Don Lange

The nighthawk flies and the owl cries as we’re driving down the road.
Listening to the music on the all night radio show,

The announcer comes on says if you’ve got ideas I’ll file the patent for you,
What’s an idea if it’s not in the store makin’ a buck or two.
We drive to the town but the shutters are down and the all-night restaurant’s closed
Its the land of the free,we’ve got booze and T.V. and there’s tramps in the telephone booths.
The stars and the trees and the early Spring breeze say forget what assassins have done,
Take our good soil in the palm of your hands and wait for tomorrows sun.


Its a long way from the heartlands
to Santiago bay
Where the good doctor lies with blood in his eyes
and the bullets read U.S.of A.


A truck driver’s wife she leads a rough life he spends his life on the road.
Carrying the goods all the copper and wood thats what makes America great,
But the dollars like swallows they fly to the South where they know they’ve got something to gain,
Allende is killed, and the trucks are soon rolling again.


The nighthawk flies and the owl it cries as we’re driving down the road,
The full moon reveals all the houses and fields where good people do what they’re told,
Victor Jara he lies with coins in his eyes there’s no one around him to mourn,
Who needs a poet who won’t take commands who’d rather make love then war.




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I have 3 versions of where I heard this song.

1. On AFN radio late one night I heard Peggy Seeger sing it out of Franfurt.(unlikely).
2. I heard Don Lange sing it in The Meeting Place Dorset St. Dublin.(even more unlikely).
3. The Dir. of  L.E. in R.T.E. sent me a cassette after hearing me sing El Salvador(by Johnny Duhan) in The Felons Club In Andytown.( poss.).

It is a powerful song which never loses its potency. I first recorded it with Moving Hearts in 1983( Dark End of The Street) and again in 2002 ( Live at Vicar St.)
The author still  writes,sings and records and,I am glad to say still sends me the occasional song















All I Remember

Mick Hanly

I was lured by the rocking horse,
Sweets and the bualadh bos,
Fifty wild boys to a room.
Sing lámh, lámh eile, the dish ran away with the spoon.
Black shoes and stockings for those who say don’t.
Blue is the colour outside.
God made the world,
The snake tempted Eve and she died.
Wild Christian Brothers sharpening their leathers,
Learn it by heart, that’s the rule.
All I remember is dreading September and school.

And they made me for better or worse,
The fool that I am or the wise man I’ll be.
And they gave me their blessings or curse.
It wasn’t their fault I was me …
Not the one that you see.

The priest in confession condemns my obsession,
With thoughts that I do not invite.
I mumble and stutter,
He slams down the shutter,
Goodnight   – (Good night to you too, Father!)
Stainless as steel,
Lord, you know how I feel,
Someone shoot me while my soul is clear.
I don’t think I’ll last,
But my vow to abstain was sincere.
Arch-confraternity men to the fight,
Raise up your banners on high.
Searching for grace,
Securing my place,
When I die.


Oh God, he kept a very close eye on me,
Hung round my bed in the darkness, he spied on me,
Caught me in the long grass so often, he died on me….

Ballrooms of romance in Salthill or Mallow,
I stood like John Wayne by the wall,
Lined up like cattle, we wait to do battle and fall.
You can’t wine and dine her in an old Morris Minor,
So ask her before it’s too late.
I danced on girls’ toes – accepted rejection as my fate.
Drink was my saviour, it made me much braver,
But I couldn’t hold it too well.
I slipped on the coach and ruined my approach as I fell.


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In my memory Mick Hanly sang this song to me in Connolly Hall Cork circa 1981. His words have been corrupted over the years as I sang it in sheebeens and concert halls.  It describes fittingly the 50s and 60s groping with adolescence whilst gettin’ the head bate off of us by frustrated bog trotters dying from the lack of horn pleasure if not the horn itself, love and companionship too, the poor hures. 


















A pair of brown eyes

Shane Mac Gowan

One summer evening drunk as hell,
I sat there nearly lifeless.
An old man in the corner sang,
Where the water lilies grow.
On the jukebox Johnny sang,
About a thing called love.
And it’s “how are you kid? What’s your name?
And what do you know?”
In blood and death ‘neath a screaming sky,
I lay down on the ground.
The arms and legs of other men,
Were scattered all around.
Some prayed and cursed, then cursed and prayed,
And then they prayed some more.
And the only thing that I could see,
Was a pair of brown eyes they were looking at me.
When we got back, labeled parts one to three,
There was no pair of brown eyes waiting for me.
And a rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ I’ll go,
A rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ I’ll go,
And a rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ I’ll go,
For a pair of brown eyes,
For a pair of brown eyes.
I looked at him he looked at me,
All I could do was hate him.
While Ray and Philomena sang,
Of my elusive dream.
I saw the streams and the rolling hills,
Where his brown eyes were waiting.
And I thought about a pair of brown eyes,
That waited once for me,
That waited once for me.
So drunk as hell I left the place,
Sometimes walking, sometimes crawling.
A hungry sound came through the breeze,
So I gave the walls a talking.
And I heard the sounds of long ago,
From the old canal.
And the birds were whistling in the trees,
Where the wind was gently laughing.
And a rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ I’ll go,
A rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ I’ll go,
And a rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ I’ll go,
For a pair of brown eyes,
For a pair of brown eyes.

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This is the first Pogues song I learned. I liked them from day one – Shane’s lyrics just got to me.  He writes the Erse in a way that very few writers can.  Johnny Mulhearn has it too and maybe Dempsey in a more urban way.  It is of the source and touches the core.  McGahern has it and Heaney too.  McGowan has it but these days he chooses to rest his muse and act the cackling clown.. .If he never  writes another song he will have written his fair share, he has made his mark with songs that are beautiful, that will last for as long as paddies and bridies sing.


Sorry no Chords at present.

Barrowland, Glasgow

april 6th

1.Back home in Derry

2.North and South

3. Pity the poor Immigrant



6.Yellow Triangle

7.Cry like a man

8.Ordinary man

9.This is the day

10.No time for love

11.Little musgrave

12. Missing You

13. Scapegoats ( for Paddy Hill)



16. Smoke and strong whiskey

17.Two conneeleys

18.Viva la Quinte Brigada

19 Time has come


21 Biko drum

22 Ride On

23.Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulatte



25.Nancy Spain

26.Bright blue rose

27.Black is the colour( For Hamish Imlach)

28. Lisdoonvarna


Donegal, Dundalk & Dungannon

Beechmount – West Belfast, Bantry Masters, Clonakilty

Beechmount – West Belfast July 30th, Bantry Masters August 13th, Clonakilty August 30th, 31st

West Belfast –
Christy + Declan
Bantry Masters –
De Barras – Clonakilty
Christy + Declan


De Barras – Clonakilty
Christy + Declan
July 30th
John O’Dreams
Back Home in Derry
Ride On
Time Has Come
Andytown Girl (Terry O’Neill)
On the Bridge
Minds Locked Shut
No Time for Love
Irish Ways
Only Our Rivers
August 13th
Banks of the Lee
Natives How Long
Quiet Desperation
Irish Ways
3 Reels with Martin Hayes, Denis Cahill + Steve Cooney
As I roved – with Martin Hayes, Denis Cahill + Steve Cooney
Spancilhill – Martin Hayes, Denis Cahill + Steve Cooney
Raggle � Martin Hayes, Denis Cahill + Steve Cooney
1 Reel � Martin Hayes, Denis Cahill + Steve Cooney
Aengus – with Steve Cooney
Burning Times – with Steve Cooney
Slow Air � with Mick O’Brien
2 Reels � Mick O’Brien + Steve Cooney
Napoleon � with Frank Harte
Chicago � with Frank Harte + Steve Cooney
August 30 
Faithfull Departed
Sacco, Vanzetti
All I remember
Jack Doyle
America, I love you
Hattie Carroll
Cry like a man
Black Colour
The Deluge
Last Cold Kiss
Yellow Triangel
Brown Eyes
Missing You
Metropolitan Avenue
Magic Nights
Ride On
Continental Ceili
August 31
Crooked Highway
Ride On
North + South
Go Move

