Ireland in the rare oul times
A trip around Ireland in 1977 was an adventure. We didn't
know anything about Crowley's Pub. An insignificant shop front
in the main street of Kenmare, it was our second choice that evening.
It wasn't until around 9 pm that the locals arrived and the music
really kicked in. By stumps we were almost legless. As always,
my friend David Hudson's note taking was impeccable. Below is
how he recorded the night:
Peace after the storm
Crowleys Bar, Kenmare, Co. Kerry 20 January 1978
We started the night drinking with an old farmer by the name
of Sullivan. He sang traditional ballads, including some from
Ulster: Bonny Irish Boy, Erins Lovely Shore, Lovely Derry
on the Banks of the Foyle.
Later, as the pub filled, we heard a great mixture of traditional
Irish, rebel Irish, pop, folk, country and western, and even light
opera. And the publican, Mrs Crowley, took out her fiddle from
behind the bar to play The Boys of Blue Hill and other
jigs and reels.
Kevin Sullivan tore a piece off his cigarett packet and was away
on the guitar strings. His songs included:
Black Velvet Band, Blackboard of My Heart, Danny Boy, Folsom
Prison Blues, Jambalaya (and other Hank Williams songs), Loch
Lomond, Okie from Muskogee, Po Kare Kare Ana, Those Wedding Bells
Will Never Ring for Me, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, When the Saints
Go Marching in, and White Christmas
Francie gave us:
Lonely Is a Man Without Love, Thrashing Machine, Tie a Yellow
James Connolly, Kevin Barry
Goodbye (from The White Horse Inn), Town I Loved So
The morning after. I still remember.
Did you mention Ryan's Daughter?
It was a blockbuster film, but a relation of mine, Molly Campbell,
nee Cleary, was irate about it. 'Racist, imperialist and generally
derogatory about the Irish,' she told me when I visited her in
1973. Niece of my grandfather, John Cleary, Molly was a political
firebrand. And she was right. But the scenery was simply beautiful.