Monthly Archives: March 2011

Sean’s music 21 … AC/DC

Sean always had a soft spot for hard rock/heavy metal and for hard-working bands. AC/DC fitted the bill, and there are a few tracks of theirs on an excellent ‘rock mix’ CD he made – ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ (of course), ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, and one or two others that I don’t remember right now. Those two stand out, and take an honourable place among the Songs That Will Always Remind Me Of Sean.

He particularly respected the fact that their recent work was as good as (not to say virtually indistinguishable from) their early classics. He often played them on the other computer in this room.

I notice that their 2008 album Black Ice was produced by my famous namesake Brendan O’Brien, and released on 17 October – now and for ever a significant date.

I hope you are still rocking out somewhere, Seanie. Continue reading



Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music

Lament for Sean O’Brien

Another song for Sean. Please click here to listen: Lament for Sean O’Brien 3

Lament for Sean O’Brien

I’ve written one more song about you
I hope that you’ll think it’s OK
I know that we’ve still got a lot to fulfil
And you help us in every way

It’s much better to live having known you
Than if you had never been here
It was brighter by far when we could see your star
But your spirit still shines bright and clear

I went for a walk by the river
And I started to think of the past
All of the fun and the things that we’ve done
And how we thought they would last
Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music

Sean and Clio in the snow 2

Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories

Sean and Clio in the Snow (a song for Clio)

I love this photo, which I have posted here before. I have written a song that was inspired by it and other photos of Sean and Clio in the snow, which have a certain magic for Pauline and me.

Please click here to play the song: sacits3

Sean and Clio in the Snow

On the wall some photos show
Sean and Clio in the snow
On the streets of Cavan town
With the snowflakes drifting down

From the snug apartment’s heat
Snow calls them out onto the street
They go walking hand in hand
In the winter wonderland

All the beauty of the night
All the songs that might be sung
Call and cannot be denied
By the heartbeats of the young Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music

Funeral address

I addressed the congregation briefly at Sean’s funeral, on 20 October last. This is what I said.

On behalf of Pauline, Susanna and myself, I would like to thank everyone who has come here today … relations, our friends and Sean’s friends, and members of the Munterconnaught community.

Over the past few days, the help and support we have received from our neighbours and friends has been immense. They are wonderful people. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories

First day of school

Sean was four years, one month and four days old. I wrote in my diary:

(Friday, 1 September 1995) Sean and I got up at 7.55 … He was to start school at 9.45. Pauline got him organized, and there was no problem – some kids had to be dragged into the class kicking and screaming, but not Sean. He asked to sit beside Billy, it seems … Pauline had taken some photos of Sean in his uniform. He got on very well, and came home full of good tidings about his first day at school and refusing to change out of his uniform for quite some time. Pauline and I were pleased that he’d taken to it so well.

(Monday, 4 September) Sean was keen as mustard to get to school in the morning, afraid he’d overslept (he hadn’t).

(Thursday, 7 September) Sean is still loving school … he has a friend called Phillip, and is learning songs, prayers and Irish words.
Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories

Some diary extracts … October to November 2001

3/10/01 – Sean cooked a fillet of trout for himself.

4/10/01 – Sean cooked himself another fillet of trout. He’s very proud of his culinary skills.

6/10/01 – We went to Mullingar … found a very good fishing shop where we bought bait and line for Sean, so he was happy … Sean cooked trout for himself, Pauline and me.

10/10/01 – The kids made a big impression on [a guest] by being their usual charming selves.

14/10/01 – It’s a wet day, so Sean and I aren’t going fishing as planned … the weather improved, so I decided to take Sean fishing after all. Pauline dropped us at the nine-eyed bridge. The water was high, and very soon Sean had caught his first trout – a real beauty, which would have weighed a pound or so. He caught it with a spinner. Since it’s the close season, we put it back in the water. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, The music of what happened

New avatar


Filed under Art, Death, Ireland, Memories

Waterfall 2

Another photo of the Fairy Glen, Rostrevor, Co. Down, taken by Sean a few years ago.


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Photography

Sean’s music 20 … Simon & Garfunkel

Some years ago, Sean and I used to play chess regularly. It was a winter pursuit, conducted in a room with a nice warm fire while Pauline and Susi, more than likely, played some other game.

While we played, we listened to music. For some reason, it became a tradition that we would always listen to Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water CD. Sean got to know and like the catchy, melodic songs on it (which is why I mention the ultra-catchy ‘Cecelia’ in a song I wrote recently). I think ‘The Boxer’ was his favourite track – a true classic.

Anytime for the rest of my life that I hear, say, ‘Baby Driver’ or ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’ I’ll remember sitting across the chessboard from Sean, watching him ponder his next while he hums along to an S&G tune and thinking how big he’s got and how beautiful he is (as well as hoping he won’t notice that I’ve exposed my queen).

And being proud of him when he beat me, notwithstanding my competitive streak. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music