Tony Kirwan Music


singer and songwriter

When it Snows in New Orleans

This was a song I had sitting on my shelf for quite a while. I’d written it about a lonely musician, struggling to get by in life. He’d be roaming from town to town, looking for a gig here and there. Things weren’t looking too bright for him. One time, one of the bar owners told him, “Come back when you can sing or when it snows in New Orleans“.

Some time later, I heard that Jimmy Aspell was doing a concert for Cancer Research and although we weren’t on the same paths at the time, I decided to give him 5 of my first album Anger and Love CD’s for small pick-out gifts at his gig. I sent the CD’s via another friend at the time, a week beforehand. Jimmy was very grateful and impressed with the CD’s and he contacted me a few days later. He asked me if I had a song that might suit him and I replied that I did have a song for him. I said “Come over to my house and we’ll talk about it”. He duly come over and I played it on my Taylor acoustic guitar – he was smitten there and then.

“What’s it called?” he asked.

I said “When it snows in New Orleans”.

He said, “Shure it never snows there”.

I said “Yeah!”.

His next words were – “When can I record it?” and I told him to go learn it and that I’d organise the recording very soon. He come back a few day’s later, singing it like he’d known it all his life.

I recall it was around October 2017 when the song was released and it won song of the week on Liam Kett’s K Country KFM Radio show.

Jimmy was delighted and we then organised a gig in the Spout bar in Kilcullen with friends that were all local musicians – Colm Cahill and Kevin Bird Berns included. It was a great night – with Brush Shiels as special guest.

The Mississippy Mud Rats

October, November and early December brought a different breeze or wind into Jimmy’s life. Every morning, he’d go visit Mairead and Leah and then mosie on up to my house. He’d always be happy coming from Mairead and Leah’s and he’d tell me that too. We’d laugh, talk, drink tea, play acoustic guitars and we were basically just hanging out, having fun – burning up some winter time. 

But time was ticking away. Time Jimmy didn’t have and that I didn’t as yet know about. Time was running out on our winter chats.

The next chapter is the secret song with two verses and no title, that later blossomed into Glad I Got to See You One Last Time.

Background image: Creative Commons
Snow falls on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans 11 December 2008 (unchanged)
by A. Murat Eren