Are you all staying healthy and safe, keeping that social distance and hunkering down? Scary times right now, isn’t it? Little Dude’s school is officially closed through April 24th – resuming on April 27th (unless otherwise noted), and even Princess Nagger’s online school is following the same shutdown starting tomorrow (crazy, I know – it’s online!)
But I get it, some kids are doing part time online and part time brick-and-mortar, and I suppose it keeps all kids on the same trajectory for the remainder of the school year. They’re supposed to let us know for sure today if online classes are for sure closed starting tomorrow through April 24th.
Meanwhile, it’s Monday, and Monday means music! For the month of March, our Spotlight Dancer is our friend Marie from Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty! She has chosen the theme for this week, which is “Songs to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland.” Let’s get this party started!
Let’s start with an ultimate Irish sing-along – most will recognize this version, but it was most likely written long before, sometime in the late 19th century. The subject is a Dublin fishmonger who, let’s just say, may have sold more than just cockles and mussels.
The song has become an anthem for the people of Dublin. It touches on the heart of the city and those who have worked as street sellers since the city was established, over a thousand years ago.
Next up is a fun folk-pop song this artist released on St. Patrick’s Day 2018 about falling for an Irish girl. The track is the result of him inviting Northern Irish trad-folk band Beoga to his home recording studio for a week. The artist explained:
“It was based on the fiddle player in Beoga, Niamh [Dunne]. She’s married to an Irishman, a friend of mine. I had the band in my house for an extra day so I was like, ‘what can I write about? She plays the fiddle in an Irish band… right, cool, let’s write a song about that.’ She inspired the first line but the rest of the song isn’t about anyone, I just made up a story.”
He also explained the title of the song:
“Galway is a city in Ireland where my cousin and uncle live and it’s a really beautiful place – it’s like cobbled streets, it’s quintessential Ireland.”
Next up is a classic Irish-American song that was originally written in 1913 by composer James Royce Shannon (1881–1946) for the Tin Pan Alley musical Shameen Dhu. The original recording of the song, by Chauncey Olcott, peaked at #1 on the music charts. The song was brought back to prominence by Bing Crosby’s performance in 1944’s Going My Way. Crosby’s single sold over a million copies and peaked at #4 on the Billboard music charts
Fun facts: Steve Martin performed the song for comic effect in the film Housesitter. The song also featured memorably in a Season 2, Episode 8 cold open of Cheers, as the denizens of the bar sang the lullaby over the telephone to an infant Tortelli.
Last, but certainly not least, from Washington, DC comes an award-winning a cappella quartet who takes four part harmony and stands it on its ear. They’ve been described as Bobby McFerrin and ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic colliding on stage, their tight vocal blend, infectious humor, and madcap antics have made them a favorite on stages and at festivals throughout the country.
Founded in 1993, their eclectic blend of a cappella harmony – a fusion of doo-wop, jazz, bluegrass, calypso, opera, and rock – evolved into a unique show, whose professional awards include two Wammies (Washington DC local music awards) for “Best A Cappella” group. Sadly the band disbanded in 2004, when two of the members hit the road as a musical duo.
The original group still performs together occasionally for corporate shows, and in 2013 this particular song was featured in the film Despicable Me 2, with new lyrics in the language of the Minions.
Parental Guidance is suggested – some of the words and theme of the song may not be appropriate for the younger minions, but the grownups will undoubtedly laugh like 12-year olds like I did.
Here’s Da Vinci’s Notebook with the hilarious “Another Irish Drinking Song”:
That’s a wrap for this week – have a great Monday and see you on the dance floor! And for tomorrow:
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, Callie of JAmerican Spice, and Alana of Ramblin’ with AM!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!
Marie from Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty