Monday, August 06, 2007

Tommy Makem, 1932-2007--Rest in Peace

I am a big fan of Irish music, and Tommy Makem is one of my favorite Irish singers. His raspy voice may not be an Irish tenor, but his love for Ireland, and his sense of whimsy are present in every song. I have seen him perform live twice on the stage of my college, St. Anselm, and he gave the best show I have ever seen, both musically, and in stand-up, improv comedy. His love for music, for Ireland and warmth towards his fellow man made him an outstanding performer, who will be missed. My favorite album, The Makem and Clancy Collection contains his immortal ballad, "Four Green Fields" about the centuries old struggle for Ireland to obtain her freedom from England. Once, during my visit to an after hours pub in Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland, I was asked to sing a song, as the group was taking turns. So I sang "Four Green Fields", and surprised my cousin Marion who never knew the "Yank" had it in her!
So, if you love Irish music, you owe it to yourself to listen to the Clancy brothers and Tommy Makem.

Vivicabis posed the most important question: will Tommy Makem make it to heaven? Of course, all speculation on this topic is futile, but I'd like to think that perhaps his film role, as a musical Irish priest, Fr. Halloran, in A Time to Remember , which was reminiscent of Bing Crosby's Fr. O'Malley in Going My Way, may have earned him clemency from Our Merciful Lord.
HT Vivicabis


Alice Gunther said...

I saw him at a show at my college too, and I agree with you on the excellent music and comedy.

I hadn't heard about his passing, but will pray for him with you.

Barb, sfo said...

Such a nice piece.
My dad is a big fan of Irish music so I grew up on Makem and the Clancy brothers. Good stuff!
I think the most-listened-to record album in our house was "Come raise your glass with us."