Musikhalle, Hamburg & Tempodrome, Berlin

Musikhalle, Hamburg
25th October

1. North and South
2. Beeswing
3. Missing You
4. Butterfly
5. Sixteen Fishermen Raving
6. Motherland
7. Hattie Carroll
8. America I.L.Y.
9. City of Chicago
10. Ride On
11. Biko Drum
12. Magic nights
13. Hiroshima N.R.R.
14. Burning Times
15. Flickering Light
16. Aongus
17. Delirium Tremens
18. Only our Rivers
19. Released (Declan)
20. Faithfull Departed
21. Natives
22. The Shovel
23. Nancy Spain
24. After The deluge
25. Pontchartrain
26. Lisdoonvarna


27. Voyage
28. Back Home in Derry
29. Hurt
30. Black is the Colour
31. Sonny’s dream

2 hours, 35 minutes


Tempodrome, Berlin
27th October

1. Burning Times
2. North and South
3. Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette
4. Pontchartrain
5. Biko Drum
6. Hattie Carroll
7. Wandering Aongus
8. Missing You
9. Butterfly
10. Wise and Holy Woman
11. America.I.L.Y
12. Viva La Quince brigada
13. Ride On
14. Ordinary Man
15. Beeswing
16. Go Move Shift
17. Motherland
18. Two Island swans
19. Natives
20. City of Chicago
21. Delirium Tremens
22. Released (Declan)
23. Metropolitan Avenue
24. The Contender
25. Lisdoonvarna
26. Black is the colour


27. Allende
28. Victor Jara
29. Hurt
30. The Shovel
31. Nancy Spain

2 hours, 25 minutes

TF Castlebar May

May 13th

Ennis, Sligo, Armagh

GLÓR Ennis, 14th March; Sligo 22nd & 23rd; Armagh 31st & 1st April

Wexford, Cork, Clonakilty

Vicar St., Dublin

april 6th

1.Back home in Derry

2.North and South

3. Pity the poor Immigrant



6.Yellow Triangle

7.Cry like a man

8.Ordinary man

9.This is the day

10.No time for love

11.Little musgrave

12. Missing You

13. Scapegoats ( for Paddy Hill)



16. Smoke and strong whiskey

17.Two conneeleys

18.Viva la Quinte Brigada

19 Time has come


21 Biko drum

22 Ride On

23.Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette



25.Nancy Spain

26.Bright blue rose

27.Black is the colour( For Hamish Imlach)

28. Lisdoonvarna


Royal Concert Hall,Glasgae

april 9th 2007

1. Back Home in derry

2. Chicago

3. Barrowland

4. Beeswing

5.Hattie carroll

6.Biko Drum

7.Wise and Holy Woman



10. Quinte Brigada

11. Declan sang Corrina

12.Smoke and Strong Whiskey


14.Missing you



17.Delerium Tremens

18. North and south

19.Time has Come

20 A pair of Brown Eyes

21. Scapegoats



23.Bright blue rose

24 Faithfull Departed

25. Ride On.

Hamburg, Laeisz Halle

17th May 2007

1. One Last Cold Kiss
2. Beeswing
3. Missing You
4. I Pity The Poor Immigrant
5. Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette
6. Little Musgrave
7. Back Home In Derry
8. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
9. North & South
10. The Least We Can Do
11. Ordinary Man
12. Burning Times
13. Yellow Woman’s Door (Declan)
14. Black Is The Colour
15. Natives
16. Motherland
17. Viva La Quinta Brigada
18. Ride On
19. The City Of Chicago
20. Allende
21. Biko Drum
22. The Time Has Come
23. A Pair Of Brown Eyes
24. Reel In The Flickering Light
25. Nancy Spain
26. Lisdoonvarna
27. The Cliffs Of Dooneen
28. The Lakes Of Pontchartrain
29. Bright Blue Rose

Bridgewater Manchester

Nov 19th 2007
  1. aisling
  2. all for the roses
  3. beeswing
  4. missing you
  5. biko drum
  6. yellow triangle
  7. cliffs of dooneen
  8. fairytale of n.y.
  9. north and south of the river
  10. black is the colour
  11. quinte brigada
  12. stitch in time
  13. i will
  14. chicago
  15. merseyside
  16. nancy
  17. joxer
  18. ride on
  19. ordinary man
  20. time has come
  21. smoke and strong whiskey
  22. voyage
  23. flickering light
  24. lisdoonvarna
  25. john of dreams
  26. wise and holy woman
  27. allende

The Sage Gateshead

  1. aisling
  2. all for the roses
  3. biko drum
  4. magic nights
  5. missing you
  6. cliffs of dooneen
  7. companeros
  8. allende
  9. chicago
  10. stitch
  11. I will
  12. fairytale of n.y.
  13. shovel
  14. black is the colour
  15. sacco and vanzetti
  16. merseyside
  17. flickering light
  18. north and south
  19. joxer
  20. ride on
  21. quinte brigada
  22. beeswing
  23. lisdoonvarna
  24. voyage
  25. quiet desperation
  26. john of dreams

Waterfront, Belfast 2008

Monday May 5th

1. After the Deluge
2. Natives
3. Back Home in Derry
4. Time has Come.
5. McIlhatton
6. Missing You
7. Quiet Desperation
8. Merseyside
9. Quinte
10. Contender
11. Metropolitan Avenue
12. Biko Drum
13. On The Bridge
14. Brown Eyes
15. Sacco and Vanzetti
16. I Will
17. Shovel
18. Minds Locked Shut
19. Beeswing
20. As I Roved Out
21. Only Our Rivers
22. Ordinary Man
23. Stitch in Time
24. Joxer
25. City of Chicago
26. Black is the colour
27. Lisdoonvarna
28. Cliffs of Dooneen
29. Ride On


Tuesday 6th May
    1. Deluge
    2. Aisling
    3. McIlhatton
    4. Barrowland
    5. Smoke and strong Whisky
    6. On The bridge
    7. Natives
    8. Shovel
    9. Quiet desperation
    10. Missing You
    11. Nancy Spain
    12. Quinte
    13. Motherland
    14. Hattie Carroll
    15. Stitch
    16. Go Move shift
    17. Bright Blue Rose
    18. Joxer
    19. Derry
    20. Hurt
    21. Lisdoonvarna
    22. Time has Come
    23. Ride on
    24. No Time For Love.
Monday 19th May.
  1. Deluge
  2. Smoke&Whiskey
  3. Black is the colour
  4. Companeros
  5. Go move Shift
  6. Natives
  7. Missing You
  8. Quiet desperation
  9. Ordinary Man
  10. Scapegoats
  11. Barrowland
  12. I will
  13. Yellow Furze Woman
  14. Stitch
  15. North and south
  16. Time has Come
  17. Joxer
  18. Shovel
  19. Minds Locked shut
  20. Ride On’
  21. Biko Drum
  22. All for the roses
  23. Beeswing
  24. Derry
  25. Nancy Spain
  26. Lisdoonvarna
  27. Bright Blue Rose
  28. Quinte Brigada


Tuesday May 20th


  1. Deluge
  2. Motherland
  3. McIlhatton
  4. Faithfull Departed
  5. Shovel
  6. Beeswing
  7. Missing you
  8. Merseyside
  9. Victor Jara
  10. Sacco and Vanzetti (In memory of Jim Lawlor)
  11. Derry
  12. Cliffs
  13. Smoke&Whiskey
  14. Casey
  15. I will
  16. Stitch
  17. Joxer
  18. Biko
  19. On The bridge
  20. Quinte.
  21. Nancy
  22. Hattie Carroll
  23. Time has come
  24. Ordinary man
  25. Voyage
  26. No Time For Love
  27. Ride On

Limerick Concert Hall 2008

Sept 2008

yellow furze woman
riding the high stool
missing you
nancy spain
duffy’s cut
I Will
blue rose
los desaparacidos
black hair

north and south
yellow triangle
los desaparecidos
magic nights
quiet desperation
metropolitan avenue
riding the high stool
blue rose
hattie carroll
ride on


Sacco & Vanzetti

Reviewed by Howard Zinn

The following is an excerpt from Howard Zinn’s new book, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, published earlier this year by City Lights.

