Ben Sands

Ben Sands

 Newry, N Ireland, GBR
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

Ben's songs, music and stories have been charming audiences all over Europe and beyond for many years.

As they say in Ireland, "he has a way with him!" - and he certainly has a way of making you feel better than you were before!

Biography

BIOGRAPHY

Ben Sands lives in County Down, Ireland, close to the mountains and the sea and not far from the small farm where he and his six siblings grew up in the 1950s and 1960s.
He sings songs - mostly his own. He writes songs - about life and love and the ways of the world. Some are whimsical, some are sad and some are very humorous indeed. In between, he tells stories of his formative years and his adventures on The Road ... and some of these stories are true!
He plays quite a few instruments - guitar, banjo, mandolin, whistles, keyboards, and fiddle - he has even been known to wrestle a tune from the uilleann pipes.

In recent years, Ben has been primarily a Solo Artist, performing mostly in Ireland, UK and Europe, but with occasional trips across The Atlantic.

Whenever possible, he joins sister, Anne and brothers Tommy and Colum as members of the illustrious and much-loved band, The Sands Family  http://www.sandsfamilyfolk.com

Ben's "live" shows are legendary : he performs consistently with the same natural ease, whether playing to a large theatre audience or at an intimate House concert.

Meanwhile his songs and musical compositions are also travelling widely, finding their way into the repertoires of many artists, near and far. 

To date, Ben has released six solo albums, including "Better Already" (featuring the oft-recorded "Hug" song) and the highly acclaimed “Take My Love WIth You” : its title track was written for and sung to his daughter Kellie on her wedding day.

Ben's most recent album, "Troubadour" was released in December, 2015.

Homepage: www.bensands.com
E-mail: ben@bensands.com


Lyrics

I'm Glad it was You

Written By: Ben Sands

I'M GLAD IT WAS YOU
Words & Music Ben Sands, 1993 Copyright Control

I'm glad it was you and not somebody else
that I met when I walked in the door
Seems like an age since I stepped on the stage
and I thought I would see you no more
But it's easy with hindsight to know where to turn right
it really just happens in dreams
We were young, so young then
when nothing is quite what it seems (2)

So, what are you doing and where have you been
since we both felt the need to be free
Did the job that you talked a bout ever quite work out
or had you to travel like me
Well you know just how hard it was, breaking my heart it was
just to see blue on the sky
We were young, so young then
finding it hard to get by (2)

Now after all this time I'm back here again not much further than when i began
A little bit older and maybe the wiser
still doing much less than I can
But who counts the wothwhiles or measures a gir's smile
And who puts a value on dreams
we were young, so young then
when nothing is quite what it seems (2)

Better Already

Written By: Ben Sands

BETTER ALREADY
(Words & Music Ben Sands, copyright Control, 2003)

Some times I’m top of the hill, some times at the bottom
Don’t bother telling me troubles, I’ve already got ‘em
Sometimes I feel like my boat is far from being steady
But the minute you walk in the room I’m better already

I spend too much time at the window, just hoping for sunshine
Looking for solace in dark secret glasses of red wine
The walls are too thin to keep out the din of the city
But the minute you walk in the room I’m better already

CHORUS
You come through the door with assurance galore like the first break of dawn
The smile on your face brings hope to the place and the darkness is gone
One wave of your hand and you show me a plan where none was before
The doubts are all stopped, the voyage is mapped, I’m close to the shore

I’ve pains, I have aches, my head is just booming like thunder
I’ve shivers and shakes and I know you might say it’s no wonder
Body and spirit and mind all screaming for pity
But the minute you walk in the room I’m better already

I once bought a clock that goes backwards, I got it in London
If I could just turn back the time I’d be worth a fortune
But days turn to nights, dreams turn to nightmares so quickly
And the minute you walk in the room I’m better already

CHORUS

I’m sick, sore and tired of being sick, sore and tired in the mornings
It’s time to start reading the signs and heeding the warnings
There’s a mountain to climb and I’m still not sure if I’m ready
But the minute you walk in the room I’m better already

Some times I’m top of the hill, some times at the bottom
Don’t bother telling me troubles, I’ve already got ‘em
Sometimes I feel like my boat is far from being steady
But the minute you walk in the room I’m better already (3)

Goodbye John Joe

Written By: Ben Sands

GOODBYE JOHN-JOE

Words & Music Ben Sands Elm Grove Music 1993

Well, I got up today for to go to Rathfriland
To sell the hairy pony and the cow
They were both past their best, good for nothin',
just the way that I'm a-feeling now

CHORUS

Goodbye John-Joe
It's gettin' very late and the morning comes early
Goodbye John-Joe
It's time I was home in my bed

The money that I got sure it wasn't worth countin'
After I had paid a few bills
I still owe the meal man more than a fiver
The grocer's a-waiting for my will

