Brian McGrath

Brian McGrath

 Chicago, Illinois, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Biography

Chicago has long been blue collar - a place where people work much too hard to worry about irony, a place where the weather equalizes all, a city where people's hands bleed with a day's work. This is Brian McGrath's home.

A folk singer/songwriter, McGrath delivers with pained passion an honest portrayal of the everyday struggles of regular folks. There are no frills here, only the directness and sincerity of a shared experience expressed through vocals that are powerful yet tender, pained yet hopeful. Musically, McGrath's sound is a unique mix of American folk with Irish folk and rock, a perfect backdrop for his vocals and lyrics. Played live, the songs ignite in a fury of passionate urgency that remains long after the embers have faded and the lights go out.

Brian McGrath is currently playing shows in and around Chicago in support of his debut EP, titled "Back of the Yards" The EP can be downloaded at brianmcgrath.bandcamp.com with a no minimum, name-your-price option.

Lyrics

All Broke Up

Written By: Brian McGrath

Oh Love, won’t you ease my worried mind
Cause every time you’re gone I can’t sleep through the night
Outside the sirens wailing, can’t get to bed at all
I call your phone keeps ringing everytime I call you
Are you coming back to me?

And I said love, I’m headed out the door
All Broke up, not coming back for more

Oh love, what you doing here to me
Midnight comes through the cemetery trees
I’d follow you wherever and when you think its calm
I’ll cut you down forever, keep you in the palm of my hand
Are you coming back to me?

And I said love, I’m heading out the door
All broke up, not coming back for more

Oh love, where’d you go?
It’s me, and I’m in hell
Oh love, why’d you take so much?
There’s always something that gets in the way
I guess it’s time, time to live… to start living again

I'm A Ghost

Written By: Brian McGrath

I put the coffee on
You wake the little ones
Try to hit the road, before the darkness comes

Seven years a stranger to the ones I love
Never here when I’m here always there
Just trying to hold on

Well I, I am a ghost
And I wander this waking world when the lights are low
And I, I am letting go
Hell I’m much too young to feel this goddamn old

Now the rain’s a’coming
But the fire burns strong
Well I’m sometime here but then again I’m sometimes gone

Won’t you stay with me baby
‘Til we reach the end
When the darkness it goes and the sun it returns again

Waiting on Friday to feel alright
Drowning my troubles, getting in fights
When Sunday comes, I’m a Ghost, I’m a Ghost

Well I, I am a ghost
And I wander this waking world when the lights are low
And I, I am letting go
Hell I’m much too young to feel this goddamn ol

Streets of Chicago

Written By: Brian McGrath

In the Streets of Chicago
Where the heavy winds blowing do come
I was thinking that I’d find some peace there
I was thinking my hard days were done

Oh my love, I know we’ll make it
If can just get through the day
Better guard your face from the fire
As we slowly die away

In the Streets of Chicago
Well I’ve aged and been beaten down
The lines on my face are a roadmap
To the places that I’ve never gone

Don’t you know the whole world is watching
While you bruise and batter your young
Better guard your face from the fire
As we slowly die away

In the Streets of Chicago
Hellish heat in a howling wind
The damp of the brick and the mortar
Oh man I’m never coming here again

Don’t you know the whole world is watching
While you bruise and batter your young
Better guard your face from the fire
As we all slowly die away.

Fine Line

Written By: Brian McGrath

Well you can buy yourself some time
Keep the colors from bleeding across the lines
But it’s a fine, fine line that keeps us here inside
Don’t you know what I mean?

Take a long hard look at yourself
Take a long hard look at yourself
Well you’re quick to criticize and slow to apologize
Take a look at yourself

I don’t need you to save me
No I don’t need you to save me
I’m not without need but despite what you may see
I don’t need you to save me

Well I’m high above the sidewalk looking down
High above all the commotion on the ground
And all that I can see is trampled dignity
Don’t you know what I mean?

I don’t need you to save me
No I don’t need you to save me
I’m not without need but despite what you can see
I don’t need you to save me

Well look at all the trouble you’ve made
Look at all the trouble you’ve made
You don’t think that you have failed but I beg to disagree
Look at all the trouble you’ve made

And sometimes its just too much to bear
And other times I wish it wasn’t there
But the things that have been done I wouldn’t wish on anyone
As hard as that may seem

I don’t need you to save me
No I don’t need you to save me
I’m not without need but despite what you may see
I don’t need you to save me
I don’t need you to save me

Winter is Coming

Written By: Brian McGrath

Burning embers in day-glo orange
Black night turned daylight
All the dead have been reborn

Winter is coming
You’ll lose all your pain
Get’s lifted away, in the howling wind love

Oh Lord, what have I done?
Never wanted to become, what I have become
Take me home, where I was born
On the howling wind
On the howling wind love.

Cold night weighs heavy on a tired mind
Shadows dance in the darkness
Playing tricks on tired eyes

Three shots in the distance
A bright flash of orange
One more that finds me and it brings me to the floor

Oh Lord, what have I done?
Never wanted to become, what I have become
Take me home, where I was born
On the howling wind
On the howling wind, love.

Oh Lord, what have I done?
Never wanted to become, what I have become
Take me home, where I was born
On the howling wind
On the howling wind, love.

Without A Price

Written By: Brian McGrath

Well the sun hangs lazy over me
Throws a light on the man I turned out to be

And for all of my talk about change
Every time that I tried, it just turned out the same

I was born in these streets 38 years ago
To an absentee mother and a father who stole
I worked down at the mill at the age of 16
Round about the same time I discovered whiskey

But it wasn’t without a price
And I’ll continue to pay for the rest of my life

Oh Lord, make it end!
Can I do it all over again
Cause the pain of every day
And all these bills I can’t afford to pay

Cause there’s no way out, no good way back in
And there’s hardly any hope in hand
And for the first time in my life, I see just how broke I am

And for all of my talk about change
Every time that I tried it turned out the same

But it wasn’t without a price
And I’ll continue to pay for the rest of my life.

Back of the Yards

Written By: Brian McGrath

And you loved me then
You said you’d be my friend
Forever ‘til the end

I say I want to head south
To figure the whole thing out
To find a new way out

But you, you just stand still
Content to wait and get your fill
You let me suffer, you let me take that pill

And I see that we’re slipping away
The night gives way to day
Some things just never change

And all my big ideas
And everything I said I’d do
I’ve got nothing left for you

So long, my dear old friend
It had to break it could not bend
I guess there’s nothing forever ‘til the end

And for all my big ideas
And everything I said I’d do
I’ve got nothing left, got nothing left to give
I got nothing left to give

Discography

Back of the Yards EP - 2010