Originality and how falling out with my own music made me appreciate it more!

So what do Groucho Marx, a difficult drumming score and CRAZY eye-lashes have in common? Well, somehow or another their paths crossed in a small, two bedroomed house on the east coast of Ireland in 2011, when I set out to create something original! 🤔


Music ‘originality’ is highly questionable. After all, there are only 8 notes in an octave and 12 keys to choose from. On top of that there are fundamental rules about how we move around those keys and notes. So inevitably, music is repeated and copied and repeated and copied and repeated and copied…. Most music we listen to reminds us of another song or piece of music we listened to, so being TRULY original is very, very difficult.

I released ‘Moody Blues‘ in February 2011 and I was super proud of it. It did very well for me and received lots of praise and radio play, becoming a very popular choice on morning radio for its’ energy and message. However, less than 3 years later, I actually didn’t want to perform it anymore. I was a little embarrassed by it. The cynic that had begun developing in me was not, excuse the pun ‘in the mood’ for it anymore. It was a little too cheesy for my liking and it hadn’t opened any ‘serious’ doors for me. Embarrassed as I am to say it, I didn’t care for it anymore and I left it out of many if not most performances.


Fast forward 7 years and naturally life has changed me. It changes everyone year by year, experience after experience. My focus on ‘serious’ doors opening for me and being levitated into music industry fame pissed off about 2 years ago thank God, when real life came along and bit me in the butt a few times. Life softened me, despite facing some of my hardest moments and eventually I remembered to look at the whole, sweet, glorious picture.

I had become a musician who forgot the importance of being a creator. I had become a musician who depended on likes and shares and being ‘cool’. As much as I tried not to be musically driven by what people liked and what 2FM or Today FM were playing, I tried to be part of that gang. I burned out trying to fit in. Last night funnily enough, I had a dream about meeting a group of girls who I went to secondary school with. And guess what, they were the same bunch of assholes in the dream as they were in secondary school. Only, this time I was SO relieved not to be part of their gang.

Somehow or another, Groucho Marx, a crazy set of eyelashes and a nifty little drumming score were put together because I had ideas. Musical ones, lyrical ones, visual ones. And with a determination to see that vision through, ‘Moody Blues‘ came to life. Of course someone has already sung some of the lyrics and there are lots of chord progressions and melodies that have been played a million times before but the way in which those elements are presented and arranged because of the vision behind it are what make it original. Anyone can reproduce something that’s already done by changing it up a bit but originality lies in the commitment to a new way of presenting and arranging the musical content.

<I’m very proud of the song despite there being things about it that aren’t all that ‘cool’ anymore or ever maybe 😮 Because art is really just a moment in time, original because of the creator not because of the tools. Credit to Martin Quinn in Jam Studios for his incredible ability to produce and understand my mad ideas in studio and the very generous team behind the video production who survived on tea and crisp sandwiches. Finally to the beautiful venue that is Darver Castle in Co.Louth for letting us use their home and venue for our fun and games.

Thank you, chat soon x


‘MATTHEWS TAKE YOU THERE’ – My first company song!! #sRated


So after months and months of waiting to share the news with you, I can finally reveal that I have written my first ever company song for Irish transport and tour operator Matthews.ie!!!


I was delighted that at the end of 2013 Paddy Matthews CEO of the company, asked me to write a song for them. I was a little scared to be honest, simply because of the nature of the song he wanted. It had to showcase the company services and sentiments and also include the company name. Now, as anyone who writes songs or poems know.. rhyme whether it’s in your face or barely recognisable, some words are nearly impossible to use. The vibe and momentum of the word and how it moves and fits into the song and with the music is also a massive factor. Anyways, without boring you, the point is that ‘Matthews’ is a very difficult word to fit into a lyrical sentence!! 🙂 I wrote a blog post at the time describing my experience of writing to brief, which you can read here: https://sineadmcnally.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/do-these-briefs-fit/

But I decided to give writing the company song a shot and after a few days of pulling my hair out and revisiting lots of different ideas, Matthews Take You There finally came together!! It is being launched on May 7th in Dundalk in conjunction with the company’s 20th anniversary, alongside another project that I have worked on with Matthews.ie called the ‘Matthews Arts Showcase’ and it deserves a whole blog post of it’s own, which will be posted soon!

Matthews Take You There Song and Video

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of 2014 and I have been completely useless with blogging updates since August! All of my attention went on my NCKids project NCKids which only really finished last week… More to follow on that.

For now, I just wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year and reflect musically for a couple of moments on the year that was 2014!

I learned to toughen up and start thinking ‘business’ in 2014. It meant being a bit of a ***** at times but I realised that if I was to realistically live and earn from songwriting and performing, I had to step it up a notch and act professionally even if that meant upsetting some people in the process. That may sound a little harsh but it was a transition I had to make or else leave my music in a very hobby-like, comfortable, safe and people pleasing place, which just wasn’t for me.

So with that, I made the decision in January 2014 to open up some opportunities that were both musically challenging and enjoyable as well as being clever little business moves that generated revenue and could individually be built into successful little businesses! I am proud to say that I have achieved those ideals and whilst I have to remain tight lipped about one of them until its launch in April 2015, the NCKIDS brand is off to an exciting start. Yes, it requires work and a lot of funds before it’s a profitable business but I have lots of ideas for 2015 that may help speed it up and attract some investors.

I didn’t write anywhere as much as I normally do in a year. I’ve missed it terribly but my head was somewhere else and I’m looking forward to the time off in January to play with some ideas, write for some pop pitches and just explore where I’m going as an artist.

I guess you could say that 2014 has been about the songwriter ‘business’ person in me. Thinking outside the box as a writer with a view to being a
a music entrepreneur of sorts. Whilst it hasn’t been easy turing up in boardrooms negotiating contracts and being business savvy, I have to admit that I have enjoyed the challenge in it and more importantly the reward in hearing the music you wrote getting the professional respect and reward it deserves. There are of course times that I write and play just for sheer personal and social enjoyment regardless of the reaction or outcome but there are no words to describe just how good it feels to see what you do best becoming a real career, a real business!

Thank you for keeping up to date and taking an interest in the music and events. I hope ‘Showtime’ provides some insight or inspiration for other songwriters out there and I promise to write more frequent updates!! Thanks also to those of you who are supporting what I do. I am very grateful.

Happy New Year!!
Sinead x

‘The Ballad of the Tiger’

I wrote this poem earlier this year and then wrote music for it. I am in the process of recording it and filming a video so that I can share it online with you all.  I hope the poem and the song will help people grieve for the many difficult changes and losses in their lives over the past 5 years and perhaps help us all to move on and have hope for the future..

‘The Ballad of the Tiger’ by Sinéad McNally

We’ve all been a little bit downWe’ve taken a beating but we never made a sound

All the bruises and marks on our skin are sinking in

Building dreams by digging holes

Concrete fields and show homes

Forgotten dreams now it’s all gone to waste

On the ghost estates


They spent, they lied, we lost we cried together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together


Lining up instead of clocking in

Moving out instead of moving in

All we own for sale on the cheap just to make ends meet

We carry on as our loved ones disappear

For a better life in a place overseas

Two clocks ticking on the wall telling times abroad


They spent, they lied, we lost, we cried together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together


Savings schemes, government bonds

They kept on giving until it was gone

No convictions for the debt that they caused, we took it all

A nation’s loss is another one’s gold

They sit round tables and tell us what we owe

It’s you and me and the people next door who feel it more


They spent, they lied, we lost and we cried together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together