“Shape of My Heart” by Sting, Lyrics & Book Tour News

Sting is a talented, complex and fascinating artist. I first encountered this song, “Shape of My Heart,” a few years ago in a movie, The Professional. The lyrics are  as haunting and as dark as the assassin of the movie. I thought I’d post those lyrics today. If you’d like to know more about Sting, I’d go to his official site here.

Shape of My Heart by Sting

He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn’t play for the money he wins
He doesn’t play for respect
He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of a probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance

I know that the spades are swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart

He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades

I know that the spades are swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart

And if I told you that I loved you
You’d maybe think there’s something wrong
I’m not a man of too many faces
The mask I wear is one
Those who speak know nothing
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who fear are lost

I know that the spades are swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart

BOOK TOUR NEWS: Tonight I’ll be in Abbeville at the Golden Corral delivering a speech for a Lee-Jackson Banquet, signing books,  and playing some music for the General Louis Hebert Camp 2032 of The Sons of Confederate Veterans.  They have a website here. It will be a long day and more driving, but that is what I signed on for when took on this nomad life.

Return from Brock, Texas & Trish Murphy Lyrics: “Boiling Water”

Writer News

Yesterday, I returned from Brock, Texas. I love the big sky territory of this part of Texas.  The teachers and students were absolutely amazing. My thanks to Librarians Carol Brister and Sheila McLaughlin who made this program possible. You can see some pictures and a short video of my program here:

Today, I’m doing college stuff and tomorrow I’m speaking and performing guitar at the SCV Lee Jackson Banquet in Abbeville, LA.

Trish Murphy Lyrics: “Boiling Water”

There’s a lot going on in this song. The lyrics though somewhat cryptic, are suggestive of all kinds of a family’s and a little girl’s internal conflict. Absolutely beautiful. You can read more about this songwriter here:

Boiling Water  by Trish Murphy

It’s Friday and I’m making fried eggs
And the pane in the window is cracked
And there’s my daddy
Coming cross the pasture
Smokestack stuck in his back

It’s 97 and it’s barely lunchtime
And he blusters in through the back door
Where’s your mama
He’s just getting started
And I’m staring down at the floor

Boiling water
Just to have something cookin
Look what you’re giving away
Boiling water
Just to have something doing
Look what you’re giving away

Daughter running from the heat of the summer
She’s got to have someone, someone to blame
Daughter a dying to jump in the water
But the water is rolling away

Just like marbles make an empty box rattle
Child put your eyes back in your head
You ain’t got the sense God gave a turnip
You didn’t listen to one word I said.


97 and I’m walking on eggshells
There’s nothing to step on but cracks
There’s my daddy coming cross the pasture
Smokestack breaking his back.

An Interview with Photographer Catherine Somerlot

Sometimes I think artists are just meant to run into each other. I had the fortune of stumbling onto the art of Catherine Somerlot recently and she graciously consented to an interview.  If you’re interested in things Celtic or in photography, you’re sure to like this interview. Please visit her site and consider obtaining a piece of her art.

Q. How did you become a photographer?

A. When I was 9 or 10 I received my first camera little Kodak 110.  I went through a lot of cassette film taking pictures of my dolls.  My father dabbled in photography quite a bit (he always had a camera or video camera on hand for birthdays and holidays while I was growing up), and when I was 14, I expressed interest in learning how to use an SLR. He let me borrow his old Focal camera.  We went on many day trips around Ohio and I’d shoot rolls and rolls of 35mm film of the landscapes, scenery and historic landmarks.  Later on, I studied photography in college, but the lack of a photography degree program provoked me to educate myself and experiment further on my own.  I’m blessed to have made a number of photographic friends through my former photo lab job in a camera store.  We bounced a lot of ideas and advice around over the years.

Q. Your photography is rich in Celtic imagery. Why does the Celtic culture fascinate you? Are there further areas in that mythology you’d like to explore? How has Maidens of the Otherworld been received?

