Mudcat Café message #1222740 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16707   Message #1222740
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
10-Jul-04 - 02:17 AM
Thread Name: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
probably I should remain silent with all this scholasticism(not even sure if thats a word!) in this thread.

However if I may pass on my own observations.

A couple of years ago I saw the Clancys do this on video. they prefaced it with an Irish poem, and it made their reading of it very clear. Afterwards I e-mailed Liam and he gave me the poem which was from the penguin Book of Irish poetry.

The song is about a drunkard who has been robbed of his capacity to act - go and see his love - maybe she's across the water - but more probably the gulf is because of what the drink has done to him. the marble stones black as ink are his future headstone. Togeteher the poem and the song was as stark and and intense as anything Robert Johnson achieved (and I love the work of RJ).

The Clancys were often accused of minstrelsy and offering a shobizzed up view of Irish music. But their reading of that particular song was a masterpiece of theatre.

Like millions of others I used to watch Val Doonican every week on his tv show sing this song and I used to think he probably fancied himself in his fancy pullover - a handsome rover from town to town....

Like I say a pleb's eye view....