Touch The Sky

by John Farrell

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This wonderful release lifts the spirits with thought-provoking songs about growing up viewed from a child's perspective. Topics include friendship, feelings, keeping the play in sports, the joys of summer, celebrating birthdays and families, learning from our mistakes, appreciating our ancestors and local histories, singing 50 states backwards, and more. This release was recorded on Prince Edward Island, Canada and at Painted Lady Studio in Brewster, New York. It features some outstanding Celtic musicians along with award-winning members of The Jon Bates Band and all of the Farrell family.

Songs include:
Playing Right Field; It's Just a Game; Kilkelly, Ireland; Step By Step; Feelings That I Have; Backwards States; Mistakes Are Our Teachers; It's History; Rachel; and more.


released January 19, 2013


all rights reserved



John Farrell New York, New York

John Farrell is a 21st century minstrel and an internationally acclaimed, award winning singer,
songwriter, author, and peace educator.

John has received the Parents Choice Award and Dove Foundation Award for his work with children.

He has presented teacher workshops and family concerts at over 1500 schools, conferences, and community events in 20 countries around the world.
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Track Name: Step By Step
Words and music copyright, John Farrell, 1998

Step by step (Echo)
One at a time "
You don't have to run "
There's plenty of time "
If you fall down "
Rise up and then "
Step by step "
Start movin'again "

Life is a circle, the earth is a ball
Seeds that are tiny grow so tall
Seeds need the rain, seeds need the sun
After the storm the rainbow will come

Day by day (Echo)
Follow the light "
Riding the waves "
Learning to fly "
Feel how it feels "
Reach for your dreams "
Day by day "
Let your heart sing "

Step by step……………Day by day
One at a time…………..Follow the light
You don't have to run…Riding the waves
There's plenty of time…Learning to fly
If you fall down………. Feel how it feels
Rise up and then……….Reach for your dreams
Step by step……………Day by day
Start movin' again……..Let you heart sing
Track Name: Rachel
Words and Music copyright Bob Blue, 1990

I used to be best friends with Rachel
And Rachel was best friends with me
We always dressed just like each other
And watched the same shows on TV
On weekends sometimes she'd sleep over
We'd whisper till we fell asleep
She's a friend that made me feel important
She's a friend that I wanted to keep

Oh Rachel, where are you now?
Did I do something wrong?
Did I hurt you somehow?
Oh Rachel you once were my friend
Will you ever like me again?

A girl moved in next door to Rachel
Her name was Melinda MacNeil
The two of them struck up a friendship
With no thought to how I might feel
Melinda and Rachel went skating
I didn't know Rachel had skates
Now Melinda's the one that she plays with
And I am the one that she hates

Should I try and forget about Rachel?
Should I hope that she'll come back to me?
Should I try and make friends with Melinda?
Can a friendship include three?
Should I pack up and move to Alberta?
If I did would she miss me at all?
I hope she hears my song
We can fix what went wrong
Rachel, please hear my call
Track Name: Feelings That I Have
Copyright John Farrell, 1995

Sometimes I feel like an eagle
I can see the whole world as I glide
Sometimes I feel like a rabbit on the run
Just looking for a place to hide

Sometimes I feel like a lion
Everybody listens when I speak
Sometimes I feel like the cat has got my tongue
My voice is small and weak

Sometimes I'm up
Sometimes I'm down
Sometimes I spin around and round
Sometimes I'm happy
Sometimes I'm sad
Feeling the feelings that I have

Sometimes I feel like an oak tree
My branches reach to the sky
Sometimes I feel like a jellyfish
Just riding the waves as they go by

Sometimes I feel like a beaver
I can change if I keep working on
But sometimes I feel like a snowman in the sun
I'm here now but soon I'll be gone

Sometimes I feel like a sunrise
Everything I touch is warm and bright
But sometimes I feel like a dark and cloudy day
I can't get anything right

Sometimes I feel like a song that fills the air
I'm a melody, a harmony, a verse
But sometimes I feel like a worm on a hook
This ain't much fun but it could be worse
Track Name: Kilkelly, Ireland
Words and music copyright Peter Jones, 1983

Kilkelly Ireland1860
My dear and loving son John
Your good friend the schoolmaster Pat
Mac Namara's
So good as to write these words down
Your brothers have all gone to find work in
The house is so empty and sad
The crop of potatoes is sorely infected with
A third to a half of them bad
Your sister Brigid and Patrick O' Donnell are
going to be married in June
Your mother says not to work on the railroad
And be sure to come on home soon.

