St. Martin's Eve

I decided to enter our local art centre’s songwriting competition, which closes at the end of the week :smiley: It will be judged by lyrics, composition, melody and concept, not performance, so I didn’t spend too much time fiddling with the mix :laughing:
(Finalists to perform in July). It was good fun and different.
Blurb and lyrics below the video for anyone interested.

Blurb and lyrics

Photo number 6 looks like St. Martin’s Eve parade, which takes place on the 10th of Nov, setting off opposite our house in Coronation Gardens. People gather with home-made lanterns and sing songs, then proceed along the Marine Lake to a bonfire where biscuits are shared. I believe it was started by some of the Germans in our community. It remains a popular celebration in northern Europe.
St. Martin was a soldier in the Roman army. He had visions of Christ and in one story, cut his cloak in half to give to a cold peasant. He ended up reluctantly becoming Bishop or Tours in France.
I always felt a stark contrast between the celebration of light and friendship on St. Martin’s Eve and the sombre militarism of Remembrance Day parades the following day.
The song starts off in A minor, with the changing of seasons, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Bonfire night…
The chorus is in German (artistic licence!) with a key change from minor to major, focusing on the light, spirit, and optimism.
I chose German lyrics to emphasise the differences, adding English backing vocals to explain the content. (English translation below in red)
I thought what’s going on in Gaza fits in nicely with the whole peace/war theme.
This was good fun.

Lyrics, Brian Larsen
Music, Brian Larsen (Guitar vocals) & Chris Goldring (guitar, mandolin & violin)
(my brother, Hans Larsen in Dublin, on drums)

St. Martin’s Eve

Clocks stood still for an hour last month
Guy glows in the embers
Tricks all played, no treats today
All saints and souls departed

Harvest is gathered, gratitude given
Shadows grow in grey
Winter’s coming, lock the doors and
Huddle round hearth and flame

St.Martin, you soldier of Rome, divide your cloak in two
Clothes for the cold, care for the old
You reluctant Bishop of Tours.
Reluctant Bishop of Tours.

Und im Rheinland feiern wir das Licht (light the flame)
In meiner Brust brennt des Geistes Feuer (our spirits soar)
Vor der Dunkelheit, keine Angst (face the dark)
Wir fliegen durch die Nacht (come fly with me)

(And in the Rheinland, we celebrate the light
Spirit’s fire burns in my breast
No fear of the dark
We fly through the night)

And in England we remember
With poppy pins and wreaths
Armistice November
The Lions and donkey screams

And loaves, fishes and missiles rain down from Gazan skies.
Five thousand fed, ten times that dead
St. Martin, tell me why?
St. Martin, tell me why?


Und im Rheinland feiern wir das Licht (we light the flame)
Vertreiben Kriegs Ungeheuer (banish war)
Mit Laterne und mit Lachen (lift the lantern)
Wir fliegen in die Nacht (come fly with me)

(And in the Rheinland, we celebrate the light
Drive out the monsters of war
With lantern and with laughter
We fly into the night)


Hi Brian,
After reading the music lyrics you already had the like/hart , and the real hart .
Then I started typing a story with everything I thought was good and special… but I deleted it, I will say the whole project… it could hardly be otherwise (well I know your competitors not of course) will reach the final :partying_face::sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :clap: :clap: :clap: BIS BIS BIS it will :grin:

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Cheers, Rogier :smiley:

It was really more a show of support for the guys who run the Friday night open mic sessions. They are (almost) as supportive as this community and deserve as much enthusiasm as we can muster.
I was happy enough with the lyrics, and was hoping Chris would provide the tune. He did come up with an interesting one, but it just didn’t work with this song, so we went with my initial dirge. Hans & Chris did their best to paint the pig with lipstick, but it wouldn’t quite hold still…
As they say it’s the taking part that counts :rofl:

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But Then it must be a pretty good group because in terms of lyrics and as a form of art expression it is certainly not out of place in many art houses … the fact that the vocals are a out of tune in one part does not detract from that when I look at the judged points …

I say at least 10 points … that is so much more than the Netherlands got this weekend :grin:

I’m genuinely curious about the rest of the performances there, so I’ll pump up my tires and drive by…

Now closing time here ,finaly cooling down here with the last hour rains and playing so so much guitar tomorrow and on and on and on … I hope :sunglasses:

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Very cool Brian and I love the switch between English and German. The song had A kind of a Dire straits feel at times. Best of luck :shamrock: with the competition :+1:

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Very nice Brian :clap: :clap:

Good luck with the contest and I hope that you make the finals!

The song was very enjoyable and I thought your lyrics were excellent. You are always good with lyrics, but I thought this one was particularly good.

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I am sure you were told this a few times here, but you are very talented if something like this comes naturally to you. I loved the song, English/German switch works really nice and those lead fills + solo are beautiful. I hope you will win.

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What a powerful piece of music Brian, Chris and Lars. Universal, expressive, creative, artistic, real, cleverly crafted. Quite exceptional.

