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Fair play, Christy
Great that you were part of ‘Breaking the Silence’. I didn’t know about it, but will try and check out such a worthy production.
Amazing coincidence about Pat Sky. I’m enjoying his music… there are some good online tributes to him, referencing his interest and knowledge of the uilleann pipes. I’m sure he and Liam had interesting chats way back – one of the great aspects of music is swapping ideas and stories.
Pat travelled to a few Planxty gigs in the Summer of ’72 …..came back in the Bus with us…..a good time
I’ve just watched Breaking the Silence.
I thought your song was beautiful. You gave what was needed.
I have nothing to add to John Gibbs’ poem. It’s everything I want to say.
Poetry is open-ended
Hi Christy, Last nights event in the NCH was a major success.
The lighting, the sound, the space, the choice of readings, poems and songs, an amazing documentation, digital theatre.
All orchestrated into Breaking the Silence.
Could this be the beginning of the end on the long road to redress ?.
A brilliant production.
Congratulations to all.
Wall of Silence.
A wall of silence
led me to this place
A rusty chain.
A deep dark dungeon
There without a trace
Without a name.
How was I to know
My heart would bleed
At what I’d find.
Little did I know
My heart would wind
In voices from the past
Across the world
To tear that beast apart.
An angel shone a light
And built a wall of love
Around that place.
And called upon the wind
To bring more angels in
With love and grace.
And heal the wounds
Of little hearts
And lay in holy ground…
How many voices
Do we need ?
To crack that wall of silence
Like a crown of thorns
Where teardrops fall
And grow and flow
Into a place
Where shadows reign
If they were yours
Would you, refrain ?.
Or chime and make a stand
With pride upon your face
And tear it down.
Embroider threads of light
To shine upon that stain
So we can leave behind
A nations shame.
Thank You John…..I’ll return to this..time and again….you call us all
I hope all is going well.
Just read ‘The Session’ newsletter and saw an obituary for ‘Patrick Sky’ – not a name I recognised,but I’m now glad to have found his music is on youtube… Native American/Irish and crisp guitar picking/singing on ‘Many a mile’ and a few others…well worth a listen.
Apparently, Patrick came to John Peel’s attention in the late 60s and had radio sessions as a result. Good on JP, as ever… sad news about Patrick, but hopefully, readers here will enjoy his music – better late than never-RIP
Have a good day
We got to know Pat Sky way back when Planxty was coming together 50 years ago…Himself and Liam Óg O’Flynn were good friends…Pat was attracted to Uileann Pipes and, as I recall, spent time here in Ireland pursuing that interest..I think they hooked up when Liam was playing in America in pre Planxty times..
Rest in Peace Pat…..
Today’s spinner is the old Ordinary Man album.
Whilst the title track is oft’ requested in gigs, and sung mightily by the aftetshave brigade, there are the ‘originals’ of some great songs there.
Hard to believe it was recorded 35 plus years ago, so many timeless favourites.
I always kind of liked the lament that is ‘another song is born’ perhaps because it lays the foundation of every song you ever wrote or sang, it contains the line ‘i cannot breathe’ and seems to demand that we sing of injustice .
Not sure if i have ever heard it live, though Hilary will probably know when it was sung live.
Keep on keeping on
I’ve never gigged that one Rory
but who knows what might happen……
The very best of luck for the NCH tomorrow night. We’re all with you.
I’m on my third play of a live recording of you singing Sigerson Clifford’s poignant and beautiful song, The Boys of Barr na Sráide along with Donal Lunny and Jimmy Faulkner. What a beautiful rendition, it’s hard to listen to without feeling emotional. That led me to research his poetry etc and have just ordered his book – Ballads of a Bogman…up next is I’m a Bogman! West Belfast lost its legendary blues musician Rab McCullough who was buried yesterday in Milltown Cemetery beside the Bog Meadows. Interned in Long Kesh he entertained his fellow prisoners and gave young Bobby guitar lessons. Go well Christy.
Rest In Peace Rab McCullough…..
“Barr na Sráide” is one of those special songs…it always evokes an emotional response..it paints such vivid pictures..even writing these few lines brings back memories from Birmingham, London,Sneem and Knocknagoshel…I’m thinking of Finbar and Michael Dwyer, of Maggie Barry and Raymond Roland….of days gone by and,hopefully, of days yet to come
Hi Christy, I’ve got the urge to post in your guestbook. It happens every now and again!
