“Your True North” was partially inspired by the thrilling Robert Louis Stevenson story Kidnapped, which I loved as a little nipper. All the images of Georgian life and cities, and their modern equivalents, were flicking through my slide projector. Any visitor to Dublin will know its extensive Georgian and Victorian architecture – well, that was my setting – a setting I know well. A beautiful city to shred your knuckles upon. Kidnapped, however, was set in Scotland.
So it was timely that a documentary about the inspiration for Kidnapped appeared on my radar the other night. There’s no definitive proof because Stevenson never mentioned it, but the story of Kidnapped bears very close resemblance to the life of one James Annesley. It turns out that James Annesley was Irish, and spent his youth destitute on the streets of Dublin after his father, the Earl of Anglesey, had disowned him and kicked him out. After his father’s death, the Earl’s brother, James’ uncle, decided to get rid of James permanently in order to inherit the title of Earl of Anglesey – and of course all the wealth and power that came with it.
Anyway… strange to find out I wrote a song set in Dublin, inspired by a story set in Scotland, which was inspired by events in Dublin. Circular!