- 16 Jun 19
He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.
On or about this day, many, many years ago, I sauntered into Duke St in the company of the young student Stephen and an older fella whose name escapes me. I had ran into him in Barney Kiernan’s earlier, talking to a dog, and I couldn’t shake him. A pair of bollockses the two of them – does that make four bollocks? – shocking the shite you’ll put up with for even the sniff of a few free snifters. One was a know-it-all, partial to the classical quote, the other half blinded by nationalistic fervour. Every word out of either mouth had me tutting and shaking my boatered head.
I wheeled this triumvirate into Davy Byrnes, hoping to dull my aching senses. The old fella was up, and stood at the bar rummaging in his pocket, shutting his one eye to see what shrapnel he could piece together. “Will you take a sandwich and a glass of red?” I shook my head and pointed at the taps. I required stout to shut them out. Or, failing that, a bottle of Tullamore.
I was further tested once docked at a table by corner warbling. Another bookish looking fellow - dodgy eyes, one looking at ya, the other looking for ya - was troubling a battered looking acoustic guitar, giving it out in far from fine style.
"Lightly come or lightly go:
Though thy heart presage thee woe,
Vales and many a wasted sun,
Oread let thy laughter run,
Till the irreverent mountain air
Ripple all thy flying hair."
“He’s no son of Euterpe, or Erato for that matter” quipped Stephen, although his syllogism fell on stoney soil.
"Has he no auld ballad or amhrán?" spat the old fella.
I was in need of something more rockist. I caught one of his eyes
“Give us a bit of ‘Freebird’!", I demanded, clanging a pint glass against the marble for emphasis.
He looked at me, questioningly, and then it came to him "It soared, a bird, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver orb it leaped serene, speeding, sustained, to come, don't spin it out too long long breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned, high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessnessness..."
“No...”, I replied, head already beginning to hum. “’Freebird’? Skynyrd?"
"Ah, a Dedalian bird, that would utilise the arms of silence, exile and cunning to soar above the clutches of church and state, but not so close to the eye of heaven for fear of melted wings?"
Patience was now in dangerously short supply. “Are you gonna play the tune or no?"
"And yes I said yes I will Yes." The singer spoke, his heart going like mad, with a far away look.
I looked around as the mist descended. I spied a half-empty Boland’s container.
"Citizen”I pointed “pass me that biscuit tin."
I awake from this nightmare of history to deliver unto you the latest Golden Hour collection, with a few Joycean references for the day that is in it. Remember to follow the list and the Hot Press Spotify Profile so you might be blessed with music that'll make your heart dance like a cork upon a tide.