Lyrics Insights 4 – Starlight and Starlings

Hello Ethryllites everywhere. This Sunday we have an insight into the lyrics of Starlight and Starlings, which is now available to buy for download and to stream from Google Play Music. You can find it by following this link Google Play – Starlight and Starlings. 

You can hear us perform Starlight and Starlings along with other songs from our album in progress “Murmuration” at our upcoming gigs;

Thursday 26th May 2016, 20.00 – Taste Eatery, 36 Kingsgate, DoncasterDN1 3JU.
Friday 3rd June 2016, 11.00-12.00 – Sheffield Supertram (Details on routes TBC).
Friday 5th August 2016, 20.00 – West Street Ale House, West Street,Sheffield.

Starlight and StarlingsStarlight and Starlings

Starlight and Starlings is about genius not recognised, appreciated or duly celebrated within the lifetime of the discoverer. It uses the metaphor of the apparent drabness of a starling until they fly in “Murmuration. The first verse refers to artists and performers and the second to scientists and engineers. It tries to convey hope to any artist or scientist that someday their contribution may be recognised and their name remembered, even if they don’t live to see it. The title of the song was inspired by a birdwatching and astronomy event held jointly by the RSPB and Mexborough and Swinton Astronomical Society at RSPB Old Moor

In the first verse an artist character sings in the first person, plaintively of the fear of being unrecognised*. The second verse is in the third person and names several scientists. Ignaz Semmelweis was the father of infection control and medical hygiene. He was hounded during his lifetime for daring to suggest that, through their practices, physicians were in fact spreading disease., Alfred Wegener, who first suggested the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift, had his theory laughed at until it was accepted as late as the 1960s. Alan Turing, due to the highly secret nature of his work during WW2 and anti homosexual discrimination, was recognised in his field, but did not become a household name until well after his death. Ludwig Boltzmann was a 19th century physicist who determined how we could predict the properties of matter from the atoms which form it. Although he received academic recognition, and a chair at the University of Munich. Boltzmann was forced to defend his work from (sometimes vicious) peer criticism, until he took his own life in 1906 aged 63.

We were incredibly lucky to come across the brilliant artist Jane Tomlinson who is kindly letting us use the beautiful image “Evening Starlight” for our album artwork. When I first was the picture I thought “If I saw that on an album it would make me want to listen to you music”. It also beautifully captures the mood of the developing album. The glorious greens and purples are perfect for Ethryll too. We highly recommend having a look at her other work. Her Map of the Plays of Shakespeare is a beautiful and witty must have for any English teacher’s classroom wall.

Evening Starlight

Much of the recording of this track was done during the Easter holidays 2015. We were very grateful to be allowed to use the facilities at Sheffield High School as, at the time, the recording equipment we owned was becoming somewhat antiquated. Our PC hardware and software to mix and master the track was likewise ancient and not up to the job. In 2016 we have finally been able to upgrade to using the excellent and simple Audio Evolution for Android for recording, and SONAR for the mixing and mastering. The real gem has been having Kris Hudson-Lee’s producers ears and technical know how in the band. We finally feel we have the means to produce a recording to a standard we feel happy to put out there. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we have enjoyed the journey bringing it to you.

(*Tip for any artist who feels unappreciated: Make an edible cake sculpture. Everyone loves cake, and your art will sell, especially if it’s chocolate flavoured).

Starlight and Starlings

I’ll try to sing a song for you, But I can only squark,
I try to strut upon the stage, When I can merely walk,
You’ll never see my colours, Until you catch me in a ray,
Of golden light, as I spread my wings,
At the close of day.


But then there’s
Starlight and starlings in the evening sky,
A million wings around Venus
And the watcher wonders why,
Each silhouette against the setting sun,
Is a transient work of art,
The flock so much greater than
The sum of every part.     

They tried to explain the world for you, You thought they only squarked,
Semmelweis, Wegener, Boltzmann, Turing and folk,
You never saw their colours  ‘ til you caught them in a ray,
Of golden insight, as they spread their wings,
At the close of day.


Chorus x 2

The flock so much greater than
The sum——— of every part.

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