A Cloudless Day In Dublin

Here’s another one I rarely play for anyone. Go figure.


I traveled with my then boyfriend to Dublin, Ireland in 1999, and it was on this trip the imagery for A Cloudless Day in Dublin first entered my psyche. I walked in light rain and lit candles in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I stood on a bridge over the River Liffey. I sat in a pub in Temple Bar and was rattled by a newscast about a bombing up north in Belfast, all the while wondering if this relationship I was in would ever amount to anything. I was unsettled. I also drank a lot of Guinness. That part never made it into the song.


The genius who is Ed Moy Maria Moy wrote the music to this song, and the puzzle of the lyrics came together on my Big Blue bus rides from Santa Monica to UCLA. At the time, we Americans knew little of terrorism. It was something that happened across the pond and in distant places that had no effect on our daily lives. But on that visit to Ireland, the war between the Catholics and the Protestants became real to me. And given my relationship status, I felt an urgency to bring these ideas together. I was in search of some kind of resolution. Any kind would do. Would Ireland’s warring religious factions ever find peace? Would my boyfriend and I ever see eye to eye for a future together? This felt at the time like one of the most profound songs I’d ever written. There was no happy ending, no nice and tidy bow on the package. Can peace ever last? Can love?


9 months after Tim Klassen, Ed Moy, and I released this song on our debut album – Juliet – The twin towers were decimated by terrorists on 9/11 and thousands of Americans lost there lives. The war was here, and we were changed forever. The imagery of this song paled in contrast to what my friends were experiencing in their own city, and what the rest of us were loathed to watch on screens in our living rooms. I had been so so far from grasping the true depth of despair and depravity in the world.


There’s a melancholy I continue to love in this song, a plaintive wail as it closes. And of course, the question remains: Can a cloudless day in Dublin ever last? As much as I hate it, I think I know the answer.


As a point of interest for all you Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs fans, Robert Paulsen lent an Irish lilt to this song – just after both those shows first went off the air and he was at the height of his fame. He was generous even then. ❤


A Cloudless Day in Dublin
Music by Ed Maria Moy
Lyrics by Kay Bess
newscast voice: Robert Paulsen


It’s a cloudless day in Dublin
Maybe it’s a sign from above
Round the tower of St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Flies a dove
Flies a dove


By a bridge on the River Liffey
I was thinking how lucky we are
Look at us, just like the Irish
Aren’t we charmed?


Well it comes and goes
You say everything’s temporary
And love is a burden you cannot carry
or hold so close


We are not too far from Temple Bar
There’s news from the North on TV
Can’t anybody, anywhere
Find some peace?


When it comes and goes
I see everything’s temporary
And love is a burden we cannot carry
Or hold so close


Can a cloudless day in Dublin ever last?


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