Dublin tribute reviews & photos

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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Postby liverpoolken » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:57 pm

Ah! so it does rain in Ireland.

Kieron you told me in Dublin that it wasn't rain that fell from the heavens on the Wednesday of our stay, but that it was what the Irish call 'liquid sunshine' - and I believed you.

Just another bit of blarney that I fell for!!

Ta Ken
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Postby Joe Way » Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:12 am

Greetings to Kieron & Ken (and all others, too).

First, Kieron-perhaps our friend, Greg, can post the contents of the songbook in which it appears that Leonard learned many early "protest" songs-such as "The Partisan" and "Kevin Barry." He posted it awhile back, but I can't find it. It is very interesting, both in the sense that it represents much of his musical background, and the political "slant" that was probably presented to him in his youth.

Also, I want to relate a couple of stories from our trip to Ireland in 2004. We had the wonderful experience of both Ken and Kieron in Dublin-many great memories all over that wonderful city.

After Anne & I left Dublin, we drove to Sligo for me to see Yeats' grave at the churchyard under Ben Bulben. We spent a night in Sligo and then moved south to Galway for a night and had a great time. Here is one of my favorite stories:

We went to a pub after having dinner at some nice fish restaurant that our landlady at the B & B recommended. We walked back to the area in which B & B was located and sat at the bar in that pub. When the barman came over to take our order, Anne said-"I've had enough beer-I'd like an afterdinner drink-Gran Marnier."

We were seated next to this elderly gentleman with silver hair.

When Anne received the drink (and I received my Guiness)-she took a sip and made a face like it wasn't right. She called the barman over and passed the drink over to me and I took a sip as well and agreed that something was wrong. (They had poured Pernod in the shot glass without washing it). The barman sniffed it, looked at the bottle and called someone else over.

Meanwhile, the elderly gentleman next to me looked over and said, "Eh, what's wrong with your lady friend's drink?"

I answered as best I could about it-perhaps the pourer was contaminated etc.

He looked at me directly and said:

"Tell your lady friend, that if she ordered a Guiness and they gave her a Murphy's-she wouldn't know the Fuckin' differance!"

Well, we left for County Clare the next day and as it was Sunday, I said to Anne that all of our Catholic friends were going to wonder what it was like going to Mass in Ireland. And suggested that perhaps, we'd stop in some town on our way.

We arrived in Ballyvaughan shortly after noon the next day. We were parked right next to a church and I suggested that we go in, but Anne said that it was about ten minutes past the hour and she didn't want to go in that late.

Instead we went into a little cafe and had tea and scones. We left and went to our car, then church appeared to be getting out, and a gentleman came to us and said, "Say, kind sir, can you just pull to the side of the road-this will only take a minute." So I obeyed.

Just then the doors of the church opened up and the pallbearers started carrying the casket of the dearly departed out the door. Anne looked at me and said-"Well, Joe, not only were you going to make me late for Mass, but for this poor man's funeral!"

Let me put in the plug for Doolin. We had a wonderful time at Gus O'Connor's Pub and were treated to many great Irish performances-the highlight of which was some gentleman with a wooden leg singing a great version of "Hallelujah."

We also loved the Aryan Islands.

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Postby Diane » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:18 pm

Andrew said:
Diane wrote:
...Connemara is the place of my dreams, remote, rugged, beautiful, 'lost in time'. Cottages along the coast there have massive ropes over their rooves, tethered with rocks, to stop them blowing away in the mighty storms that sometimes hit! I'd love to be in Connemara for a storm. I am definitely visiting again next year, can't wait .

If I'd only known Diane, you could have accompanied me through Connemara in early September (and done a stint of the driving, to boot)!
Hi Andrew. I have a feeling I could easily have spent my entire summer on holiday this year (as opposed to 'only' half of it), and wouldn't that have made a wonderful addition. I will certainly accompany you across Connemara, in some lifetime or another.

Kieron and Joe, I enjoyed your posts too. As you both mentioned Doolin, I recall my experience there, going back about 15 years. We were told to go to Doolin (by someone we met in a pub elsewhere) and ask for Paddy or Bill, who would take us out in their boat to the Aran islands. Paddy and Bill took us on a ride across to Inis Meáin (middle, and least "touristy" Aran isle), easily tolerating the screams of terror of my cousin and myself as we were regularly tipped almost 90 degrees towards the heaving sea in the tiny boat (there did not seem to be any life belts on board, either). I recall a beautiful island with numerous stone walled and almost barren fields, currachs on the beaches, and talking to an old woman who knitted aran sweaters for a living. Anticipating the journey back to the mainland, I think my appreciation of the island was enhanced by the thought that it might be the last place I would ever see!

Another thing I recall about the west coast is the number of shipwrecks that were just left in place, to tell their story and add some kind of (terrible?) beauty to the landscape. I hope they haven't been cleared away.

I could ramble on ad infinitum about how beautiful I think Ireland is. Of course, there have been many dark episodes in Ireland's history. Connemara, beautiful as it is, suffered horrifically in the potato famine, for example, and the headline in the paper on the weekend was about how binge drinking is significantly higher in Ireland than elsewhere, echoing what Red Poppy and Kieron are saying. This is very sad.

My Mother did not have a kind upbringing in Ireland, and I think in some way that binds me to the place. It is as if I might find something that was lost a couple of generations ago, in the misty beauty of the landscape and the charming people. I had a surging feeling of happiness when my plane landed on Irish soil for the Dublin Tribute. I also recall saying over and again to Margaret, on our bus from the airport, how pleased I was to be in Ireland after so long :) .

There is something about the song Motherland (not sure who wrote it), sung by Christy Moore on Burning Times. "Motherland, cradle me." And it does. Somehow.


Diane, hopelessly sentimental 'bout the place.

PS Andrew, stop and smell those roses!

PPS Rain is wonderful, everyone! Especially this warm October rain. Stand out in it with your arms outstretched and welcome it down. Go on.
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Postby Red Poppy » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:54 pm

I suggested to my neighbour that he do as you suggested and stand out, arms stretched,in the Irish rain.
He did - for two days.
We've now dried him out and are burying him tomorrow.
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Postby lizzytysh » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:03 am

:lol: Poor soul :lol:
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Postby Diane » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:53 am

:lol: I hope he has the words Dave Allen wanted on his tombstone:

Don't mourn for me now
Don't mourn for me never
I'm going to do nothing
For ever and ever.

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