Chorus

I felt like a drink so I went to Johnny Arthur's
To have a quick half'un and a beer
I'd the best of intentions of going home early
But it's well past eleven now and I'm still here

Chorus

Well, I just have enough for a cure in the morning
If I live to see another day
I'd better tell the wife I had holes in my pockets
For God's sake man, would you let me get away

Chorus

Daisies for Dara/Katie's in Clover

Written By: Ben Sands

No Lyrics

Hug (We All Need a Hug)

Written By: Ben Sands

HUG
Words & Music Ben Sands
@ 2003

I remember I wasn't much older than four - maybe five, at the most
the go-to-school mornings were colder - no such thing as a bus
our mother'd be searching for schoolbags and combing our hair the wrong way
As she buttered our toast and buttoned our coats, here's what my mother would say

Chorus
We all need a hug in the morning and one at the end of the day
And as many as possible squeezed in between to keep life's troubles at bay
No matter, wherever you ramble, your problems be great or be small
It is my belief - for instant relief - a hug is the best cure of all

I met an old exile in Boston, who longed to go back home one day
But he thought no-one there would be carin’, for he’d been so long away
To stop a tear drop in his coffee, he gave his old whiskers a tug
And I knew that he’d give all he needed to live
For a big welcome-home-again hug

Chorus

There’s a doctor who lives out in China, a master of medical arts
They tell me that there is no finer in curing all defective parts
He says that the very best treatment - the only truly safe drug
The only elixir that surely will fix you
Is a big warm, old-fashioned hug

Chorus

And when Adam was cast from the garden and feeling that life was unfair
his temper was starting to harden when Eve said “I've nothing to wear”
But God in his mercy looked kindly, He gave his wide shoulders a shrug
I’ll give human kind a small piece of my mind
And so he created the hug

Chorus

A letter can bring consolation, a phone call can brighten the night
In the midst of great aggravation, they can put at least some wrong things to right
But when your heart feels like it's breaking, your life slipping down past the plug
And you feel like a ghost, the thing you want most
Is someone to give you a hug

Chorus

Coffee and Cheesecake

Written By: Ben Sands

OFFEE AND CHEESECAKE (The Cheesecake Song)
Words & Music Ben Sands © 2008

In the corner of a café with a coffee, killing time
and a second hand newspaper that someone had left behind
Perusing some old story that had bored me twice before
when I saw you through the headlines as you walked in through the door

Well, my heart began a-beating like a hundred conga drums
and the muffin I was eating scattered in a spray of crumbs
When you walked up to my table and you said “is this place free?”
I mumbled “yes” and spilled the cup of coffee round my knee

Chorus

Come here ‘til I tell you, there’s something about you
You make me feel like no one’s ever made me feel before
I can’t even thinka ‘bout living without ya
And I knew it from the minute that you walked in through the door

Well, I ordered two more coffees and you sat down with a sigh
You looked so sad and lonely and then began to cry
And I became all flustered and I tried to dry your tears
with a hankie from my pocket that had been there several years
Then you told me your sad story, you described your life to me
as you ate the piece of cheesecake I’d been saving for my tea
By the time that it was finished sure you had me in your spell
and cheesecake notwithstanding, I’d have followed you to hell

Chorus

We chatted on together for an hour or two that day
Then as quickly as you came to me you quietly slipped away
You said you might be back again next Tuesday afternoon
but seven Tuesdays later I stir memories with a spoon
Oh you meet so many people and remember very few
just the ones who touch your heart and remind yourself of you
So I sit here in the café and behold the trouser stain
with the cheesecake in my pocket just in case you come again

Chorus

Most Almost Always (I think of You)

Written By: Ben Sands

MOST ALMOST ALWAYS (I THINK OF YOU)
Words & Music Ben Sands @ 2010? ?waking and sleeping I think of you?laughing and weeping I think of you  ?sunrise and sunset, all the day through?most almost always?I think of you? ?driving in sunshine I think of you?watching the skyline I think of you?winter and summer, grey skies or blue ?most almost always?I think of you???I often say I don't know where I'd be without you?Sometimes I hardly know my name?and  just in case you read these words I write about you?you'll know my life can never be the same??long nights in hotels I think of you?town clocks and church bells  I think of you?pizza and red wine and tiramisu?most almost always?I think of you??waking and sleeping I think of you?laughing and weeping I think of you  ?sunrise and sunset, all the day through?most almost always?I think of you

Discography

Troubadour, Dec 2015 (Spring Records)

"Live" in Berlin (Self) 2013
Take My Love With You, CD, 2010 (Spring Records)
Better Already, CD, 2003 (Spring Records)
Roots and Branches, CD, 1998 (Spring Records)
Take Your Time, CD, 1993 (Spring Records)

.... and more than 20 albums with "The Sands Family"

Set List

Usually 2 sets each of 45 minutes, mainly own compositions with some traditional songs and instrumentals and well chosen covers.