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Our Old Village, Release date - February 1st, 2024. 

Eleven original songs by Jim Sharkey and two original slip jigs by Colin Farrell. The songs were written over a few years that included the covid lockdown, births and passing of friends and relatives. Musicians include Colin Farrell on fiddles and whistles, Dave Curley on tenor guitar, Johnny Towey on accordion, Mike Cunningham on piano and Matt Saunders on flutes on "Pass The Wheel". The album was mixed by Dave Fason of Windfall Studios now in Flagler Beach, Florida. This is the 4th album by Jim Sharkey that Dave has mixed and mastered. 

About The Songs

The 11 original songs on “Our Old Village” are diverse with the title track rooted in the Irish tradition. It is followed by “My Little Man” a song about Jim's grandson, Eamon. “The Shop” recalls an older farmer and shop keeper Jim knew growing up who told him of stories working in England after World War Two and the excitement of being in a larger more diverse place than the village he grew up in. “Let's Vote On It” was commissioned by a Greensboro, North Carolina, church that requested a song about voting and accepting the results of a democratic vote. “Winslow Homer” is about the Civil War days of the American painter who spent the last 25 years of his life at Prouts Neck, Maine. Jim wrote the song as part of the interview process to become a Winslow Homer Studio Tour guide for the Portland Museum of Art in 2023. “Pass the Wheel” is a story about feeling a little left out as one grows older but finding a way to reduce expectations for oneself and accepting what is possible as a person grows older. “Trouble” was written during the covid lockdown and is a song of encouragement that, despite hard times, we can adapt and survive. The two slip jigs - Eamon Roach's and The Christmas Slipper were composed by Colin Farrell and performed by Colin and Dave Curley. Colin wrote Eamon Roach's for Jim's grandson who was one-year-old at the time of writing. “My Dog Henry” is a song about a dog but also a song about missing someone who has gone away. Jim wrote “Eleanor and Violet” for a good friend he used to teach with in North Carolina. His friend and her husband had a daughter whose name is Violet and when their second daughter was born they named her Eleanor and the song was written for the girls when Eleanor was born. “Vitruvian Man” is set in an art museum or gallery and the subject of the song is personally relating to the paintings on view. Jim's last teaching job was at Lexington Middle School in North Carolina where he taught with a gifted teacher, Stacy Ellison, who had been teaching for thirty years at the time. “Miss Ellison's Room” is a parting song from her classroom and her friendship.

 

OUR OLD VILLAGE

Lessons learned as a child are strong and keep us tied and exemplify the life in our old village 

When we worked in primrose fields, Dad would say, “Girls, I believe, If you give then you'll receive, in our old village” 

 

Be a rainbow in the sky, be welcoming and kind as a sun shower in July, crossing over 

Be the light that lights the way, when the darkness holds sway Don't forget from where you came: our old village 

 2

When we crossed the Irish sea, my sister and me brought a piece of Parkeel, to London City 

We met girls from Cloonfad, lads from Moyne, and Ratra their jokes made us laugh, in London City 

 

They were rainbows in the sky, they were welcoming and kind as a sun shower in July, crossing over 

We helped each other out, when life kicked us about and left us full of doubt, in London City 

 3

My sister since has passed, but her love forever lasts in the heart and the soul, of our old village 

When I'm sad and have to cry, I think of her close by And she comes to dry my eyes, from our old village 

 

She's a rainbow in the sky, she is welcoming and kind as a sun shower in July, crossing over 

I will book a seat one day, on a westbound aeroplane And catch a bus that leads, to my old village 

4

I'll go once more to see, the primrose covered field 

that inspired many dreams, in my old village

 

There's a rainbow in the sky, it's welcoming and kind, I can see it from the bus, that brings me homeward 

As we leave the motorway, and get closer to the square my mind goes back in time when we were children 

5

Mike Mulrenan, his wife Anne. Dan O'Hara “thank you, Ma'm” transport boxes, bread and jam, Bird's custard 

Christmas Eve and fairy lights, midnight mass and Silent Night, snow falling featherlight on our old village 

 

© 6.12.20 Jim Sharkey Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap) 

MY LITTLE MAN

 

My little man has slept all that he can

He's crooning like Sinatra in the Blue Room

In a while he'll try to stand, he won't make it & demand

“Grandma and Grandpa wake up soon”