A. Maidens of the Otherworld (http://www.maidensoftheotherworld.com) is definitely infused with the Celtic/Mythic spirit in mind, although it’s more my own imagination running rampant.  So I consider it fantasy-themed, with whispers of Celtic myth & legend.  Creating this art is my way of reaching the lands I long to visit one day!  The Celtic culture has always fascinated me, and I think that love flourished because of my interest in fantasy literature…especially historically-based fantasy.  When I was a child I was enthralled by fairy tales. Since my teenage years, I’ve been reading mostly fantasy literature from authors such as Robert Jordan, Melanie Rawn, Madeleine Le’Engle, David Eddings, Kate Elliott, Stephen Lawhead and others.  The book that really struck a chord with me was “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  It’s the tale of King Arthur from a unique feminine and mystical perspective that inspired me to learn more about medieval and Celtic history.  And the rest is history!
Music also plays a huge role in my creative process.  I listen to a lot of Celtic, medieval, world, folk and fantasy-esque music that puts me in the right state-0f-mind for creating fairies, forest spirits, and other enigmatic subjects.
Maidens of the Otherworld has received some exposure on the Web and at a number of Celtic and Renaissance Faires (thanks to Christine Rose, co-author of Rowan of the Wood).  One piece, The Meadow (http://www.deviantart.com/print/4723651/), was chosen for the cover of the Fairy Society Magazine, which is set to be published online very soon. More work was featured in the first issue of Amazing Events, a Fantasyana Publication (http://www.fantasyanapublishing.com/publications.php). There has been some interest expressed by other artists looking to collaborate.  Hopefully the series will see some more local exposure here in the artsy town of Seattle now that my solo exhibit (http://catherinesomerlot.com/blog/?p=546) has opened at the Lynnwood Library Gallery.  Iíll be displaying four pieces from the Maidens collection along with a number of photographs.  This year I also hope to display and sell my work at festivals and faires in western Washington and Oregon.

Q. You have beautiful models. How do you find them? What kind of model do you like to work with? Do you do much self-photography?

A. Nearly all of the subjects you see in the Maidens of the Otherworld collection are stock models.  Stock models are wonderful people who provide portraits of themselves for artists to use in digital art or as a reference for illustration.  This is a popular trend on deviantART (http://photopixie.deviantart.com/), an online art community I’ve been a part of since 2003.  I’m able to use these portraits royalty free and have been granted permission to sell and display the art to the masses, thanks to these very generous stock providers. I would like to break away from using stock images since I sometimes find the same subjects in other’s art (since it’s available for a large community of artists).  Lady of the Lake and The Odyssey include my own models (two are statues!).  I’ve done a bit of photographic portraiture with my good friend Kristy Howe, such as the Crimson Queen (http://photopixie.deviantart.com/art/Crimson-Queen-XX-40286115) series, but haven’t turned any of it into digital fantasy art because I really liked how the photographs worked as their own series. I still would like to photograph my own subjects, but I’ve yet to invest in a studio lighting kit. Hopefully someday I will make that a reality!

Q. What trends do you see happening with digital photography? What would you advise anyone who wants to work with this type (digital) of photography? What advice would you give new photographers?

A. Digital has all but taken over the world of photography.  I was working in the photography industry  at the time the shift from film to digital was happening.  Up until I left that career in late 2006, there was still a LOT of film being shot.  I know because I was processing all that film!  But digital was really catching upÖto the point where I was printing almost as many prints from memory cards as from 35mm negatives.
If you want to get into digital photography, do your research.  If you’re a professional or semi-professional, definitely do your research!  There are many excellent digital SLRs out there, but you should find the one that best suits your needs.  Don’t buy it online…go to a camera store (not Best Buy or Circuit City) and talk to a camera sales person.  They know what they’re talking about and can answer all your questions.  If you’re new to photography, I’d suggest the same…but you’ll want to look for something without all the bells and whistles so you can focus on learning the basics like composition and the rule of thirds.  Go for a point-and-shoot camera with a good optical zoom.

