Songs From The DVD – (09) In The Dead Of Night

So here we are, at the second-last song on the DVD already. Hard to imagine I started this series of blogs back in mid-March. Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun.

Song number nine on the DVD is “In The Dead Of Night”, which has been a firm favourite with just about everybody since it first appeared on the “Beyond The Tears” CD. Instead of the story I tell on the DVD, I’ll tell you the story behind just four lines in the song.

I’ll tell you the story before I actually mention the lines. See if you can work out in advance which four lines they are, ok!

We’re going back to the early eighties here, back to when I was working in Dublin. One evening I was out with a work colleague and some of his friends. We had attended a gig by a friend of mine – Francie Conway from Tralee – and we’d had a great night out. All of us, except the driver, had had a brave sup o’drink taken (as they’d say in some parts) and therefore we had a fair ol’ case of the munchies after we’d gotten kicked out of the pub/club.

The boys were all on for having a kebab at Abrakebabra in Rathmines but for whatever reason I wasn’t and being contrary as usual I said I’d walk over to Ranelagh to get something else. For the life of me I can’t remember if I picked up something at the local chipper, or whatever else was available at that time, but in any case I wasn’t going to settle for a kebab. By the time I got back the boys had picked up their kebabs and were waiting for me. We decided we’d all go back to their place and have another beer or two with our midnight ‘snack’. Such was our way of life at the time!

Off we went and we were motoring across one of the bridges on the canal when suddenly out of nowhere another car drove right through red and hit us. It wasn’t anything too serious, just knocked the front bumper off the car but it was enough to get our attention, especially because the other car kept going. We all jumped out to survey the damage. The driver picked up the bumper and threw it into the boot and then said – “get in quick!”

We did as we were told and off he raced. We asked him what he was up to and he told us he knew the area well and had a good idea which direction the other car was headed. He knew a short cut to get to the next bridge before the other guy could cut off anywhere and sure enough we arrived at the following bridge just as our ‘friend’ rolled up. Luckily enough he didn’t try to deny anything and it was all sorted in an amiable manner.

So, have you worked out yet what the lines are? Here they are;

“If I had took another road
I might have got home faster
If I had missed the things I did
Would that have spelled disaster?”

I have no idea why that incident popped into my mind as I was writing the song but it did and I’m grateful for that. I wanted the lyrics to suit the melody, which was kinda dark and mysterious, so I deliberately wrote it as ambiguously as possible. That’s why I doubt anyone could ever have worked out what was behind those few lines.

I believe the riff is so strong in this song that even when you strip it back to an acoustic version the core of the song remains. When you play a song like this, with a heavy trance-like riff, it’s great when you can get into a trance-like mood yourself and I think Ralph must have found that spot because in my opinion his playing and solo are top-notch on this version of “In The Dead Of Night”.

You can view the video here

I’ll talk to you next week when I’ll be writing about the last song on the DVD – The Peace Within.

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