Well, we survived the high holiday intact, even if it’s taken us a little time to recover. I know the lack of recent posts has concerned a few people…but really, we’re okay.
Actually, this year was a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day season, with lots of friends, music, dancing and all around great craic. The afternoon gig at Ri Ra was fantastic, and we enjoyed the evening at Feile Restaurant and Pub in Wells ME. The requests for songs were non-stop…and I thought I’d share two interesting requests.
First, if you’ve ever seen us perform, you’ve probably heard me make the joke that we welcome requests — “especially if they’re written on the back of a $5 bill.” For the first time, someone actually took me up on it.
It was while we were playing The Port Tavern in Newburyport with Terry Weir (as Sligo Road). As you can see, it was a plum request … Ewan MacColl’s Dirty Old Town … which we did our best on since it’s not part of the regular repetiore. We even gave the guy a money-back guarantee in case our attempt was less than he expected. But he was happy enough and insisted we keep it.
The other request came while Dave and I were at Feile late on St. Patrick’s Day. A very nice, older woman was sitting with her friends and family at a table right in front of the stage … it was tight quarters, too. I could have swiped a chicken finger, no problem.
"Why, yes! I DO know that song!"
Anyway, we set up our gear and finally started playing and, part way through dessert (say 8pm), she handed up a note that read:
“When I was in Ireland a singer at a pub [sang] about a man trying to get blocks on a rope but kept falling up + down.”
After deciphering the handwriting, a huge grin came over my face. This lovely woman had requested one of my all-time favorites to sing. Pete Cooksey’s The Sick Note (also known as Dear Boss). I read the note aloud to the congregation, err, the crowd, and launched into it. I don’t want to brag, but the audience was pleased and impressed…either because I knew the song, or because they’d been drinking pints since 3 pm that afternoon.
The funny thing is: This song has twice made me look like a rock star. Dave actually has a recording from when we had the session at Molly Malone’s, and a woman requested it for her husband. On the recording, you can distinctly hear her squeal “Oh, yes! That’s it!”
But I’ll let you in on a secret – I love this song. I used to play Robbie O’Connell’s recording of it all the time, and the only reason I don’t sing it more often is that the joke loses its luster for those people who come to see us all the time. You have to pace yourself with that one.
Speaking of requests, if you have any and you haven’t seen us for a bit, you might want to swing by KATE O’SHEA’s in Seabrook NH this weekend. We’ll be playing there on SATURDAY night, APRIL 10.
We’d love to see you and get you joining in the songs.