Loved listening to you on the radio the other day but I missed some as had to turn you off at the end of my lunch break. It was just when you were saying that you talk to your parents. Would have loved to have heard the rest.
This time last year, I had a blackbird that sang every day, in a tree at the end of my garden. I loved to hear him and so did the customers I spoke to on the phone. Then a neighbour appeared at my door and said the tree roots were ruining his garden. He asked if I’d mind if he got it cut down. I mentioned the blackbird and he said it got on his wife’s nerves. I had no choice but to let him get it cut down.
I was saddened and I wrote a little song about it and sang it into my phone.
On the morning the tree was to be cut down, for some reason, it just felt right to send my recording to your sister Anne. That may sound odd but I’d been to Doolin Folk Festival a few times and I’d received CDs from her and I just thought she’d get it somehow. She sent me a lovely email and even a message from Luka!
I’m sitting listening to birds singing today and the sun is out so I hope you don’t mind me posting it on here. It’s just as a poem as I don’t have a clue how to upload a voice recording. (Probably a blessing!)
Little Blackbird, singing sweetly, in your very favourite tree,
Little blackbird, you sound so happy, singing cheerily.
Your days in that tree were meant to be, your precious voice stirs the joy in me.
Oh little blackbird, all’s not well but you’re still singing ’cause you can’t tell
A bad man is coming with a saw and your time in your tree will be no more.
It’s so unfair, it’s so unjust.
Why does mankind betray your trust?
Little blackbird, you see, your tree has roots that spread invisibly
And some of them have pushed up the ground
And that’s why my neighbour came around.
They’re spoiling his little garden
And so your tree, it has to go
And you won’t get a pardon
And still you do not know
Little blackbird, lovely tree
No longer will I hear or see
Rest in peace, tree my friend
Blackbird keep singing ’til the end.
Little blackbird, lovely tree
Little blackbird, lovely tree
Hope you’re well and hope to see you live sometime quite soon.
Take care – Gail
Thanks for sharing your lovely Ode to a Blackbird…..happy too to see my Sister Anne Rynne mentioned here…..working on her third album she is making up for time spent spent raising her Family
Rory, Keep up the good work with Frederick ….here’s a slightly less Americana version of the song …don’t know what came over me with the last one ….wouldn’t normally go that extreme .. ha ha …hey thats the fun with music I suppose .. rock on !!
You are hard at work Phil
Hi! my name is Calu, i´m from Peru in south America, you never be here, but i know your music because i like an irish guy. I met him just before pandemic, i never see him just we chat online and he is fan of you music, so now i´m fan of you too. Im´m hoping to go to ireland to meet this guy and hope to see you sing the songs that i like. Take care i wish you the best.
to all Peruvian Singers and Listeners….greetings to you and your beautiful country
Seamus from Donegal here.
This is an article from Donegal daily which may be of interest
What a fab bunch of folk you have gathered here, thanks to all ( special mention to Phil) for the Frederick Douglass thoughts.
Apologies for ,slightly, extending the Bob D theme…anyone interested i recommend the Francis Cabrel album ‘Vise le ciel’, an album of BD songs in french, you may think it unappetising but it will sate you.
http://www.grammymuseumms.org is the site (the mm threw me – it’s not difficult to do that!) D
Hi Christy/ all
I hope your week is going well. Being back in Tak world must be ace.
Interesting news via http://www.grammymuseums.org about an education programme (and exhibition at the Woody Guthrie Center, Oklahoma) based on ‘Songs of conscience, sounds of freedom’… it looks brilliant. Might be potential for Hawick schools, Rory?
Wow –there’s a fine crop of songs and poems in these pages. Fair play to composers/performers. Also, great memories of a Manchester, Johnny McEvoy gig a few decades ago…
The Hot Press Dylan special thumped through the letter box awhile ago -even better than expected. Great cover as well… not quite as good as picking up a copy in Yellow Furze country, but, better than no Hot Press at all…
Enjoy the day
It was a good few years ago now but you were very kind to have contacted me about a few songs I recorded on tape which managed to find their way to you by way of the late, great Cora Casey (RIP). I was listening to your interview with Mr D’Arcy yesterday and you spoke of your father fondly and the memories you have. We lost our Dad last year and every few days when I visit my mother I think of him, sitting in the kitchen reading the paper with the dog on his lap and now that chair vacant. I wrote a song about it called ‘Empty Chairs’ (https://soundcloud.com/michaelcunninghamjnr/empty-chairs) and I probably would never have done so if it hadn’t been for your encouragement. Many thanks indeed for all the songs. Mikey Cunningham (Killorglin, Co. Kerry)
sounds good Mikey
Sorry to post again so soon but something weird has happened.
