Posts Tagged ‘Northern Ireland’

celtic-shamrock-hiI thought that for a bit of Sunday morning music this week, I would stick with something that sort of fits with  tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day observance.  I say observance because while we often loudly celebrate it here with a little too much Guinness and more than enough Kelly green clothing, it is a more somber and religious holiday in Ireland.  But that being said, I thought I would play a song that is more in the spirit of  a raucous celebration.

This is Big Strong Man from the Irish band , The Wolfe Tones.  They have been around for about 50 years and are primarily known for their repertoire of rebel songs.  I am somewhat ambivalent about using them as I have a long-time friend who lives in County Armagh in Northern Ireland who has often described to me over the years the fatigue and the toll that this multi-generational conflict has taken on the people there.  But this is a great and fun song that doesn’t take  any political stand.

Have a great Sunday!

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John Tiumacki- The Boston Globe April 15 2013I wish that I could paint my paintings or write this blog in a vacuum, completely isolated from the often grim  reach of the outside world.  But that is impossible, of course.  My work is a product of my interaction with the world and that means that days like yesterday with the horrible scene that took place in Boston cannot be stripped away or shrugged off.  It affects the way we see the world, how we react to it and it makes me wonder about the motivations of those who were responsible.  Why this day?  Why this place?

Just why?

This is not something we know, not something that we accept as part of our life here, fortunately.  I have a friend, a pen pal really,  in Northern Ireland that I have known for over thirty years.  He lives outside of Belfast and works in the city and over the years he has experienced all sorts of partisan terrorism in his world.  He  has written of becoming so inured to a world ruled by terrorism that you become accustomed to crossing the street  when you see an unattended parked car on your side of the street or to having your bag checked when you walk into a store.  Bombing were regular occurrences  there and nobody was truly safe.  A bombing in 1998 killed 29 people, including 9 children, in the small city of Omagh.

Their troubles there have   waned  a bit over recent years and a sense of normalcy without violence settled in for a short while.  But,  as their economy suffered, the troubles have  began again.  He writes of recent bombs there and the police finding more and more devices.  His tone is a bit sad and resigned and I can’t help but think how fortunate we have been here to have thus far evaded pervasive local terrorism.

So far.

We don’t know who did this or why.  Obviously, someone with a viewpoint that hovers on the fringes of the political/religious spectrum.  Someone who felt that there was a point to be made with senseless suffering.  Someone who thought that their belief, their opinion,  would somehow justify an act of terror on unwitting victims.  But we will find out who it was and it still won’t make any sense.  There will never be any justification strong enough to excuse these actions.  Let’s just hope that this is not a trend and we can write it off as the tragedy born of one sick mind.

Let’s hope…

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In Case Of Fire/ Align the PlanetsI mentioned before that I once printed and sold a few rock T-shirts many years back.  The only real positive that came from the experience was a long distance friendship that formed and has lasted for over twenty five years with a man from  Northern Ireland.  Over the years, my friend, Tom Robinson, and I have exchanged music, gifts ( I have a spectacular collection of Northern Ireland soccer jerseys) and many of the details of our lives.  It’s always good to hear from Tom.

I realized today that I had not mentioned in this blog that Tom’s son-in-law, Steve,  is the lead singer and guitarist for a band that is on the fast track for success on the British music scene.  The band  is In Case of Fire and this is the cover to their recently released CD, Align the Planets, which the band is currently promoting as they tour the UK .

It’s been really interesting to follow them through Tom’s letters over the last few years, to see how they evolved to their present state and how their dedication and hard work was rewarded as they signed with a major label and had a major CD release.  The reviews for their CD and their live performances have been great.  I will be following their progress and can’t wait to see how they further evolve.  They are a very serious group of guys who really want their music to say something to their listeners,  to be more than just sonic impact .  Their music and the subjects of their songs reflect this.  There is a strong social conscience in their stuff all propelled with an edgy progressive rock sound.

Here’s The Cleansing from the CD:

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