Fifty years after the executions of Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti, Governor Dukakis of Massachusetts set up a panel to judge the fairness of the trial, and the conclusion was that the two men had not received a fair trial. This aroused a minor storm in Boston.

One letter, signed John M. Cabot, U.S. Ambassador Retired, declared his “great indignation” and pointed out that Governor Fuller’s affirmation of the death sentence was made after a special review by “three of Massachusetts’ most distinguished and respected citizens-President Lowell of Harvard, President Stratton of MIT and retired Judge Grant.”
Those three “distinguished and respected citizens” were viewed differently by Heywood Broun, who wrote in his column for the New York World immediately after the Governor’s panel made its report.

He wrote:
It is not every prisoner who has a President of Harvard University throw on the switch for him..If this is a lynching, at least the fish peddler and his friend the factory hand may take unction to their souls that they will die at the hands of men in dinner jackets or academic gowns.
Heywood Broun, one of the most distinguished journalists of the twentieth century, did not last long as a columnist for the New York World.
On that 50th year after the execution, the New York Times reported that: “Plans by Mayor Beame to proclaim next Tuesday ‘Sacco and Vanzetti Day’ have been canceled in an effort to avoid controversy, a City Hall spokesman said yesterday.”
There must be good reason why a case 50-years-old, now over 75-years-old, arouses such emotion. I suggest that it is because to talk about Sacco and Vanzetti inevitably brings up matters that trouble us today: our system of justice, the relationship between war fever and civil liberties, and most troubling of all, the ideas of anarchism: the obliteration of national boundaries and therefore of war, the elimination of poverty, and the creation of a full democracy.
The case of Sacco and Vanzetti revealed, in its starkest terms, that the noble words inscribed above our courthouses, “Equal Justice Before the Law,” have always been a lie. Those two men, the fish peddler and the shoemaker, could not get justice in the American system, because justice is not meted out equally to the poor and the rich, the native born and the foreign born, the orthodox and the radical, the white and the person of color. And while injustice may play itself out today more subtly and in more intricate ways than it did in the crude circumstances of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, its essence remains.
In their case, the unfairness was flagrant. They were being tried for robbery and murder, but in the minds, and in the behavior of the prosecuting attorney, the judge, and the jury, the important thing about them was that they were, as Upton Sinclair put it in his remarkable novel Boston, “wops,” foreigners, poor workingmen, radicals.
Here is a sample of the police interrogation:
Police: Are you a citizen?
Sacco: No.
Police: Are you a Communist?
Sacco: No.
Police: Anarchist?
Sacco: No.
Police: Do you believe in this government of ours?
Sacco: Yes; some things I like different.
What did these questions have to do with the robbery of a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, and the shooting of a paymaster and a guard?
Sacco was lying, of course. No, I’m not a Communist. No, I’m not an anarchist. Why would he lie to the police? Why would a Jew lie to the Gestapo? Why would a black in South Africa lie to his interrogators? Why would a dissident in Soviet Russia lie to the secret police? Because they all know there is no justice for them.
Has there ever been justice in the American system for the poor, the person of color, the radical? When the eight anarchists of Chicago were sentenced to death after the Haymarket riot (a police riot, that is) of 1886, it was not because there was any proof of a connection between them and the bomb thrown in the midst of the police; there was not a shred of evidence. It was because they were leaders of the anarchist movement in Chicago.
When Eugene Debs and a thousand others were sent to prison during World War I, under the Espionage Act, was it because they were guilty of espionage? Hardly. They were socialists who spoke out against the war. In affirming the ten-year sentence of Debs, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes made it clear why Debs must go to prison. He quoted from Debs’ speech: “The master class has always declared the wars, the subject class has always fought the battles.”
Holmes, much admired as one of our great liberal jurists, made clear the limits of liberalism, its boundaries set by a vindictive nationalism. After all the appeals of Sacco and Vanzetti had been exhausted, the case was put before Holmes, sitting on the Supreme Court. He refused to review the case, thus letting the verdict stand.
In our time, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were sent to the electric chair. Was it because they were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union? Or was it because they were communists, as the prosecutor made clear, with the approval of the judge? Was it also because the country was in the midst of anti-communist hysteria, communists had just taken power in China, there was a war in Korea, and the weight of all that could be borne by two American communists?
Why was George Jackson, in California, sentenced to ten years in prison for a $70 robbery, and then shot to death by guards? Was it because he was poor, black, and radical?
Can a Muslim today, in the atmosphere of the “war on terror” be given equal justice before the law? Why was my upstairs neighbor, a dark-skinned Brazilian who might look like a Middle East Muslim, pulled out of his car by police, though he had violated no regulation, and questioned and humiliated?
Why are the two million people in American jails and prisons, and six million people under parole, probation, or surveillance, disproportionately people of color, disproportionately poor? A study showed that 70% of the people in New York state prisons came from seven neighborhoods in New York City-neighborhoods of poverty and desperation.
Class injustice cuts across every decade, every century of our history. In the midst of the Sacco Vanzetti case, a wealthy man in the town of Milton, south of Boston, shot and killed a man who was gathering firewood on his property. He spent eight days in jail, then was let out on bail, and was not prosecuted. The district attorney called it “justifiable homicide.” One law for the rich, one law for the poor-a persistent characteristic of our system of justice.
But being poor was not the chief crime of Sacco and Vanzetti. They were Italians, immigrants, anarchists. It was less than two years from the end of the First World War. They had protested against the war. They had refused to be drafted. They saw hysteria mount against radicals and foreigners, observed the raids carried out by Attorney General Palmer’s agents in the Department of Justice, who broke into homes in the middle of the night without warrants, held people incommunicado, and beat them with clubs and blackjacks.
In Boston, 500 were arrested, chained together, and marched through the streets. Luigi Galleani, editor of the anarchist paper Cronaca Sovversiva, to which Sacco and Vanzetti subscribed, was picked up in Boston and quickly deported.
Something even more frightening had happened. A fellow anarchist of Sacco and Vanzetti, a typesetter named Andrea Salsedo, who lived in New York, was kidnapped by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (I use the word “kidnapped” to describe an illegal seizure of a person), and held in FBI offices on the 14th floor of the Park Row Building. He was not allowed to call his family, friends, or a lawyer, and was questioned and beaten, according to a fellow prisoner. During the eighth week of his imprisonment, on May 3, 1920, the body of Salsedo, smashed to a pulp, was found on the pavement near the Park Row Building, and the FBI announced that he had committed suicide by jumping from the 14th floor window of the room in which they had kept him. This was just two days before Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested.
We know today, as a result of Congressional reports in 1975, of the FBI’s COINTELPRO program in which FBI agents broke into people’s homes and offices, carried out illegal wiretaps, were involved in acts of violence to the point of murder, and collaborated with the Chicago police in the killing of two Black Panther leaders in 1969. The FBI and the CIA have violated the law again and again. There is no punishment for them.

There has been little reason to have faith that the civil liberties of people in this country would be protected in the atmosphere of hysteria that followed 9/11 and continues to this day. At home there have been immigrant round-ups, indefinite detentions, deportations, and unauthorized domestic spying. Abroad there have extra-judicial killings, torture, bombings, war, and military occupations.

