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Mark McNeil

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"I was born on Friday the 13th which explains everything"

Sounds Like:

Some people think I sound like Tom Petty but I'm not so sure.


Everything from early blues to traditional and contemporary folk to alt. country to Hawaiian music to The Beatles and a whole pile of more recent performers. These days I listen to a lot of Steve Earle, Ron Sexsmtih, Feist, Danny Michel, Madison Violet, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Dan Lanois, Catherine MacLellan and Richard Thompson.

Favourite Singer/Songwriter:

Too many to list

Social Media:

Songs by Mark McNeil

Education in the Blues

An Education in the Blues

They say you need an education
Learn about science and history
Take some study about arithmetic
Learn to recite your ABCS.

But I took a different kind of lesson
When I fell in love with you
You gave me a course in heartache
An education in the Blues

I got a blues baccalaureate
Going for a Masters degree.
And the way things are going.
I’ll be enrolling
To get my PhD

So that’s what B.B. means in B.B. King
It stands for Bachelor of the Blues.
But everyone knows he’s got more letters than that
It’s just that B.B. sounds cool.

(Repeat chorus)

To know the blues you need to study hard
But you won’t find it any book
You need t to have someone break your heart
Right after they stick it with a hook.

I got a blues baccalaureate
After all this studying with you
You left me crying
Broke down and dying
But I got an education in the blues
I got an education in the blues
I got an education in the


Old Mexico

Old Mexico

There’s a great divide
been coming between us
Crept into our lives
before we could see it.
I don’t know how
Or how I know
But I`ll be staying here
In old Mexico.

I`m so sorry dear,
but I ain’t coming back
Need to find myself.
Inside my tracks
And feel the sea
Drift through my soul
Live the dream
Of old Mexico.

There`s a part of me
You do not know
It rides the night
In blood-stained clothes
The dogs bark out
I become a ghost
Chased away
To old Mexico


Other Side of the Sun

There’s a place, where I come from
So long ago, when I was young
But somehow now it calls me to come
From somewhere back of the sunset

I’ll know the place, when I get there
Sweet smell of mist fills the air
Floats above like angel’s hair
Somewhere back of the sunset

Ride my way, ride my way
To the other side of the sun
Ride my way, ride my way
To find out what went wrong

There'll be a trace from long ago
Behind a wall, beneath a stone
All I know is darkness grows
Somewhere back of the sunset

Ride my way...

I don't know how I lost my way
But I'll search the road behind
To find out what got lost in fate
And what got lost in time

Ride my way...


Private Riley

Private Riley

My name is Private Riley I come from Hamilton
I needed some extra shillings so I joined the battalion
They shipped me on a cattle car with a battered musket gun
We made a stand at Ridgeway against the bloody Fenians

I'm a soldier, I'm a soldier, with my pack and uniform
when they called I was ready always ready in peace and war

My name is Private Riley through Flanders and the Somme
Crawled through clouds of chlorine gas along the Western front
We waited cold and shivering for the rising of the sun
We took the Ridge at Vimy, had the Germans on the run.


My name is Private Riley on the beaches of Dieppe
We waded through the water with our guns above our heads
Gerry sat and picked us off in a hail of screaming lead
We bravely charged forward as the water all turned red.


My name is Private Riley deployed in Kandahar
I watch for suicide bombers, forever I'm on guard
And sometimes I do wonder have I really come that far
From the scared kid with the musket riding in a cattle car.



Shiny Things


I think it’s just a matter of time
’til you drive me insane
You say I’m being a little dramatic
But hear me what I say
You know you’re always
Leaving a mess while making another
Running around unhinged
And all you got to say for yourself
You’re distracted by shiny things

Shiny things
Call out to you
Shiny things
No matter what you do
Shiny things, Shiny things
Shine on you

I’ll tell you honey, I try to do my part
What’s expected of me
But when something shiny comes along
It knocks you off your feet
I know you’re always
Losing your keys, showing up late
Fingers tied with string
I don’t know why. It’s just because
You’re distracted by shiny things
Shiny things
Flashing in your view
Shiny things
Everywhere like jewels
Shiny things, Shiny things
Shine on you

You say it’s just the way you are
A spirit needs to be free
But I don’t know it sounds a lot
Like some kind of A-D-D
Because you’re always
Letting me down, leaving me stranded
I take it on the chin
That’s what happens when you get messed up
With someone who likes shiny things

Shiny things
Call out to you
Shiny things
You made front page news
Shiny things, Shiny things
Shine on you

Copyright Songscribe Music.




Hamilton, ON

Level of Experience:



Blues | Country | Folk | Rock

I Write:

By myself | With others | For others

I prefer to write:

Lyrics | Melody | Chord Patterns | Arrangements

Songs Recorded:


Albums Released:

News from Nowhere, Reporter's Notebook, Greetings from Hamilton, and Shiny Things and Other Distractions


Runner up in 2011 Song of the Year contest, Nominated in for a 2009 Hamilton Music Award

I am interested in:

Web Cowriting | Face to face Cowriting | Networking | Pitching Songs to Artists | Pitching Songs To Tv/Film/Etc. | Signing with a Label | Getting a Publishing Deal

Other Jobs:

Newspaper writer and editor at TheHamilton Spectator


For as long as I can remember I have felt the urge to write songs and tell stories. For three decades I've worked by day as a newspaper writer and editor and by night I've written songs and performed in and around the Hamilton area. I've recorded four albums so far. I'm passionate about home recording and more recently I've found that my songwriting process has transformed that I write and record my songs at the same time. I use Pro Tools as a major tool to help me develop the idea that usually starts with a groove and a few words.

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