[Chorus]

And I hear him when he's breathing

when he's sleepin', when he's dreamin'

I hear him when he's happy and when he's sad

I have to be so careful, so mindful and aware

and get him back home safe to mom and dad 

 

I'm like an old rag doll, I haven't slept at all

but surely, there was some point I did

It sounds like he's alright, let's lay here for a while

listening to the miracle he is

[Chorus]

And I hear him when he's breathing

when he's sleepin', when he's dreamin'

I hear him when he's happy and when he's sad

I have to be so careful, so mindful and aware

and get him back home safe to mom and dad 

Bridge

When the weekend's all over

with his gear he goes back home

our house is like a ship in port

and the crew's all gone ashore

My little man has slept all that he can

and so begins another precious day

Crawling, falling, playing with the doggies and

dropping food "by accident" their way

[Chorus]

And I hear him when he's breathing

when he's sleepin', when he's dreamin'

I hear him when he's happy and when he's sad

I have to be so careful, so mindful and aware

and get him back home safe to mom and dad 

The Shop

 

The house is vacant now 

and overrun with weeds

But long ago a shop was here 

and it served the peoples' needs

It was small like a pantry 

But staples stocked the shelves

I liked the man who ran it 

He had traveled far they said

 

And he'd always tell a story

to brighten up your day

and when you left he'd go off

to milk his cows or save his hay

 

The little house, had no

electric light at all

oil lamps threw Rembrandt light

and shadows on the wall

That brought to mind his teenage dreams

and dancehalls long ago

in London where he went for work

at seventeen years old

 

When the girls wore rockabilly skirts

and the boys had duckbilled hair

I loved to hear him tell of all

the great excitement there

 

Freedom, fashion, music clubs

a wage and steady pay

“Things like that, we never had

in Tibohine,” he would say

Now they're company for long nights

they help me pass the time

Makin' stories from memories

lingering, in my mind

 

And I see a girl, with her eye on

a boy at the mineral bar

They'll be happily married next year

can't you see them going far?

 

BRIDGE

And there I am at nineteen

looking for someone

She'll come to me at twenty

but she'll leave at twenty-one

 

“Love for some is restless”

he'd sigh and then he'd laugh,

“always on the move, bad cess!

like the night-time roving cat”

“I've heard advice and remedies

for love that goes away

But, really, time's the only cure 

like they always say

 

The paraffin lamps would fade

and the shadows on the wall

disappeared, when conversation

turned to silence and that's all

Being young and assured 

'cause time was on my side

I'd say goodnight to my old friend

and step into the night

 

Walking home, I'd dream about

a wage and steady pay 

of freedom, fashion, music clubs

and the loves, to come my way

 

© 10.26.23 Jim Sharkey

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

Let's Vote On It

 

You say the storm has moved through

you say the sky has turned blue

I say the clouds are hanging around

and they cast a metallic gray hue

CHORUS

Let's vote on it, let's settle this

Before we go walking and get ourselves wet

Let's vote on it, and I promise you this 

Whatever the outcome you know I will honor it

 

I grew up on bacon and ham

Oatmeal, brown bread, and jam

You say they're alright but my parties I find

Go better with lobster and wine

CHORUS

Let's vote on it, let's settle this

Before we go dining with candlelights lit

Let's vote on it, and I promise you this 

Whatever the outcome you know I will honor it

 

BRIDGE

We've been together almost 50 years

Hmmm, yes, my dear

And we still get along most of the time

If I said one hundred percent I'd be lyin'

 

Speaking of things that are said

I once heard you say that we met

At a music venue, well, that's half the truth

It was a juke joint in Montana, Butte.

CHORUS

Let's vote on it, let's settle this

Before we go walking and get ourselves wet

Let's vote on it, and I promise you this 

Whatever the outcome you know I will honor it

© 05.15.21 Jim Sharkey,

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

Winslow Homer

Paint me a picture Winslow Homer, not of men in blue or gray

Paint a picture of my true love on the rocky shore of Maine

I

See the marksmen on the picket, who load and fire rifle balls 

At far off distant figures; that drop like stones when they fall 

Paint me a picture Winslow Homer, not of men in blue or gray

Paint a picture of my true love on the rocky shore of Maine

II

Paint the moonlight on the water, paint her standing by the sea 

and I'll pay you my last dollar, if you make her think of only me 
 

Paint me a picture Winslow Homer, not of men in blue or gray

Paint a picture of my true love on the rocky shore of Maine

 

