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a bit late but never too late I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best to you and everybody else here in this beautiful guestbook. Let’s hope that concerts, sport events etc will soon be possible WITH audience again, but realitistically I think it will be quite a few month to go :-(. In the meantime I’m looking forward to your gig at NCH – I hope that it can take place.
I got your Early Years Album as a Christmas present and it’s great fun to listen to all these songs. Interesting to hear how your voice changed throughout all those years.
First time I’ve seen you was in the 90’s. And some songs on this album have already been recorded even before I was born. So it’s a kind of history lesson for me ;-). Thank you for all these beautiful songs. Many of them motivate me nearly daily to sing and play them by myself. And that’s a great way to keep spirits up in these times. How did a Dublin friend put it: “Music is so therapeutic” – both listening and playing. Looking forward to your new projects. Keep on keeping on!
Thank you Birgit,
Greetings to Essen….I played there once way back over 40 years ago…Myself and the late Jimmy Faulkner played 28 German Cities and Towns…. we travelled around in an old Peugeot Van… 2 guitars and a basket of songs….I have some new songs ready to send out, I’ll record them when anto-covid regulations permit….
With Declan O’Rourke on the turntable and Rebeccah mentioning the ocean, i had to refer to the opening lines of Declan’s utterly entransing ‘Marrying the sea’
Well i stood before the ocean in the middle of the night,
And cos i loved her so i asked her then if she would be my wife
the curly headed boy
Ocean – sorry
Water is good, not as big a thought though
The stars glistening on the water
could also be
The stars listening on the water
I love that
Enjoyed your first livestream gig: we highjacked my son’s very large TV for it. Serves him right for all that very loud music he played when he lived at home! Haven’t forgotten the night we were playing one of your CDs and my eldest leaned over the bannister and yelled “turn that bloody row down!” Talk about getting our own back….
I’ve been a Listener for about 30 years and you must have sung me hundreds of songs during that time, but it always comes back to the same one. Any chance of including the Song of Wandering Aengus on the next live-stream?
See you at Will’s on his giant TV.
Stay safe. Love and hugs xx
Hey Blanche..keep up the good work..keep pestering that lad of yours with the noise you fancy, I love this letter, it gives me fuel to keep the motor running…I’ll try to keep this “bloody row”rolling along if you all keep listening ( and when ye stop I’ll probably keep rowing with myself)…..
Lovely to get a request for “Aengus”…..I first heard Richie Havens sing it backstage at Woodstock..what a great artist was He…the tune was writen by Judy Collins whom I met backstage at The Sage in Gateshead some years back…we both played high above the Mighty River Tyne that same evening….
its always a very special song to sing…
when we get to reconvene I’ll do another lockdown session and work Yeats into the flow
but I’ll also include a bit of “a bloody row” for your Will
ps David Bowie’s birthday today – I played ‘ Black Star’ the other day – what powerful music. Brilliant by anyone/anytime,but as an epitaph – wow… D
A good start to the day… a light covering of snow,tea and ‘Hattie Carroll’ from no4 of your lockdown sessions… so good to be able to drop into these. They are brilliant- thanks for doing them and to Andy/Juno for the button pushing that released the goodies…
‘Lightning bird’ sure is a fab song – certainly, better to sing about the phenomena ,than have it zap you!
Enjoy the day
A bleak day, pretty much in every sense – until an hour ago when I heard that I’m going to be a Great Uncle in July – then I found an ace programme in the TG4 archive – featuring Moving Hearts on the ‘Spin’ programme in October,last year.Another brilliant programme from a firm favourite channel.
Similar to Rory, the human spirit and music is a boost.
I hope all is ok for you and family – challenging times…
Keep well all
its a lovely bright crisp winter’s afternnon
I started the day all mellow with declan o’rourke and ger wofe, but with the day’s progression the revulsion at Tramp just grew and grew.
I have just arrived home to find that my LP has arrived. I always had your Spirit Of Freedom album on cd but coveted a 33rpm version. I found it on Discogs and here it is.
What a day to arrive ! As she snaps and crackles the vinyl may not be pristine but somehow that just adds to the feeling of disgust at those dreadful right wing thugs in America. The feeling of the day’s progression has been properly met with your wonderful album.
O’Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands,
Doherty and Lynch
McDonnell, Hurson, McIlwee, Devine
Their memory is forever in my mind
Pictures of their faces in my eyes.
You really are, and have been, a master of all ages, all emotions and all styles.
Keep on keeping on.
That album has had a journey….I produced it originally to raise for prisoners dependents….having recorded and produced the album I delivered 1,000 cassette copies to the PD Organisation in Belfast. I thought that was the end of it. About 4 months later I got a call from the head of WEA records in Ireland. I went to his office and there on his desk lay a cassette copy of “The Spirit of Freedom”…..I still remember his words…”whats the story with this “…he pointed out that under terms of my contract the album was the property of WEA, that they had the rights to release it, which they did….subsequently, over the years it was released on both CD and Vinyl…those 1,000 cassettes were the only original copies…they achieved their purpose ..I believe that two Transit vans were purchased with the proceeds….