Likewise, the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti began immediately after Memorial Day, a year and a half after the orgy of death and patriotism that was World War I, when the newspapers still vibrating with the roll of drums and the jingoist rhetoric.
Twelve days into the trial, the press reported that the bodies of three soldiers had been transferred from the battlefields of France to the city of Brockton, and that the whole town had turned out for a patriotic ceremony. All of this was in newspapers that members of the jury could read.

Sacco was cross-examined by prosecutor Katzmann:
Question: Did you love this country in the last week of May, 1917?
Sacco: That is pretty hard for me to say in one word, Mr. Katzmann.
Question: There are two words you can use, Mr. Sacco, yes or no. What one is it?
Sacco: Yes
Question: And in order to show your love for this United States of America when she was about to call upon you to become a soldier you ran away to Mexico?
At the beginning of the trial, Judge Thayer (who, speaking to a golf acquaintance, had referred to the defendants during the trial as “those anarchist bastards”) said to the jury: “Gentlemen, I call upon you to render this service here that you have been summoned to perform with the same spirit of patriotism, courage, and devotion to duty as was exhibited by our soldier boys across the seas.”

The emotions evoked by a bomb that exploded at Attorney General Palmer’s home during a time of war-like emotions set loose by the violence of 9/11-created an anxious atmosphere in which civil liberties were compromised.
Sacco and Vanzetti understood that whatever legal arguments their lawyers could come up with would not prevail against the reality of class injustice. Sacco told the court, on sentencing: “I know the sentence will be between two classes, the oppressed class and the rich class.That is why I am here today on this bench, for having been of the oppressed class.”

That viewpoint seems dogmatic, simplistic. Not all court decisions are explained by it. But, lacking a theory that fits all cases, Sacco’s simple, strong view is surely a better guide to understanding the legal system than one which assumes a contest among equals based on an objective search for truth.

Vanzetti knew that legal arguments would not save them. Unless a million Americans were organized, he and his friend Sacco would die. Not words, but struggle. Not appeals, but demands. Not petitions to the governor, but take-overs of the factories. Not lubricating the machinery of a supposedly fair system to make it work better, but a general strike to bring the machinery to a halt.

That never happened. Thousands demonstrated, marched, protested, not just in New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, but in London, Paris, Buenos Aires, South Africa. It wasn’t enough. On the night of their execution, thousands demonstrated in Charlestown, but were kept away from the prison by a huge assembly of police. Protesters were arrested. Machine-guns were on the rooftops and great searchlights swept the scene.

A great crowd assembled in Union Square on August 23,1927. A few minutes after midnight, prison lights dimmed as the two men were electrocuted. The New York World described the scene: “The crowd responded with a giant sob. Women fainted in fifteen or twenty places. Others, too overcome, dropped to the curb and buried their heads in their hands. Men leaned on one anothers’ shoulders and wept.”

Their ultimate crime was their anarchism, an idea which today still startles us like a bolt of lightning because of its essential truth: we are all one, national boundaries and national hatreds must disappear, war is intolerable, the fruits of the earth must be shared, and only through organized struggle against authority can such a world come about.

What comes to us today from the case of Sacco and Vanzetti is not just tragedy, but inspiration. Their English was not perfect, but when they spoke it was a kind of poetry. Vanzetti said of his friend Sacco:

Sacco is a heart, a faith, a character, a man; a man lover of nature and mankind. A man who gave all, who sacrifice all to the cause of liberty and to his love for mankind: money, rest, mundane ambition, his own wife, his children, himself and his own life.. Oh yes, I may be more witful, as some have put it, I am a better babbler than he is, but many, many times, in hearing his heartful voice ring a faith sublime, in considering his supreme sacrifice, remembering his heroism I felt small, small at the presence of his greatness, and found myself compelled to fight back from my eyes the tears, quench my heart throbbing to my throat to not weep before him-this man called chief and assassin and doomed.

Worst of all, they were anarchists, meaning they had some crazy notion of a full democracy in which neither foreignness nor poverty would exist, and thought that without these provocations, war among nations would end for all time. But for this to happen the rich would have to be fought and their riches confiscated. That anarchist idea is a crime much worse than robbing a payroll, and so to this day the story of Sacco and Vanzetti cannot be recalled without great anxiety.
Sacco wrote to his son Dante: “So son, instead of crying, be strong, so as to be able to comfort your mother.take her for a long walk in the quiet country, gathering wild flowers here and there, resting under the shade of trees.But remember always, Dante, in this play of happiness, don’t you use all for yourself the persecuted and the victim because they are your better friends.. In this struggle of life you will find more love and you will be loved.”

Yes, it was their anarchism, their love for humanity, which doomed them. When Vanzetti was arrested, he had a leaflet in his pocket advertising a meeting to take place in five days. It is a leaflet that could be distributed today, all over the world, as appropriate now as it was the day of their arrest. It read:
You have fought all the wars. You have worked for all the capitalists. You have wandered over all the countries. Have you harvested the fruits of your labors, the price of your victories? Does the past comfort you? Does the present smile on you? Does the future promise you anything? Have you found a piece of land where you can live like a human being and die like a human being? On these questions, on this argument, and on this theme, the struggle for existence, Bartolomeo Vanzetti will speak.

That meeting did not take place. But their spirit still exists today with people who believe and love and struggle all over the world.

Hammersmith Apollo

Hammersmith Apollo, Tuesday 30th October
Reviewed by Robin Denselow, The Guardian.

Most guitar-strumming singer-songwriters start solo then acquire a band, but Christy Moore turned the process on its head. He started out on the folk circuit in the 1960s and went on to work with Planxty and Moving Hearts, but now has only one other guitarist to help him, the sensitive Declan Sinnott.

He has acquired legendary status in Irish music, yet still acts as if he were playing in the intimate setting of a front room. His songs constantly change direction, from humour and whimsy to angry musical history lessons on Cuba, apartheid or the Irish contingent who fought against Franco with the International Brigade. It works because he is a fine storyteller with a glorious, soulful voice and the ability to make other people’s songs his own.

At Hammersmith, his carefully constructed set switched from Yellow Triangle, his thoughtfully chilling song about fascism, to Richard Thompson’s lyrical Beeswing, and then the emotional Missing You, on the loneliness of Irish migrant workers in London. His return here prompted both nostalgia and surprises, with reminiscences of performing at Ewan MacColl’s Singers Club bringing on a MacColl ballad, Sweet Thames, Flow Softly, and memories of the Watersons, followed by a bravely unaccompanied treatment of Mike Waterson’s A Stitch in Time. So it went on, with North and South of the River, the stirring, controversial song of reconciliation in Northern Ireland that he co-wrote with Bono and the Edge, followed by a version of the very funny, half-spoken and stomping Lisdoonvarna and the traditional Cliffs of Dooneen, surely one of the most exquisite of all Irish ballads. Christy Moore may be in his early 60s, but his potency is undiminished.

Barrowland, Pat Ryan

Reviewed by Pat Ryan

The clock went off at 5:15 and i was on the road from Stratford on Slaney to the Barrowlands at 5:40.

I had been looking forward to this gig for a long time. I spoke to Christy about it many times and at the Kilkenny gig I spoke with Paddy and he said ” Come over to Glasgow Pat. I can’t describe it but you will not have seen anything like it before”. So I was off to Glasgow.

I got the 7:50 flight to Prestwick and there were 2 lads in the seats behind me talking music. They were of my vintage and were well travelled music fans. They were on the way to The Barras as well. The flight was full with quite a few Celts on board for the away game to Hamilton the next day. Despite the early hour there was a great buzz on the plane – everyone seemed to be talking about their plans for the weekend.

