Sentiment and the distortion of memory lane

Before you read on let me give you due warning: it is soppy, sentimental, sappy stuff….!

I was idly wondering the other day about the influence that music had on my life and started recalling songs and how old I was when they impressed me.

For some unfathomable reason the first one that came to mind was:

Two little Boys  – I recalled it as the source of some sort of comradely

heroi2 little boysc ideal and thought that I must have been extremely young and immature to think so. Rolf Harris sang it in 1969 when I turned 18!

 

last farewellAnother in the same heroic genre that appealed to me was Roger Whittaker’s The Last Farewell  That came out in 1971 when I was already a quasi-hippy student! What was I doing listening to such establishment warrior class stuff?

Then I remembered a real tear jerker which used to reduce me to tears when I heard it. I thought it was lucky that in Founders House the hit parade was after lights-out so no-one could see me snivelling. When I checked, I found my memory had deceived me again. The song was: Honey  Number 2 on 23 June 1968 LM Hit Parade. I was 16 and playing First XV rugby! – What a toughie!

I began recalling my all time favourites and the number one was a sophisticated piece of music – it must have been in my student years in the 70’s … wronggg again : Procul Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale came out in 1967, when I was still a schoolboy.

 

francoise

I was pretty close with All over the world by Francoise Hardy which came out in 1966 and New York Mining Disaster 1941 by the BeeGees in1967.

Another of my ‘own’ choice of singers was Barry McGuire – I remember playing Eve of Destruction and Masters of War to my Mum – it made her weep and I had to stop. That was about 1969.

Of course, I have forgotten about the Simon and Garfunkel songs, which we used to sing in the school bus on long trips back from rugby games; like I am a rock and Sounds of Silence; my favourite was probably For Emily wherever I may find her

Heavens! I was such a sook!

I musn’t forget my pre-teen years and the influence of my older brother and sister and my parents. My Dad loved Gilbert and Sullivan so it was all The Mikado and HMS Pinafore operetta stuff with a bit of Bach, Mozart and Tschaikovsky thrown in: Jesu Joy, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Piano Concerto No 1 and Handel’s Messiah and Water Music.

Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Pat Boone, Elvis and Cliff also come to mind – so a fairly eclectic exposure, I suppose.

I am still a sook and weep every time I hear Danny Boy for goodness sake!

 

 

 

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Never mind buying a pig in a poke – be glad it’s not a goat like Paddy McGinty’s .

Nobody  writes poetry quite like the Irish.

My grandfather was baptised in Killaloe and it was thought that perhaps the absence of a christening robe might have been due to this goat!

This poem is far better when sung, so I have included a video and the words, so you can then sing it to yourself.

Paddy McGinty’s Goat

paddy McGinty's goat

Bert Lee and R.P. Weston, 1917

Irish Poetry: Humour, Rhythmn, Ryhme and Reason

Now Delaney had a donkey that everyone admired,
Tempo’rily lazy and permanently tired
A leg at ev’ry corner balancing his head,delaneys donkey
And a tail to let you know which end he wanted to be fed
Riley slyly said “We’ve underrated it, why not train it?”
Then he took a rag
They rubbed it, scrubbed it,
They oiled and embrocated it,
Got it to the post
And when the starter dropped his flag

There was Riley pushing it, shoving it, shushing it
Hogan, Logan and ev’ryone in town lined up
Attacking it and shoving it and smacking it
They might as well have tried to push the Town Hall down
The donkey was eyeing them,
Openly defying them
Winking, blinking and twisting out of place
Riley reversing it,
Ev’rybody cursing it
The day Delaney’s donkey ran the halfmile race.

The muscles of the mighty never known to flinch,
They couldn’t budge the donkey a quarter of an inch
Delaney lay exhausted, hanging round its throat
With a grip just like a Scotchman on a five pound note
Starter, Carter, he lined up with the rest of ’em.
When it saw them, it was willing then
It raced up, braced up, ready for the best of ’em.
They started off to cheer it but it changed its mind again

There was Riley pushing it, shoving it and shushing it
Hogan, Logan and Mary Ann Macgraw,
She started poking it, grabbing it and choking it
It kicked her in the bustle and it laughed “Hee Haw!”laughing ass
The whigs, the conservatives,
Radical superlatives
Libr’rals and tories,
They hurried to the place
Stood there in unity,
Helping the community
The day Delaney’s donkey ran the halfmile race.

The crowd began to cheer it. Then Rafferty, the judge
He came to assist them, but still it wouldn’t budge
The jockey who was riding, little John MacGee,
Was so thoroughly disgusted that he went to have his tea
Hagan, Fagan was students of psychology,
Swore they’d shift it with some dynamite
They bought it, brought it, then without apology
The donkey gave a sneeze and blew the whole lot out of place

There was Riley pushing it, shoving it and shushing it
Hogan, Logan and all the bally crew,
P’lice, and auxil’ary,
The Garrison Artillery
The Second Enniskillen’s and the Life Guards too
They seized it and harried it,
They picked it up and carried it
Cheered it, steered it to the winning place
Then the Bookies drew aside,
They all commited suicide
Well, the day Delaney’s donkey won the halfmile race.

Elusive

You might wake up some mornin’
To the sound of something moving past your window in the wind
And if you’re quick enough to rise
You’ll catch a fleeting glimpse of someone’s fading shadow
Out on the new horizon
You may see the floating motion of a distant pair of wings
And if the sleep has left your ears
You might hear footsteps running through an open meadow

Don’t be concerned, it will not harm you
It’s only me pursuing somethin’ I’m not sure of
Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love
You might have heard my footsteps
Echo softly in the distance through the canyons of your mind
I might have even called your name
As I ran searching after something to believe in
You might have seen me runnin’Through the long-abandoned ruins of the dreams you left behind
If you remember something there
That glided past you followed close by heavy breathin’Don’t be concerned, it will not harm you
It’s only me pursuing somethin’ I’m not sure of
Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love

 

Bob Lind 1965

Thank you for showing me there was poetry in music