Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Buala Bas and RIP Liam Clancy

As noted in my profile here, I'm a fan of the music of Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers. Upon hearing that, people are always offering/suggesting to me other great Irish music bands that they think I'll love. But I don't. I don't like any of them. I'm just a one-Irish-band sort of lass.

And now, alas, the sole surviving Clancy Brother has been called to the heavenly choir. RIP Liam Clancy - you always did have the voice of an angel (a carousing sort of angel, but an angel nonetheless). I think I may have to insist on having your Christmas CD playing for an extra month this year, as a sort of tribute to the passing of greatness. Sorry, Larry...

But let me explain...

15 years ago (long before YouTube and ITunes gave us easy access to the music we love), I happened across The Clancy Brothers Christmas CD in a bargain bin at Caldor's. It has become one of my favorite CD's of all time. Unfortunately, I have married someone who does not share my love of all things Makem and Clancy; so Larry and I had to strike a deal: the CD comes out at the beginning of Advent and then gets put away no later than 6 January. That means that, between 6 January and Advent, Larry is not forced to listen to songs of drunken Christmas revelry with lyrics like "Pass the porter, pass the beer - Christmas comes but once a year!"

The CD is not all depravity and debauchery, you know. It also has one of the most beautiful renditions of "Silent Night" you will ever hear. And? My kids are the only children I know who can sing "Jingle Bells" in Gaelic.

And now your kids can too. I'm thrilled to have found this on YouTube:



Enjoy!

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15 comments:

  1. "Pass the porter, pass the beer" sounds like a wonderful Christmas song, esp. when spending Christmas with certain relatives. I'll have to come back to click the YouTube link in the morning. (I'm supposedly cleaning up the kitchen right now...)

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  2. Ha. I'm supposedly cleaning up the kitchen right now too. I heard about the passing of Liam Clancy in the radio the other day and I had meant to pass on my regrets to you because you are the only person I even tenuously "know" who listens to Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers.

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  3. WHAT INCREDIBLE MUSIC! I WANT THAT CD!!! (And those guys are so dang handsome.)

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  4. Oh, um...wow. Hmmm, maybe the "pass the porter, pass the beer," might have tickled my fancy better.

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  5. Ah, the clancy brothers! Reminds me of growing up -- I'll have to check on my dad to see if he is in mourning. Of course, mourning for him usually involves "pass the porter, pass the beer," so he may not want to be anywhere else...

    I hadn't heard of Liam Clancy's death: love that I read it hear first. I think he would like your tribute!

    And all you people who are supposed to be cleaning kitchens? Put mine on your list, please.

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  6. A very sad event. I've never had the chance to hear the Clancy brothers live, but I was fortunate enough to hear Tommy Makem several times before he passed away. And Aoife Clancy and Robbie O'Connell play in my area regularly, as do the Makem and Spain Brothers (Tommy Makem's three sons, plus Mickey and Liam Spain- there's video up at http://www.makem.com/ if you're interested.)

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  7. That? Is some bawdy brogue. What fun!

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  8. Okay, I came back to listen in the daytime, and it was terrific! How did I miss out on these guys for the other 43 years of my life?
    I blame my mother. ;)

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  9. People clean their kitchen? Seems like a waste of time to me. It'll just get dirty again. :)

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  10. "All God's creatures have a place in the choir, Some sing lower and some sing higher." But I think that's actually Tommy Makem singing lead that time.

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  11. Now my kids are listening to this song, repeatedly, dancing around the kitchen, abandoning their (now very soggy) breakfast cereal.

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  12. I just snuck over from Jennie W's "Beehives and Bird's Nests" and thought I'd take a listen to these Gaelic Lochinvars. CUTE! Lively! Enough to make you want to clog your way across the driven snow. BUT, have you REALLY heard Barbra Strisand's version? It has the craziest tempos (tempi?) and comic back-comments. Please write back and tell Jennie when you've heard it.

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  13. Wow. My fav Christmas song is "The St. Stephen's Day Murder" sung by the Chieftains. ;)

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  14. that clip is awesome. why have i never heard of them before?

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  15. The group I was named after. Thank you for sharing this with people. Any new fans to the Clancy Brother's music is wonderful. Merry Christmas all! RIP Liam, I'll raise another glass of Porter.

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