St Patrick’s Days of old.

st p

in the years when i was heavily responsible for providing music in the church

St Patrick’s Day had a liturgical aspect to it.

it revolved around the mass

the preparation

the musician part of me had made the calls

gathered the players

and written arrangements for oCarolan, ORiada and all musicin between.

every year was unique and worked around which ensemble of past music students, now friends, were home and dying to play.

it was NEVER too much bother,

i LOVED that about whatever way i managed to work so closely and openly with pupils over the years, that meant we evolved beyond the past pupil and teacher into lifelong friends in so many cases.

i still love that.

in those days for many years St Patrick’s Day began an hour before Mass.

in our house here it starts

Wrapping and hanging the shamrock

a bunch each

green clothes all laid out for each one



Expanded the cultural way beyond the clerical.

the yen for more irish music outgrew the few pieces during mass

and became an informal half hour of irish music BEFORE Mass

the part of the day when you felt in synch , in time with the generations of musicians before you playing their arrangements of the same tunes

Traditional music

gathering from everywhere

bring your instrument

playing with my friends

notes sustained in the air



hanging onto the air in the church

instrumentals deep from within the DNA

recessional hymn to raise rafters

voices amplified by generations before us.

the ONE DAY that the congregation sings

as the hairs stood up on the back of our necks.


silent this year.

no longer the church music resonates from me

last year (2014)



with family

people i love

not people who no longer needed me.

LOVE it..

musically i evolve from the ashes of ideas not yet explored

a new musical direction yet a familiar route

music is a constancy

that and true friendships.

This year some new faces will lift the instruments.

some new instruments will play with us but we will feel the sense of together

and we will replay the notes they have all played for centuries in groups everywhere.

it’s what we do

we are Irish and it is our music, our ornamentation

our skills of passing it on,

adding an infection here and there

a new pull from a different note

it is in the blood in our culture

this time we play in the community

for the community and with some of them..

the gaelic club

we sing together

the national swell of emotion

presentation of gaelic medals to younger boys

craic and honest  irish company

LOVE it..

remembering the last time we played these bars and the people we shared them with

historic pictures…

same faces

some fade

some not there now

some will never be there now

but we feel them with us in music

those who passed it to us

i’ll sit with family

people who love me

who care for each other

who will always be there

and raise the glass to the green DNA.

the music may have a new venue this year,

new players and instruments

but the same meaning and the same emotions are called up

 Irish music

every plaintive note…

mná na hÉireann

mise Éire

so natural

inexplicably emotional

my friends so full of talent

the notes leading the tears in the crowd

tears of Irish from centuries past

this music

was born in us

will be heard


and again…

we play our part in the perpetuation of musical culture as part of our national heritage

for GOD and ST PATRICK and our native home!

hst patricks


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