Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's been a long road since those days

Althouse posted an R.I.P. for Liam Clancy. I heard him a few years ago at the Mystic Sea Music Festival. Of course, he was very good indeed. Althouse linked to his obit at the Irish Times; here are obits from the Telegraph and the NY Times. His website is Liam Clancy dot com, naturally. Music begins right away when you enter the site, so be prepared.

For a while, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem personified Irish folk music in the States, and sold an enormous number of records in Ireland as well. I bought my first Clancy Brothers record back around 1962. It was this one:
(That's Tom on the left, Paddy in the middle, Liam on the right with the guitar, and Tommy Makem down in front with the whistle.)

I learned every song on it, and sing most of them still.

[Update: Amba posted an R.I.P. with two videos, one of them "The Parting Glass." Liam's spoken closing line in that holds a resonance now that it did not, then.]

Althouse's post includes a video of Liam Clancy singing "Those Were the Days." Commenter rcocean links to a video of Helmut Lotti singing "Dorogoy Dlinnoyu," the Russian song from which the music was taken. There is a discussion of the song at Languagehat, in which Languagehat links to this translation of the lyrics. Here is another translation, with some commentary, and here is a singable one. Languagehat quotes from a Russian page which says that, in October 1917, "'Endless road' became one of the biggest 'hits' in Russia." The singer whose performance made it famous was Alexander Vertinsky. And here it is (with subtitles in Polish).

Another Sunday afternoon concert.

1 comment:

Trooper York said...

I often saw him around New York. A class act all the way.