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My parents and i ran an Irish pub in Melbourne Australia, many years ago. It was before the pastic pubs hit the scene in the 90’s. There were only 2 or 3 pubs with Irish music and I fell in love with what you said and sang. Is there any chance of a visit in the gathering twighlight of our years.
Sorry to relate that I wont be up in OZ again..I loved my visits there…the country,the people, the vastness, the weather, the grub..most of all the gigs themselves….this past 20 years I’ve not been inclined towards air travel…I’ve limited myself to road and sea travel…lets hope we all keep gathering twilight for the forseeable….
if anyone out there knows Michael Geraghty from Roseberry, Newbridge County Kildare, please give him my best wishes….he has been in Victoria 40 years or more….
Just wondering is there a way to contact me , you might remember a school friend John (sporty )Barry from newbridge , would like to ask a favour
if thats Sporty from the Green Road I remember him well
Alas Christy, I haven’t given up the drink….. yet.
Peace to all, unless you need to fight.
Alas,dear scribe,the air has been let out of you(r) tube …..
trying to “give up the drink” evokes one of life’s great mysteries…..
the cure always lies beneath the cork..
the hurt, the pain,the confusion,the shiver-shakes ‘n sweats, the poor me’s,the damn youze,the lonliness of the long distance drinker can always be alleviated by a sip, nay a sup, a draught, a quaff from the Uisce Beatha….
I could never do it alone but we did it together
at first I was suspicious, nervous,angry ,even hateful of the helping hand….the drink had me by the short and curlies….dont listen to them whispered the other fellow….look at them and their big book, pathetic bunch of joyless do gooders….sad sect of craw thumping holy joes….I was’nt ready, I was badly blinkered…
yet, when I reached the bottom of the barrel they were still there to offer the helping hand, to dig me out
I wish you well
Well we are (sigh) back home in Vancouver after a wonderful two weeks in the North of Ireland. Just wanted to tell you that the concert at Carrickdale was truly a highlight of the trip besides the wedding, family time etc. Everyone that would listen heard about the evening, your call out, my poor spelling and your hilarious response. Truly took the piss!!! Anyway, please don’t forget that there is a huge following in Vancouver (and area) who’d be overjoyed if you came this way.
Take care and thanks for the wonderful tunes that we gladly play over and over!
Sylvia and Bernard
I will never forget Vancouver, every day I look upon a beautiful hand carved and painted icon given me by a native of(I think) the Nuxalk tribe….I watched him carve it in a room…he took me home to his family where he painted it and dedicated it to my Wife ( he mis-spelt her name as Valerier which made it more special to me)
Nor will I forget The Commadore Ballroom and how I almost met Robert De Niro
Hi Christy, hope all are doing well, did you ever get to sing “1945”, it’s a lovely song, I sing it over this way sometimes because I love the images it give of the flour bag county. It’s great to get snippets on you tube of yourself and the lads around the leafy rock “ poor ould lousy earth” is great to see on the set list, a song moves in and one moves out , I’m playing away over this way, got my first festival gig in September, I did my first festival gig in New York 24 years ago this August with the Clancy Brothers, I’ve a photo of us backstage after the gig somewhere in the house , standout gigs with lovely people, I played a gig many years ago for the Kildare team here in Boston, certain gigs and songs stay with you forever, special for me in many ways . One night I sang a song I wrote about domestic abuse in the Bronx and a man verbally abused me for it , I didn’t care it needed to be sang and I told him why.
He has I’m sure forgotten me, but it never left me, it too was a special gig. It is great to see you so relaxed and having fun, I heard a gig recently of yourself in Australia, I could tell by the gig you were under pressure, the world was on your shoulders, so much has to go right , when you travel so far for the people to hear you sing the songs, all my best to Val , the Family and yourself, love Fin
PS Tell Boris I was asking for him, Donald Duck is sending over his hair style engineer, the two Nobbs need a good polishing
Good Man Finbar….
good to hear from you…notes from companeros in exile always have an extra layer between the lines….