I arrived in Prestwick and got the train into Glasgow Central. I was in the station 3 weeks previously and had a cup of tea there. The pidgeons with their mangled little legs came up right up and ate crumbs out of my palm. ( A regular little St. Francis !!!). Anyway, I left the station and headed for the hotel. I knew it was Menzies in Washington Street but that was as much as I knew. I walked down Argyle Street and went into the Celtic shop. It was about 10 in the morning and I had a look around the store. I like memorabilia so I passed a little time in there. I asked the lad working there for directions and he googled the hotel and gave me directions. I had decided to walk as much as possible on this trip so that i could get a feel for the city. So off I went with me bag on me back. On the way Eric from Coatbridge rang me and we arranged to meet the next day. More of that later.

I arrived into the lobby of the hotel about 11 and went to reception. I was way too early for check-in but I signed in and left my bag with Brian. I asked Brian directions for a good breakfast – Moores at the Glasgow Central bridge: I asked him how to get to Andrews Square and he guided me there. I went for breakfast and it was pretty busy with blue and green supporters lapping up the fried delights and washing them down with pints of beer and some , like myself even had tea with their toast. As the world outside was trudging through the Glasgow rain I saw the 3 young lads from Ireland having a few drinks and taking in the freedom of a weekend away with all its potential. There was the group of long time Celt supporters arriving with new bloods and meeting up with friends of long standing. The strong handshakes of earned respect and the smile that said it good to see you.

I headed out to find Andrews Square based on Brian’s directions. I got as far as the clock in Trongate and could not find what I was looking for. I asked a woman and she said it’s not around here. I headed back towards the city centre and stood in under the canopy of M&S. I looked at a tourist map I had but no luck. I conceded after about 10 minutes and asked a man standing near me if he knew where the street is I was looking for. He pointed me confidently back towards my hotel. I went back that way in the hope of tying in with friends. As I neared the hotel again I looked at a map on a bus shelter – There it was – Andrew Square just off the Saltmarket in Trongate!!

I arrived back to the hotel lobby about 1PM. When i walked in I saw Andy and he leapt up to say hello and asked me to join him and his two buddies Tom and Bobby. They were well into the second day of slagging that only good friends can keep up and get away with. Tea arrived and i was in the middle of it straight away. I had met Tom on a couple of occasions previously and I met Bobby twice in Clonakilty but did not know him that well. The hour or more I spent with the lads though gave me an insight into a good friendship and I was glad of the company. Sound men all three. I have known Andy for quite a few years but we never spent much time together. Tom and Bobby headed off to their rooms and myself and Andy had a great conversation. I got to know him and he me and I think we forged a new friendship. It was refreshing in the honest way that life’s battering sometimes allows. I checked in then and went up to my room to lie down for a while but that wasn’t possible because when I’m in a different place I feel that time spent lying down is time wasted when I could be out getting to know the area. However, I turned on the telly and there was a documentary on about Sevvy Ballesteros and his recovery from brain surgery. It was fascinating listening to him speak about how grateful and lucky he is to be alive and how his ambition is to play in The Open again is St. Andrews. He has set up a foundation to help others in a similar situation and he is smiling. True humility.

About 4 I headed off for Barrowlands with a detour planned to find the Rooms in Andrew Square. Like all good journeys I needed to march on a full stomach so McDonalds was my first stop. I finished there and headed towards Trongate again and saw this great painting of John Lennon in a gallery window. I went in and it was full of great paintings by an artist whose name escapes me but whose paintings are really raw. The gallery owner is a man from Donegal and we spoke for a while. A very engaging man. I left him and turned right into the Saltmarket and left into Andrew Street. I found where I was looking for but it was closed. I know now where it is for the next time I’m over. I headed up for the Gallowgate and The Barras and in less than 10 minutes I was outside the great Ballroom. I took a few pictures and then headed into Bairds out of the pouring rain. I was due to meet Mick or Paddy at 5:30 at the door of Barrowlands. I went into the lounge side and it was throbbing with a group ripping it up with ballads and other folk songs. The crowd there were in great form. This was about 4:45. I went into the bar side of Bairds and ordered an Irn Bru and a bag of salt and vinegar. An oul boy came up to me and asked me the result of the game between Wolves and Villa. I told him it was a draw. He knew that already though i’m sure. Anyway at about 5:15 the band finished up with The Fields of Athenry and wished all well at the gig. Then they asked great crowd gathered to stand for the National Anthem – Amhran na Bhfiann !!

This was a first for me – at 5:15 in Glasgow on a Saturday afternoon standing to attention for the Irish National Anthem – Great stuff. I left Bairds and went to the ballroom door. Paddy was there waiting for the Troubadour and Mick. I said Howya Paddy. He wasn’t sure who I was. I told him and he said Jesus sorry Pat I was miles away. He brought me in and gave me the laminate and gave me a tour of the area and showed me to a seat at the back if I wanted to use it. I took the time to look around this old venue. The stage was set up with all the gear and the sound man arrived to prepare for the sound check The other long time crew were on stage making sure all was in place and as it should be. A vital cog.

It was empty other than that. I walked around the hall and took some pictures. The bar was closed in the hall. Christy and Mick arrived a short while after me and I was brought into the dressing room. Straight away Mick was playing the host and made me a cup of tea. There was an array of goodies lined up. Home made brown bread, white bread, cheeses, olives, thick cut slices of cooked ham and sponge cakes from a fan from the gig the night before. I dived in and made a doorstop of a ham sandwich. Wally had already arrived and done his sound check. Declan was just finished his and arrived in to get a bit to eat. I was chatting to Christy and just went in to say hello to Declan and pay my respects. I felt awkward and said a couple of things that were just off the mark – like suggesting a song and stating the obvious like you’ll miss him!! Declan on the other hand was gracious. I watched Christy doing his sound check and then Wally and Declan came up to go through the 3 songs they were doing together. They decided on Christy for Barrowlands, Wally for Smoke & Strong Whisky and Christy for Biko Drum. They were a bit concerned about how to come in on each other’s lead – they needn’t have worried. The 3 went back to the dressing room and sat together. They started to chat about songs and gigs and songs again and all the time strumming. I went into the kitchen area as I felt it was a place for just them. Val and Juno arrived in the meantime and the dressing room had a great atmosphere. There was a real feeling of goodwill.

They started to play some songs and laughed and played and it was like an Everly Brothers vibe coming from the music and singing. It was quite special.

The hall was filling rapidly and I took a seat at the back and watched the fans arrive. They were 4711ers and fans from all over. Val and Juno were already in their seats and I sat in with Tom. While we were waiting we had a great chat and it is amazing what people endure and accept with a humility that is almost unbearable – another sound man. Bobby was there with his son and Andy went out into the crowd. I was getting a bit anxious myself so me and my laminate went backstage and waited for the arrival of Christy and Declan. The build up was great and at about 8:05PM Mick’s torch went on and the lads came up the steps of the stage and the thunder was huge. They kicked off with North and South ( one of my favourites) and just built it from there. The crowd was amazing and to see them from where Christy sees them was awesome. A little bit of heckling went on and it was handled with years of experience. The crowd were alive to every song and when required you could hear a tear drop. At about 9:10 PM Wally was brought up. He was at the side like a prizefighter waiting to go on. He was on his toes and rarin’ to go. The crowd gave him a great welcome. They went straight into Barrowlands – the reaction was stunning. The crowd owned this. Then Wally sang Smoke and he just went into another level altogether – the crowd was in ecstasy and sang along to perfection. Biko Drum followed with Christy on fire and Declan’s guitar playing has no words to describe. To huge applause and cheering Wally left the stage and as he came down the steps Mick said to him “well?” and Wally’s reply was ” I love it, I just love this”. What a pleasure to see all this.

