Chris de Burgh: At the End of a Perfect Day (1977)

I’ve been flat out digging through the online archives of the Chris de Burgh website, in particular the vast wealth of information contained within the Man On the Line (MotL) section, wherein Chris personally responds to questions and queries.

While, unfortunately, the MoTL section has now been deleted from the website, thanks to the wonderful Internet Archive we’re able to continue to access the sheer beauty of CdeB interacting with his fans. One such fan asked:

. . . any chance you’d release some of those haunting lyrics as a book of poetry? They read just as well as they’re sung. Hold that thought! I want 10% of the royalties!!!

—Joseph Cotter from Cork, Ireland, 25 April 2007

Chris’ response was interesting for its glancing reference to the poetic craft:

I am not sure that song writing lyrics when written on a page are as anywhere near as good as when they are accompanied by a melody. Because that’s what they are designed for. And they might look a bit banal or indeed dull if not accompanied by the music that they have been set to.

—Chris de Burgh, 25 April 2007

While it has always been my determination to demonstrate that the lyrical output of de Burgh in the 1970s and early 1980s was nothing short of prodigious, and amounts to a cultural phenomena, I am sure even the casual fan of Chris would agree that even in these ‘Norman-era’ years Chris has his moments, and then he has other moments which he will later regret.

And these regrets compound upon one another, here, at the end of his apprenticeship as a poet, from which he will emerge, but two years later, as the first of his great historical guises: that of the Crusader. Onwards …

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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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