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Chris de Burgh song tales: Untrained Melodies by Chris High

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Chris De Burgh

Who is Chris de Burgh and what the work of Chris de Burgh means to me - by Chris High.

  

So what is it about young boys and girls who insist on reading books under the bedclothes by torchlight? Stories that would normally go ignored, suddenly take on a whole new importance when confronted by those dreaded words 'bedtime' and 'lights out'. So important, in fact, that the tales cannot wait until next morning. The chapter has to be read, the page completed, the line ended before any hope of sleep can contemplated.

I was like that. Many a night was the time when The Secret Seven had just reached the best bit, as my main light was extinguished and so forcing me to reach for the torch once parental footsteps had receded.

Chris de Burgh at the piano

As I grew older and things became more accessible, however, books were replaced by television. A small black and white portable set was given to me one Christmas and I used to spend my evening watching it in my room, whilst my parents ran the pub in which I was brought up.
It was on that TV that I first encountered the music of Chris De Burgh and, like my clandestine reading, it was way after a time of night when it should have been turned off.

There used to be programme shown by the BBC called Late Night In Concert, hosted by Annie Nightingale. This show, unsurprisingly, used to air concerts late at night. What was unusual was that they usually featured bands that either nobody but die hard fans had ever heard of or those who were permitted peripheral airings on Radio 1. It was on such an edition of Late Night that I saw my only televisual glimpse of Journey for example, who I believe have only ever toured this country once.
But I digress.
Whilst huddled up in my bed, Annie appeared to announce that the evening's performance was to be given by Chris De Burgh, somebody at the time I had only ever associated with lift music at Christmas time. Something about a Spaceman listening to music I remembered.
Devoid of anything else to watch (this was still at a time when TV shut down at about midnight during the week) I waited for the show to start and on he came. He sang songs about stranded ships, Satanic Spanish trains, evil ferrymen, flirtatious strippers and a place where peaceful waters flowed. For half an hour, I was transfixed to the point of almost getting caught ( a sin which may well have resulted in the confiscation of my prized TV). But as the show ended and the credits rolled, I thought I'd get to know a bit more of his stuff anyway.
At the time, I was more your average AC/DC, Led Zep, Deep Purple head-banger sort for person. If it didn't have guitars to split your spleen, then I wasn't really interested. So I suppose that watching that edition of Late Night In Concert in around 1981, could be marked down as a sort of watershed in my musical appreciation.


True to my word, I went out the next day and did precisely …. nothing!
No Chris De Burgh albums were to grace my record collection for around another 5 years or so and when they did, it was by chance.
By now I was married and, like most young females, my wife was besotted by a tune that was currently at number one in the UK charts. It was about some woman dressed in red dress at a dance or something. Further to this, Diana Princess of Wales had given her seal of approval to the song's singer. This commendation only added to the song's popularity and so lengthened its stay at the top.
One day I was walking around W H Smiths in Chester. They had a massive record department at the time and I could often be found in there, mainly because it was probably the cheapest place to get stuff that I really liked. Over the tannoy system that they had playing the latest releases, was a song that I instantly liked. Don't ask me why, I just did.
The song was about some boy coming home from the war, retiring to the seaside with his wife and saying goodbye to everything. At this time I was impulsive about music. If I liked a track, I bought the album. Consequently, I had a massive album collection of which around half were stacked and destined never to be played on any more than a few occasions.
The album was called Into The Light and the song Say Goodbye To It All. The Lady In Red was also on the album and my wife thought that I'd flipped when she saw that I'd bought it, because it didn't have guitars to split your spleen on which were still my usual cup of tea. This despite the fact that Led Zep, AC/DC and Purple had been replaced by Queen, Dire Straits and Genesis with Peter Gabriel.
So that was the start. A chance encounter with his powerful performances when little more than a child and bit of retail therapy in a newsagents, led to my becoming a fan.

So what do I like about his music? Well, as I've said already, Chris De Burgh's is not the usual style of music that I listen to. I'm a huge fan of music such as Peter Gabriel's or Dream Theater's. Yet CDB still manages to get me to listen. How is easy, because he is a richly talented, thoughtful and provocative lyricist with the ability to capture the imagination through a song.
Chris De Burgh doesn't just sing words, he paints pictures in your head and allows your imagination to wander through Country Churchyards, across Crusading Battlefields and over Borderlines.
He is also poignant, sentimental and musically articulate, being able to play a host of different instruments. Oh, and his voice, both live and recorded, is pretty darn good too!
Over the years that I've listened to his work, Chris De Burgh has been a constant companion, which has been an inspiration to me - personally - in more ways than one.

Chris High


New Album 2004 - The Road To Freedom
Chris High previews the new album from Chris de Burgh.

Ferryman Productions
Unofficial information about Ferryman Productions Ltd.

Miss World 2003
CdeB's daughter Rosanna is crowned Miss World 2003.

The Chris de Burgh Story
A ten minute streaming video presentation - 'The Early Years'.

There's a New Star Up In Heaven Tonight
A tribute to Princess Diana and her connection with Chris de Burgh.

CdeB Rare Facts
A collection of hard to find and uncommon CdeB facts.

Chris de Burgh on songwriting
Quotes on the songwriting process from Chris de Burgh.

Chris de Burgh Guitar Solos and Riffs
A look at some of the amazing guitar solos in CdeB album tracks.

Chris de Burgh The Simple Truth 1991
An in depth look at The Simple Truth concert of 1991 in aid of Kurdish Refugees including pictures and streaming video.

Chris de Burgh Record Collector
Chris de Burgh has featured twice in Record Collector Magazine.

Mike Doud art for Chris de Burgh
The paintings of Mike Doud for the 1986 Chris de Burgh records.

Chris de Burgh - A Child Is Born
This truly amazing 2 minute video shows Chris de Burgh morphing from a baby to the present day - awesome!

Chris de Burgh - This Is Your Life
A Flash presentation adapted from the UK British TV series in 1992.

Chris de Burgh - Memory Game
Match all the CdeB pictures against the clock.

Chris de Burgh - Album Covers Game
How well do you know the CdeB album covers? Why not test yourself here.

Chris de Burgh - Song Title Quiz
Can you work out the clues to discover the correct CdeB song titles?

Chris de Burgh - Picture Puzzles
Rearrange these 5 CdeB single covers online - dynamic puzzles.

Chris de Burgh Java Applet Games
Highly addictive Chris de Burgh Java games - Great Fun!

Chris de Burgh Crossword Puzzles
Either play online or print out to do later, both easy and hard levels.

Chris de Burgh Competition
A Chris de Burgh MP3 music quiz - win a copy of 'Untrained Melodies'.

Chris de Burgh DHTML Zone
Dynamic HTML effects, just a bit of fun with some familiar pictures.

Chris de Burgh talks about wine
CdeB talks about his wine collection and what good wine means to him.

Chris de Burgh links
We've scanned the Internet to bring you some of the best CdeB websites.


UNTRAINED  MELODIES  INTERACTIVE  CD-ROM  FOR  PC
This amazing new CD-Rom containing 12 short stories inspired by the songs of Chris de Burgh is designed for ease of use for both fully sighted and visually impaired. Read, print or just listen to these fascinating tales narrated by the author - Chris High.

Untrained Melodies - the full interactive experience is available now! MORE INFORMATION or ORDER YOUR COPY ONLINE



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“Writing gets me away for a while from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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