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Tinkling the ivories

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Posted by Joxer on February 08, 2003 at 18:52:19:

Dont think this little bit of nostalgia has been on the board before.
Came across the following from unknown newspaper copy;maybe The Connaught.
In those far off days at the turn of the century when all films were silent,a local pianist would be employed by the picture house to provide background music.The musician would generally be given carte blanch to provide whatever seemed suitable accompaniment,sometimes with surprising results.
When a blockbuster of the day,The Life Of Christ, came to Castlebar circa 1920, the cinema piano player was doubtful whether he would be able to provide appropriate musical backing.But the cinema manager reassured him, asking for his normal repertoire -light classical pieces,Irish folk songs, the usual stuff.
Accordingly,the Castlebar audience were treated to the various episodes of Christ's life accompanied by an intriguing soundtrack.
Christ walking on water took place against the strains of The Blue Danube;the miracle of water being turned into wine was played out against Drink To Me Only.Christ's days in the wilderness were accompanied by The Wild Rover and the Last Supper played out to the strains of All For Me Grog
As the film progressed the cinema audience became ever more entranced with the pianist's inventiveness,by now cheering every choice he made - Simon Peter's denial of Christ accompanied by Jonny I Hardly Knew Ye was particularly well recieved.By this stage the true message of the goings on in The Holy Land were being virtually ignored.
Then,however, the film reached the story of Lazarus,and his miraculous resurrection from the dead.How would the piano player depict this complex concept?
The audience waited while the musician grappled with the problem,mentally searching through his repertoire.
He looked at the screen thoughtfully,and then with and inspired flourish launched into a moving version of---Come Back Paddy Reilly To Ballyjamesduff.

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