Years ago, I was in band playing original music and we were about to record our first demo in a real live studio. In those days in Ireland, studios were reserved for bands like U2. This was our big opportunity. We spent weeks figuring out the three songs we were going to record. We were all set.

And then, this happened.

It was a Friday night and I was supposed to be meeting my bandmates and a few other friends for some drinks. I was sitting on my bed, just about ready to go, strumming a few chords on my guitar. Suddenly, a melody came to me and I started writing a chorus. Then a verse. Then a middle eighth. An hour later, I was late to meet my friends, and I’d just written one of the best songs I’d ever written.

Walking down the road to the pub (in those days in Ireland, you walked to the pub. Nobody had money for taxis), I started writing the lyrics. And then, the harmonies that the backing vocalist would sing. There was just one problem: the backing vocalist had to be a girl.

I met my friends in the pub, told them about my amazing new song, and persuaded them that we had to record it (It was just going to be me on an acoustic, so it wouldn’t take much studio time). I also told them that I needed a girl to sing backing vocals. One of our friends said she knew a girl who was a great singer. I asked her to bring her down to our next rehearsal.

And she did. I was hoping for a good voice. I didn’t expect the statuesque beauty that walked in the door. And she could sing. A couple of weeks later, we recorded our demo and the song – ‘Janey’ – turned out brilliant.

Over the next couple of months, Ruth (that was her name) and I became great friends. We had so much in common: our love of music, our love of making music, the same sense of humour. I didn’t think anything more of it at the time because this girl was way out of my league. But, eventually we did end up going out. And a few years later, we got married.

We’ve come a long way since the night that young kid wrote that song in his bedroom. We have a wonderful, talented son, and Ruth is an amazing visual artist about to complete her Degree in art.

And today – July 24th – we celebrate our wedding anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, Ruth – I love you now more than ever. You’ve made that young kid the happiest guy on the planet.

I’ll put the song I mentioned in the post – Janey – up tomorrow for New Music Monday. Come back and check it out.


28 thoughts on “Anniversary

  1. I love those “how we met” stories. So many little miracles in our random paths through life, and so wonderful to take a moment to appreciate how they change our lives in the biggest ways. Happy Anniversary to you guys!

  2. Happy Anniversary to you and your lovely wife, Derek – what a lovely story and really pleased for you!

    Interestingly it’s also my wedding anniversary today and I wrote half a book about how I met my husband in “Trials of Life” :)!

    Have a great day! Would check out your song later.

  3. Congrats to you both – Looking forward to hearing the song tomorrow. I love the way one small incident, (not saying the creation of the song was not important) can have such a ripple effect that it can change whole lives. Enjoy the day the both of you.

  4. What a charming post & perfect way for you to meet your future wife. Happy Anniversary xx
    Your story is full of feeling and gave me goosebumps at the end. That’s two stories now you have managed that. Can u give my hubby some tips not many reach me emotionally ;). Beautiful story that your still living 🙂 xx

  5. Aw, what a lovely story. It just gave me goosebumps! Happy anniversary to you both and here’s to many more. We’ll have to raise a twitter glass to celebrate later! x

  6. Happy Anniversary! I too met my husband through music. He was singing in a band in a pub in East London and I was a young student Here we are 22 years later with three children and he’s still singing! Congratulations on your special day and on the blog too.

  7. Happy anniversary. You guys are such an awesome couple of people and I’m so grateful for all the things you share. This story put a huge smile on my face and I cannot wait to hear your song. 😉

    Keep singing and keep writing.

  8. Derek you made my day, so many marriages going by the wayside, noone wants to work on them anymore. I have been married for over 35 years and it’s been tough but we keep on going. Congrats to you and your wonderful wife and enjoy many more wonderful years together. 🙂

  9. I love this post. Isn’t it nice to look back and remember how one little thing changed your life? How making one choice over the other, one decision instead of the expected one makes your whole life open up with possibilities?

    Happy Belated Anniversary, and may you and your wife have many, many, more.


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