10 December 2009

RIP Liam Clancy

In my father's world, there was only one music. All else was noise. That music was the Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem. As a boy, I heard those records to the point of nausea. In fact, I couldn't listen to Irish folk music for decades. Fortunately, I got over that. One of the best things we did on our two recent trips to Ireland was haunt the pubs where they had "trad" sessions. I was amazed by how many of the songs I knew! Liam Clancy, the last of the surviving band members, passed away last week. Mr. Clancy appeared in Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home, a film about Bob Dylan. He's seated on a barstool, a pint of Guinness in front of him, and reminisces about meeting "that little pain-in-ass" back in the heyday of the Greenwich Village folk scene. Then he sings, a cappella, Dylan's "Girl From the North Country." It's my favorite moment in that engrossing film, even better than Joan Baez' impression of the infamously-nasal Mr. Dylan. Thanks, dad, for turning me on to the music. I'm sorry it took me so long to really appreciate it.
Recqueiscat in pacem.

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