Giving credit

When it comes to songwriting, you generally only get credit if you write either the melody or lyrics of the song. Any of the other elements that go into creating a song are not worth a songwriting credit in the eyes of the industry, or the law.

For example, drummer Steve Gadd has no songwriting credit for Late in the Evening, despite the groundbreaking drum pattern that in many people’s eyes defines the song.

Bassist James Jamerson and the rest of the Motown house band The Funk Brothers have no songwriting credits on the 30 no.1 hits on which they played, despite them writing and creating the iconic backing tracks on top of which the vocalists sang.

And despite Joe Walsh sitting for three days with Don Felder to create one of the most famous guitar solos of all time, he has no songwriting credit for Hotel California.

Whatever about credit in the eyes of the law, or the music industry, it’s important to give credit to people and agencies when they play an important or crucial role in the creation of something. Sometimes it’s nice to do it privately, other times it’s important to do it publicly.

So in that spirit, I would like to thank Creative Ireland and Creative Sligo for funding a particular project on which I’m currently working. It just wouldn’t be happening without the funding they have provided.

Last week Auriel Robinson of Seatrails took myself and a group of teenage musicians up Knocknarea and told us about the geology, mythology and archaeology of the mountain and the tomb.

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The next step for us is to write, record and make a video of a piece of music inspired by Knocknarea and Queen Maeve. Stay tuned for the credits!

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