Kilkelly Ireland 1870
My dear and loving son John
Hello to your Mrs. and to your four children
May they grow healthy and strong
Michael has got in a wee bit of trouble
I suppose that he never will learn
Because of the dampness there's no turf to
speak of
And now there is nothing to burn
Brigid is happy you named a child for her
Although she's got six of her own
You say you found work but you don't say
what kind
Or when you'll be coming home

Killy Ireland 1880
Dear Michael and John my sons
I'm sorry to give you the sad news
But your dear old mother passed on
We buried her down at the church in
Your brothers and Brigid were there
You don't have to worry she died very
Remember her in your prayers
And it's so good to hear that Michael's
With money he's sure to buy land
For the crop has been poor and the people
are selling
At any price that they can

Kilkelly Ireland 1890
My dear and loving son John
I suppose that I must be close on 80
It's 30 years since you've gone
Because of all of the money you sent me
I'm still living out on my own
Michael has built himself a fine house
And Brigid's daughters have grown.
Thank you for sending your family's picture
They're lovely young women and men
You say that you might even come for a visit
What joy to see you again

Kilkelly Ireland 1892
My dear brother John
I'm sorry I didn't write sooner to tell you
But Father passed on. He was living with Brigid
she says he was cheerful
And healthy right down to the end
Ah you should've seen him playin' with the
Of Pat MacNamara your friend
We buried him alongside of Mother
Down at the Kilkelly church yard
He was a strong and a feisty old man
Considering his life was so hard
And it's funny the way he kept talkin'about
He called for you at the end
Why don't you think about coming to visit.
We'd all love to see you again
Track Name: Tell Me Ma / St. Ann's Reel

I'll tell me ma when I go home
The boys won't leave the girls alone
They pull my hair and they stole my comb
But that's all right till I go home

She is handsome, she is pretty,
She is the belle of Belfast city
She is courting 1, 2, 3
Please won't you tell me who is she?

Albert Mooney says he loves her
All the boys are fighting for her
They knock on the door and they ring the bell
Saying oh my true love are you well?
Out she comes as white as snow
With rings on her finger and bells on her toes
Ol' Jenny Murray says she'll die
If she doesn't get the lad with the roving eye

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high
And the snow come tumblin' from the sky
She's as nice as apple pie,
She'll get her own lad by and by
When she gets a lad of her own
She won't tell her ma when she comes home
Let them all come as they will
For it's Albert Mooney she loves still
Track Name: Playing Right Field
Words and Music copyright Willie Welch

Saturday summers when I was a kid
We'd run to the school yard and here's what we did
We'd pick out the captains, we'd choose up the teams
It was always a measure of my self-esteem
'Cause the strongest the fastest played shortstop and first
The ones they picked last were the worst
I never needed to ask it was sealed
I just took up my place in right field

Playing right field is easy you know
You can be awkward, you can be slow
That's why I'm here in right field
Watching the dandelions grow

Playing right field is lonely and dull
Little leagues never have lefties that pull
I'd dream of the day they'd hit one my way
They never did but still I would pray
That I'd make a fantastic catch on the run
And not lose the ball in the sun
Then I'd awake from this long reverie
And pray that the ball never came out to
me here in…

Off in the distance the game's dragging on
There're strikes on the batter, some runners are on
I don't know the inning, I've forgotten the score
The whole team is yelling and I don't know what for
Suddenly everyone's looking at me
My mind has been wandering. What could it be?
They point to the sky and I look up above
And a baseball falls into my glove

Playing right field, it's important you know
You gotta know how to catch
You gotta know how to throw
That's why I'm here in right field
Watching the dandelions grow
Track Name: It's History!
Words and Music copyright John Farrell, 1998

Who? What? Where? How? Why? and When?
Who? What? Where? How? Why? and When?
It's your story, it's my story, it's our story,
It's History!
Who? What? Where? How? Why? and When?

Who were the first to settle on this land?
Why did they choose to make their homes
right here?
When did they arrive? How did they survive?
What can we see today that tells us they were

Who were the ones that helped to build this
What were the hopes and dreams that
brought them here?
Where did they work and play? How did they celebrate?
What can we see today that tells us they were here?

Who were the ones who found fortune or fame?
Why is it that we still recall their names?
How did they serve and lead? What are their legacies?
What can we see today that tells us they were here?

What was it like to be alive back then?
What brought joy and sadness to their lives?
Let's see what we can find as we hold the hands of time
And drift back through the years to yesterday
Track Name: Backwards States
Arrangement and Music copyright John Farrell, 1998
States were already named.

