“There is a little bird called the Arctic Tern. It breeds in the sub-arctic regions of Europe, Asia and North America. This little bird travels over 44,000 miles a year, from Arctic to Antartica, and everywhere in between. I find that pretty fascinating” says Eoin Boyle closing his reply to my enquiry about the inspiration for his most recent video.
I wrote previously that the song was about the affect of immigration on Irish society but Boyle points out the song is much more than just that. “It’s not about any one thing” says Boyle. “I like to leave room in my songs for people to create their own interpretations of things. It’s interesting how you picked up on it being about Irish people who have emigrated in recent times. Sure, it can be about that. It can be about different things to different people. For me though, it runs a little deeper. I remember coming up with the guitar rhythm part first, as I do most of the time when I write songs. It had a kind of progressive (almost trad) feel to it. It didn’t need to go anywhere else. It didn’t need to move or change into a chorus. It didn’t need to be forced. All it needed was to just “be” and keep on moving. One chord throughout with a drop in the root note, and the foundation of the song was created. The only thing it acquired now were words. I noticed the birds landing on the trees outside. It almost seemed like they flew in right on cue to make me aware of their presence. I started to think about their world. What was it like to live in their world?”
For Boyle the song is about freedom. “Imagination. A dream world. A world of respected orders, with Kings and Queens. Like an old fairy tale of far off places. Destinations “we can only imagine”. These birds share our world, but they own the skies. I think we often fail to understand that. Most of the time we don’t even realise they’re there. It kind of got me thinking about how we’re all missing the bigger picture. We’re so caught up in ourselves as a society, and in our material worlds.. “truckers hauling desires”, we miss the bigger picture. Almost like human evolution has programmed us to forget. But it is a positive song. It’s about being aware of all these things and encouraging others to make the most of life. Not to take things for granted.. “This could be your revolution”.” he says.
As for the video, Eoin Boyle is new to the form and asked Sean Clarke and Chris Walshe “if between them they could perhaps make it appear how a bird might see the world.” Boyle adds that they didn’t really lock into any narrative as he wanted the viewer/listener to be free to interpret.
Watch the video here