Q. What future projects do you have in mind?

A. I lie awake most nights, unable to fall asleep because my mind is always working.  I’d love to have my own studio to photograph my own models for creating more fantasy art.  I’d love to collaborate with a costume or clothing designer and makeup artist to create some wildly ethereal fantasy and medieval-themed conceptual portraits.  My ultimate goal is to travel to the British Isles to capture Celtic history in photographs, then publish the series as an art book with Celtic myth scattered across the pages.

Q. What type of camera do you use?

A. I currently use a Canon 20D.  In the past I’ve used a Nikon N75 and Canon Rebel X, both 35mm film cameras.

Q. Any final words, thoughts . . .

A. You can see more of my work at the following links:
http://photopixie.deviantart.com/gallery (the largest collection of my work on the Web)
http://www.catherinesomerlot.com (my homepage and blog)
http://www.maidensoftheotherworld.com (homepage for  Maidens of the Otherworld)
Thank you so much for the interview, it was fun!

*Here is a sample of her photography: It is called, “Forest Fey.”

Here is a photo of the beautiful and talented artist:

Trish Murphy Lyrics: “St. Christopher”

I decided to post another Trish Murphy song today. This is “St. Christopher” from her Captured CD. I often wear a St. Christopher medal and the song made me think of how we rashly cast off our amulets of protection, love, and safety. I plan on turning the song into a short story.  If you’d like to know more about Trish Murphy, her busy schedule, and her music, be sure to visit her site here:

“St. Christopher” by Trish Murphy

V. 1 Put it down on paper,
Images and vapor
It all comes so clearly to me now.
A Certified disaster
The fool she is my master
But no priest can save me anyhow


Indian summer,
There won’t be another,
You will always be
Beautiful to me

I took out the dagger
Ripped off the wrapper,
Then I gave my heart and soul away
I threw out St. Christopher
I don’t know why I did that for
Now I’m searching for you every day.

V. 2 Watch the moon fade
But still I see your face
And anyway your ghost is at my door
Just like my memory
My word’s short on delivery
So I stumble to the liquor store


V. 3 I’m going under
Looking for your number
Even though I know that you don’t care
And I paid the pay phone bandit
And I took the call and slammed it
Because now the number’s old and you’re not there


“The Fox and the Hare” Traditional Irish Song Lyrics

To help me with my storytelling at festivals and school programs, I recently purchased a CD entitled, When I was Young: Children’s Songs from Ireland. This CD has 28 songs and was a good choice, delightfully entertaining and I know it will be a big help with my music. The performers featured on the CD are Len Graham, Garry O Brian, and Padraigin Ni Uallachain. Here are the lyrics to the “Fox and the Hare” which I transcribed from the CD jacket. I LOVE it when a CD comes with the lyrics. The artists and producers who do this know that having the lyrics helps motivate many of us to buy the CD.

“The Fox and the Hare”

As I came trotting over the hill
I spied a fox and he be sleeping
A cute little fox and he hiding in the furze
And the top of his two ears a peeping.

The fox and the hare and the badger and the bear
And the birds in the greenwood trees
All the pretty little rabbits
All engaging in their habits
And they’re all having fun but me.

Good morrow fox, good morrow Sir,
Pray what is that you’re eating
A fine fat goose I stole from you
And will you come and taste it.

Oh no indeed bold fox I said
How dare you boldly taunt me
I vow and I swear that you’ll dearly pay
For the fine fat goose you’re eating.

Bad cess to you bold bad fox
That stole my geese and ate them
My great big drake my fine fat hen
And the nicest little ducks in Erin.

