EXCLUSIVE: Gerry Cinnamon Takes Us Track By Track Through New Album 'The Bonny'

17 April 2020 | 11:17 am | Gerry Cinnamon

Gerry Cinnamon has today released his second album 'The Bonny'. In this exclusive track by track, the Scottish songwriter takes us through the record and the inspiration behind the songs...

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Canter is one of those songs, upbeat, bit of energy to it and a wee bit of knowledge for the ears of anyone who needs it. When I was a wee guy I was always trying to look for a bit of gold in a song, for a bit of advice, so I think it's me just talking to myself. Canter just means easy. It’s the Glaswegian definition of an equestrian term. The song is about taking opinions with a pinch of salt and trusting your own judgment. I learned the hard way that when you’re on the bottom rung and there’s no one to help you, the only truth you really need is a plan and awareness of the fact that if you were a little less of an idiot (more than half of the time) then your life would inevitably get better. That’s what Canter is really about. Make plans, look after your family and don’t act like a cunt and things will improve no matter your situation. It’s one o’ those songs that folk seemed to get straight away. Most of the live videos you see of it kicking off are from before it was even recorded. Folk still knew every word. That means something. Well it means something to me. You can’t really measure it. I’ve got a few songs that have done that. It gives them a certain magic. That’s the realness. That’s where it’s at.


Was written about a pretty dark time in my life. I don’t really like talking about it. But writing the song was my way of dealing with it.


Where we’re going was also written at a pretty fucked up time in my life. Anybody that’s came through a mad situation will know that if you’re in the shit it can be near impossible to see a way out. If I write songs about the bad stuff I think it’s only polite to remind people of the real reality. That it doesn’t matter where you’re at, it’s where you’re going that counts.

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I wrote Head In The Clouds while I was recording the album. I finished it three days into a mad one after the Josh Taylor fight.The song kinda documents my nightly battles with insomnia where every few weeks everything goes tits up, as it would for most folk if they didn’t sleep for three days. But there is also a loose narrative of a kinda love story. It starts off with a bleak outlook on life - "More late nights of the same old shite than you care to remember" - but then there’s a shift. "But something’s appearing, it’s blurring your vision, and it’s cutting ashape like a hot razor blade with a deadly precision."  You don’t really find out what the change is until the end, when you realise the character in the song is just loved up and trying to run away from it. "I don’t know if you’re really in love but I have my suspicions."


In Scotland a bonny is slang for bonfire but the song isn’t to be taken literally it’s not about an actual bonfire.

The Bonny’s just a metaphor for dreaming something into existence and building it bigger, and even if you don’t care enough about yourself to do it for your own good, maybe try doing it for the people you love. When I was a wee guy I predicted a lot of the stuff that’s happened in the last few years. I told my pals all this shit was going to happen before I could even afford a proper guitar. They thought I was mental. But for some reason I was daft enough to hold on to the ridiculous dream. And here we are, Bonny’s blazing.The sad part you need to learn to accept is that the bigger your bonny gets the more the usual suspects try and piss on it. But if you build it big enough there’s no cunt getting near it.

Canter, The Bonny and What Have You Done (from Erratic Cinematic) are three parts of the same story. That’s why they are all in the same key. What Have You Done was about my mate taking the partying too far ‘til it wasn’t fun anymore and there was nothing I could say to stop it because I wasn’t too far behind him. What Have You Done was recognising that something had to change. Canter was the realisation that if you act like a wee bit less of an idiot at least half of the time things will start moving. And The Bonny’s the sum of all parts. Build the bonny!


Dark Days is a tune about acknowledging the good times when they come. These days it’s easy to be convinced that the world’s full of nothing but darkness but now and again you have those wee moments that really mean something; whether it’s at a gig, singing with your pals; or you’re loved up with somebody; and you get feel that feeling. Dark Days is about not letting anyone take those moments away from you and recognising that they might never happen again. If there’s anything worth writing about, surely it’s that.


The structure of Sun Queen is a juxtaposition between two narratives: the verses and the chorus. The verses are about stuff I used to waste my time caring about and the chorus is about the only things that really matter.


People are going to draw different meanings from it and that’s cool. I don’t think there’s many people that haven’t felt a sense of alienation at some point in their lives. I feel it even when I’m sitting by myself. It’s the same in the music game. But I’m quite happy on the outside, staying as far away as possible from some of the bullshit.The opening line - "Dark outside, I got some bright ideas, I got a fire like a midday sun,and it burns inside I wouldn’t pay no mind, to your opinion even if you had one" - When you do your own thing people will always have an opinion on it. I don’t pay any mind to people’s opinions cause I know the majority of folk who bump their gums about stuff don’t even have their own opinion. They’re either seeking attention or trying to make money. So it’s meaningless anyway. There’s a line in the song that’s a bit of a hat tip to the folk who come to the gigs. No matter how much the bullshit makes me want to quit, I walk out on stage and hear them singing every word, some smiling, some with tears in their eyes and I remember why I’m in this game. It’s cause folk love the tunes and I love them. "Outside in, I spill my guts again, I cut my heart out in a piss stained field, while you scream don’t shout, till I believe again, my heart is open but my fates still sealed." My mate calls me the outsider, I think he meant it as a wind up but I take it as a compliment. Shout out to all the outsiders!


Roll the Credits was written the same night as Fickle McSelfish. It’s a bit of a sad one that paints the break-up of a relationship like an old film. The middle eight cuts a scene of an old black and white picture where two folk are saying their final teary goodbyes on the platform.It’s kinda like the classic Shakespearean tragedy just without all the fancy words.


Mayhem is like two songs rolled into one. It starts as a lo-fi, almost Yiddish/Spanish then goes into an 808 kick drum kinda club tune. It’s got a lot of darkness in it but it’s a bit tongue in cheek. It was probably the most difficult one to record cause my hands were busted and the computer was starting to give up so it nearly never made the album.


Six String Gun is about trying to be a good person even in situations where it’s easier to not be. It’s about doing your own thing which can sometimes make you feel as if you’re on your own but the truth is you are alone in this game and that’s alright. I get asked all the time why I don’t go electric guitar. It’s cause I prefer the acoustic because I think it’s more honest. There’s no hiding with it, you have to rely on your songwriting. That’s what it’s all about: six string gun.


Everyman’s Truth is a song about some of the shit folk believe. Not knocking any of it, just playing with the idea of how some beliefs get dismissed by folk who’ve never thought to question their own bullshit.The structure of the song is weird. There’s only one chorus and it doesn’t come ‘til the very end. I was trying to address the only real truth we know is that we don’t really know. Our minds are so bombarded with disinformation, day in day out, 24/7, that nobody knows what to believe... Our opinions are borrowed. Our beliefs are sold to us and our biases are nurtured from cradle to grave....And that’s exactly the way the illuminati want it. Haha. Kidding on.