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2006-08-25 Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

reviewed by Beate

 

Back from a long weekend in Co. Limerick, which did not only include a lot of sightseeing, but also a very remarkable Celtic Tenors concert on Friday night!

 

It took place in the beautiful church of Saints Peter and Paul, and was the starting event of Kilmallock’s medieval festival. That same afternoon, there had been a wedding in the church and so there was still a magnificent display of flowers. All in all, the perfect background for the Tenors, Donna, and David!

And all of them were in flying form, and delivered an outstanding concert with a truckload of new songs.

 

They started off with “Spanish Lady”, then introduced themselves. Next was “Will ye go, lassie, go” followed by “Fields of Athenry”, before they launched into one of their newer songs, “An poc ar buile”. It is, generally, a song about a goat and they said they first sang it over in the United States at the time of the Killorglin puck fair, where a goat is crowned king every summer. I surfed the net a little, and found the original Irish text in which they sing it, as well as the English translation – will enclose both at the end of the report. It’s a lively, cheerful song which fits perfectly for the tenors!

 

The next song was a premiere in various respects – first of all, they said that they had never performed the song in a concert before, then David changed from piano to guitar, and Matthew announced that it was also the first time he played the tin whistle on the stage. Altogether, that treated us to a brilliant rendition of “Irish Rover” which was met by loud cheering and applause.

 

It was followed by a perfect “You raise me up”, before it was time for the classical section. Daryl started off with a solo, the aria “Ecco Ridente” from the Barber of Seville, and this was simply breathtaking. My jaw just literally dropped and when the others came back to join him again, James remarked that he was actually glad it wasn’t him who had to sing that! The tenors were then joined by Donna for another wonderful classical piece called “Barcarolle”, which is from the Tales of Hoffmann, followed by James’ solo, “Mattinata”.

 

Next was the Pearl Fishers trio. Normally a duet, this one was sung by three tenors and it is always an amazing piece to listen to. The first half was then finished with “Nessun Dorma” – the real one – not the one that turns out to be a completely different song!

 

After the intermission, it was time for another “world premier” and another “We are not islands” song that has finally (finally!) found it’s way onto the stage – “Ten Thousand Tears”. And they really “staged” this one, coming back in procession-like in their waistcoats and velvet jackets with Donna in the middle in her beautiful black dress. And… wow. Matthew has taken over Niall’s verse in addition to his own and this song is even more marvellous on stage than it is on the CD. And Donna’s and James’ voice just harmonise perfectly with each other – I am really looking forward to Cork and Dublin, and as much as I love to have Deirdre back, I will also be very very sorry to see Donna go!

 

Next was “Shenandoah” which was not completely new to me, as I had heard a version by a different singer before, but which I heard for the first time sung by the Celtic Tenors. While the next song, “Whiskey in the jar”, was more of an old acquaintance – and so was Donna’s “Katie”, though this time she was wearing a new, stunning, knee-length black sequined dress.

 

On they went with “Non Siamo Isole” – with Daryl and Matthew, and later James, harmonising perfectly with each other. I have to say, this song never seizes to amaze me and in church surroundings, with the sounds echoing back as they only can in a church, it is just so beautiful. Same holds true for the next song, “Bring him home”.

 

After that though… complete change of tack. They’ve found themselves a new Phil in form of a Paddy, or rather, in form of Paddy’s animal companion. I do not know what the Celtic Tenors’ current fascination with the goat theme is, maybe one of them can actually enlighten us some day, anyway, this new addition to the repertoire is called “Paddy McGinty’s goat” and is a hilariously funny story, well interpreted, with loads of banter on stage and a perfect goat imitation amidst all the singing. I know this is somewhat mean but given that there are plenty of people coming over for the Cork and Dublin concerts, and that others will go and see the tenors in the US and Canada later in the year, I am reluctant to give any more details here as I just do not want to spoil your fun and surprise about what’s happening on stage! I happened to come across the text to this one too, so it is also attached.

 

Back to calmer waters… “Caledonia” was followed by “Wild Rover” and “Remember Me”, before they wrapped up the second half with “Time to say goodbye”.

The encores were “All out of love” and “Ireland’s Call”, and I have to say, it was another very enjoyable and entertaining night down in that church in Kilmallock!