Getting struck by lightening is right up there with The Dog Ate It. I hope you were ok?
Those two could cover most things. I was once electrocuted whilst changing a light bulb and I’m counting that, it’s all the electricity’s fault.
“Listen” has been in my folder for months, waiting for me. I’ve got it out. It’s a wonderful song and I need a break, singing something full of care and depth. Thankyou
“Listen to the Snow fall gently on the Mining Town”
one of my all time favourite lines…strange thing about “Listen”, I’ve never been able to retain the words….I always need a prompt sheet to guide me thru these magical lines…Hank is a true songster and songsmith…
So I’m curious now ..and we all know what that did to the cat! But anyways!
What was your experience of being hit by lightening. ?
How do you know it wasnt a “Saighead ”
Did you have a good look on the ground around you at the time.?
A Saighead comes out of the sky and is pure silver and has 3 corners on it.It aims for you so it’s hard to avoid it.If it hits you ,you kick the bucket unfortunately.
My dadós uncle had one it landed right beside him.. hit a rock with an almighty bang.He took it home.
So now CM how do you know it was lightening?
There is a mention of the “Saighead” in the oldest sean nós songs called an “Scèilpín Draighneach “..dado used to sing it and explained it to me.
On the standing stones and the sun you just maybe right!
CS mo cara óg……my experience you ask….it was beagnác 70 years ago…the shite was frightened out of me…did I have a good look….did I buck…..I ran like a scalded cat, like a frightened rabbit, like a March Hare into the comforting arms of my Goggie (mo shean mhátair)…she folded me into her arms (and ample bosom) and gave me one of her Silvermints ….all I remember is it swooshed thru the Haggart like a big bundle of energy..I’ve always thought of it as lightning but now you got me thinking…perhaps it was a sign, a guiding light, a warning shot,perhaps it was the fright that opened my ears to the beautiful cacophony of the Clancy Brothers….without that “Saighead” I might have ended up a Priest, an RAF Pilot, an Olympic Shot Putter, a Kildare corner back, a homeless hopeless Drunk,a Fine Gael County Councillor,a Flat Jockey,a Volunteer,
I mentioned a film to you but never got back to you with the name, its been shown twice on TG4….its called “Is Olc An Gaoth”….we thought it was brilliant
I just got an email from his website sending out a new song by Declan O’Rourke called ‘The stars over Kinvara’, just like the crabs, it is fantastic and well worth a squint at on youtube.
PS We Shall Overcome
“If I was a Bird upon the wing
the sweetest song you’d hear me sing
I’d fill the air with secret words
in a language no ones ever heard
around and around the tune would ring
the melody reverberating
mesmerising and absurd
more like an angel than a Bird”
Well done Rory….you’ve effectively set the tone of this day….(when I get outa this bed) I’m gonna kick off with a good hearty rendering of “Lightning,Bird,Wind, River Man ” from the bould O’Rourke….its a gorgeous song to sing….opening up with a verse on Lightning (as discussed here yesterday) …..after Lightning and Bird he writes of Wind and River and each verse gives me great pleasure to sing..when I’ve delved into these four corners I’ll proceed with daily excercise thru the new songs on the work bench….they are coming along in leaps and bounds….one day I’ll feel confident that they are sounding good….the next day feel a bit despondant as my limited chords sound inadequate…then I reach for one of my many comforters, Hattie or Companeros, Galtee Mountain or Dark End,
Cry Man or Blue Rose…these and many others help keep the mind of the old singer occupied….distracted from the fake and real (neverending) reams of news that spew endlessly around this beautiful world…
Thanks Rory…. its great to have you in my corner
Thank you for the Ger Wolfe Morning Star recommendations. I’m listening now.
“Listen to the whisper of Moonlight on the water” ( from “Listen” by Hank Wedell)
At least neither of us will be needing the barbed wire. It’s a blessing.
I’m listening to The Iron behind the Velvet. Loving the mix of songs and trad. I know what a polka is now. Just need a video to see what the dance looks like.
Best to all. Please keep, safe.
I enjoyed making that album…..we were high on the Castlecomer Plateau….the garden was thriving…with my brother Barry ( Luka), Jimmy Faulkner, Andy irvine, Gabriel McKeon, Noel Hill, Tony Linnane I gathered a bunch of songs and we were a band for a month or so…we gigged in The Hidden Inn in Kilmanahan, The Merriman Tavern in Scariff and The Meeting Place in Dublin..thats was circa 45 years ago…lovely to hear that the old album is still spinning
Before breakfast and I’ve already seen mentions of the music of Reilly,Grehans,Wolfe and Spillane – setting out the stall for today’s playlist in the bunker.
There’s also ‘Traveller’, thankfully – but,processing the sad sights from Washington DC, there’ll be a lot of Woody… he’s a lifeline.
