Category Archives: The music of what happened

The Wolf

A new song by me.

I thought I told you before
About keeping the wolf from the door
You know where it ends
All of his friends
Will want to come in and explore

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Lucky in Love

A new song.

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Filed under Ireland, Music, Philosophy of life, The music of what happened

The Mystery

A rough demo of a new song.

From over here I see you there
Sitting back in the big armchair
And what I’m feeling can’t be said
It stays inside my head

Words will not get me very far
They won’t take me to where you are
They fall like raindrops and flow away
Into yesterday

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Soccer-playing days (and nights)

I first started to follow soccer (called by that name in Ireland to distinguish it from (Gaelic) football) around the time Chelsea played Leeds in the 1970 FA Cup Final. I also started to play it, informally, having acquired my first pair of football boots.

The field behind my house on St Conlan’s Road in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, which has long since been covered in houses, was owned by an elderly farmer named Sonny Hogan. There were no markings, and jumpers served as goalposts in the time-honoured manner. Two arbitrary captains picked teams from whoever showed up – local kids named Toohey, Fahy, O’Regan, Whelan, Hogan, Bergin, Kennedy. There was never a referee.

Sonny used to chase us. Luckily he wasn’t very mobile, but sometimes he would get quite close before being noticed. Someone would shout ‘Sonny!’ and we would pick up the jumpers and the ball and scatter in all directions. Once he left a note on a cigarette packet that said ‘Keep of the grass’, which was ignored.

We played there an awful lot – sometimes morning, noon and night – and must have retarded the growth of a good-sized rectangle of grass, although the field was mown every summer and haystacks appeared (which lent themselves to other games). I often heard the corncrake’s rasp there, but never saw one. Continue reading

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Some diary extracts … August to September 2001

1/8/01 – Pauline spoke to Sean on the phone [at his cousins’ house in Portstewart] – he’s bought a ten-foot fishing rod, and is delighted with himself.

3/8/01 – [In Dublin] I tried several shops for a Cavan jersey for Sean, but they only had adult sizes … [Later] Spoke to Sean [on the phone] – he’s full of fishing talk.

5/8/01 – Dave, Sean and I went to the nine-eyed bridge to do some fishing with Sean’s fly-fishing rod. Dave gave us a lesson – it was good fun … Sean and I played chess.

10/8/01 – Dave had brought his fishing gear and he, Sean and I spent a couple of hours fishing near the nine-eyed bridge, which was enjoyab;e, although we caught nothing.

11/8/01 – Eamonn took Sean and Susanna to the farm – he was doing the milking early … Sean and Susanna listened repeatedly to tracks from If I Should Fall from Grace with God – they’re now Pogues fans.

12/8/01 – Pauline took the kids to an exhibition of swordfighting and suchlike at the museum … Sean apparently spent hours talking to a ‘medieval carpenter’, who gave him and Susanna a wooden spoon each. Continue reading

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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

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Some diary extracts … December 2001 to February 2002

1/12/01 – Sean had an unfortunate episode where he got extremely upset that Susanna was allowed to put a banana skin on the fire. 99% of the time he is great company; the other 1% he seems to lose control and get something entirely out of proportion.

2/12/01 – We all did some ‘relaxation’ in the sitting room with lots of candles and whale music – this was the kids’ idea. Pauline and I drank a bottle of wine in the candlelight.

8/12/01 – Sean rang to ask if he could have a sleepover at Martin’s; I said yes.

15/12/01 – Sean and I watched Leinster v. Munster in the Celtic League final – Leinster won 24–20, much to Sean’s delight.

17/12/01 – The nativity play went well. Susanna was singing in the choir; Sean had an important part as one of the two children who are shown the true meaning of Christmas. He did very well. Continue reading

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