I have been inspired by my time in Ireland shooting the Showtime series The Tudors to record a live solo version of an amazing Elton John song called Belfast. It really is a beautiful ballad about the struggles in Ireland and specifically the violence in Belfast, and I want to pay tribute to the enormous impact Elton John has had on my learning as s songwriter and performer.
I have to say, Elton John was the first artist to really inspire me to find my own voice as a songwriter. I think I was the only one in highschool listening to him, and I’m sao glad that I did. I have found a sense of emotion and passion in his music, especially the first 5 years of his professional career, that have stayed with me since then.
I’ll post my recording of Belfast soon, as well as some more solo versions of a few other songs also. I recorded a cover of Billy Joel’s Piano Man, In My Life by The Beatles, as well as a few of my songs: Sitting Beside, Ready To Fall acoustic, and a song I wrote about my two deaf grandparents after they died called Angels.
6 Replies to “Belfast”
That’s a fitting gesture, to mark your time in Ireland by recording a song about ‘the troubles’. My mother is from a long line of Fianna Fail politicians in the Republic so I’ve grown up knowing many traditional, politically-based ballads. I do like Elton John’s lyrics for ‘Belfast’ – but I can’t stand the way he says ‘bel-faaahhhst’. It’s a short ‘a’!! Please don’t sing it the way he does?
I think it’d also be fitting, if you ever choose to cover Irish ballads, to cover the ones that deal with Irish emigration. Those lyrics can be heart-wrenching. Mary Black sings a beautiful song called ‘Ellis Island’, but I think it’s strictly a song sung from a woman’s perspective. In any case, Mary Black is a fine, fine Irish ballad singer.
‘In my life’ – fantastic. I also love ‘blackbird’ and ‘julia’. Good luck with it all. It’ll be good to see more tracks added to your site.
New songs?! ¨¨
Oh I remember you mentioning awhile ago you would record this song.I’m glad you are doing it.It’s awesome how you want to honor Elton John for all that he’s given you,I think that’s great.I’ve never heard Belfast before or most of Elton’s songs.I have heard crocidile rock,a song I just adore,I think I will go and listen to his music.What you have said about his music,makes me want to really get into it.So I will definitely do that.
Also it’s pretty cool how you not only associated this song with Elton John but also with your own time in ireland.I have missed several episdes of the tudors.I have seen the first 2,but with other things going on I sorta missed the others.Also school has been hectic,but today was my last day.So i plan on catching up with that during the summer.I really want to see your stellar performances on that incredible show.
I absolutely love ready to fall.It is my favorite of yours.I am super excited to not only hear belfast and the others but Ready to fall acousic,that is going to be one hell of a song.Can’t wait to hear all of your new stuff mark.Have fun recording all of it man.
awww…I didn’t know angels was about your grandparents. sorry,mark. beautiful song. :]
P.S Cool! THE BEATLES! (when i tell my dad,he’s gonna FREAK THE FREAK OUT!) 😀
And Billy Joel! XD