I could go through all the songs and tell you about each one but this was among the best gigs I have ever been to. It was over 2 hours and it will last forever. The atmosphere is very special and Christy rates this as one of his favourite places to play. I am a fan of Christy for over 36 years and he and Declan have a magic that is rare when they play together. Declan virtuoso playing is an untapped national treasure and we are lucky to have such a great musician.

After the gig I went in to the dressing room and had fish and chips with the whole gang. Great. I left the Barrowlands about 10:45 and got a cab back to the hotel. I sent texts thanking the people whio made this possible for me and about midnight got a call from Christy. We spoke for a few minutes and he thanked me for being there!!!!

I got up for breakfast and met Andy in the restaurant who invited me to join himself, Tom and Bobby. The slagging was good if a little quiter to allow for any delicate heads. The breakfasts were consumed with gusto though so they were ready to get the boat.They were great company and i was grateful for the time I spent with them.

Eric rang to say he would pick me up at noon. He and his wife Matty arrived and we went to the Banks Social Club to watch the Bhoys playing Hamilton. They went 2 -0 up and the was almost no great chat about the match but it was suddenly changed when Hamilton got a goal back.It was hell for leather and that was just in the Social club. We left there and went to John the plumber’s house. We had soup there and I was made feel completely at home like I had been calling for years. We went back to Eric’s then and watched the end of the united game. Eric has a grwat way about him and I felt relieved that I am on the right track after speaking and more importantly listening to him. He and Matty brought me for a lovely meal and dropped me back to Prestwick. They walked in with me and I feel I have really connected there. It’s a great relief for someone like me to be able to speak freely to a like mind. I am looking forward to them coming over to Ireland.

I got in home about 1:15 on Sunday night/Monday morning. I was delighted to be home with Geraldine, Sara and Charlie the dog. I was looking forward to telling them all about this great 2 days.


Cappoquin – Ceapach Choinn

Reviewed by Davoc Rynne

Cappoquin – Ceapach Choinn (Conn’s Plot)
Cappoquin – Ceapach Choinn is in County Waterford and directly translated means Conn’s Plot.  Even Joyce’s “Names and Places “does not know who Conn was.  So the plot thickens!  Ah – but it’s not that kind of plot!  It is land and probably lots of it!  “This neat market town is situated on the river Blackwater at its right angled bend from east to west”.  So my guide book tells me.  But then I reach into the mahogany bookcase in the gorgeous sitting room of Richmond House Guesthouse in Cappoquin and there on the middle shelf I find “The History, Topography and Antiquities of the South West of Ireland”.  I search for Cappoquin in the index and find it mentioned twice…….”Cappoquin possesses nothing worthy of particular notice except a new church ornamented with a neat spire”……..and again…….”with its light bridge crossing the Blackwater”.  It sure does not sound exciting.  But then I see this was written by Rev. Ryland in 1824!  Sure what would he know!

It is 4pm on the first day of a two night set of Christy Moore gigs in town.  The Christy crew has gathered in the community hall – Mick Devine points us at the food and the cups o’ tae.  It is a magnificent hall with state of the art facilities.  There is a crèche, a gymnasium, a community meeting room, toilets, showers and changing rooms and finally the large hall with terrific comfortable seats.  It is early yet for the gig so I head down town for a pint.  People are battling for car space.  Someone is getting out of a car complaining that Christy Moore is causing bedlam in town.  All ages in the pub and most of them going to the gig.  Some have not been at a Christy concert in twenty years.  Many have travelled from Dungarvan, Tralee, Enniscorthy, West Clare, and even America.

The concert starts to a hushed and reverent audience.  The opening number is designed to create a relaxed atmosphere – Ordinary Man, and it does the trick.  Not a hand clapping, feet stomping number, nor is it a mega ciunas song that requires buckets of hush and respect.  It is also very well known so won’t tax the mind – a good choice.  The audience is in awe!

I’m itching here to talk about audiences.  Years ago the only audience you would encounter was at Mass or occasionally in the cinema.  Will we ever forget – a full house with a packed audience of baldy and Brylcreemed capless headed men on the left and heads covered women on the right.  Ok ok, it was a church and we were the congregation but it’s the same difference!  We had a priest in Prosperous with zero tolerance for any type of distraction.  If people were coughing, he would stop the mass until they stopped and he would read the riot act if it continued.  And what about the yobbos at the cinema!  What with smart alecs shouting at the crouching cowboy – ” there’s an injun creepin’ up behind ya”, the noisy coortin’ couples snoggin’ in the back row, the crisp bag being burst against someone’s ear and all of this done in the middle of a thick pall of dense tobacco smoke!  Wow, have audiences changed.  But let’s get back to Cappoquin.

Two or three numbers in Christy does a solo – “A Stitch in Time” with six hundred people listening intensely. This is a seriously funny important song.  If you have not heard it before, listening to the first couple of verses it is hard to know where it is going.  “She lived all alone with her husband” gets a bit of a snigger.  But from then on the listener is transfixed by what is about to happen in the song.  After the verse …
“As she started to stitch with a girlish thrill
with a woman’s eye and a seamstress skill
she bibbed and tucked with an iron will
as she stitched all around her sleeping husband”
– I can feel the penny dropping and am aware of a sudden intake of breath when I hear a group of women behind me softly laughing.  Even at this stage of the song the full impact of this shocking domestic scene takes a little while to sink in.  And indeed even when the whole story unfolds – one is not too sure whether to laugh or cry.

I stop listening to the song but strain my ears for any other type of sound!  It is totally awesome.  I can literally hear the man beside me breathing and far away in the distance above the sound curtains, and very faintly, I hear the soft whirl of a ventilating fan.  I look around to see the faces in the soft light.  (But even this I am nervous to do – what if Christy spots me.  “Stay quiet you down there and stop gawkin’ around you”!  As if……?) It is truly amazing the respect that this audience has for these mighty performers.  After “Morecambe Bay”, which ends on a lonesome note, there is absolute and total silence.  This silence is palpable and lasts for fully five seconds which is then broken by thunderous applause.  Christy has a big grin on him and looks extremely pleased.  He talks of this rare occurring magical silence after a song that has a special meaning for him, in these wonderful seconds the song is allowed to drift into a spiritual space.
The opposite also occurs – as in clapping!  Theses could be written on the extraordinary human behaviour of applauding.  But these old boys have it worked to a TEE – when to encourage it, play away through it, throw it out of time or stop it altogether.  All rear up umpteen times in the course of a gig.  OK – no problem with “The Shovel” – just let them bang on and enjoy themselves.  But but but but you’ve got to also stop them or they’ll miss the funny bits like ……”if you want to do it, do it agin’ the wall, there’s a shed there in the corner and they won’t see you at all… mind your sandwiches….” Even if we’ve heard it a thousand times before that doesn’t mean we’re not going to laugh yet again!  (I noticed Dikon, the sound man, smiling at Joxer and god knows but he must have heard it a gazillion times before).   And you can’t hear if everyone is stamping and clapping.   These ol’ boyos can shift and move these clappers at will.  They appear to just jump a beat and create confusion and then it just trails off a bit, then stops.

I jotted down the titles of all the 28 songs performed.  I wondered the next day how many of these were actually on an agreed set list.  Neither Declan nor Christy could give me a definitive answer.  Songs are planned, rehearsed, talked about but when the gig starts it takes on a life of its own.  Depends on the audience, the mood, the sound, the lighting, maybe even the moon phases!  One thing for sure Declan has huge patience and flexibility.  “Let’s try the key of C” sez Christy.  Declan gives him a look.  (Fine says Decy to himself, but what song are you going to sing?)  Off with Christy and Decy gets it straight away.  Then Christy changes his mind and reverts back to the usual key – no bother to the guitar maestro!