On Facebook I’m a member of one or two poetry groups. I posted Martin’s Last Straw on one of them yesterday.
There’s been an amazing reaction including a reply from someone who said he was sending the song to you. So, if it turns up via a different route, that is why.
I was gobsmacked to see his reply, and the other responses.
Hi Christy and Rory Bannerman,
Rory I saw your call out for a song about the great Frederick Douglass …. I’m not as prolific a writer as the gentlemen on your post but I’m like a donkey chasing a carrot when I see request for a song !! So here’s my attempt … tried to follow the twists of his life over about 4 minutes ! Just couldn’t stop myself going Americana on this one …..there’s a second version in there (Soundcloud) .. different guitar style … you might like it better or maybe you’ll hate both ..ha ha !! Congrats on your work around this great idea.
Frederick Douglass (The Northern Line)
Frederick Douglass was born a slave
Became the conscience of the world that he saved
His mother’s master could this be his son
Didn’t save him from the plantation
At six his life in slavery did start
But this child had a curious heart
He heard slaves sing as loud as they can
Knew a happy slave was an extinct man
He was sent to Edward Covey
A slave breaker with added misery
He knew Douglass wanted to be free
All Covey knew was brutality
Then this day Douglass stood his ground
And Edward Covey well he went down
I maybe south of the Mason Dixon line
But my fight for slaves will not be undermined
Heading North towards some sanctuary
Using sheds and barns for safety
What drove him on? He heard his brothers’ cries
He knew he could change the rest of their lives
In Nantucket he heard Garrison
A white man speak of freedom for everyone
Douglass spoke, a slave from Maryland
Got the crowd eating from the centre of his hand
To Britain and Ireland he did go
To avoid recapture, his slavery in tow
They found the money for his freedom to bestow
Now his message it could grow
Abe Lincoln was number one
He said this slavery, it must become undone
Lincoln and Douglass knew there was a need
For the nation to live its creed
From Humble origin to National Prominence
Frederick Douglas a man was so immense
He always knew he had the right
To be seen as a man in any mans’ sight
Rock on Frederick,
Hope the recording is going well.
I’ve been listening to Lily and Where I come from.
There’s something about those ones that sound like whispering, kind of like inside your head.
Right now being a musician is more of the frustration than the terror for me . I’d like to get back to the terror soon.
I hope it’s going well for you.
Soldier Of The Hill Johnny McEvoy
Hope you are all keeping well.
I recorded this video a while back in January and wanted to keep it for today, as on this date back some years ago 1798 the Wexford rising began. 26.05.1798
Hope you like the song and don’t mind me keeping it for this date as I thought it would be more fitting.
Hope you all enjoy the sun.
Hello Christy and All,
An idea hit me the other day. I’d been listening to Tipping it up to Nancy and I realised that Martin the husband doesn’t get much of a look in and I’d like to tell his story.
Been fiddling around with it for a few days “versing and reversing”
So here it is
Martin’s Last Straw
In our old town there lived a man. His loving wife was faithful
To Tom and Dick and Harry and Jack and all the four were grateful.
With me right finnickineerio, me tip finnick a wall
With me right finnickineerio, we’re tipping it up to Nancy.
He went to the local. The landlord said, over a pint,
That wife of yours is scheming. Planning to make you blind.
The chemist laughed, he’d said, eggs and marrowbones to find.
He swore that she’d believed him. They’d make her husband blind.
She gave him eggs and marrowbones, she served them up with zeal.
He ate her blinding medicine and got a damn fine meal.
He could not see! He could not see! ‘Twas more than he could take.
I’d rather die than live like this. Come on, said she, and I’ll show you the way.
He followed her to the river. The slippery bank was steep.
The tables turned, he pushed her in. The waves were high and deep.
The straw that broke the camel’s back pushed her over the bank.
He watched her cry for Martin while through the waves she sank.
The world’s worst wife soon cried no more. The blind old husband watched.
Tom and Dick and Harry and Jack were nowhere to be seen.
The drinkers never saw a thing where the churning water had been.
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