Tullamore Dew

Musicians: Frank Daulton: Bass; Takashi Koba: Erhu; Larry Ransome: Dunbek, Jembe & Shakers; Roman Rhodes: Acoustic Guitar & Vocals; Chika Togashi: Backing Vocals; Tim Wiltshire: Banjo & Electric Guitar.
Released 2017
Words & Music © Roman Rhodes, 1994. Multifolkal, SOCAN


How many songs about the denial of love?  I think I was an expert at that once. Though this song was written long before "A Man Once Called Me," on the Emergent Sea album, it is about the same woman and experience.    

In Old Amsterdam by the Vondel Park 
on a bicycle built for one, 
She clung to my waist as I pedaled through the dark
To the places where tourists don't come.

We opened our hearts in bars of darkened oak 
Sipped Genever and Tullamore Dew. 
Our lips lingered on glasses; 
hands missed all the passes 
For I didn't want to lose you know who.

                                               From    A Man Once Called Me

We literally rode around Amsterdam like that, to different old bars, and drank and laughed the night away.  It was magic.  But I was in a relationship and so was she, so we repressed it.  "With my hand on my chest, my thumb did its best, to plug up the leak in my soul"  I think I had to wait for the right album and instrumentation to get Tullamore Dew right. The lonely sounding Erhu was the magic choice, and Chika's ethereal backing vocals.  Of course Tim's Banjo was essential for the country feel.  If I hit it right then you should have a feeling of blossoms drifting off apple trees in the wind.


Tullamore Dew

© Roman Rhodes, 1994


1. Blossoms on the apple trees,

            I tried to only think of these,

            but my mind got caught in a summer breeze

            blowin' over seas to you.


2. Trilliums in bloom in the vernal woods;

            didn't help, didn't do me no good:

            I closed my eyes and there you stood,

            large as life in front of me.


(Chorus 1):            Tullamore, Tullamore, Tullamore Dew,

                                    drowning in a glass of thoughts of you;

                                    so rare, so precious, so truly few

                                    such magic, comfort and ease.


3. My love falls like the maple keys;

            I can't help my hearts pluralities;

            most never turn into trees;

            I should have known you would.


(Chorus 2):            Genever, Genever, Genever sighs,

                                    trying to live in a world of lies,

                                    hiding our love deep inside

                                    so as not to hurt her.


4. My crops are planted in the field.

            I expect another bumper yield

            of emotions I just can't wield

            with or without you.


(Chorus 3):            Apfelkorn, Apfelkorn, Apfelkorn tears,

                                    washing up my deepest fears:

                                    a ship in a bottle built of years

                                    smashing on the rocks of you.


(Repeat Chorus 1)

 May 25th, 1994, St. Lazare





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