© The Winter Codes 2016

Too Cool to Dance THE WINTER CODES

1. Dublin Girl

2. Friend in Tullamore

3. Troublesome Girl

4. Satellite Town

5. Too Sly to Die

All songs B. Murray

except: 3. B. Murray / P. Walshe


Too Cool To Dance is the first musical offering from new Irish duo The Winter Codes. It is the brainchild of Barney Murray and David Walshe.

Their five tracks on their EP rouse the spirits while being thoughtful too. There are love songs for people who don’t ‘do’ love songs; songs of affection for the country that bred them and the delight of pastures new. Then there is the tale of a ne’er do well getting his comeuppance and all presented with raw emotion, heart and soul. They cite influences ranging from The Pogues to the classic songwriting of Joe Jackson and melodic new wave bands like The Undertones.

The project was over ten years in gestation.

Barney was the founding member of the band Blood Or Whiskey. He and Paul Walshe, David’s twin brother, were driving forces within that group. They gigged for nine years ‘the length and breadth of the country’ but became increasingly disillusioned with the direction that the band they loved was taking. ‘I formed Blood Or Whiskey but they became influenced by bands such as Dropkick Murphys and I felt pressurised by the other members to follow that musical direction,’ Barney says.

Barney had no desire to ‘go electric’ and quit. Paul left too. Barney then moved to Tullamore, in County Offaly. After moving there, he began working as a security guard.

‘There were a good few long night shifts when there wasn’t much of anything to do but listen to music,’ he says. 'Some nights I would spend eight hours straight listening to nothing but Bob Dylan.’

Barney says Dylan was more of an inspiration than influence.

He also began working on songs that satisfied his musical cravings and Paul Walshe used to travel from Dublin to the Offaly town to work with him on the new music he was creating. He recalls a creative period in the midlands.

 ‘Paul and I would hammer the songs into shape until all hours of the night in the kitchen, with a small tape recorder to record what we were doing. Originally we called ourselves Winter Dream Stars; this was later changed to The Winter Codes. We wanted a name that took us away from the shamrocks, shillelaghs and alcohol references; we’d done all that.’

Sadly, Paul was suddenly taken ill. He was rushed to intensive care but tragically after two weeks he succumbed to pancreatitis. The musician who is still much missed was only 40.

 ‘After Paul took up guitar I began to learn guitar from him,’ David says. ‘I know he would have wanted us to continue what he and Barney had started. I think he would have loved what we’ve done.’

‘At times it was as if Paul was with us. We did find ourselves at times wondering: "what would Paul think of this?"' Barney says.

They began casting around for personnel who could add to the sound. First to sign up was Dave Hingerty, who has played drums with the Frames and sound engineer Sean Montgomery-Dietz who is as informed by stints working in the States as his experiences on the Irish music scene.

‘Dave Hingerty really ‘got’ what we were doing and Sean wasn’t just some gun-for-hire, he loved it too,’ Barney says.  ‘They told us they felt it was honest, truthful and were enthusiastic straight away.’

They took their time to appraise what they felt they needed to bring to the recordings in terms of other players and instrumentation. Over a two year period a select band of players brought body and soul to the embryonic pieces. At various times they called Dáithí Melia to add banjo and acoustic guitar; Louise Condron lent her skills on Tin Whistle, Flute and Piano; Jason Lyons added Bass and Electric guitar while Peter McNamara brought his prowess on Fiddle and Harmonica.

Barney and David are agreed that ‘when we persuaded Dáithí, Louise, Jason and Peter to come on board, it was like ducks in a row. It just took shape exactly as we’d hoped.’

The title of the EP, Too Cool To Dance, is taken from a lyric in the first track, Dublin Girl. Barney also sings ‘she will dump me right on the spot if I ever call her a mot’ in an unashamed use of Dublinese. He also sings ‘Not so hung up about the past, I’m just glad to find love at last.’

‘You know that she’s my Dublin girl…for life’ is a chorus that is instantly memorable and it could become an anthem for anyone lucky enough to have found love in the fair city or county.

 ‘Friend In Tullamore is autobiographical,’ Barney says. ‘I had lived all my life in Leixlip before I moved to Tullamore. It just celebrates the welcome I received and friends I’ve made since I moved there over ten years ago.’

Satellite Town is about a girl who leaves for a life beyond its constricting confines but before the parting of the ways warns ‘In 10 or 15 years from now I’ll call you on the phone you’ll be still living in this Satellite Town…alone’


Troublesome Girl ‘is just about girls I’ve known,’ he says.


A line in the chorus goes: ‘She’s a troublesome girl and I love her so. She tries to tell me everything she thinks I need to know.’

The closing track, Too Sly To Die tells of a character who ‘ruled by pain and fear’ ‘had a conscience like a sieve’ ‘would avenge a crooked look’ though it was thought he was ‘too sly to die… (he) but bought it still.’

It’s a composite of different people,’ Barney explains.

 ‘The character is just one of those types of people that if you met him for real you would avoid eye contact with.’

That is definitely not the case with The Winter Codes.

