" La Golindrina " The Swallow

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Posted by Butch on January 12, 2001 at 20:53:21:

A prologue. " La Golindrina"(The Swallow) It was their song Helen and Ginger they were a musical pair.He an accomplished piano accordion player ,she a first class violinist. If you looked under the dry press in the hall you would find five hundred pieces of sheet music. One afternoon I walked into the sitting room where she and her sister Nora from London were listening to a classical concert on my record player and she following the music on a big green manuscript turning the pages at right moment! All them black and white lines and dots scribbles every where hooks and tails ,minims and crotchets ,semibrieves,funny words,arpeggio, andante ,bass clef, treble clef with sums thrown in for good measure!and bundled together in some haphazard mathematically correct fashion. I was sent to Mrs. Corcoran in market square to learn the piano ,and wait in her little darkened hallway on a bench untill she was finished with her pupil .On her bench at the piano now, nervous, five mins of practice didn't suffice gonna miss notes ,down comes the ruler on my knuckles one and two and one and two and ouch! She had a habit of meshing her lips and pursing the inner part outwards. Mezmerising .She was a good soul though and I liked her she would temper the ruler with encouragement and maybe a cup of tea and a biscuit her husband was very nice also I don't remember what he did, her house was the second to last house to the river. Then I think was McCormack's building supply's down closer to the river .Years later I would meet her on the St.and lament the demise of my piano career and was there any hope for a chronic procrastinator whose dreams fled past his actions never staying long enough in one place. Music was never far from us at Marianno Newport Rd The old man humming ,singing , the radio playing ,"When Mexico gave up the Rhumba to do the Rock and Roll"" The Yellow Rose of Texas" my Mother trying to teach the Mcgoughs the violin,with all due respect Peter and Neil (Skipper) you were tone deaf, just the case of another mother trying to instill some culture into her offspring. Though I have to say again Skippers appreciation and enthusiasm for traditional Irish music was burgeoning when I left. he may have been the catalyst for the renaissance of the genre as he was to be found in any pub particularly in Westport where there was a sessuin, he played the spoons. Maith an Fear.We would sing our way into town his Favorite "Take these Chains from my Heart and set me free" my brother brought the first vinyl home ,Ted Heath and his Orchestra, "Swinging Shephard Blues" on the A side and "Raunchy" on the B side popular music had arrived in Castlebar , move over Jimmy Shand and his Ceile band.. . One particular night as a young boy asleep in his bed I was awoken by the sound of a party going on, a mixture of sounds, music, voices, laughter more laughter, I padded up the hallway in my pyjamas and went into the living room where there was standing room only, women in evening gowns, men in tuxedo's, smoke and glasses cigars and whiskey .A visiting conductor from London had directed the Castlebar orchcestra . Fr Shannon was there that night . Without music? , without food , without clothes, cold,hungry, no fire no life , the Irish are said to have first concocted music ,pig skin over a barrel ,a drum ,beat the drum, .slowly,now beat the drum slowly now quieter, pianissimo I tell the story of Joseph and the Pierce Nez hounded from their land many in number do not survive lands barren in hospitality few are left The Mohawk and the Cherokee are not wellcome either move on red man go next door one thousand miles where there is plenty of dust to eat ,Promises, Promises,Promises, we promise to take your land and we did,Chief Black Elk at Wounded Knee,Chief Sitting Bull,Majestic. Taken down by PoorGROwnMen, "Water of Life", "Fire of Water" Crazy Horse , Iron Horses stomp all over mankinds place ,soldier horses kill everyone at " Sand Creek" Colorado, my my, my lai.................. The IRISH Chieftains play in Denver Colorado next week the finest practitioners of Celtic music in the world and the most powerfull rock band in the world U2 play here on April 6th............... so it was, with horrific disbelief some 31 years ago that i was told that the entire members of the Miami Showband had been shot in Northern Ireland and in all that time had never seen a single piece of print that related to that incident and in all that time with all those phone calls and of all the people Irish or otherwise no one, nor I ever brought up the subject, I never asked and nobody ever mentioned . I thought about looking up the papers when I got home some day it never occurred to me to ask somebody I guess I didn't want to know. Last week when you all were talking about the air chords etc Dickie Rocks name was mentioned a couple of times and I thought to myself it must have never happened . I would like now to post the poem composed by Paul Durcan a tribute to The Miami Showband. When I was a boy, myself and my girl ,used bicycle up to the Phoenix Park Outside the gates we used to lie in the grass Making love outside Aras An Uachtarain. Often I wondered What De Valera would have thought inside his Ivory Tower If he knew that we were in his green, green, grass Making love outside Aras An Uachttarain. Because the odd thing was- oh how odd it was- We both revered Irish Patriots And we dreamed our dreams of a green green flag Making love outside Aras An Uachtarain. But even had our names been Dermot and Graine, we doubted De Valera's approval , for a Poet's son and a Judge's Daughter Making love outside Aras An Uachtarain. I see him now in the heat haze of the day Blindly stalking us down And ,leveling an ancient rifle, he says " Stop making love Outside Aras An Uachtarain". P. D. ******************************************* In a Public house, darkly lit, a Patriotic Versifier whines into my face: "You must take one side , or the other or you'r but a *&^%$#@ romantic." His eyes glitter hate and vanity, Porter and Whiskey, And I realise he is blind to the braille connection between a music and a music maker. Paul Durcan. This poem is contd, elsewhere. B. *****************************************************

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