Tonight's music offering is a celebration of all things Irish!
Some Guinness was spilled on the bar-room floor
when the pub was shut for the night.
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
and stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor,
then back on his haunches he sat.
And all night long you could hear him roar,
'Bring on the goddam cat!'
This is a song written by Dominic Behan who also wrote the more famous McAlpine's Fusiliers. Both songs were inspired by the many thousands of Irishmen who came to the UK in the post war years to help with "Building up and tearing England down"
A long time ago I spent a couple of years working for Wimpey and they did indeed have a lot of Irish working for them and they would all tell me that Wimpey was an acronym for We Import More Paddies Every Year!
"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."
- James Joyce, 'The Dead'
So far we have had a taste of drinking and singing and dancing and death; another great passion among the Irish is horse racing and at this time of year there is the annual (temporary) emigration to England for the Cheltenham Festival, a week of racing at its best. Irish trainers and jockeys will, once again, win most of the races!
Their number one jockey at the moment is Ruby Walsh [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Walsh ] and he is such a legend that Christy Moore has written a song about him -
And here is Ruby Walsh's father, Ted Walsh a famous jockey in his day and now a very successful trainer, telling a very funny story about how he met Prince Charles when they both fell at the same fence in a race many years ago-
Be they kings, or poets, or farmers,
They're a people of great worth,
They keep company with the angels,
And bring a bit of heaven here to earth