Hello everyone, before I get started I just want to let you know that despite the name of this entry, this is not a religious post. You’ll see why I did this, I always explain. may have noticed the change in the appearance here. And I did have to include some ads, just so I can keep this running. unfortunately that’s how things are these days. In order to keep at something there has to be some sort of money flow. Although when I started writing I’m here many years ago, it was not my intent nor did I have any knowledge being able to make money from this. By you doing so, not having to rely on other sources of income as to free up my time to focus on projects like this that I enjoy doing. A major goal for Me personally. I mean, who wants to be stuck doing something you dislike or working at a place that has the ability to let you go at any time? But many of us have been programmed to believe this is the only option we have in order to survive. survive as an existing, but not really living in my opinion.
Many people wouldn’t consider blogging or making video content on YouTube to be actual work. No one I would say this about somebody who writes a column for a newspaper or the person who make movies or TV shows. but after having two go through the process of being eligible to place these ads, not to mention having to manually go back do years of my entries and placing them manually I assure you this is work. Not that I am soliciting these advertisements in there anyway, just trying to make a point. and I also inadvertently made the point that, I have spent many years working on this blog alone. If you look back and my first dozen or so posts, you’ll see that I originally made this to let people know about the latest news on the band. but obviously I have expanded how to share experiences and facts with all of you. And once again, I really am grateful that you are reading this and that some of you have even shared this with others.
Of course work would be a fitting topic to discuss today being that it’s Saint Patrick’s Day (Who ironically wasn’t even Irish). Being of Irish descent myself, I’m well aware of the fact that Irish people are known for their hard work ethic mostly in the skilled labor fields such as Carpentry, Paving Etc. Add civil service jobs such as fireman and police officers. Which most likely stems from the outright discrimination at a certain part in history where shop owners could legally post a sign in their window that says “Irish need not apply”. Obviously this would not fly today. and although racism is still an issue, this shows you how far we’ve come since then.
Since last week, I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to post for this week without it seeming obligatory. And although this is coincidentally being written on an Irish holiday, I still had no direct tie-in to how this relates to music. Except mentioning my own band and how we have included Gaelic on our self-titled album and how we use themes from Irish folktales as story lines for some of our song. So ironically enough, while digging deeper into my family’s history and it’s tie in with one of the skilled labor trades that helped build New York City, (specifically in this case the George Washington Bridge) I recalled a poem by Joyce Kilmer, which my great-grandfather was mentioned in called Holy Ireland. My Great Grandfather(see the picture below) Daniel Considine or Big Red Considine(referred to simply as Big Considine in Kilmer’s poem) was a founding member of Local 45 wire lather’s union here in New York City. Who as I mentioned, did help build the George Washington Bridge and years later his son, (my Uncle Jim) Considine wad also a Local 45 member,helped build the original World Trade Center. Kilmer met my great-grandfather when they were both deployed to France while serving in the army during World War I. the story is set that the two of them along with 10 other men and their sergeant where granted Hospitality by a French Widow for one night. The only mention of him in the story is a trait that I definitely inherited from him, his appetite (and he’s probably why some of my hair turns red if I don’t dye it. Better that than grey I suppose) But despite the hardships of fighting in a war during the winter over a hundred years ago, the combination of hospitality and generosity given to these soldiers (all of Irish descent) and the common ground in which everyone shared inspired Kilmer to write this poem before dying in battle himself. The Common Ground I speak of is music. I have included a link so everyone can read this themselves, and I do apologize if I have revealed too much about the story. But what I’m trying to point out here is, despite all these people went through and how these cultures seem to be Worlds apart, they were able to forget all they were facing and share in the joy of singing. And if you were keeping count , there were twelve soldiers and this was the group that is now known as The Dirty Dozen. If you read the poem you’ll find out on your own, but will probably be surprised as to how it came about.
So be it during a war, wedding or even a funeral music plays a big part in not just Irish culture, but the people of the world in general. Of course I have a personal connection to this particular piece of literature, I’m still fascinated by the fact that this occurred in the middle of a war. That is where the holy part comes in. not just the title of this poem, but the spirit that was embodied in that French woman’s home well she embraced a group of strangers as if they were family. And yes, Joyce Kilmer is related to the actor Val Kilmer in case you were wondering. like some of the music I’ve written, many traditional Irish songs tell a story. I found these to be the most difficult types of songs to write. For some reason it was harder to take something that I had learned about, as opposed to something I was feeling in a particular moment in time. But despite how much more traditional work is valued, music is just as most part of our lives and is as important. Although that may just be the case Here and Now. if you do travel to Ireland, be sure to visit Dublin 1 and look for the statue placed there in honor of Phil Lynott (shown at the top of the page) from “Thin Lizzy”. Who incorporated traditional Irish songs into rock music. Ironically enough, one of the members of the band informed me that playing the traditional song and recording it is much more lucrative than playing what we would call a cover of someone else’s song. While writing I was reminded of a very funny,yet sweet opening scene from one of my favorite shows from years ago, Cheers
But no matter what your background is, there’s a good chance that music will teach you something about your heritage. Obviously for me music has been not only a big part of my life but has helped me get through tough times. despite dealing with depression and other feelings that go along with it, music has given me the ability as both a listener and a song writer to let out my feelings and channel them into something productive. and I wish for all of you all once again and whether you celebrate or not, have a happy Saint Patrick’s Day.
I’ll leave you with a song from Thin Lizzy as most of us can’t sing along to this at a bar tonight.