Just uploaded this track to YouTube … hope you like it.
Another great day for Irish rugby today … Sean would have loved it.
And we love Sean. There are four of us still.
Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music
Tagged as Come Back and See Me, love, rugby, Sean O'Brien, songs
Brendano I missed the game but hope to see highlights of it later. Good news indeed. i will look forward to the song but right now its Spurs vs Arsenal!
Hi PapaG … I hope you’ll like it.
No more live Premiership football for me – as from today, we have given up Sky.
I hope to see highlights of it later!
Great song Brendan! I liked the first version a lot but this seems a lot more complete.
We’ll see you all on the 14th all being well.
Regarding Sky TV, you could try buying a FreeSat tuner (£40 or so) and attaching it to your Sky cable. Check before buying that it works in the south but I think it might. Both Sky and FreeSat use the same satellite so you can use your existing Sky dish. It’s a one-off payment but you’ll then be able to get 40 or 50 channels subscription free. You won’t be able to get Sky channels of course but most of the others you currently get.
Hi Dave … thanks for that. We may look into FreeSat. The reason we got Sky in the first place was the Heineken Cup rugby, so I may have some pangs when it starts up again.
I’m glad you like the song. We recorded it in our kitchen. There’s another version with just Timmy’s guitar and Pauline and me singing … I may put that on YouTube too. The guitar is very good, and is a bit lost in this version.
Looking forward to seeing you guys.
Powerful and gentle, Brendano. The musicians are excellent and they know how to stay in the background. They are there for Sean and you and Pauline, not for themselves. There is warmth and beauty.
You know how to put words and music together, and so do the musicians. Pauline’s voice is brave and beautiful.
You have created art out of pain. Very few people can do this. In doing this you make sure that Sean is remembered, but you render service to humanity too. You help people who do not have your talent with music and words.
You have the gift of saying complex things with simple words. When you say ‘there’s nothing to say’, you say everything whilst yet giving details of life and love.
I think that this song is the best expression of longing that I know.
Thank you for the photographs which accompany the music. I am always grateful for your courage and trust.
Thank you, Cymbeline … you’re very kind, and this is very much appreciated. I would like to help people who have lost someone of their own, as so many people have. Writing and recording these songs seems the right thing to do, and I hope to keep doing it, although not all of them will be as personal or as explicitly about Sean as this one. We get a strong sense that Sean is still around, and approves of what we’re doing.
The singers/musicians (and Anto) are great people. Anto and Brendan had never been in our house before. Brendan showed up, set up his keyboard and did everything he was asked to do, briliantly, with absolutely no fuss and no ego. It was wonderful to be a part of it.
Pauline has found her voice, having never sung in public in her life. I think there is a lovely plaintive quality to her singing. Everyone now tells her that she won’t get away with not singing in future. 🙂
I’ve heard this song innumerable times since last Wednesday, and I haven’t got tired with it yet. It has a life of its own now, and I’m glad of that.
Brendano my first thoughts are Sean would be very proud of all the family’s efforts to put this song out in such a professional manner. The pianist has done a fine job in keeping a running musical flow, especially in the in-between bits. The song is well accompanied and i could imagine listening to it on a record. My preference would be for a guitar alone accompaniment. I was and am still very attracted to the raw quality of the recordings that make up so many of these songs – the words and the time spaces between them are so important – that sort of broken harmony gives the songs an edge or a bite. Perhaps though I am personalising too much into the interpretation but this s is the sort of song I would like to listen to live and in an intimate surround. Still in this version you may reach thousands more in one hit! I agree there is a plaintive quality in your wife’s accompaniment which I like. I am sure Sean would be chuffed. It is well done. The photos are a fine tribute to Sean and reflect his good looks and personality.
Thanks very much, PapaG (and congrats on Spurs’ victory … I never did get to see the highlights!).
Interesting points about the song and accompaniment. I like the new version we have with just the guitar and two voices … Timmy’s buoyant guitar-playing gives a very rhythmic, foot-tapping feel (and this is a waltz, after all). The most important element of a song is the mood or emotion it conveys, and this can certainly be lost in more polished, ‘professional’ recordings, I think.
Brendano, what shines through all your replies is your magnaminous spirit and dignity – you always respond in kind to the comment.
I have said it before but these songs will forge a growing and everlasting link with Sean and ‘holds’ the family together. As you say “There are four of us still.”
There will be many more families that will gain comfort from the messages and resonances from these songs. It is a brave thing you and Pauline have done: the courage in lifting and giving expression to these songs will serve as a candle to so many in remembrance of their loved ones.
Sean’s light is a light that will lighten people’s shadows.
Again, thanks very much for these kind words, PapaG … you certainly understand what we are trying to do.
Brendano, I have added a comment on your post “All we had,” the song you sang without accompaniment.
Hello Levent – good to see you, and thanks for the applause. 🙂
It has been fascinating reading what both Papaguinea and you, Brendano, have to say about creating and playing music. I have been reading your conversations both here and on the ‘All We Had’ thread. Brendano speaks of this piece being ‘a waltz after all’. And recently, I have been thinking about poetry’s relation to music. Unlike you, I can neither create nor play music, but I do hear it at an instinctive level if it is given to me.
I came upon this quote from Ezra Pound. I thought it might interest you both :
” ….. music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; (that) poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from the music. ”
Strikes me that neither of you could be accused of atrophying any of these forms of expression. Thank you for the pleasure you give others. The pulse is there, and some people know how to bring it out clearly for others.
Thank you, Cymbeline … again, you’re very kind. PapaG is way ahead of me as far as music goes; he would no doubt enjoy playing with Brendan, the keyboard player on this track, who is both an excellent and modest musician and a big-hearted person.
I do like the Pound quote, and would tend to agree. I like simple music … hence not classical or jazz, in general. My poems could often have benefited from being simpler, as you pointed out, and perhaps more musical too. There may still be time. 🙂
Here’s another waltz … words (translated from Lorca), music and dance.
You are generalizing one aspect of my opinion. Some of your poems are extremely hermetic; others are not. Several of your poems contain so much music that there is no point in putting them to music. I would never say that your more hermetic poems lack music either. Not everything is about tapping the foot after all. Let’s put Pound into reverse. There is no poetry if it is just about tapping the foot. Hermetic does not mean bad. Far from it. Sometimes you have to work hard. Art involves effort too. Effort is enriching. Seeing the pictures of a different mind is enriching.
One thing that strikes me about the photographs I have seen of your face, is that you are very much inside your head. You are often inside yourself. Distant, inward-looking eyes, whilst being part of what is around you. I have that look too in many photographs. Like you, I can also engage with what is around me. It often entails extra effort on my part. It is never effortless.
Do not dismiss your poetry. It is world-class.
I am afraid that I did not particularly like the clip above. Yank accent and some sort of weird waltz on top of Federico? No way, José.
OK … good points on the poetry etc. … thanks.
So, unlike Sean, you like neither Cohen’s songs nor his voice. That’s fair enough. I like both, I have to say. 🙂
And I have to say that I read Federico Garcia Lorca for the first time at the age of fourteen, and in Spanish of course. No translations or weird waltzes. I had an extraordinary teacher and he made us learn his poetry by heart.
‘Jaca negra, luna grande y aceitunas en mi alforja’ has forever been ingrained in my heart. Great poetry.
Mr Bradley. Oxford graduate. One lung and a limp. Childhood polio and a deep love of Spain.
I salute you.
Eyes. Allow me to speak of the photographs you have shown. You and your son have fine eyes. In the photographs you have shown, Sean’s eyes are always very different to yours. He always looks outwards, and this corresponds to what you have told us about his character. As a father, you know that he could also look inwards. You chose a photograph of this aspect of his soul for your avatar, whilst making an effort to be more outward yourself, in the way you express yourself. You wish to reach people for Sean.
Two different ways of looking at the world. Some tend to look inwards, and some tend to look outwards. Both matter, and neither way of being is sealed in stone.
Thanks, Cymbeline. Very perceptive of you. I am certainly more of a natural introvert and Sean was more of a natural extrovert.
I am working on a book on ‘midlife transformation’ by a Jungian psychologist. Interesting, and perhaps relevant to my life as it is now. As we said in the early days after Sean’s death, quoting Bob Marley, everything has changed, and nothing remains the same.
I’d lay off the Jung if I were you. You do not need theories. See it as a work; no more no less.
My Kevin MacDonald tomes have arrived from America. A quick flick reveals that about a quarter of each book is bibliography. Always a good sign.
Yes … assuming that the author has read the books in it. Often they haven’t.
I like Jung. Not theories so much as ideas. You like ideas.
‘Live with the question’ … a quote from a film in the book.
I was exaggerating a bit when I said a quarter. I just meant to say that the chap is respectable. Your opinion matters to me.
I shall look a bit closer at Jung.
I have never not lived with questions.
Looked a bit closer at Jung. Was he Jewish?
Do you really need Jung to give you the stamp of approval for having religious thought?
What is this about ‘inviduation’? Sounds rather contrived to me.
I believe that Catholic priests know far more about the human mind than any psychologist or psychiatrist, Jungian or otherwise.
And, much as I love Bob Marley, I think that Catholic priests know much much more than he did.
As you know, I am a Christian, but not a Catholic.
Sometimes I think that you should value what you have on your doorstep a bit more.
My opinion. Take it or leave it.
Tapping my foot here. Is this poetry? I think not.
I see that I posted at the official watershed time. There will be no replies before tomorrow.
I have consulted my own diary and see that I shall be unavailable until the 8th January 2012.
Amitiés et bon courage.
🙂 Sorry for not responding sooner … work, dog-walking, dinner, etc.
Jung wasn’t Jewish. No, I don’t need anyone’s stamp of approval. I am naturally religious. Individuation … becoming what you are. Integrating parts of your unconscious mind with your conscious. Knowing yourself. A natural process that occurs independently of any knowledge of psychology, or ought to.
I know your views on Catholic priests, Bob Marley, etc. I know that some Catholic priests have a lot to offer … others are mediocre at best. I know that Catholicism has a lot to offer too. Jung claimed that the mental health of Catholics was better than that of Protestants because their more ‘numinous’ religion with its ritual, symbols, smells/bells, etc. was conducive to dealing with their unconscious.
None the less, in Catholic Ireland in 1956, almost 30,000 people were detained involuntarily in psychiatric institutions (not to mention the 1,900 women detained in various institutions for having children out of wedlock). Ireland was in a bad way in many respects … it was no golden age.
Good morning Brendano, and greetings too to Cymbeline. Yesterday I was circling around on the London Docklands Railway, checking out a route for an interview I have on Monday morning for a job with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.It was great fun, up by the river and I took a reel of photos. (I’d love to rake the sand pit for the long-jump finals!)
Anyway back to this thread which I have just picked up … thank you Cymbeline for the Pound quote – ” ….. music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; (that) poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from the music. ” That is so interesting and has caused me think hard what he meant. I do feel a strong sense of truth in both parts of that sentence. Music has to ‘honour’ what it is that causes the heart to beat. Music has to honour the dance by giving free rein to the physical expression or spirit. It has to support the dance without dictating the dance. Or something like that! As for the writing part, perhaps poetry has to recognise the drive of rhythmic impulses, the rise and fall of pitches, and above all the beauty and power of sound.
Well I had a go innit. But it is a quote that will both intrigue and puzzle me for a long time!
As for my talents Brendano, they are small. My brother is a natural musician and I am not. What I have gained I have gained from craft. My brother is an accompanist for the Royal Ballet School in London. My journey is one of trial and error. Without my hearing aids (left and right) I would hear like a stuffed sausage. But I love music both rich and tender. I love truth and I love life. Music should reflect both truth and life. On a good day that may translate as love. I think your ‘poetry’ is in that seam. I think that is what Cymbeline is saying.
Meanwhile, back to the drawing board on “All We Had.” (Meaning I am moving to the piano stool!)
Good luck with the job interview – being involved with the Olympics would be great. I remember the DLR well – a paragon of unreliability back in the winter of 90/91.