Wyoming, Wisconsin, West Virginia
Washington, Virginia, Vermont,

Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota,
South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania,

Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, North Carolina,

New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, and
New Hampshire

Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri,
Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan,

Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine and

Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, and Indiana,

Illinois, Idaho, Hawaii, and Georgia,

Florida, Delaware, Connecticut, Colorado,

California, Arkansas, Arizona, Alaska, and
Track Name: It's Just A Game
Words and Music copyright, John Farrell 1998

The sun was shinning bright and the grass
Was oh so green
We were laughin', we were singin', it felt
good to be a team.
We had new shorts and socks - on our
shirts they wrote our names
Everything was goin' great until they said,
"Let's start the game!"

Then the other team appeared, they came
like soldiers to a war
They were big and they were fast and they
looked mean.
Their coach was yellin' at 'em, he even
called us names.
I couldn't help but wonder, "Does he know
it's just a game?"

It's just a game! It's just a game!
We're only kids. We're not the pros.
We joined the team to learn and play and have some fun.
We'll try our best to win
but if we don't there is no shame.
Please remember this:
"We're only kids - It's just a game!"

Then the game began. We were nervous, we
were scared
Cause they were big and they were fast but
they weren't mean.
They did play well together. They scored time and time again.
We made some good plays too and we tried
hard until the end

But then the game was over. We went and
said "nice game!"
Quickly thoughts of ice cream filled our
Till we heard a grown-up shouting, "It's your
fault, you're to blame!"
I wish someone would tell him, "It's okay, it's
just a game!"

As our season went along we lost every
game but one
But we got better and we learned stuff that
was new
Our coach says we're amazing.
And our teamwork and our friendships grew
and grew.

But when the last game ended another
team finished first
They played well. They played hard. They
were the best.
And though the medals went to them we
feel like winners just the same
We never quit and we know "It's just a
Track Name: Summer's Here
Word and Music copyright John Farrell , 1998

Twenty- four bug bite, freckles by the score
Baseball, soccer, ice cream galore
Old friends, new friends, strawberry pie
Summer's here, another year, reach up and
touch the sky

Swimming in the ocean, fishing in the pond
Riding bikes, playing cards, making up a song
Shooting stars, bumper cars, lemon butterflies
Summer's here, another year, reach up and touch the sky

Reach up and touch the sky, reach up
and touch the sky
Summer's here, another year, reach up
and touch the sky

Swinging in the hammock, climbing up a tree
Picking wildflowers, running on the beach
Marshmallow chin, raspberry grins, catching fireflies
Summer's here, another year reach up and
touch the sky

Reading to each other, reading all alone
Teasing, fighting, talking on the phone
Hummingbirds, jellyfish, asking how and why
Summer's here another year reach up and
touch the sky

The barbecue is sizzling, the sun is sizzling too
Running barefoot through the grass, trying
to find my shoes
Chocolate chips, melon pits Cygnus shinning bright
Summer's here, another year, reach up and
touch the sky

Supper's on the table, there's always room for more
Sleeping in the bunk room, playing sibling war
Writing letters, playing life,watching clouds drift by
Summer's here another year reach up and
touch the sky

Jumping from the hayloft, bonfires neath the moon
Company's a coming , let's sing a welcome tune
Acorn , sweet corn, birds begin to fly
Summer's here, another year, reach up and
touch the sky
Rain falls on the garden, green fields turn to gold
Rainbows decorate the sky, the young renew the old
Everyone is crying, it's hard to say good-bye
Summer's here, another year, reach up and
touch the sky
Track Name: Mistakes Are Our Teachers
Words and Music copyright, 1998

Mistakes are our teachers
Our teachers are mistakes
We have a chance to learn something
From each mistake we make

Thomas Alva Edison
Made the light bulb shine
But before he got it right
He was wrong 500 times

Wilber and Orville Wright
Believed that they could fly
It took years of falling down
Before they reached the sky

Rosa parks was right
When she said " I will not move"
The law was a mistake
As Rosa's courage proved

The great Henry Aaron
The all time home run king
For every homer Henry hit
He took a thousand swings
Track Name: Happy Birthday
Traditional, Melody is "Mary Widow Waltz" by Franz Lehar

Happy birthday, happy birthday we love you
Happy birthday and may all your dreams come true
When you blow out the candles one light stays aglow
That's the love light in your eyes where e'er you go

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