You can find a more adult version of the song as sang by Jimmy Crowley here: http://www.mysongbook.de/msb/songs/f/foxandth.html

Trish Murphy Song Lyrics: “St. Francis Rose”

About this time last year, I heard and met a wonderfully talented and beautiful Austin musician and songwriter, Trish Murphy. I still listen to the three CD’s I purchased then, and I have incorporated a couple of her songs into my own Americana show. Here are the words from her song, St. Francis Rose, a song recorded on her CD, Captured. You can find Trish’s site here:

St. Francis Rose by Trish Murphy

They say St. Francis planted a Rose
She lived in Potter County
Where the wild mesquite grows
An audacious flower, filling up the room
You could not stand downwind from her perfume

She met him in a hardware store in Porter
She let him take her hand and take her home
And he clipped her thorns with a pair of kitchen scissors
And claimed her velvet skin all for his own

And they say St. Francis planted a rose
So tender and sweet no thorns would it grow
And thornless are the roses that grow upon her grave
Roses are slow to fade

So years went by, but she never lost her beauty.
And though tears she cried he scorned her for her pain
But all the Pekoe tea in Carolina
Could not buy her precious thorns again
So she took her life and pressed herself for him.


Daisy Chains herself around your heartstrings
Lily of the Valley hangs her head
And Morning Glory fades away
But that’s another story
Roses look good even when they’re dead.
Roses look good even when they’re dead


Ulster-Scots on the Coast of Maine by John T. Mann: A Short Review

I am a passionate student of history generally and especially all things Celtic. I was greatly and pleasantly surprised to come across a copy of Ulster-Scots on the Coast of Maine by John T. Mann. The book contains unique photographs, and has maps as well as a fascinating narrative. Another of the forgotten stories of history that I’m fond of promoting.

The books back cover says that John T. Mann is a professional land surveyor. He set out to write a report on the background and location of the Means Massacre. This is an unbelievable (but true) story of “interconnected families, forced by religious, political and economic circumstances to abandon not just one, but two homelands . . . The introduction of Ulster Scots immigrants to the Kennebec Settlement intentionally put them at the center of conflict for the domination of North America. These famnilyes were forced to confront both the French and Indian alliance and then the British Empire . . . .”

If you have interest in American History, especially concerning the involvement of the Scottish and Scots-Irish, you need to obtain this book. It can be purchased from the St. Andrews Society of Maine. Their website is here:  The pdf order form for the book is here.

I intend to use this information in my early American Literature college class. Mann and the St. Andrews Society in Maine has done Scottish people everywhere a great favor by producing such a fine little book.  As it is entitled, Vol. I, I am eagerly waiting for the sequel.

Kevin Griffin Lyrics

Kevin Griffin, a songwriter, musician, and force behind the band Better than Ezra (known to Monroe residents) caught my attention recently with a song, “Hey, Love.” You can hear the song on Griffin’s Facebook Fan page. There’s a great Wikipedia article on Griffin as well. After a search on the Web, I found several of his songs (with lyrics) posted, but I did not find, “Hey, Love,” so I decided to transcribe and post the lyrics of this great song. As is common with transcriptions, it’s likely I missed a line or two [especially the ones I put in brackets] due to recording or personal hearing issue hiccups. Send me any corrections and I’ll change the post quickly.

Hey, Love by Kevin Griffin

I haven’t felt you, for a while
II haven’t had much opportunity to smile
I see you in the eyes of couples passing by
A so missed kiss of innocence
Too long I’ve been denied

Hey Love, where you going?
Hey Love, How you been?
I wish you’d stay a little longer
But that’s okay, I understand
Maybe another day.
Hey, Love, Old Friend,
There you go again.

I found a photo and you were there
Captured in our faces just before you disappeared
Was nice to know you
If only for a while
You come and go
With a sweet hello
And a bittersweet goodbye

Hey Love, where you going?
Hey Love, How you been?
I wish you’d stay a little longer
But that’s okay, I understand
Maybe another day.
Hey, Love, Old Friend,
There you go again.

And before the new beginning
It’s just another’s end
Tell me love why I should begin, again,

Can you come back, love?

