Mudcat Café message #3346346 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16707   Message #3346346
Posted By: georgeward
03-May-12 - 02:13 AM
Thread Name: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
For what it's worth Claire, the value of the song for me has always lain in exactly what troubled you about it. I've known a number of aging men - some in Ireland, some elsewhere - whose lives are reflected better in "Carrickfergus" than in most of the many songs I know that self-consciously strive to reflect the "downtrodden"....fellows who really never had any prospects (perhaps society's failings or perhaps their own) beyond their dreams, who could never share those dreams except in moments when they were beyond their own control. No one would have thought them poets. Many would cross the street to avoid them. And yet some of them were poets, if only in the odd moments when the sensibility with which no one credited them broke through the haze of drink and sorry living.

They deserve a bit of poetry that sounds like them, and that captures us for a moment because it IS poetry...good poetry at that.

Sing the song with a good heart. But here's one request not to clean it up too much. The very sorrow, inadequacy and incoherence of it - well expressed - limn a truth about the human condition that goes deeper than the one old sot the song pretends to be about.Much deeper.

One person's opinion.