An audio time capsule from my 3-year-old self

I’ve blogged a lot about Tommy Makem since his death two weeks ago, including a lengthy post explaining what he meant to me. But they say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and in this case, an audio clip is worth about a million of ’em. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Brendan Loy, at 3 years old, singing about moonshine:

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The song is “The Hills of Connemara,” and I know it’s probably bad form to call myself “cute,” but good lord, is there anything more adorable than hearing a 3-year-old sing, “Run like the devil from the excise man”? :) I had no idea what any of it meant, of course; I just thought it was a fun song. But there you go: if you thought maybe I was exaggerating when I told those stories about singing rowdy Irish songs in my early childhood, now you know I wasn’t. (And if you ever wondered why I took such a liking to “Rocky Top,” maybe that question too is answered: apparently I just like songs about concealing illegal alcohol from the authorities!)

The audio clip comes from an old cassette tape, recently dug up by my mom, of my parents and I performing Irish music in our living room for my Grandma and Grandpa Loomer and my Papa Loy — all now deceased — and my Uncle Robert, sometime in 1985. You can hear a lot of Grandpa in that clip; he’s the one who played an “A” for my mom before the song, who commented “the show’s getting better, Robert,” and who cheered loudly at the end. In this later clip from the same concert, of “Place in the Choir,” you can hear Grandpa again at the end, and also Papa Loy saying “This is good, I want to hear the rest of it” when I abruptly interrupted the song to comment on our previous performance. (Hey, what do you want, I was three!) Entirely aside from the nostalgia of the music, and of hearing myself as a little kid, it’s also really cool to hear my grandfathers’ voices again. :) Anyway…

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Judging by my parents’ comments, it seems that that was the first time I ever sang along with them on “Place in the Choir.” Which is pretty funny, because it soon became one of my all-time favorites, and has always remained so — to the point where, when my mom busted out the guitar last week in the Adirondacks so we could sing a few songs in Makem’s honor, it was one of the first songs I suggested. We had some trouble remembering the verses, but here it is: the same song, by the same singers, 22 years later…


P.S. It’s possible I was 4 years old, not 3. The tape is labeled “1985,” so I’m assuming I was 3, since I didn’t turn 4 until October 30 of that year. But it could have been late 1985, in which case I would have been 4. It’s also possible the label is wrong. But in any event, I was really young.

4 Responses to “An audio time capsule from my 3-year-old self”

  1. Briandot says:

    “was” really young? Listen, Mr. Born-in-the-eighties, I think you should replace that with the present tense, “is”. I mean, I remember 1985. Not to get all old-man-crotchety, but I’m starting to hear things on the classic rock station that I remember when they were new hits. Back when I was born — before the Reagan era — the world was perfect and we could do no wrong. Now look what you whipper snappers have done to the place. Criminey!


  2. Rebecca Loy says:

    So this is why you were up until like 5 in the morning? LAME!

  3. Joe Loy says:

    Briandot, in principle I don’t mind your doing your Impression of me :) but it Does piss me off when somebody does Me better than I do. :]. Of course They do Say that imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery but thenagainFinnegan, I say Slattery will get you Nowhere. ;> I have NO idea wot this means. :)

    Listen, ya punk, I remember 1955 :>. Yes, Elvis was King, Ike was on the Golf course in the White House, and I was lobbying my parents to build a lovely Fallout shelter inside the former Septic-tank beneath our back yard. (Save big bucks on Excavation costs, y’see. :) Those were the Days, my friend. :}

    Crimineyly yours,
    ~ Old Man Crotchety :}

  4. Keri says:

    Awww….Place in the Choir was always one of my favorites =0)