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release date:

March 11, 2022


Instruments: Bob Seivwright / Voice: Louise McCorkindale / Written by Bob Seivwright and Louise McCorkindale / Produced, Arranged, Engineered and Mixed by Bob Seivwright / Mastered by Luiz Tornaghi

“LONGHOPE” – Download/Streaming/Video single by ONLY A GHOST

  • Longhope

Stereogram Recordings are delghted to announce the release of “Longhope”, the fourth single by Only A Ghost. It will be available on all digital platforms from March 11th 2022. By far the most ambitious track released to date by the Aberdeen duo, “Longhope” is a long-form song in the classic folk tradition, which tells the story of the Longhope Lifeboat Disaster of 1969. On 17 March 1969 the RNLI Longhope Lifeboat Station, in operation since 1874, suffered one of the worst tragedies in British lifeboat history when its 47-foot wooden lifeboat, T.G.B., capsized with the loss of all eight crew after answering a mayday call from the Liberian cargo vessel Irene during a gale of Force 9. It is believed that the capsize was caused by an unusually high wave, in what were described as "maelstrom conditions”. This, and a similar incident at Fraserburgh lifeboat station the following year, led to the introduction of self-righting boats. The T.G.B. was salvaged, repaired and re-allocated to another station. It is now on display at the Scottish Maritime Museum.

A personal note from Louise McCorkindale: My father, the poet Bill McCorkindale, who died in 1980, wrote a poem in 1969 called “For The Men Of The Longhope Boat”. Almost 50 years later I found myself wondering what had moved my father to write it, and I read everything I could find about what happened to the Longhope boat. When I shared the story with Bob, we felt we had to write a song for this story. We were still finding our feet in our song-writing process at that stage, and in our naivety, we had no idea what we were setting out to do. It’s a good job we didn’t or we might not have attempted it. Apart from the fact that the song is 6 minutes and 40 seconds long, there are responsibilities in writing about real events that we only began to understand as we started to work on the song. As is often the case, Bob had the initial musical idea straight away. Bob has worked at sea and had a strong personal connection to the story which has shaped the music and the arrangement. As is also often the case, the lyrics were a much longer, slower process. I had made a start but had no idea how to do it. Around that time a friend happened to suggest I listen to the Young Uns just out of general interest. They are masters of story-telling. When I heard their song “Carriage 12”, it was a revelation, and I understood that the Longhope story tells itself. I just needed to not get in the way. I think it took us about two years off and on to write the song. We only finished it because the fiftieth commemoration of the disaster was coming up in 2019 and a friend of ours wanted to send it to one of his friends who lives on Longhope. The friend on Longhope then shared it with one of the organisers of the 50th Commemoration event and they included the song in the event, which was very unexpected and a huge honour. We are very grateful to the organisers and the lifeboat community on Longhope for their interest in the song, and especially to Kevin Kirkpatrick and Mary Harris for their support. We always welcome the ghosts who turn up in our song-writing process, but this time I was especially grateful. There were times when we were working on this song that it felt like my father was standing at my shoulder, approving of a line I had just written, or stepping back to wait for a better one if it just wasn’t good enough. I went looking for him in his poem about the Longhope boat, and I found a door that he opened fifty years ago for this song to come through us and find its way home to Longhope. We are very grateful to have been a part of that. All proceeds from any sales of the song will go to the Longhope Lifeboat Museum and the RNLI.