Beate

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An Poc Ar Buile

Ar mo ghabháil dom siar chun Droichead Uí Mhórdha,
Píce i m' dhóid is mé ag dul i meithil,
Cé chasfaí orm i gcumar ceoidh
Ach pocán crón is é ar buille,
Ailliliú puilliliú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille
Ailliliú puillliiú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille.

Do ritheamar trasna trí ruilleogach
Is do ghluais an comhrac ar fud na muinge,
Is treascairt dá bhfuar sé sna turtóga
Chuas ina inneoin ar a dhroim le fuinneamh.
Ailliliú puilliliú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille
Ailliliú puillliiú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille.

Níor fhág sé carraig go raibh scót ann
Ná gur rith le fórsa chun mé a mhilleadh,
Is ea ansin do chaith sé an léim ba mhó
Le fána mhór na Faille Brice,
Ailliliú puilliliú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille
Ailliliú puillliiú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille.

Bhí garda mór i mBaile an Róistigh
Is bhailigh forsaí chun sinn a chlipeadh,
Do bhuail sé rop dá adhairc sa tóin air
Is dá bhríste nua do dhein sé giobail,
Ailliliú puilliliú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille
Ailliliú puillliiú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille.

I nDaingean Uí Chúis le haghaidh an tráthnóna
Bhí an sagart paróiste amach inár gcoinnibh,
Is é dúirt gurbh é an diabhal ba dhóigh leis
A ghabh an treo ar phocán buile!
Ailliliú puilliliú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille
Ailliliú puillliiú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille.

An Poc Ar Buile (translation)

To Morley’s Bridge on my way to labour
With pike in fist, sharing work with neighbour
What - through the mist - should I see await me
On a mountain ridge, but a puck gone crazy!
chorus
Ailliliú puilliliú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille
Ailliliú puillliiú, ailliliú tá an poc ar buille.

At full pace I raced, through the grass he chased me
And face to face at last engaged me
I’d one chance granted to him subdue
But on his back I landed and away we flew!
chorus

With heart in mouth, in trepidation
From his leaps and bounds I feared devastation
From rock to rock going round the bend
From Kerry to Cork and back again!
chorus

In Rochestown a great big Garda
To pin us down his forces marshalled
But a fearsome run left his trousers torn
When that Peeler’s rump met the goats sharp horn!
chorus

When the town of Dingle at least we reached
Who came out agin us but the parish priest
saying "Hanam ‘on diabhal, I’ve seen the divil
Streak through the fields on a poc~n buile!"
chorus

 

******************************** 

Paddy McGinty's Goat

Now Patrick McGinty, an Irishman of note
Fell in for a fortune and he bought himself a goat
Says he: "Sure of goat's milk I'm going to have me fill"
But when he brought the Nanny home he found it was a Bill
All the young ladies who live in Killaloo
They're all wearing bustles like their mothers used to do
They each wear a bolster beneath their petticoat
And leave the rest to providence and Paddy McGinty's goat

Missis Burke to her daughter said: "Listen Mary Jane
Who was the man you were cuddling in the lane?
He'd long wiry whiskers a hanging from his chin"
"'Twas only Pat McGinty's goat", she answer'd with a grin
She went away from the village in disgrace
She came back with powder and paint on her face
She'd rings on her fingers, she wore a sable coat
You bet your life she didn't get those from Paddy McGinty's goat

Now Norah McCarthy the knot was goin' to tie
She washed out her trousseau and hung it out to dry
Along came the goat and he saw the bits of white
And chewed up all her falderals, and on her wedding night
"Oh,
turn out the light quick", she shouted out to Pat
For though l'm your bride, sure l'm not worth looking at
I had two of ev'rything, I told you when I wrote
But now I've one of nothing all thro' Paddy McGinty's goat

Mickey Riley he went to the races t'other day
He
won twenty dollars and shouted: "Hip Hooray!"
He held up the note shouting: "Look at what I've got!"
The goat came up and grabbed at it and swallowed up the lot
"He's eaten my banknote", says Mickey with the hump
They went for the doctor and they got a stomach pump
They pumped and they pumped for the twenty dollar note
But all they got was ninepence out of Paddy McGinty's goat

Now ould Paddy's goat had a wondrous appetite
And one day for breakfast he had some dynamite
A big box of matches he swallowed all serene
Then out he went and swallowed up a quart of paraffin
He sat by the fireside, he didn't give a hang
He swallowed a spark and exploded with a bang
So if you go to heaven you can bet a dollar note
That angel with the whiskers is Paddy McGinty's goat