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What an awesome piece of music. To my ears everything was spot on and it had a kind of Leonard Cohen vibe. The writing was excellent. Please keep us updated on your progress in the competition. Well
done all of you :clap: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hey Brian, I enjoyed your new creation very much. You are so immensly creative and your songs/productions get better and better.
I love the taking up of contrast/antipole emphasized by the change of languages. Very well done lyrically.
Guitar playing was gorgeous, the Knopfler like sounds decent and smooth. I guess, you’ve musically created an accurate picture of the present time and those weird opposites we live in. So many wonderful things everywhere on this earth unneccessarily go down to ashes due to mankinds stupidity…
Congrats to you and your co-musicians! All the best for the contest!

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Hello Brian, that was - again - an impressive production :clap: :clap: :clap:. I admire your songwriting abilities. Changing to German took me by surprise, but fitted the song very well :+1:.
We celebrate St. Martin’s Eve every year - but without having this harsh contrast on the next day :innocent:.
I also like the switches between major and minor. They really do their job - changing the mood.

I’m curious to hear more about your progress in the competition :smiley:.

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Cheers, Eddie, much appreciated :smiley:

That’ll be Prof. Goldring :laughing:

Thanks Jenny :smiley:
Music competitions (or as @CT used to call them ‘beauty contests’ :laughing:) are ridiculous. Justin used to host them on a monthly basis on the old forum. However, they do have the very useful function of getting folk off their backsides, creating and sharing things that they would not have done otherwise.
It’s really irrelevant to me whether I make the finals or not (apart from the fact that I’d have to learn the lyrics and how to perform it live :roll_eyes:). The main reason for participating is to support the organisers as well as a good learning experience.
(Of course, I reserve the right to blow my trumpet, should my genius be finally recognised)

Hey @Boris1565 , thank you :smiley:
I firmly believe that if you keep doing things, folk will get used to it and sometimes even get to like it

@batwoman Maggie, what a pleasure and how generous.
Yes, sometimes, I leave out the dark humour and keep it serious
You are one of the creatures of the night who carries a lantern :bat: :izakaya_lantern: :kissing_heart:

Cheers, @Tim_Wilson
Funny you should mention that. At the time of writing, I was learning a seriously depressing Cohen tune in A minor and consciously went with that vibe for the English verses. Yay! :smiley:

@Helen0609 and @NicoleKKB
Vielen Dank, liebe Freunde! :smiley:
It shouldn’t surprise you that part of me was conscious of you guys while writing this, thinking ‘who’s going to get any of this?’ :laughing:
Thank you both for the listen, positive comments and good wishes


Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. Good luck with the beauty contest, I’m sure you’ll do well, you’ve got the luck of the irish, previous experience winning them and have written and produced an impressive song. I also got a dire straights vibe. Look forward to checking out your depressing cohen tune.

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Very creative Brian. Some very thoughtful lyrics but will the judges have access to your background notes? Without the notes will they know what the song is about? I certainly wouldn’t have. But then again I’m a non arty farty Scotsman. :grinning:
Others have commented that they enjoyed the use of German language, but my first thought was “Why is he singing in German?”

I’m just giving you my immediate thoughts Brian. I’ve never written anything so what do I know. I think it’s incredible that you’ve written and put together something that’s going to be entered into an art centre competition. You’ll probably win!

I went to a Banksy exhibition in Glasgow last year. It left me cold. Say no more. :joy:

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Cheers, James :smiley:
I haven’t seen any shares of yours recently. Have I missed something or are you building up to a magnum opus?

Goodness, I’m not sure that will be be shareworthy. I got sidetracked as you can see :laughing:

@sairfingers Ta Gordon,
You often point out how you are a ‘meat & potatoes’ man when it comes to art, but the way you perform betrays an artists sensibility underneath that gruff exterior :rofl:
Yes, explanations were a requirement. The ‘blurb’ above was mine.
The chorus harmonies in English provide the meaning of the German anyway…
The 'Arts centre’ is more like a small village hall :rofl:


I haven’t had anything worth sharing and work has been busy the past couple of months. I’m still plucking away and providing feedback/answering questions on the community.

Definitely not magnum opus but maybe your cup of tea. If only I could finish off the lyrics to the final verse and bridge. Time will tell.

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I know. That doesn’t go unnoticed :wink:
I’m also aware that some of us (!) leave a flurry of comments just before we drop a song, knowing that we’ll feel guilty if others respond and we’ve been negligent :rofl: (I also think that’s reasonable)
Keep on banging your head against the wall with the other… Something always gives in the end :wink:

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Great stuff, Brian. You are evidently a man of many linguistic talents.

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Well hell, since you @'d me…

Yeah, these beauty and/or popularity contests are something to contend with. Play the game and be happy with your participation award. Don’t even get me started on the JustinGuitar Community mosaic. For goodness sakes update that thing with active members. You certainly belong in there and possibly on the community Mount Rushmore. Maybe someone will photoshop that real soon. :slight_smile:

Keep making us think about “stuff”, and pushing your style forward. Play on playa!


Always worth tagging Clint when you feel like a comment with a sting in the tail :smiling_imp:
Too much sugar-love makes us soft. :rofl:

Just wait till you get a load of my next offering :rofl:

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