The only time I’ve ever (publicly) sung the song you mention was when I made that recording from The Box Set (1964-2004). It would not have been included but or the encouragement of Michael Traynor who sourced, compiled and edited that collection. I go back to “1945”occasionally in the work room, tip around it, change lines here and there, sing it to myself and put it away again…Your interest in it is appreciated.
I’m curious about your Bronx Ballad. Its always memorable when a song strikes home to the extent that you describe..I was playing in The Roundhouse,London one night circa 1984. I sang Mick Hanly’s song “All I remember”.A member of the audience went berserk. Poor man had to be encouraged to leave. Apparently the line “Wild Christian Brothers sharpening their leathers” sent him over the edge.
…………………One wild night in Galway, a table of feisty young Spainish students bravely exited the venue (after Quinte Brigada)…their parting shot was “Viva La Franco”
……perhaps best of all was one night in (I Think) Charlotville,USA I sang “Hey Ronnie Reagan” Straightaway an audient retorted “Go Home you cock-suckin-pink-mick-commie-bastard” …. a memorable review of a forgetable gig
…. Scariest perhaps was back in the 70s when i sang the song “Joe McCann’ in the Ballymurphy Leisure Centre….that was tricky…
Somtimes, at certain moments during gigs, a verse can provoke reaction (imagined or otherwise) throughout the room….. just a few weeks back “The Boy from Tamlaghtduff”, another night “Burning Times”, it could be “No Time for Love” or ” Everybody Knew, Nobody Said”…… I always recall a voice pleading “Lighten up Christy” one night in the Point Theatre,Dublin…..and I understood
I played with The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem but once. It was very special for me. It was decades after I’d first heard them play in The Gaitey (or Olympia) Theatre Dublin circa 1961. That gig still resounds. The excitement they engedered still drives 60 years later. The “gimp”of Tom, the presence of Paddy, the voice of Liam, the crack and divvilment of Tommy Makem…… so much came later but those four Balladeers set the ball rolling…..they rattled the establishments, they lit manys the flame
Hi Christy when’s your next trip to Scotland. Next album . Next dvd any Blu-ray on the way . How are you keeping . Not necessarily in that order lol .
Scotia next Spring, next album in November,neither DVD nor Blue-ray in the offing, Keeping very well, Thanks Be
and good to hear from you..keep coming back
Begob C, Jimmy Mc G in Athy must have had a few dreams shattered at the performance. I cant help but say and ask was he not aware of your back catalogue? A certain few of your songs indeed mock or take issue with the (institutional) Irish Catholic Church. While Jimmy does mention God and ‘free will’ the church we grew up with left us with little scope for ‘free will’, compulsory Mass, fish on Friday not to mention activity which the RC church prohibited if one was lucky back in the heyday of Dreamland, getting a a shift or a snog. Maybe Jimmy got little back then either in Dreamland if even carrying some young lady home on the crossbar. (You yourself mentioned cycling to Dreamland to dances). Here I’m standing up for the artist to perform such content even if/where someone somewhere gets offended. I cant help but thinking did you sing ‘Casey’ at the Dreamland gig? That might have really got him going! Mention of Bro Kevin, he must be one of the real few Christians of the whole lot of them.
Thanks for Radisson Hotel gig, Athlone 5 July.
all through the early years of my singing life I would cavort and socialise apres gig…long meaningless ale sodden discussions….these past ten years I have this forum to converse occasionally with listeners and songsters and I value the connection….
I appreciated Jimmy McG’s contribution for it was genuine and heartfelt…. I have little or no truck with the Catholic Church nor would I seek to silence its idolators here ( I do draw the line at blasphemy and occasionally eject transgressors) …I decided to stop singing Casey….recent revealations indicate that he is not a suitable candidate for a song that would sometimes cause fun and laughter…
….I met many good clergy men and women across my years of schooling…alongside them were a few sadists, warped thinkers, bullies and a very small number of sex offenders….but the silence of the vast majority of clergy was in itself acquiesence….