Gave a good day
if only that dreadful man would disappear…..he appears like the devil incarnate…he panders to everything evil and ugly in the human race…he stirs up the very worst ….
When my Uncle Austin O’Donnell passed away in 1992 you sang a beautiful rendition of your song The Curragh of Kildare in the Church. It was incredibly moving. Today we celebrated the life of my Mom, Grainne O’Donnell Beary, Austin’s sister and the last of the O’Donnell siblings, here in California and I played your lovely song again. My Mom was so proud of being from the Curragh so it was the perfect song to “send her on her way”.
Helen Beary Christian
Hi Helen, thank you for sharing, sorry to read of your Mother’s passing…although your message bears such sad news it also revives memories of earlier happier times…. I often shared your Uncle Austin’s guitar at early ballad sessions when we were all trying to sing like The Clancy Brothers…in later years I was in touch with your Uncle Hugh, we used to correspond… always connected by The Curragh of Kildare…..last year I sang for the Leinster Rugby squad and presented your cousin Fergus McFadden with a memento as he retired from the field….The Curragh was a large part of my boyhood years…we used to cycle there to the Swimming baths, we mitched on The Plains, we rolled in the Sandy Hills and rollicked in The Furze..in teenage years I developed a fondness for Guinness Porter and frequented the “Sergeant’s Mess” on Good Fridays and Christmas Days when pubs were closed…they were great times
Christy hi again,
I meant to mention the cd that i have whirring round the car this weather. It is Ger Wolfe’s very new album The Morning Star (also of course a fine daily newspaper). It is well worth the mere ten euros (inc postage), some lovely tracks of summer roses, of farmland and of winter.
Play it on repeat, it has just the right sound for these times when we need to relax as the neo-fascist horrors of the world storm their own capitol building egged on by the de’il itself….kristallnacht returns ?
We played the very same Ger Wolfe album here after the supper last evening….
Dear Christy, what will you do with your two racehorses, i will take the bridles off their heads and they’ll race no more for me.
I am lapping up the chat about John Reilly and the reminiscing, enjoying, playing and telling of his understated and oft unnoticed original abilities. Thanks to all for being the keeper of the flame….if only we had been as lucky as you Christy to actually see and hear him in Grehan’s.
I took a photo of his plaque in Feb20 and sent it to Dave yesterday, it is a beautiful piece of commemorative art.
The Traveller album has a very evocative rendition of ‘tell it unto me’ and i recommend the album widely as an unnoticed and understated work itself.
“She asks you send her a cut of your weddin cake
and a glass of your wine it being e’er so strong
and to remember the Kings young daughter
who did release you in Turkey Land”
Whereupon John paused, took a sip from his glass of Guinness, then continuing (with a variant melody) he sang
“She has a gold ring on every finger
on the middle one where she wears three
she has more gold hung around her middle
then ‘id buy Lord Humber and Family”
Hope you’re keeping well and had a good Christmas!
Simple request. I am looking to join my partner as a scientist living in Kilcock, Co. Kildare or nearby and need suggestions for the best pint in or around the town – it will help us choose a house!
A pint of Cold Milk from the Fridge in Centra…..maybe a good apple tart to soak it up and you’ll be smackin your lips in Kilcock..
what branch of Science do you pursue ?
Hope you had a great Christmas agus athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit and all your family .
Today is Oíche Nollag Bheag , our last day of Christmas , remember to put a candle in the window..!
Keepin well here , looking after the donkeys in this frosty weather , keeping their water from being frozen is a full time job.I bring them a drop of warm water in the morning and they do be glad for it .
I got a new contraption.Its not electric it has a handle you push down on . Its meant for cutting potatos ,but so far I have cut beetroot,potatos,carrots,pears peaches,cheese,garlic,onions,parsnips,soap,marrows,swedes,parsley,dilisk, chocolate,chilis and salted mangach from Árainn.
Right outside my window there is a line of standing stones from the beginning of time.I often wonder which came fist the sun or the rocks , and how did they line up that way?
On the solstice the sun rises directly south of them .The shadows have become long from them over the last few days.Some people have to go to newgrange to see the solstice spectacle.I am lucky I just look out the window.The biggest rock is called “Cloch an Toirní” ,one time lightening hit it and half of it rolled down the hill.
I liked the story about your after Christmas soup I think my contraption would be a help,Just cut anything (edible) fling it in and away you go.
You need a good few hard boiled eggs cupáin tae to keep you going in this weather!
Those Donkeys of yours should bless the day they landed on your pasture…if you keep bringing them warm water in the morning they may very well start shaving…
you’re after reminding me…when I was 7 or 8 I was struck by lightning….playing out in the haggart with a neighbors child in Backweston where I stayed with my grandparents Goggie & Gogga…a Ball of Lightning swooshed across the yard and I’ve never been the same since….
why in ainm Dé would you be cutting soap ? ….I reckon the Sun came before the rocks
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