Nancy Griffith Chords and Lyrics: “Once in a Very Blue Moon”

The moon is alluded to, used as a symbol, and reverenced in mythology, literature, and music. One usage is that of the Blue Moon. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, a Blue moon happens “whenever two full Moons appeared in a single month (which happens on average every 2 1/2 to 3 years), the second has been christened a “Blue Moon.” In our lexicon, we describe an unusual event as happening “Once in a Blue Moon.”  This site has a blue moon calculator if you’d like to know when the next one is. If you’re interested in the folklore associated with the Blue Moon, go to this site.

Once again, my Americana cable station caused me to latch onto a new song. This is by Nanci Griffith, and the beautiful song is entitled, “Once in a Very Blue Moon.” I’ve posted it with the lyrics and chords. You can purchase it on iTunes (and I just heard that iTunes is lowering prices on many songs!). Nanci Griffith’s Web page is here:

Once in a Very Blue Moon written by Patrick Alger & Gene Levine

D            A        G
I found your letter in my mailbox today
D            A        G    A
You were just checkin’ if I was okay
D        A
And if I still miss you
Well you know what they say
G        A     D(walk to Bm)
Just once in a very blue moon
G        A            D
Just once in a very blue moon
G        A    Gbm        Bm
Just once in a very blue moon
G            A        D
And I feel one comin’ on soon

No need to tell me you’d like to be friends
And help me get back on my feet again n
And do I still miss you?
Well it’s just now and then

Just once in a very blue moon
Just once in a very blue moon
Just once in a very blue moon
And I feel one comin’ on soon

G            Gbm    Bm
There’s a blue moon shinin’
G            A
When I’m reminded
G                A

Of all we’ve been through
G        A    Gbm        Bm
Such a blue moon shinin’
E                        A
Does it ever shine down on you?

Oh, ’cause you act like
It never even hurt you at all
And I’m the only one
Gettin’ up from a fall
Tell me you dont feel it
Oh can’t you recall

Just once in a very blue moon
Just once in a very blue moon
Just once in a very blue moon
And I feel one comin’ on soon

Just once in a very blue moon.

Various Thoughts & Ed Miller Lyrics

Recently, I’ve been meeting Scots who aren’t from the Highland Clans, but rather from the “districts” of Scotland. Some of them have referred to themselves as Border Scots. That made me think of this song performed by Ed Miller that is part of my Scots-Irish show. I’ll have a special interview and article about the District Scots in the near future

ROLLING HILLS OF THE BORDER performed by Ed Miller
(Matt McGinn)

When I die, bury me low
Where I can here the bonny Tweed flow
A sweeter place I never will know
Than the rolling hills of the Borders

I traveled far and wandered wide
I’ve seen the Hudson and the Clyde
I wandered by Loch Lomond side
But I dearly love the Borders


Oft do I remember the day
When wi’ my love I strolled by the Tay
But all its beauty fades away
Among the hills of the Borders

There’s a certain peace of mind
Bonny lassies there you will find
Men so strong and men so kind
Among the hills of the Borders

When I die, bury me low
Where I can here the bonny Tweed flow
A sweeter place I never will know
Than the rolling hills of the Borders
The rolling hills of the Borders


Last night, I was able to personally meet Jill Conner Brown at her book signing here in Monroe at the Books-A-Million. What a wonderful, warm lady! I also met her husband, Kyle. I hope to be a part of their St. Patrick Parade in Jackson this year. The rest of this week is filled with meetings and class preparation for the colleges I work with. Preparing a college class (land based or online) is tedious and very time consuming.

My schedule (so far) for January:

Thursday, Jan. 15 A program at Brock, Texas ISD

Sat. Jan. 17, Speaking and performing at the Lee-Jackson Banquet in Abbeville, LA for the Sons of Confederate Veterans

Sat. Jan. 24: Performing at the Burns Supper for the Celtic Society of Northeast Louisiana.