Certainly no set list when Christy starts the jukebox!  Five, six songs are shouted up together.  He hears the word “Veronica” (a song he wrote in 1996 on the day he heard of Veronica Guerin’s dreadful murder).  He picks up on it and is obviously chuffed that someone has requested it.  He forgets the start of it and looks to Declan for a clue, then he quickly recovers and gets going.  But the amazing thing about it is that I could hear plainly behind me, a prompt, “In the broad daylight…..” from a young man who had the start of this great song, way before Christy had it.

Christy connects with his audience in a most extraordinary way.  With years of experience under his belt he has developed a finely tuned gift for feeling the pulse and mood of the masses of people in front of him.  Yes, he is completely in control and within seconds he has his audience eating out of his hand, they are comfortable and relaxed in his company.  He is aware that there are maybe a dozen singers softly joining in – he even spots where they are sitting and he shouts to them to rise it!  Then there’s the humour.  “Dogs howling at the moon” and the audience automatically starts howling and Christy whispers to Deccy “distemper”!!  Deccy cracks up – unusual for Deccy, he’s a great man for the straight face!

Keep listening and you’re sure to hear more buried humour and quirky jibes.  It could be Bertie, or Charlie or even Daniel…..or ….or….or… Oooooh Lisdoonvarna!


Alcoholics Anonymous





Console – living with suicide

MOJO (The Miscarriages of justice organisation)

Pavee Point Travellers Centre

Burma Action Ireland

Children In Crossfire

Mannix Flynn

Turn Off The Red Light – End Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in Ireland

Richard Boyd Barrett – People Before Profit


Lakes of Ponchartrain

Trad / Arr: Christy Moore

It was one fine March morning I bid New Orleans adieu
Am G Am C/G F
And I took the road to Jackson town, my fortune to renew.
C Am G Am C/G F
I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain,
Which filled me heart with longing for the lakes of Ponchartrain.

I stepped on board of a railroad car beneath the morning sun,
I rode the rods till evening and I laid me down again.
All strangers there no friends to me till a dark girl towards me came
And I fell in love with my Creole girl by the lakes of Ponchartrain.

I said, “Me pretty Creole girl, me money here’s no good,
If it weren’t for the alligators, I’d sleep out in the wood.”
“You’re welcome here, kind stranger, from such sad thoughts refrain,
For me Mammy welcomes strangers by the lakes of Ponchartrain.

She took me into her Mammy’s house, and treated me right well.
The hair upon her shoulders in jet black ringlets fell.
To try and paint her beauty, Im sure twould be in vain,
So handsome was my Creole girl by the lakes of Ponchartrain.

I asked her if she’d marry me. She said that ne’er could be
For she had got a lover and he was far at sea.
She said that she would wait for him and true she would remain
Till he’d return to his Creole girl on the lakes of Ponchartrain.

Its fare thee well, me Creole girl, I never may see you more.
I’ll neer forget your kindness in the cottage by the shore
And at each social gathering, a flowing bowl I’ll drain
And I’ll drink a health to my Creole girl by the lakes of Ponchartrain.
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Well we had 10 sacks of rice, a container of beans, all our money in silver and gold and not a shaggin’ thing happened. All the greedy promoters lost a packet on their rip off gigs and the hungry hoors of publicans who put on big cover charges got their tight arses burnt. Y2K me bollix.

Into 2000 and I did not one gig all year. It was all book stuff. Finishing off ‘One Voice’. Corrections, re-writes, photos, proof reading, it was all new and kinda’ exciting. Did book signings all over Ireland and also in London. Good fun.

Had a few weird experiences in London. Lunch with The Financial Times was quite superb.Began talking to Declan Sinnot about playing some songs. Then we played at his 50th party and Donal joined in. Then all Decky’s gear got robbed and Donal and I did a benefit (The Stolen Guitars Gig) and Decky joined in and we had a great gig on Wednesday 30th August 2000. Next thing we were recording ‘This Is The Day’ in Kilkenny in January 2001 and we decided to do some gigs on the back of that. These got recorded and are released as ‘Live At Vicar St.’ I’m back in front of the lamps and it feels good, so lets see where we go from here.

Talk Soon,

The Gay Nineties

I remember the nineties alright. I recorded ‘Smoke And Strong Whiskey’ in Westland. It’s a strange album. I fell out with some of the musicians I’d rehearsed with and had to re-convene. The album always sounds too fast to me.

My old label put out a compilation the same time as ‘Smoke And Strong Whiskey’ and it fairly sunk the album but that’s the way those people think, so fuck ‘em (although I must admit it’s a good album!).

’King Puck’ was recorded in Ballyvourney and I used to visit Peader and Geraldine O’Riada for healing cups of tea and honey sandwiches. I got to play with Neil McColl and Máire Breathnach. Got the old ‘Rose’ down at last and also vowed never again to wear make-up no matter what the photographer told me. I still blush when I see the shaggin’ snaps.

Nancy died in 1992 but I still talk to her and I miss her too but she’s not gone too far away. I was finally cut loose from my moorings.

‘Live At The Point’ was a nightmare in the making for I regarded three different sets of gigs at the venue and mixed them all. It was arduous but also rewarding, educational, humbling and sometimes great fun. ’Graffiti Tongue’ came next and some of the early work was wonderful. Inis Meán and Passage were special but back in Ballyvourney it got very lonely. This is the loneliest album I ever made.

I realise I’m only writing about albums here but down the road I’ll fill in some gaps. I’ll tell you all about the real life after ‘Graffiti Tongue’, there was ANOTHER compilation. Yes the fucking ‘Collection Part 2’. There’s a story here too but I won’t tell it just now – only to say that it was the multinationals 1997again. The suits were pressed into my face once more. I didn’t record for three years after ‘Graffiti’ but then I discovered again that the process of recording songs should be enjoyable – that it could be (even) fun.

Me and Leo Pearson down the garden banging ‘Traveller’ together. Fuck it but ‘twas a healing balm. Young Lunny came in and played bouzouki backwards while The Edge was a welcome guest.

There’s another ten years up the spout.




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Review from Ryan Graham

Ryan Graham took the trouble to post this review on the Guest page…
I read it just before the Barrowland gig and it stayed with me

Hi folks, I’ve been up since the early hours this morning on a rare day off and have spent it doing something I haven’t had a chance to do in too long a time. Christy CDs on and just relaxing around the house and trawling through the internet for anything interesting to read. I came across the following post on a soccer forum and it said a lot I myself couldn’t have put in to words so eloquently so I thought I would share them with you.