Bridge:

She lives Downeast in Deer Isle, she is so, tender, true, and kind 

In my heart there is no other, I long to hold her one more time 

 

Paint me a picture Mister Homer, not of men in blue or gray

Paint a picture of my true love on the rocky shore of Maine 

III

Mothers look on the horizon, a fog bank's rolling in and driving 

across the mainland and the islands, where nets are filled with silver prizes 

IV

We are weathered, tired soldiers, we've been changed by this ordeal

I hope one day when it's over, I'll meet you in a different field and you can 
 

Paint me a picture Winslow Homer, not of men in blue or gray

You'll paint a picture of my true love, and all that's beautiful again

© 11.01.23 Jim Sharkey,

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

Pass The Wheel

 

You've always been blue

It's nothing new 

I know she said she'd be true 

But I know too 

You've always been blue 

II

There's been too many tears 

For too many years

The strong and the weak, the proud 

and the meek, dispossessed citizens 

out on the streets

 

[Chorus:]

I'd like to change things, 

and walk you down a summer path

So much is out of reach in a world this fast    

I put up my feet, get something to eat 

be patient; wait and see

I've done all the things that were asked of me 

and Time's telling me to pass the wheel

won't you take it from here

III

We know it's not right, the left and the right 

They like to fight, the left and the right 

Hammer and tongs, from morning till night   

things seldom improve, that's just the truth

IV

It was foretold in school books of old

The center can't hold, in a widening gyre,

anarchy's loosed, there's falcons and fires,

and violence unleashed, by pitiless beasts

[Chorus:]

II'd like to change things, 

and walk you down a summer path

So much is out of reach in a world this fast    

I put up my feet, get something to eat 

be patient; wait and see

I've done all the things that were asked of me 

and Time's telling me to pass the wheel

won't you take it from here

V

When I crossed the divide

and planted seeds far and wide

I went down on my knees, 

and days turned into weeks

Tending the earth's where I needed to be 

I was as happy as a man like me

can ever be 

 

[Chorus:]

I know I can change things, 

walking down a summer path

So much is within my reach

in a world this vast    

I put up my feet

get something to eat 

be patient, and wait and see

I've done all the things that were asked of me 

and the evening light shines beautifully

I can make it from here.

© 11.29.23 Jim Sharkey 

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap) 

    TROUBLE   

 

Trouble is on the way

Trouble is on the way

he has a bag full of sadness 

But I know, it's gonna be okay

 

'Cause I will rock, and I will roll

I believe in my soul     

that I will roll with the punches

when the sky comes down 

in bunches on my head

 

Trouble arrived today

Trouble arrived today

he left a bag full of sadness 

But I know we're gonna be okay

      

We will buckle and we will bend

We will lean in, to the wind

we will roll with the punches

when the sky comes down 

in bunches on our head

 

Bridge:

I’m not shipwrecked out at sea 

those sharks are dolphins leading me

on the shore my friends are all around

standing up and never standin' down  

 

Trouble has gone away

trouble has gone away

he's beaten now and on the run

and a brand new day has just begun 

 

We have rocked and we have rolled

I believe in my soul

We can roll with the punches

when the sky comes down 

in bunches on our heads 

 

©3.24.20 Jim Sharkey,

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

MY DOG, HENRY

 

Gather round beneath the tree, I'll tell you of my dog, Henry

He's the love of my life, some folks say that ain't right, wooo hoo

 

Henry's head is in the clouds, he knows nothing about the Dow

He knows nothin' of politics, ignorance is Henry's bliss, wooo hoo

 

Chorus

Dogs are big, dogs are small, some dogs have no wherewithal

Henry thinks he's 10 feet tall, he's livelier than a ping pong ball

 

When Henry has that sad old face, I know well he's misbehaved

Henry lies around all day, feeling worthless and ashamed, wooo hoo

 

But one kind word and Henry's back, the crazy little crackerjack

Counterclockwise, spinning now, tongue's a-danglin' from his mouth, wooo hoo

 

