Hang Me Out to Dry

by Trip McCool

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Close your eyes and you find yourself wandering into an Irish Pub off the beaten path. A band is playing and the sounds are familiar; the well seasoned voice, tin whistle, accordion and fiddle but the songs... have you heard them before? They carry the rocking authenticity of the Pogues and the poetry of the old Irish ballads. It's as though Roddy Doyle is the barkeep for these tunes, spiked with ironic humor that ebbs and flows just as strong porter follows whisky. A laugh and a tear; both valid. You wake to find you have just listened to the latest collection of songs by Trip McCool, "Hang Me Out To Dry".


released February 17, 2020


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Trip McCool Holly Springs, North Carolina

I put on the guitar and sing as if my ancestors were listening; and I truly believe they are so I better not disappoint them. Trip is the part of my soul that never forgot the sacrifices they made. My people rose up from the Irish mud to make a better life for me. I write songs for them, for my people, the immigrants, the poor, the salt of the earth. It's all true, even the lies. ... more

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Track Name: We Fish For Dreams
My Grand-dad worked this very boat
When he was just a lad
Rowed these ancient waters, his fists turned ironclad
He wore the Aran sweater that his Mammy knit for him
The family knots and patterns
Twisted deep within

His son tore down those crimson sails
Once proud on Galway Bay
An outboard engine takes a man
To Cod banks far away
Then factory ships they raped the sea
Stole every feckin’ fin
Left nothing but a diesel slick and a Cheshire grin

Cast a line on the water
Sail a boat on the sea
After all, sons and daughters
We fish for life, We fish for dreams

I caulked I chinked this Hooker boat
I sewed these crimson sails
I take her out on Galway Bay
To race the Minke Whales
I swear I leave those fish alone
But still I cast my net
I haul the plastic from the bay
There’s hope for Galway yet
Track Name: Hang Me Out To Dry
I got off on Friday To the wife, I headed it home
But I run into a Gin Mill Little Lassie sang a song
Well I told her I was single Oh I must have lost my mind
My pockets used to jingle Now I haven’t got a dime

Oh, Dump me in a Flop House
Stick a penny in my eye
Stab me with a clothespin
And Hang Me Out To Dry

A nickel gets a coffin And you sleep in it so tight
For a penny there’s a clothesline And ya hang on it all night
In the morning all hungover From drinkin’, stinkin’ booze
And a copper grabbed my collar When I threw up on his shoes

Well the judge he looks me over And I sez, “I done no crime”
Your an insult to the public That’s a fifty dollar fine
So I call my darlin’ deary Now I’m in the County Jail
Oh my assets all upended And she will not throw my bail

You love your frickin’ freedom But if you love your wife
Stay clear of gin soaked women Cause you pay and pay for life
Now listen wayward fathers It’s a warning now from me
Put your nose into the grindstone Put the bab-y on the knee
Track Name: Evermore
Long ago we walked together
Down the path that led from school
While talking softly all along the way
Then in all my years of travel
All my life I’ve played the fool
Our secret I kept safely tucked away

How you cried then when you told me
That you’d never be my bride
Your family made the troth so long ago
It was sealed with a dowry
But never with a kiss
Your hand he holds, your heart he’ll never own

Evermore, evermore
Why did you say my darling, evermore

With a gold pin from your sweater
You bled my thumb and yours
Mixed them both upon a wild primrose
Oh I swore on my mother
Yes upon her holy grave
I’d never tell another living soul

Got the word then from my brother
And he told me all the news
He mentioned how your man had passed away
Oh I thought then of your sweater
The pin, a bloody rose
The old school path, can we still find our way
Track Name: The Selkie Girl
I left my mother’s loving arms
Stepped out in this world
Heard my father’s last refrain
Beware the sea, the swirl And the Selkie Girl

Shipwrecked on a rocky shoal
Drowning, lost, alone
A fin, a flip, a flash of grey
She pushed me to the stone, the Merrow folk call home

Her hair that sets the heart to flame
Twisting in the wind
I twisted like a knot of blame
Oh the seven sins, She shed her selkie skin

She gave me drink of bloody wine
Went straight to my head
Lost all track of place and time
Took me to her bed, Her Selkie bonny bed

A broken heart, a broken song
No never can I rest
My love, my youth, my money gone
All that I have left, Her tattoo on my chest
Track Name: John Barleycorn Must Die
There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die
They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in
Threw clods upon his head
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead

They've let him lie for a long long time, 'til the rains from heaven did fall
And little Sir John sprung up his head, and so amazed them all
They've let him stand 'til midsummer's day 'til he looked pale and wan
And little Sir John's grown a long long beard, and so became a man

Then came the men with their scythes so sharp, to cut him at the knee
They've rolled and tied him by the waist, to serve most barbarously
They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks,
Who've pricked him to the heart
And the loader he has served him worse than that
For he's bound him to the cart

They've wheeled him round and around a field 'til they came onto a pond
And there they made a solemn oath, on poor John Barleycorn
They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to beat him skin from bone
And the miller he has served him worse than that
For he's ground him between two stones