Anyway, here goes:
Good Morning, in another universe and on another planet, in another time, another place I wear a different hat and coat. In that other world and with a different name I have cause to write sporadically on things simply not related to Celtic Football Club or Football in general. One- Pastime-so to speak, in this other world occasionally involves the reviewing of the odd performance artiste, and in the course of so doing I do occasionally throw in a mention of my love for Celtic Football club and all- or at least most things- related to the club. This morning I feel the need to bring that other world into this football forum- and talk not about football, but about something else entirely. I first “heard” Christy Moore live whilst hanging about outside the Mitchell Street Theatre. It would be the very early ’80’s sometime and he was rehearsing for a gig that night. I had no idea he was on and had no tickets for the gig. I had no idea he was rehearsing- I only heard a noise and a tune that stopped me in my tracks. In those days, I was a part timer. Part time student, part time drinker, part time footballer ( in the purely amateurish and recreational sense ), part time shite talker, part time sage, part time- everything! It is a job description or life style that I have never escaped despite eventually becoming a full time worker, husband, father and I suppose Adult. I am and hopefully always will be a part time something or other. Within two years I had me a job, a wage, a supposedly 9-5 existence, and the permanent smile and laugh that I hope one’s early twenties should bring. I also therefore had the wherewithal and the savvy to go and see the man from Kildare when he next came to town. That too was to become a fixture that I rarely missed and Christy has ever since been a constant source of reference. He still is some nearly 30 years on. The reason for Christy Moore being an Iconic performer was all too much in evidence last night at the Concert Hall. Some may come to listen to the man sing, but for me it is more- far, far more- than the singing which drags me in like a tractor beam. I will openly admit that I frequently, if not always, shed a quiet tear during a Christy concert. It is something that I cannot and never can explain. Whether it is the emotion he throws into a concert, or the songs or the lyrics, or whatever- I am gripped. Seized with the images painted in words and music. He grabs the root tree and branch of the soul and the very being. He can reach into the grave and pull out your ancestors as well as showing you your children. When you look into a child’s face- you are seeing all the human race. Moore has vast cannon of songs and whilst he has a songbook with a list always at hand, there is no set list as such. Yes there is the stable diet of standards, but he feels his way into a vibe and plays and sings what he feels is right in the spur of the moment-often leaving his side kick, Declan Sennett (of whom more later ) having to follow on and catch up. Last night, you clearly got the impression that he had a particular vibe- a particular message. A subliminal statement to make. Starting quite deliberately with North and South (co written with Bono), he went through a range of numbers concerning Ireland and the Irish, the today, the yesterday and the tomorrow. He name checked “Mary” at 70 and “Hannah” at 14. He paid his homage- as he always does- to Scotland and Glasgow in particular with the beautiful Barrowlands, and Black is the colour learned from the late great Hamish. Mentions of Danny Kyle, and the boys of the loch were thrown in and a quick tale about being saved one night by Tam Harvey, Billy Connolly and the late Gerry Rafferty, who threw him into the back of a van one night quickstyle- when he sang the wrong song in the wrong place! There is no need for me to go through a Christy Set list on here- many will know the words and tunes as well as I do if not better. What I want to convey is that I always feel a better man for having been to listen to Christy. He sings and talks of what is right. About the issues. About a moral coda that to me seems absolutely the right path and stance. A stance full of humour and the good things of life with no animosity to your fellow man, and a deep respect and love for those who we share the planet with. However all of this is fortified with the right and belief that you should stand up for your rights and for the rights of the man next door no matter his race, creed, background or whatever. There are few Human beings on this earth who are as “Gentle” as Christy Moore, but by God I swear that Declan Sinnott is one such. His effortless guitar playing and his endless capacity to just follow on wherever Christy chooses to go is, in itself, a wonder. These two men are linked by far more than the desire or need to eek out a living on the road together. There is clearly a deep bond between them, which goes way beyond the playing of music. Declan has huge hands. Hands that could be wrapped around the frets of three guitars at once let alone one. He sings with a lovely gentle voice that should be heard more often, and he plays the guitar with his right shoulder. If you don’t know what I mean by that, then treat yourself and buy a bloody ticket next time round. Declan will applaud some solo stuff that Christy comes out with, and seems sometimes surprised and delighted at what his fellow performer comes away with. Many reading this will have had parents, or grandparents, or great grandparents who came here from Ireland a long time ago. They came in search of the better and to escape if not the great famine, then a different type of famine- oppression, a lack of hope or opportunity, a lack of possibilities for them and their kids. Others will have come to Scotland- and elsewhere- to escape the more recent troubles- the bombs, the bullets, the army, the police, the tensions, the bigotry, the gerrymandering, the unemployment and the general greyness of the 60’s or 70’s that could be found almost anywhere in Britain and Ireland. They came with Hope. Hope and a sense of tradition expressed in music and song. The ability to build, or fix, or mend, to work long hours if given the chance, and to contribute and fend for themselves and theirs. Christy’s songs always bring that back home. The reminder that the ordinary man is precisely that- the ordinary man just going about his day to day. Not seeking conflict or hassle, just the chance of the daily wage, the bread on the table, the ability to give the next generation the leg up. In 2011, life is much more comfortable for many than it was in the’80’s or before. The standard of living is higher and in many respects the rubbish that came with the troubles and the troubles themselves are behind us. Songs will always exist about historical events. Some glorify past actions, some are testament to and a reminder of things in the past which must remain in the past and never be allowed to happen again. Not just in Scotland or Ireland, but England, South America, The US- everywhere.Yep, Christy Moore reminds me of why I get up in the morning, and instills in me the belief that if enough of us pull together then the world will be a better place than yesterday and the day before. He also instills that sense of righteous gentleness that you see in many, many good folk from all walks of life, all colours, and all persuasions. Ordinary people, not politicians, presidents, kings, film stars and the like – just the ordinary Joe. Such a concert is magic – just magic and you leave with the belief that you are absolutely right and justified in dreaming of past, present and future. So if you have never been then make it a must do for the next time yer man comes to town. I swear you will feel the soul move. My oldest son is called Declan, my youngest called Christy – and I just like that. And to the big fella that sat next to me and who tunes in here from time to time– Enjoy the Barrowlands tonight- I will be singing in the living room. So come all you dreamers……….. Ride On!

All For The Roses

Wally Page/Tony Boylan

He’s twenty-five; he’s sick and tired,
It’s time to try the other side,
The B&I to paradise,
To sergeants and their men.

He’s never been to Dun Na Ri,
Combed the beaches after three,
Chips and beer and greenery,
Brothers one and all.

He signed and took the soldiers crest,
A decent man in battle dress,
When bugles blow you do your best,
For sergeants and their men.

All for the roses, over the sea.

He’s way ahead; he’s second to none,
With his fabrique nationali gun,
Marching bands with Saxon blood,
Sergeants and their men.

They landed with the sinking sun,
An invasion by the media run,
They covered up and they kissed with tongues,
Sergeants and their men.

But the phantom gunner danced the end,
And battered human bodies bled,
They butchered us, we butchered them,
Sergeants and their men.

All for the roses, over the sea,
All for the roses, Finglas boys to be.

Now a flower of sleep grows on his grave,
Forgotten soon the cowards and the brave,
But the coldest hate still lives today,
For sergeants and their men.

All for the roses, over the sea,
All for the roses, Finglas boys to be.

more info

Sorry no essay at present.



Sorry no Chords at present.


Shane Mac Gowan

See the bright new moon is rising,
Above the land of black and green.
Hear the rebels voices calling,
I will not die ’till you bury me.

The aunt upstairs in the bed she is calling,
Why has he forsaken me.
Faded pictures in the hallway,
Which one of them brown ghosts is he?

Bless the wind that shakes the barley,
Curse the spade and curse the plough.
I’ve counted years and weeks and days,
And I wish to God I was with you now.

Fare thee well me black-haired diamond,
Fare thee well me own Aisling.
At night fond dreams of you still haunt me,
Far across the grey north sea.

And the wind it blows from the North and South,
To the East And to the West.
I will be like the wind my love,
For I will know no rest  until I return to thee.

1, 2, 3, 4 telegraph poles,
Standing on the cold black road.
The night is fading into morning,
Give us a drop of your sweet poitín.

The rain was lashing – the sun was rising,
The wind was whipping through the trees.
The madness from the mountains crawling,
When I saw you first my own Aisling.

Bless the wind that shakes the barley,
Curse the spade and curse the plough.
I’ve counted years and weeks and days,
And I wish to God I was with you now.

Fare thee well my black haired diamond,
Fare thee well my own Aisling.
At night fond dreams of you still haunt me,
Far across the grey north sea.

more info

Myself and Shane were having a spasmodic shambolic attempt at telephone communication. I recall we were talking about a great lyric he had called”St.John of God(s)”. He mentioned Aisling in  passing and spoke the words down the line, I was instantly smitten.   He sent me a cassette of the song and I could not make out the melody, in my anxiety to sing the song I threw a tune at it. I have never been happy with the result. A flawed tune and a great lyric. He subsequently recorded the song himself with The Popes. Whilst I have not heard it yet I will hazard a guess that it is the better melody.



no tabs here. the tune I use is incorrect..see below