I’m a firm believer in setting goals and sticking to them. Without them, targets are missed and you become messy and anxious when it comes to getting the job done. This year I’ve set myself the goal of getting 12 original songs onto youtube. The first is a Sleep Paralysis Song.
In the past I’ve set goals for lots of different kinds of things. A few years ago it was getting Slang books published through UpTheDeise.com and then Slang.ie, then it was getting the 1848 Tricolour Festival off the ground with my friends, more recently, getting into good shape through sensible diet, climbing that bastard of a hill, Coumshingaun, and competing at national and international Kettlebell events, which it feels great to be doing at almost 40.
This year I plan on continuing the kettlebell training as it has had such a positive impact on my life, but I have some business goals and musical goals that I also plan to achieve this year.
Most people don’t know this about me but I am a classically trained Tuba player (LOL), yes it’s not much good to me these days except it has made me an expert birthday candle ‘blower outer’ and may even have given me a bit of an extra bellow capacity for the Kettlebells, who knows. All those days marching with the damned thing around my neck on St. Patrick’s day for example. I got to grade 7 standard and competed in competition with the big yoke. I played in the Mount Sion Silver Band for about 10 years, which made me a lot of life long friends.. I also played it for my leaving cert, which gave me an edge that the fiddle, and piano players didn’t have. I remember the look on the evaluators face when I came in with my Tuba. Their eyes would brighten up as it was unusual, and it wasn’t another fiddle or piano LOL. I’d bang a solo out on the E flat Bass like it was a Euphonium, thanks to the instruction of Liam Walsh, and my Dad for really encouraging me to keep it up when I felt the pressure.
After I left school I kind of rejected music a bit because I guess it became a bit too much like work and I lost the love for it. Also, I was good but I was never really that good a musician so I wasn’t that confident in my abilities and so I focussed on other things in my life.
What I got from my time playing the tuba was an ability to read music and an understanding of how music works, bass lines, working with instruments in the different ranges and keys etc.
Even though I was a good tuba player, I’ve always been more of a closet singer. I sang a couple of main parts as a kid in plays like Joseph and always enjoyed that. Though never really took it anywhere beyond that, which has bugged me. I was always singing though at home, with guitar and writing songs from a young age, but I let that part of me die for 15 years.
Anyway, to cut a long story short. I’ve been toying around with the idea of writing songs and getting them out there for years and recently I’ve gotten a few out there. Over the years I did some spoofy stuff for UpTheDeise.com like ‘The Secret Ball by Paul Flynn’ to the Tune of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, and The Deise Boys up in the Ardree to the tune of Stayin Alive by the BeeGees.
Always a great craic and they did really well locally as most people in Waterford have seen them, but they’re just cover versions and a bit of a laugh.
I started putting some more original stuff out there last year like ‘Hey Mind Yerself’, a song about the big storms in Ireland in 2013/2014 that caused havok, and then an a-capella song ‘Arnies 6 Rules to Success.’
On Christmas eve, I brought out a song called Santa is Real for my kids and this year I’ve promised myself that I’ll release 12 songs, one a month for a year and January’s work is called Sleep Paralysis…
What is Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep Paralysis is a condition that almost 10% of the world suffer from. When it happens you wake up and cannot move a muscle, you can’t even speak. It feels very sinister, like you are under attack and you panic and can’t move, not even scream for your loved ones. It is awful and terrifying to even the toughest individual. The only way out of it is to wait, and to wait calmly is the best way.
Science explains Sleep Paralysis it as your mind waking up before your body does and studies have shown that it is more likely to happen to people under mental stress.
However, religious and spiritual people believe it to be some sort of demonic/spiritual attack, intending to draw fear from the victim either as an energy source for them or that your panic is a source of entertainment for them. The jury is out as far as I’m concerned.
Here’s an article on the demonic side of Sleep Paralysis, the testimonies are particular interesting in the comments sections.
In any case, as a frequnt sufferer, I wrote a song about it… it may resonate with some of you…