First off, I must state categorically that this song is in no way autobiographical! I never met this girl from the other side of the river and we never got up to the kind of things I sing about in the song. I made it all up. Honest. Here’s the story of “how I wrote the girl from the other side of the river“…
Recently I’d been thinking about going to one of the local folk club nights, where people get up and perform their own original compositions. Trouble is, I’ve got a lot of songs, but not many of them would come across as being “folky”. They’re mainly poppy, occasionally rocky, but rarely folky.
“Time to write a folk song”, said I.
I sat and pondered for a wee while and came up with a title “the girl from the other side of the river”, which I thought sounded like it should be a folk song. Good start. The tale of a doomed love affair perhaps, a modern day Romeo and Juliet, une liaison dangereuse between the singer and the girl in the title.
Now, as some of you will well know, I live in a pleasant little seaside town called West Kirby, on a peninsula in the Northwest of England between the rivers Dee and Mersey. So a girl from the other side of the river would have to be from either North Wales, or from Liverpool.
On a clear day, if I stand just off the shore at Red Rocks (on the tip of the peninsula), looking Wales-ward I can see Bagillt. Talacre. Mostyn. Looking towards Liverpool I can see Seaforth Docks. Kirkdale. Bootle.
So what would happen if I went to a bar in Liverpool city centre and pulled a girl from Bootle or Bagillt? Well, that’s the story behind the girl from the other side of the river.
Now listen to the song:-
And here’s a link for Apple users: The girl from the other side of the river