One of my mam Peggy’s favourite songs was “Danny Boy”. I remember it was one of her party pieces and can still hear her soft voice singing it. I think that it reminded her of her time as an emigrant in Leeds and Cardiff in the late 1940s. It also reminded her of her younger brother, Danny, who worked laying gas-pipes in the UK. I too love “Danny Boy”. Nowadays. But there was a time in the 1980s when I dreaded it.
You see, I got a Stylophone as a gift one Christmas. For those too young to remember, the iconic gadget Stylophone was a pocket-sized battery-operated synthesiser used by everyone from David Bowie to The White Stripes. You played it by tapping and sliding the connected stylus along the touch-sensitive metal surface. Each segment on the surface played a different note, the same as different keys on a piano. But unlike the piano, it was so simple to play that anyone could have a go - perfect for beginners! Like me!
Now, I’m no David Bowie, but to please Peggy, one of the first tunes I learned on it was “Danny Boy”. To my teenage mortification, she insisted I play it for any visitors to the house. With lots of requests for “one more time”!! I even remember the late Paddy Farrell being obliged to listen as he was delivering our weekly box of messages (groceries) one Saturday morning.
Anyway, in this week’s blog, I delve into the origins of “Danny Boy”. I also have a link to the late Eva Cassidy’s beautiful rendition of it. I think Peggy would be delighted. If there are harps in heaven, I’ve no doubt she has some poor angel pestered to play “Danny Boy” … one more time! Enjoy!
I came across my 4th class school photo recently from the Presentation Convent, the late Mrs. Connolly's class, and the memories of getting it taken flooded back. I’m balancing, aged 10 ¼, on top of a wooden school desk trying to avoid the ink well scraping my knee. Dressed in my navy-blue uniform gymslip and white blouse. My poem about trees is hanging on the classroom wall over my left shoulder. I’ve taken my long hair down from its usual ribboned pony tail and I’ve discarded my recently acquired glasses. I really hated those glasses back in the day!
NYC - April 7 to 11, 2006
I was looking with envy at all of the great photos shared on Facebook recently of the Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society’s run of The Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it down to experience it in person. Knowing the amazing musical talent that exists in my little hometown, I wasn’t at all surprised to hear the rave reviews and that there were standing ovations every night. I would expect nothing less knowing the wonderful people involved. “Phantom” is one of my favourite shows ever. I was lucky enough to see the Broadway production in April 2006 at the Majestic Theatre on West 44th Street in New York. It was truly spectacular. That whole trip with Charlie, being his first time in New York and my second, was so memorable. In this week’s blog post I share a little of what we did and saw. Enjoy!
My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!