Songs like Quinte Brigada, Burning Times, Strange Ways, Magdalen Laundry can only cause offence to those who either deny or defend Fascism, the Inquisition, Catholic Church Paedophilia,the horrors of Tuam and Magdalen Launderies…
Anyway Ed…..its time for the bog… theres turf to get in, and theres hay to be saved
Dear Christy, I hope you and yours are well. We are in Devon with these massive scones. I wasn’t going to make remark upon anything except to hope that you have factor 50 on your exposed regions….but…the comment below about Christ set me ruminating. My beloved father passed away just before the London gigs and I was most uplifted to relisten to your podcast with Ruairi McKiernan about the passing of your dear father. When I first heard it I naively hoped my Pa would live forever. These last two months or so have taken the wind out of my sails. My Pa was the most liberal man you could meet and (notwithstanding the cigars the wine and the cheese) lived a God free life. He just wouldn’t deny the evidence. Or the glory of evolution. We had great discussions. So…peace and calm in this heat and see you in Bray. Xx
His love,His spirit and his wisdom still dwells within your heart and will reverberate every time you think of him,every time you talk of him…..
Hope you are all keeping cool in Devon….. take time to walk the Sea front in Bray
Pessimistic about politics,but heartened to have the latest MOJO mag…largely,a tribute to Island Records @60 years…and a superb CD featuring Fairport/Thompson/Martyn et al…that’s me boosted and alsoenjoying re visiting your splendid box set…albeit,worrying that ‘yellow triangle’ is sounding too topical…
keep on trucking..
We Heard Peggy Seeger and Calum MacColl performing a wonderful concert here last night….a gig to remember…its 50 years since I played at Peggy’s (and Ewan’s) club in London…I learned so much from them then that night and I learned again last night in The Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire…..
Great concert, brought our 4 year old boy to his 3rd Christy concert this year, he is so passionate and delighted to get a photograph, it made his night! Singing sail on Jimmy the last few days
its brings great joy to see such youngsters enjoying the songs
My Little Honda 50…… Shane Lowry
what a buzz
Shane reaches for the sky as Rory roots around in the rough
Thanks for responding to Chris’s post yesterday. I was interested to hear how you remember your father singing ‘Eileen og’ to you. I have a similar memory – of my father singing ‘Eileen Alanna’ to me. I grew up in Glasgow and my family heritage in Irish.
Very excited to be coming over to Galway on the 16th to see you for the first time.
“It was at The fair of Ballintubber
Eileen met McGrath the cattle jobber
If I could lay me hands upon the robber
who stole away the Pride of Petravore.
He never seemed to see the girl at all
even when she ogled him beneath her shawl
lookin big and masterful while she was lookin small
most provoking for The Pride of Petravore”
an old 78″ recording of the Percy French ballad….from the singing of Denis O’Neill, it was recorded in 1931
Christy, really enjoyed Dreamland last night, Cliffs of Dooneen in memory of Liam was emotional, how did you remember the words of Amsterdam? even Paul Mc forgets them ……. A nice handy job going in Kildare, an Bainisteoir, would you give it a shot.
Paul’s song flows like Virgil’s Aeneid…we got the redundancy, we met in Coffey’s,the plan was hatched.then up to Joe Dunne’s travel agency (beside McCabe’s Petrol Pumps)…off to Collinstown,Ryanair to Schipol, ( 5 euro for a piss), over to Mulligans and then the Leinster Final in The Blarney Stone, after dark around the Back-of-The-Barracks …it just flows John…imagine a similar song about the Willie Week….( blow-up whistles instead of blow-up dolls)
Thanks for your reply and I am sure Br Kevin will make good use of the few quid I know them for some time. My words were expressed for your sake and thanks for your kind wish for my peace of mind which I have by forgiving those who cause me grief as Christ forgives me my failings.
I taught you used sing in Tullys bar in Dublin street in Carlow on Thursday night.
