Link to the Podcast -

John Spillane has fans including Mary Black and Christy Moore, but he still thinks he could do better.

“I’d like to be a songwriting superhero. Better like. Really next level. Five levels up,” he told Róisín Ingle, presenter of the Róisín Meets podcast.

August is Music Month on the podcast and the Cork singer-songwriter was the second guest to appear, playing four songs and telling some stories about the inspiration for his lyrics.

That is also the subject of his upcoming book, ‘Will We Be Brilliant or What? - Songs & Stories by John Spillane’.

“It has the lyrics of 55 songs that I’ve written and also some stories behind the songs, the background story. That leads then into a certain kind of autobiography - you know, I was playing with this band and then I was playing in the other band. Various stories from the road and anecdotes,” he said.

Spillane has been making music for the last 30 years and his songs have been performed by the likes of Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon and Mary Black.

He says he often quotes other singers in his own lyrics, a device he stole from William Shakespeare.

“In William Shakespeare’s plays, in the play sometimes the players would roll into town and they would put on a play. It happens in Hamlet. It makes it a deeper, complex issue where you’re watching the players put on a play within the play. So that’s a song within the song.”

You can hear a live performance of four songs by John Spillane and listen to the full conversation with Róisín Ingle in the latest Róisín Meets podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher or

Published on 14th August 2016

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