And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl, his brandy in the glass
And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl, the strongest man at last
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox no more, nor loudly blow his horn
And the tinker he can't mend, the kettle or the pots without a little Barleycorn
Track Name: St James Gate
A man a horse are on display
Two relics of a bygone age
The people point the children laugh
The air is free, not the photograph
Old Dobby’s kind, and kitten tame
I fix my cap, I comb her mane
She does not drink, she does not swear
Make a dollar here and a Euro there

Farewell the street down St James Gate
The world we love, is the world we hate
Sweet fields of green, be still my heart
Where angels play on a Guinness harp

My brother works the family farm
His wife the hag, will twist his arm
They ask me out for Sunday Tea
“Sit by the fire, come warm the feet”
And tell the tales of long ago
When times were hard..Well, I don’t think so
My only friend is this old nag
She loves me more, than any hag

When shadows grow so tall and long
She pulls the cart, I sing the song
Ol Dobby’s back is a little swayed
And so is mine on a winter day
Track Name: Gravy In The Grave
Oh my people come from Dublin, but me I’m from the street
The rounders and the grifters shine the shoes right off your feet
It’s darkest in the light of day, you peek down in a hole
A drunkard tries to catch a rat to save a baby’s soul
Baby soul, baby soul, Catch a rat to save a baby’s soul

I joined the Irish Rifles it was 1917
I’d save the States, save the frogs, save the bloody King
The gangster pound from Ironbound, we swore we’d lick ‘em all
‘Til I was cryin’ in the trenches when the night would fall
Night would fall, night would fall crying for me ma when night would fall

The bombs they blew my ears off, my nerves are broken glass
The winter froze my fingers, the sergeant chewed my ass
My feet commenced to rotting, I lost the old back bone
I coughed a crippled lung up, half of me is coming home
Coming home, coming home, less than half of me is coming home

You give a boy the devil’s job it ends in silent screams
Then angels mop the blood of men that cannot wake from dreams
You’re punished if you’re catholic, you get the Irish curse
You end up like your father in the gutter, maybe worse
Maybe worse, maybe worse you end up in the gutter maybe worse

The truth is where you find it, it’s lying here and there
And money’s just as wispy as the coal smoke in the air
A pork chop hits the table and it’s divied up 5 ways
Ya dream about potatoes and the gravy in the grave
In the grave, in the grave, ya dream about the gravy in the grave
In the grave, in the grave, sweet Jesus give me gravy in the grave
Track Name: The Urge To Roam
Somewhere down the road I lost the feeling
When this caravan became my home
Damned if I can stop, and start the healing
How did I get this curse, the urge to roam

Once upon a time all Ireland was mine
Feared by men and loved by every maid
A slick and silver tongue, handsome as a song
Couldn’t wait to hit the old highway

You kiss a pretty girl, it changes your whole world
You do the things a good man wouldn’t do
Pull your trousers on, leave by early dawn
You didn’t ask, you swore ya never knew

The rumors drift around the streets of a small town
Like Sunday funnies on a windy day
The boy becomes a man, starts rocking in a band
I heard him once, my god that kid can play

At this stage of life, I’ll never take a wife
A lonely fool is all I’ll ever be
Following a star, I got my old guitar
It keeps me safe, it keeps me company
Track Name: Cabbage And Spuds
Victoria, The Famine Queen
She told the Lords, It’s quite obscene
They feed their children, their Irish mud
Let them eat Cabbage, if there’s no Spuds

My Mom was German , my Dad a Mick
She pickled cabbage It made him sick
She called it Kraut he called it crud
Just boil the Cabbage in with the Spuds

My dear old Granny on her deathbed
She asked the priest are angels fed
Well he says, no and she says good
I’m sick of Cabbage I’m sick of Spuds

Saint Patrick’s Day most people here
They eat corned beef they drink green beer
But Fish and Chips we’re best of buds
My cousin Cabbage my brother Spuds

I won’t eat Haggis I won’t eat snails
I’d rather dine on rusty nails
It’s in my bones it’s in my blood
I go for Cabbage I go for Spuds
Track Name: My Hands
Oh my hands move slowly like the hands of time
Old and tired are these hands of mine
Chewed and bitten, no the nails aren’t clean
Stiff and twisted from a mad machine

Oh my heart is heavy and my heart gets sore
Nearly breaking when you knock on my door
My head is telling me you lost your chance
But my heart won’t listen to my common sense

How I feel about you, It burns down deep in my soul
Gonna walk beside you, And help wherever you go
If it hurts to hold you, My god, then let it be so
What it takes to love you
My hands can’t do it, my heart can’t do it alone

You say you’re sorry and you’re gonna change
My bones grow weary of the running game
Oh my back is bending and my spine grows weak
My mind says leave you but my mouth won’t speak
Track Name: The First Robin Of Spring
When the world lies hard on thy shoulder
The birds still remember to sing
When the world lies hard on thy shoulder
Look for the Robin of Spring
The Very First Robin of Spring

Some days it all feels so endless
Staring off into the blue
Long winter nights, near pointless
Then nature brings wonderful news

A fluttering sound in a meadow
Rustle and rush taking flight
A nest gaining shape in the branches
A season returning to life

Listen for truth in the treetops
The promise of peace that it brings
Turn to the sky in the morning
Search for the spreading of wings

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