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 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
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)
people i love
not people who no longer needed me.
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
remembering the last time we played these bars and the people we shared them with
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
every plaintive note…
mná na hÉireann
my friends so full of talent
the notes leading the tears in the crowd
tears of Irish from centuries past
was born in us
will be heard
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!