The Difference Two Years Make.

Ireland’s greatest band, Bell X1, have just released their new album “Bloodless Coup”, and after listening to just two songs so far, and despite having a number of songs by other artists to post over the coming weeks, I just felt compelled to post “Nightwatchmen”.

But in doing so, I’m left pondering what a difference a year makes in a life – or two in my case.


Two years ago, I featured Bell X1 here, and posted about my life at the time – some very rough times personally; my feeling a little bit broken; about how I had to just keep on keeping on.

And now, two years later – well, I went through tougher times after that post; the peaks and troughs rose and fell; and even to this day, there are good days and bad days. But right now, right here, so many more good than bad.

Long it may continue – through experience, I know it’ll change, that every day, week, month or year brings challenges and opportunities in equal (and sometimes not-so-equal) measure.

But all we can really ever do is go on how things are now – and tonight, life is good.

Scratch that – life is great.

So, two years later, I give you Bell X1 (again) – a band who are proving to be a true soundtrack to my life. The best band in Ireland (and yes, far better than that other one), “Nightwatchmen” is a personification of epic – Paul Noonan’s falsetto; an absolute lyrical journey; the building of a wall of guitar, piano and drum…

I dare you not to get chills at the change from 2:16 onwards, and feel your chest constrict as you feel the pure, unadulterated, unconditional yearning…

To the girl among nightwatchmen
My other, my joy
With your oil-drum fire
You were my gentle unfolding
The wool and the dye
The needle and eye
These songs you sing
As you waltz her up the stairs
And the boy smiles at
The wheels of the chair
We are loved for these
Things that pass us by
All we’re good for
As the sand flows into the hourglass
You hold every grain
That it might remain
Part of me wants to see you crumble
Like those toys on a plinth
Pool of alabaster limbs
Into my arms, so that
I might have my place
Although the crutch may just
Serve to dull the only blade
That you brought to this fight
Let’s go another round
To the girl among nightwatchmen
The long fingers of morning
Will take you by the hand
Precious stones,
They’re all spoken for
You’ve chosen the tunes,
Everything is just so
And now birdsong,
Ice clinking in the sun
Dripfeed of gentle talk
And pleasantries
And I wait for a gap in the traffic
To tell her I’ll always
hold you close
It’s all I’m good for

Bell X1 – Nightwatchmen

www: Bell X1 official site, MySpace, and Facebook Page.


  1. Saw them live again last night, and was hoping they’d play this. And they did. And I think I’m in love.
    So so so so good.

  2. Can I please recommend you check out The Frames. They are phenomenally good – also Irish. Lyrics = amazing, melody = all there, passion = in droves, heartbreak = frequent and humbling. Their spin-off project (sort of) The Swell Season are also amazing. Check out the soundtrack to the film Once. Amazing. Do it now!

  3. The line that gets me the most is “These songs you sing, as you waltz her up the stairs”. I completely agree with you. I love how the song builds. I classify this song into the category of “hauntingly beautiful.”

    Thanks for the blog, I added it to my google reader. I’m always looking for new musical suggestions.

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