Luckily for me, a record producer called Evangeline du Bois happened to be drinking in the bar when I started singing my poem the other evening. She was intrigued by my plummy English tones and encouraged me to speak about my singing background. I described my years in the choir at primary school and then boarding school, with a few embellishments to cover up for the fact that I never learnt to read music.
We hit it off from the start, she had been to Roedean, a girls boarding school not far from my own Sussex red brick establishment. She had married a fellow from Banbridge and they were both folk musicians who had had some success back in the ’70s. You might remember an album called Pushing up Daisies which Rolling Stone described as “one of the finest folk albums of the decade”.
After too many drinks in the Duke of York, we exchanged email addresses and went our separate ways. I didn’t expect anything to come from the encounter and was gobsmacked when I received an email asking me if I was interested in recording my poems. Long story short, I will be going to Banbridge over the summer and working with Evangeline and her husband, Odhran in a converted barn which is their recording studio.
Now comes the hard part, which poems do I think are half decent enough to try to put to music? I might go with some of my rustic odes, such as Cobbled Together and A Dancing Ballerina Broke My Heart. But how am I going to explain my inability to read music? I will just have to come clean when I get there.