Back home in HX, the two favourite types of music of the natives are: country and western.
Two country music stories happened across MB’s radar in the last week that caught his interest.
The ‘Late Late Show’ on Irish TV is a national institution. It’s a chat show that’s been on the go since 1962, making it one year younger than MB, and the second oldest chat show in world TV. Irish band U2 and others got their first major exposure on the show and went on from there. On occasion, the show devotes the entire two hours to a single topic to celebrate the contribution of some person, place or thing to Irish culture or Irish national general happiness. Last week’s show was devoted to the Irish Country Music scene down the years and was one of the most watched in the show’s entire history. Funny thing is, neither the national TV station not it’s sister radio stations give much, if any, support to Irish country music or its artists. That support is the preserve of independent stations all around the country. The country music demographic just doesn’t appeal to the big national stations MB is guessing.
Here’s a clip from the show. It’s the corny and annoying, but irritatingly catchy, ‘Wagon Wheel’. Read recently that many country music venues in the USA have signs out front declared themselves ‘Wagon Wheel’ Free Zones; the song has been flogged to death by so many artists with cover versions, and just drives everyone bananas at this stage. Understandable. But not back home:
The second country music story that caught MB’s attention last week was from the Sunday mass service back in HX. During the sermon, the local priest somehow got around to mentioning the fact that his party piece in his younger-priest days was a well-known Irish country music song called Four Country Roads, made famous by a legend of Irish country music called ‘Big Tom’ in years past. And with some encouragement from the assembled congregation, Father X proceeded to sing all four verses of the song from the church alter, to a resounding ovation from all present. Eat your heart out Harlem Gospel Choir!
MB did not manage to get any video clip of Father X last weekend, but he can give you an ageing ‘Big Tom’ singing the same song from the LLS TV show mentioned above:
While MB was mooching around his apartment this morning, doing day-off stuff and writing auld nonsense, he was listening to one of his favourite YouTube vids, which is a live music session from a pub/club in Limerick city, MB’s home city. Some time, when you have 2.5 hours to spare, take a listen. Or just have it in the background as you do your own day-off stuff. Mixture of Irish trad, jazz, rock, Irish soul. Great raucous Irish fun. Do not go to meet your maker without having listened. Am sure she will want to have chat with you about it!
Meanwhile, back in many parts of the Middle East, the passing planes and falling bombs make a musical sound of sorts as they woosh through the air from on high and deliver a thumping crescendo. Masonry, timber, household furniture, children’s toys, and the body parts of the children who formerly owned the toys, fly through the air and land with a thud or a splat some distance away. The screaming of the painfully injured un-dead provides the encore.
But there’s not much real music. Not like the music back in HX.