Chris de Burgh: Spanish Train and Other Stories (1975)

Chris de Burgh’s Spanish Train and Other Stories (1975) is not really about Spain at all. Or trains. But by God it’s a cracking read.

Faithful readers will already be aware of the fact that the first part of my analysis of Chris de Burgh’s poetic oeuvre hit a few nerves, or at least pushed the pause button on at least two portable CD players, with JDG and Tom weighing into the debate by dropping some pertinent comments about CDB’s career stages and the true gravity of ‘The Lady In Red’, respectively.

While, as ever, there’s never enough time to explore these issues deeply, can I just say that I’ll be happy to hear from anyone who has time for Chris, as JDG and Tom obviously do, and that while we may differ in our opinions about what may be his best song or album, what inevitably brings us closer together is our admiration for his songwriting abilities, not to mention the fact that Chris has now been made a goodwill ambassador for the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (PDF).

Yes, folks, just in case you didn’t hear it the first time, it’s all about respect.

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Chris de Burgh and his lyrics: Far Beyond These Castle Walls (1974)

Chris de Burgh has never really received proper credit for his lyrics. While his reputation as a musician was cemented early on by such classic tracks as ‘Spanish Train’, ‘Crusader’ and ‘The Traveller’, his equally poignant use of the English language deserves attention.

Let us, however, not speak of ‘Lady in Red’.

If we pretend, for a moment, that each of Chris de Burgh’s albums is instead a collection of poems, the results are startling. Far from being merely a competent guitarist and composer with a talent for soaring and majestic melodies, Chris de Burgh is also a poet.

However, Far Beyond These Castle Walls . . . (1974), Chris de Burgh’s first collection of poetry, showcases a poet who, alas, does not yet know it.

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