‘We have many other songs,’ they say.

 ‘If the people like Too Cool To Dance then it would encourage us to make an album.’

Let’s hope that it is only a matter of time.


1. Dublin Girl


Like a city despite the night

Her modernity shines so bright

Always got the best clothes to wear

In a taxi she knows the fare


She will never be ‘neath my thumb

Said the boardwalks are full of scum

When she’s talking she cuts a dash

Cos she sparkles with bright panache



(you know that)

She’s my Dublin girl

She’s my Dublin girl

She’s my Dublin girl for life


She will dump me upon the spot

If I ever call her a mot

Though in touch with the rank and file

Elevation is in her smile


Not so hung up about the past

I'm just glad to find love at last

And I'm grateful to get the chance

Even though I'm too cool to dance




Likes her music on radio

Said the countryside is too slow

Just out walking she looks so fine

I'm so happy that she is mine


Still in awe of her sense of style

Just to see her I'd crawl a mile

Knows the city with all its charms

I'm so proud when she’s in my arms




She’s my, she’s my Dublin girl

She’s my, she’s my Dublin girl

She’s my, she’s my Dublin girl for life.

2. Friend in Tullamore


We were disastered from the start

One way trip to a broken heart

Came to this town a bitter man

None of my dreams had gone to plan


Needed a break from my own head

And all the things we left unsaid

Met with such kindness night and day

Out of my hurt they showed the way



As long as I'm alive and well

No matter what’s in store

You’ll always have a friend my friend

A friend in Tullamore


Got down here on a westbound train

Carrying my baggage and my pain

Stepped out on the platform tired and scared

Didn't know anyone really cared


Walking down the high street cars went by

Stars shone bright in the midland sky

Listening to the accents unlike mine

Getting the feeling I might be fine




I found some comfort and peace 'round here

It was the antidote to my fear

Gentle people so kind and true

Gave me the chance to start anew



3. Troublesome Girl


Talk about some sunshine on a rainy day

Talk about a way to make me lose control

You were always thinking what was hard to say

Even if you said it, it was hard to know


Living without you was the strangest feeling

Wasting my time with nothing else to do

You had a way to set the darkness reeling

You had a way to make the world look new

True: but what could I do?




She’s a troublesome girl and I love her so

She tries to tell me everything she thinks I need to know

She’s a troublesome girl and she blows my mind

She says she'd never leave me but she’s wasting all my time



Talk about a way to make me change my mind

Talk about a way to run and chase the day

I had always wondered what you hoped to find

You were always saying there's a price to pay


Being without you was a hard old station

Sitting around with nowhere else to go

You had a way to change the situation

You had a way to make the good times flow

So: but what do you know?




She’s a troublesome girl

(I hope she really loves me)

She’s a troublesome girl

(I hope she really loves me

She’s a troublesome girl

(I hope she really loves me)

Oh no

4. Satellite Town


She came to see me on the night before she left the town for good

I told her that this was her life and not some script from Hollywood

She said the world will know my name if I can only leave this place

I know just how to play the game I've got the body and the face




She, laid it on me, laid it on me

Then, she, laid it on me then she said

In ten or fifteen years from now I’ll call you on the phone

You’ll be still living in this satellite town boy

Still living in this satellite town boy

Still living in this satellite town alone


How can you blame someone so young who wants to rise above it all

I thought before a song was sung that she was destined for a fall

The elevation that she sought I could completely understand

My own attempts had come to nought it hadn't worked the way I planned




Her fear of ordinary life was one thing that I also shared

She swore she'd make no man a wife but that depended how things fared

I said be careful what you ask for one fine day it might come true

She said I'm ready for the task and by the way what’s it to you?



5. Too Sly To Die


Saw you on the high stool holding court I know you ruled by pain and fear

Dishing out the suffering for the sport I'm glad I never got too near

All that unease you couldn't show you had a conscience like a sieve

Anyone who crossed you came to know you didn't forget or forgive




I thought you were too sly to die

I thought you were too sly to die

I thought you were too sly to die

But you bought it still


You were no stranger to revenge I know you gave more than you took

Half of the time it made no sense you would avenge a crooked look

Paranoid feelings in your heart though you ignored them come what may

Many had tried to take your part oh but you held the tide at bay





But you bought it still

But you bought it still

But you bought it still

But you bought it still



One cold night one simple mistake they had the whole thing organised

Didn't feel sad or go to the wake but I really was surprised





But you bought it still

But you bought it still

But you bought it still

But you bought it still


All songs copyright B Murray
except Troublesome Girl copyright B Murray / P Walshe



Barney Murray: Songs, Vocals, accordion

David Walshe: Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, Harmonica

Dave Hingerty: Drums and Percussion

Jason Lyons: Bass, Electric guitar

Dáithí Melia: Five-string Banjo

Louise Condron: Tin whistle, Flute, Piano

Peter McNamara: Fiddle, Harmonica

Recorded in Grouse Lodge, Westmeath and Apollo Studio Dublin

by Sean Montgomery-Dietz


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