Mudcat Café message #2288907 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16707   Message #2288907
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
15-Mar-08 - 04:05 AM
Thread Name: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
This is what I said on this thread in 2004 and nobody found the poem I was talking about . However I did ask on the Liam Clancy message board and I got the answer:-

"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."


He stumbled home from Clifden fair
With drunken song, and cheeks aglow.
Yet there was something in his air
That told of kingship long ago.
I sighed -- and inly cried
With grief that one so high should fall so low.

He snatched a flower and sniffed its scent,
And waved it toward the sunset sky.
Some old sweet rapture through him went
And kindled in his bloodshot eye.
I turned -- and inly burned
With joy that one so low should rise so high.

-- James H. Cousins