Archive for the ‘Tommy Makem’ Category

A mocha, some Makems and a good evening all around

Saturday, October 1st, 2005

For various reasons, I was feeling notably stressed and tense after work this afternoon, so instead of going straight home as I normally would, I went to the Grotto in hopes of finding some serenity — and also to light a candle for Sarah, which I’ve been meaning to do since I learned of her death nearly two weeks ago. I wasn’t the only one lighting a candle for someone; there were a lot of lit candles:


It always goes back to Ireland

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

Perhaps unsuprisingly, my dad, in his first-ever blog posts (#1 and #2), has started doing something he does quite frequently in real life as well: quoting Irish song lyrics. (And we love him for it.) Inspired by this, I can’t resist quoting a few lines from one of my personal favorites, “Johnson’s Motor Car.”

This particular ditty of Irish resistance recalls an episode in which some Irish Catholic rebels (these days we’d call them “terrorists”) tricked a Protestant doctor, Dr. Johnson, into becoming the victim of a rather elaborate carjacking. The IRA boys sent a telegram to Dr. Johnson, telling him of a supposed medical emergency that required his attention. The road from Johnson’s office to the site of the “emergency” just happened to pass over a railway bridge where a bunch of the rebels were lying in wait. The good doctor fell for the bait, of course, leading to my favorite verse in the song, and indeed one of my favorite lines in the whole genre of Irish rebel songs:

But when he got to the Railway Bridge, the rebels he saw there.
Old Johnson knew the game was up, for at him they did stare.
He said, “I have a permit to travel near and far.”
“To hell with your English permit! We want your motor car!”

Hee hee.