a move that was undertaken for our boys to go to the Steiner school, these schools  are community holistic schools and was the educational model we felt would best serve them for a number of reasons. We were having a hard time making work happen and as a result lived without heating and a number of other things….which are really life essentials.

It was tough, sparse and like eating a mouthful of grit! Music has been the melodic backdrop of my life and has been so tied up with family- joys and sorrows – that I found the only way to process all this was to put it into song…..and so my first two songs were written. They just spilled out of my heart and onto the paper. 

Here they are …. Something Needs to Happen and Farewell Sweet Sister – which proved to be an enormous catalyst.

Something Needs to Happen


Something Needs to Happen

Something needs to happen 

Something needs to happen 

Right now


For we are tired of nothing

Simply, simply nothing

Nothing but zero across the board

So, money needs to fall 

Fall from the tree

Like leaves from the tree in autumn

To feed our wee boys

And hold our heads up high

And take our place where we belong


Repeat Chorus


It is time for plenty

The harvest coming in

The reaping of all our work

Bringing ease to our world

And pleasure to our lives

So hardship is swept from our hearth

Repeat Chorus

It has a very mournful folk feel as you would expect- a bit like someone singing from the Irish potato famine! We were not quite in that state but we did have to use a bungy rope to hold the two car doors at the front  together as the lock broke in the deep frost and we had to strap hot water bottles to ourselves whilst the boys were at school to save the heating! Washing up was a pleasure because your hands got warm!

It is in D minor and requires a very simple guitar arrangement…..In truth, I don’t often sing this song as it sounds so depressing and I feel ashamed of the poverty we experienced.

The second song “Farewell Sweet Sister “ proved to be a pivotal moment- not just in terms of processing something heart rending but also musically. Here it is:

Farewell, farewell sweet sister

Farewell my love, farewell.

Gone, gone, gone

Gone, gone, gone 

Those years, those golden years of childhood


Those laughing girls

Where have they gone? 

Sharing dreams as the sun went down

Of lives shared in sisterly love.



Ah EE I EE oh


Come back, come back

Come back, Come back

Forever I will hope

Forever I will hold

An open door

Just for you


Oh ah ee I ee oh

Ah ee i ee oh 

Come back to me

Come back, come back

Come back, come back to me

Forever I will hope

Forever I will hope

To share our love and understanding.

It is in E minor and has a very very medieval and Purcellian feel to it- directly expressing my familial roots in early music. My childhood was one of lutes, woollen jerkins, wooden plates, renaissance philosophy and all things medieval. So, it felt directly fitting to write this song in this way. I sang the song as a means of processing  my emotions and forgot my husband had recorded it. That Christmas he decide to put it into an international songwriting competition, alongside one he had written. It was completely accapella and pretty much the only song I had ever written…..not really even for the purposes of being heard! It was placed as a semi final! I was gob smacked, quite literally. 

It made me realise two things: that art/music/beauty can be born from pain and should be shared  as it is perhaps something that we all can relate to as our human journey all has moments when we feel the night is dark. Secondly it made me realise that I had  a talent that should be developed, honed and used beyond singing to my children, my students, the dog and the vegetables that I chop for supper!

And so began my songwriting journey……it was an unexpected, personal journey that allowed this creativity to be born. Since then it is a journey that has made  me develop all sorts of skills- songwriting being just one of them! I am having to learn all sorts of outside skills, I.T, apply- unsuccessfully so far for grants, collaborate with musicians, self produce an ep, blog, make friendships and working relationships across the music industry. It is a journey of discovery and one that is not an easy one, but music and lyrics  flow from my heart and so my “Songs for a Purpose” are beginning their own journey too. Who knows where my songs and I will go- I follow the silver thread of creativity, hope and human interest with a sincere wish to deliver something of meaning, purpose, beauty and heart.

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2 thoughts on “An Accidental Songwriter and Moors, Music and Meditation. Catalyst into Songwriting: Songs 10 and 11. Something Needs to Happen and Farewell Sweet Sister.

  1. Love you Abs and sorry that we caused each other so much pain at that time. Thankfully, like all suffering, that time is past, and love triumphs. Your songs are awesome. Your loving sister xxxx


  2. Thank you sweet Sister- I am so glad it triumphed- it is the only way to live xx your loving sister


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