As we turn the corner, the local bakery is getting its powdered sugar delivered, funneled into the cellar by the barrelful as if it were cement, and we can see nothing but the shadows of the deliverymen in the white, sweet cloud.
- from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Amid the rarefied early evening din of voices and the clink of fine crystal and china in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel, Mick Flannery is telling me a story about his grandfather.
“He was three years old and his mother, recently widowed, was coming home from town and she saw her hay shed was on fire - smoke and flames everywhere and she couldn’t find him,” Flannery says. “She thought he was burned up in the fire but they found him a couple of hours later under a bed.
“He’d been playing with matches and he was afraid so he wouldn’t come out but they managed to coax him out and when he did, he said, `I lit the small fire ma but I don’t know who lit the big one.’”
Flannery used it as the starting point for The Small Fire, one of the songs from his new album, By The Rule. “The song is about someone who started to think about who they are and what they are and why they are and they can’t get anywhere with it and it just spirals out of control … so I stole the idea – I stole it from a three-year-old.”