Friday, March 17, 2023

FRIDAY: Music - and horse racing - for St Patrick's Day

This is a retread of a previous post which has been amended with a few additions and a few subtractions as some videos have disappeared and other references are a wee bit out of date.

St Patrick's Day once more so tonight's music offering is a celebration of all things Irish plus a few other non musical things.

The Dubliners - Whiskey in the Jar (best version!!!)

This is a song written by Dominic Behan who also wrote the more famous Mc Alpine's Fusiliers. Both songs were inspired by the many thousands of Irishmen who came to the UK in the postwar 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!

Dave Allen on Death (funeral sketch)


"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 andthis week 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!

Among the leading jockeys in recent years has been Rachael Blackmore the first female jockey to win the Grand National at Aintree which she did in 2021. 

On Tuesday at Cheltenham she won a race in fine style on a horse called Honeysuckle and the reception she was given in the winners's circle was amazing. I have never seen anything like that before. There were so many people in and around the paddock she couldn't get the horse through it all. The Irish are very good at chaotic celebration!

Geesala Festival 2012

The Orange Rogue - Irish Harp & Hammered Dulcimer - Zekley

Nolwenn Leroy - Mna Na Heireann

Nolwen Leroy - Siuil A Ruin

Nolwen Leroy, by the way, is French but she is from Bretagne so that makes her a Celt. Bretagne's 'national' anthem is the same as the Welsh anthem but with different words.

The Irish...

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


Galway Girl - Sharon Shannon, Mundy & Galway City

1 comment:

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

Cheltenham Gold Cup on St Patricks Day has to be the best day I ever spent at the races!

One year, I was invited by an Irish building contractor to a big lunch in one of the marquees, and the atmosphere was just electric! I've never ever seen so much Guinness, and I used to work for the brewery many years ago! The lorries were parked up close to the bars, and off-loading barrels and bottles and cans into the thirsty customers all the time I was there!

My hosts had hired a coach to take us all down, their hospitality was the ultimate in generosity and the singing on the M4 back to London was just fantastic!