This Old Dark Machine ~ James Vincent McMorrow

Give thanks to BadTux, The Snarky Penguin for today’s music selection.

James Vincent McMorrow is an Irish folk music singer-songwriter.

A songwriter from Dublin, McMorrow’s vocal talent and songwriting has resulted in invites from some of the worlds’ most influential artists to play alongside them including the legendary Al Green, Tracy Chapman, Bon Iver, Mark Ronson, and Iron and Wine.

Citing Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, Joan Baez, Neil Young, Band of Horses, The National and Sufjan Stevens among his influences, he is noted for his rich falsetto voice.

His debut album ‘Early In the Morning’ is out now. It was entirely self-recorded by McMorrow over a five month period in a cottage by the sea, with McMorrow playing each instrument. It was released to acclaim in Ireland and the UK in March of 2010, and worldwide in January, 2011.

“This record was borne out of my desire to create something singular, take the simplest of chords, wrap them in washes of melody, so lines come in, they drop out, everything ebbs and flows as the songs move towards their inevitable end. I don’t sit down with an agenda when I write, I usually have a first line, and a vague sense in my head of where I’m going, but no real solid structure. Music tends to reveal itself to me over the course of weeks and months. It’s probably quite like sculpting, you have a chisel, you know what’s waiting for you inside the stone, all that’s left is to chip away the pieces and reveal it.”

This Old Dark Machine


spring it came upon us,
every insect filled the air
dropped their wings upon my brother,
cast their shadows on his hair

if we follow where they’re leading,
we will surely come before
some unseen and wondrous magic
made of visions to explore

near the town where we were living
was an old abandoned farm
every year we’d plant an orchid
in the shelter of it’s arm
to protect us from the madness
of the future still to come
it will be like this forever
i will keep you safe from harm

then they caught us in the summer
dressed in fathers finest clothes
you the hat he wore to market
i the jacket filled with holes

i’ve been searchins all these hours
for a hand as pale as bone
that would keep the strongest sunlight
and reflect the brightest stone

near the town where we were living
was a warm and fragrant smell
of the orchid we had planted
now a forest tall and well
what a statue to our greatness
what a story all will tell
they’ll remember us forever
they’ll remember where we fell

this old dark machine, it shakes and it shudders
pulls to the left, then dies near the gutter
but still in the road, the traffic is silent
the people they stare, and then they turn violent
if they should touch, the hem of your dress
i would rise like a lion, strike out again
the faithful they wait, the faithful they wait
by the sign

near the town where we were living
came a loud and joyous sound
as the earth and all her beauty
picked us up from off the ground
carried far across the mountain
to a kingdom never bound
we will live like this forever
i will love you
i will love you
i will love you

  • Audio from the 2011 album, Early In The Morning:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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