The word Bard sits nicely with Tommy Makem. It is of course a Celtic loan word from Scottish Gaelic bard. Other names in other languages give us the similar meaning words skalds, rhapsodes, minstrels and scops. A teller of stories, and poetry, and of course the songs of the day.
Tommy was blessed with, not only the voice and the manner, but also the larger than life character that was needed to perform all these duties and many more.
Oh, me name is Dick Darby, I’m a cobbler
I served my time at ould camp
Some call me an old agitator
But now I’m resolved to repent
With me ing-twing of an ing-thing of an i-doe
With me ing-twing of an ing-thing of an i-day
With me roo-boo-boo roo-boo-boo randy
And me lab stone keeps beating away
With concrete slabs for cobble stones
They won’t leave my town alone
They’re tearing down the city i adore
With high rise flats and office blocks
They’re even pulling down the docks
The changing face of Dublin—
I can’t take it any more
Lots and lots of changes to the skyline and indeed the inner regions of Dublin in the past number of years. I have to say at the outset, that many of the changes are really terrific, and we surely can be proud of our capital city.
I think the mood of the song, reflects as much in the change of lifestyle and living that we have all experienced, probably more so than the actual structural changes. Alas, these changes have also occurred in every town in the country as well, so it is certainly not confined to Dublin.
So ,whether you are standing in Croke Park on All Ireland Day, or down at the O2 Concert hall, i hope that you are enjoying the sights and the sounds of our city.
Maybe you would like to share some of your thoughts with me on some particular change or event that has taken place in Dublin over the past few years. Looking forward to hearing from you all.
When I was recording the tracks for the album – My Ireland – one of the songs ‘fell off’, so to speak. I was desperately searching for some ideas for another song, when these lines came into my head.
ALL GONE BEFORE US NOW
THE WORDS THAT DRIPPED FROM THE POETS BROW
TURNED DOWN BY LIFE’S OWN PLOUGH
ALL GONE BEFORE US
At the ouset of the song, I had no idea that I was actually writing about Patrick Kavanagh… But soon it became apparent when some more familiar images began to show themselves. Of course it all made perfect sense when I realised that in the previous few weeks, I had actually been reading some of Kavanaghs works from a book that I had received as a present.
The audio above was recorded at Beaumont House, Dublin where I played last week and it is my version of Galway to Graceland. As a by the way, the gig was noted over on Culch.ie. Great to see and great to hear.