Interesting thoughts on music, life and love … always good positive thoughts from you. Rock on.
PS I am going to ‘air’ a verse here that I have just written for my son Kojo. I will share it with you.
Yellow is a young colour
and so much fun colour,
just like the sun colour,
happy all day.
Have a good day! i
A nice sunny verse, PapaG … have a good day yourself! (and Kojo, of course!)
‘Mellow Yellow’ was my favourite song when I was a child. I still love it.
Didn’t like ‘Yellow Submarine’ though, and still don’t.
Donovan never really did it for me, even as a child. I did like ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon’ … I knew all the words and sometimes sang it in the car on long journeys.
‘Yellow is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair’ is another Donovan one, I think. I prefer ‘Black is the Colour’.
Oh yes. ‘Tie a yellow ribbon’. Loved that.
I liked ‘Is this the way to Amarillo?’ too. Later, I learnt that ‘amarillo’ meant ‘yellow’ in Spanish.
‘Amarillo’ was a good one. I associate it with a slice of hokum called ‘I Did What I Did for Maria’.
My Spanish is almost non-existent, but I do know that Aguilera (as in Christina) means ‘hawk’ (and catalina means ‘blackbird).
Catalina is also the name the Spanish give to the moon. The sun is called Lorenzo.
What a beautiful language. I’m glad Susanna’s learning it.
To be sure, I have checked my Spanish/ English dictionary (Collins):
‘Aguilera’ means ‘eyrie’ or ‘eagle’s nest’. This is logical as ‘aguila’ means ‘eagle’.
The Spanish word for ‘hawk’ is ‘halcon’ or ‘gavilan’. (There should be accents but I have a primitive laptop)
The Spanish word for ‘blackbird’ is ‘mirlo’. In French, ‘merle’.
Spanish is spoken in lots of different countries, so it is quite possible that ‘catalina’ (Catherine) is a familiar name for the blackbird too.
So, even the few words I thought I knew are mostly wrong. 🙂 I knew aguila, and somehow got the notion that aguilera was a kind of diminutive … a hawk being a diminutive eagle, more or less.
I think catalina means ‘blackbird’ in Mexico.
Right. I have now got my ‘Diccionario de La Lengua Espanola. Real Academia Espanola’ out. (As with the missing accents above, there are missing ’tildes’ too).
catalina : excremento humano (didn’t know that).
catalina : rueda (‘wheel’ as you would have guessed) de Santa Catalina.
catalineta : a type of yellow Caribbean fish, measuring about 30 centimetres (Cuban Spanish).
This is only a two-volume dictionary, and the Spanish language covers a vast area of the world. At the same time, I do not think that there are blackbirds as we know them in Mexico. ‘Catalina’ is perhaps a local Mexican name for a black bird, rather than for the blackbird.
I think I can hazard a guess at what excremento humano means. I got ‘blackbird’ from reading Carlos Castaneda, who wrote a lot of pretty weird stuff. The Spanish for ‘wheel’ is somewhat like the Irish … there is a well-known Irish book called Rotha Mór an tSaoil (‘The Big Wheel of Life’).
We have got back to yellow.
The blackbird has a yellow beak and she has sometimes crashed into your window.
I saw a magpie today, and, as usual was delighted when the other one came along. One for sorrow, two for joy. I don’t care about the rest of the rhyme.
If it has a yellow beak, it is he rather than she.
An optimist is someone who is sceptical on seeing one magpie but credulous on seeing two. I’m a bit like that.
In my early days in Dublin I used to see great numbers of magpies … far more than seven at a time.
Interesting about the male being the one with the yellow beak. You know a lot more about the countryside than I do. Your diary entries are always a delight in this respect. When I was nearly twelve and newly arrived from the Pacific, I used to spend my pocket money in W.H. Smith’s on books about the birds and trees of the British Isles so that I would not appear ignorant. I even bought a sketch pad to sketch the birds I saw.
Your second line made me laugh.
Far more than seven magpies at a time? Not enough for a pie. Not enough to compete with those who have four and twenty blackbirds to bake into a pie.
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