Chorus

Dogs are big, dogs are small, some dogs have no wherewithal

Henry thinks he's 10 feet tall, he's livelier than a ping pong ball

If I could beg like Henry begs, perched upon my two back legs

I'd be down there at your feet, so forlorn and doggone sweet, wooo hoo 

 

If I could sleep like Henry sleeps, I would drop off like a leaf

and dream about your pies and rolls, an' your, Sunday dinners in my bowl, wooo hoo

 

Chorus

Dogs are big, dogs are small, some dogs have no wherewithal

Henry thinks he's 10 feet tall, he's livelier than a ping pong ball

 

If I could love like Henry loves, I'd be happy as a turtle dove

I'd write a note to give to you in hopes you'd say I love you too, woo hoo

 

Chorus

Dogs are big, dogs are small, some dogs have no wherewithal

Henry thinks he's 10 feet tall, he's livelier than a ping pong ball

Gather round beneath the tree, and listen to my dog, Henry

howlin'/ at the moon in June, wishing/ you'd come back soon

 

 

©10.11.19 Jim Sharkey,

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

 

Eleanor & Violet

Seven colors a rainbow makes

seven colors is all it takes

red and orange, yellow and green

blue and indigo, but Violet's always been

 

Chorus:

the color most dear to me, it's the color of kings and queens

it isn't purple and it's not quite blue, it's the name of my best friend too

 

Red is beautiful it paints the rose, orange in the fireside glows

Yellow is the corn that stands, in jackets of green across the land

 

Chorus:

But Violet's most dear to me, it's the color of kings and queens

it isn't purple and it's not quite blue, it's the name of my best friend too

 

Blue is beautiful like Grandpa's eyes , faithful as the clear blue sky

indigo's a deep, deep blue, out of the stratosphere on the way to the moon 

 

Chorus:

But Violet's most dear to me, it's the color of kings and queens

it isn't purple and it's not quite blue, it's the name of my best friend too

Chorus:

But Violet's most dear to me, it's the color of kings and queens

it isn't purple and it's not quite blue, it's the name of my best friend too

 

Repeat First Verse:

Seven colors a rainbow makes, seven colors is all it takes

red and orange, yellow and green

blue and indigo, Violet and me

 

© 03.01.20 Jim Sharkey,

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

VITRUVIAN MAN

 

Stretch out your arms as far as you can

like Leonardo's Vitruvian Man

represent the span 

where great warriors stand

watching over you 

II

Stretch out your arms

as far as you can 

like the shoreline

on a Spanish beach

Little mystery girl

with auburn curls

slip into the world

 

CHORUS:

I took a walk on The Avenue

and blooming asters there I picked for you

I brought them home and filled the room 

with delicate petals of pink and blue 

like an artist would do, like an artist would do

All the beauty in the world's inside of you

III

Stretch out your arms 

as far as you can 

like the moonlight

coming from the sky

spilling from the frame

over tender paints

of blues and grays

 

CHORUS:

and I'll take a walk on The Avenue

where blooming asters there I'll pick for you

I'll bring them home and fill the room 

with delicate petals of pink and blue 

like an artist would do 

like I know you would do

All the beauty in the world

reminds me of you

 

Art Work Referred to:

Vitruvian Man – Leonardo 

Rough Seas – Turner

Girl on the Beach – Sorolla

The Avenue – Monet

Asters, 1880 – Monet

Moonlight, Wood Island Light - Homer

© 10.26.23 Jim Sharkey

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

Ms. Ellison's Room

 

I would really like to stay

But I must be going away

I will miss the times we had

All in all 

All in all

All in all

it wasn't so bad

 

10 am Ms. Ellison's class

Hood off, darlin', pull up your mask

Write this down, learn it by heart

Love is where

I always start

 

Chorus:

Love is gentle, love is blind

Love is sometimes cruel and kind

Love is held, and often dropped

But love keeps going up to the top

So do your best, don't you let me down

You know I'll be askin' around

'bout you and you and you and you 

Do your best

Do your best

Do your best

be kind and true

 

Chorus:

Love is gentle, love is blind

Love is sometimes cruel and kind

Love is held, and often dropped

But love keeps going up to the top

 

10 pm Ms. Ellison's room

The night-time enters, and the moon

lays a wreath of silvery bells

and all is well

and all is well

a new day's dawning

all is well

 

© 9.22.21 Jim Sharkey

Jim Sharkey Music (Ascap)

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