New to this--haven't done this since I spent two years on a small island in the Caribbean whiling away time talking to folks crazy about Fairport Convention. I saw Maura at the Ark on Friday--first time I've seen her perform. I was intrigued when she intro-ed "Blue Train" by saying everyone needed a train song and a murder ballad. Made sense to me. I once spent too many hours compiling a tape of songs with trains and train imagery ("I Don't Feel Like a Train Anymore" by John Gorka, "Another Train" by Sally Barker, "Night Train" by Bruce Cockburn, etc. I thought a Murder song for Mo would be a challenge. My collection doesn't do much murder, especially Irish murder. Over in Blighty, Fairport has two standards--"Matty Groves" which is done to death (poor joke) and "Crazy Man Michael". I couldn't imagine Maura doing Matty in, but could lean into Michael. I looked a little further on and happened on the Michael Timmons "Murder Tonight in the Trailer Park" which I think would work for our Ms O'Connell. Of course, Maura has done Shawn Colvin things, and SC did "A Few Small Repairs" which qualifies as a murder ballad for me. A little further from that is R. Thompson's "Vincent Black Lightning" which would be fun. I'd rather her Mo do RT's "I Misunderstood" though, which is a murder of the heart, not the corpus. Sally Barker has a great version of that.
A quick detour back to Fairport Convention, who I liked because of Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny, who is another female singer I have an obsession about--although, being dead, it has its limits--the lack of new material, for one thing. I think, though, if any one could give the late, great Sandy's stuff new life, it would be someone like M. O'C. who has the high quality pipes it would take. "I Wish I Was a Fool for You Again", "I'm a Dreamer" and "The Sea" for starters. I mentioned Bruce Cockburn in the train category--he also writes things down Maureen's alley, at least to me--"Lovers in a Dangerous Time"--which I heard first on a tribute album, played for me in the Caribbean by one of its producers, and sung by, of all things, "Bare Naked Ladies" before they had, uh, more exposure. But a lot of his stuff has the imagery that could be made, well, Mo-mentous. Man, I can't sing, I can't play, but I surely can suggest what I'd like to hear!