I was away in England from 1966 -1972 but I heard about Tully’s…also heard about gigs in Carpenter’s…Sweeney’s Men used to play there as did Luke Kelly and many of the early balladeers…I lived above on the Comer plateau for a few years in the 70s…. used to play in El Ruedo, Fury’s,and Pedigree Corner…good times knockin about Coon,The Ridge,KanesBridge,Mhuine Bheag,Leighlin Bridge,Ballylinan,Mooneenroe….
Was wondering if you have any plans to play in London soon.
I played London last Month Seán, two good nights in The Festival Hall….if all goes well I’ll be back there next year..nothing firmed up yet….here’s hoping that freedom of travel will prevail….
“Flow Sweet River Flow”
Myself and my wife are coming over from Bristol to see you in Galway on the 16th. I last saw you 30 years ago in Hammersmith (sorry about the gap!) with my then partner. We had a row on the way home and split up. I loved the show. She didn’t quite get it. Shortly after I met the love of my life, with whom I shall be coming to see you next month.
So, thank you Christy for your accidental input into our lives
Chris and Eileen
Never mind the gap Chris…hope you both have a good trip over….Bristol to Galway, two of my favourite cities…
My Father used to sing….
“Eileen Óg,my heart is growing grey
ever since the day you wandered far away
Eileen Óg, theres good fish in the say (sea)
but there’s none of them like The Pride of Petravore”
What a great talent and passion you have Christy I remember it from hearing you in Carlow in the late1960s. The love songs were wonderful BUT I was disappointed by so many ballads against the Catholic Church and the mockery of Christ on the cross who hung there for you and me. I really wanted to walk out in disgust but stayed in hope of hearing some balance but all I heard was your praise of PAGANISM AND WITCHCRAFT. God gave you the gift of free will which gives you the opportunity to re-examine what seems to be your faith as portrayed in songs. What is more serious for you is that you preach and teach it to your vast audience, and you will have to answer for that in your judgment. I will pray for your conversion, but you must choose CHRIST after whom your mother called you or satan the devil.
Thanks for sharing Jimmy, I appreciate all who take the time to offer feedback….
in lieu of your apparent disgust, I will forward your ticket money to Brother Kevin at The Capuchin Centre …..
May the light shine upon Jimmy, I wish you Peace of Mind
(PS. my first gig in Carlow was in 1973 with Planxty)
Christy. Im sitting her reflecting (with you on the stereo of course) one week on from your concert. We could have sat there and listened to you all night long. Thank you so much for the shout out and lovely rendition of The Voyage. Hero’s or idol’s shouldn’t be thrown around lightly and you are both to many. You are a national treasure. If we sold you the IMF would owe us!!
Greetings to all Canadian Songsters….
to the sounds of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Hines and all who sing and play across those rolling plains of Canadayio
Just back from the gig in Dreamland
Wonderful stuff as usual congrads to you and Deck , Jimmy and Cathal.
Great atmosphere in that old Gaelic hall in Athy.
Boundless energy, powerful numbers
Particularly liked the Irish Pagan ritual and Hurt, the Johnny Cash song
But for me the song of the night was Spancil hill . It took me back to Christmas 40 years ago, you see it was my late fathers party piece . He’d sing it at all occasions and as he was from Milltown Malbay in Clare the song meant everything to him.
Thanks for that Christy.
Its a great auld song Barney…
Certainly in my top ten….
its 8am next morning..
I’m still buzzing after last nights fun in Dreamland…
( I did not open your package yet !)
Christy writing this just after the Dreamland gig.
What a performance
That was one of the best experiences I’ve had watching you live.
I’ve had the darkness in on top of my all year and for a few hours tonight it lifted as I got to enjoy the gig with my dad. Beautiful.
In the car on the way home and we’ve discovered Rob Corcoran and his powerful song after you singing it tonight.
Thanks for everything.
it surely brings relief ..
when rays of light reach into those dark corners..
may you keep that old black dog at bay..
I wish you peace of mind..
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