Short stories featuring musical instruments and those who play them!
I can still see him, perched on a high stool, his Irish bouzouki resting on his knee as he strummed and plucked its strings. I can hear him too, his smokey husky voice growling into the mike …
‘Ah, you’re drunk, you’re drunk you silly old fool,
still you can not see
That’s a lovely tin whistle that me mother sent to me …’
Between songs, sometimes between verses, he’d take a few gulps of Guinness; he could down a pint in three goes!
‘I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed my girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town …’
He sang all kinds of songs, some sad, some poignant, others we could join in with. But it was funny ones we liked the best. Raucous, rude, baudy, silly and just plain funny!
‘Oh Dear, what can the matter be?
seven old ladies are stuck in the lavat’ry
they were there from Sunday ’till Saturday
nobody knew they were there!’
He was in great demand. He travelled the country entertaining crowds of drinkers in taverns, festival-goers and even popped up on the telly sometimes. They called him the Irish Rover!
‘Well I’ll put on me walkin’ boots and be on the road in the mornin’
I’ll spend a week in County Cork so give the girls fair warnin’
I’m a Travelling Man I’m a drinkin’ man I’m gentle when I’m sober’.
By the way, his name was Tadgh. Yes, I have spelt it right! It’s pronounced ‘tige’. A fitting name actually, as he wrote many of his own lyrics, a lot of which modesty prevents me from sharing here! Tadgh means poet or bard in Irish.
He lived to a ripe old age and sang to his dying day. He was buried with his Irish bousouki . I’ll leave you with the toast he proposed at the end of every performance, and they used at his wake –
‘May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead!’
2020 – Stories featuring obsolete – I
2019 – Stories for children – I
2018 – My Friend Rosey – I
2017 – The village of Amble Bay – I
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