Obviously satirist Tom Lehrer and I have conflicting ideas of what constitutes an Irish ballad. Mine is rather homey and frankly with a touch of the parochial. His smacks more of the Deidre of the Sorrows school of story telling so beloved of the ilk of that McKennitt person.
While listening to this little ditty I thought about a few of the “ballads” that are thought of as being part of the Irish canon. That one about Lord Randall who arrives home “sick to the heart and fain would lie down”. You have to wonder if his loving mother had tended to him rather than playing Q&A and bad-mouthing his sweetheart like every Irish mother to this day, would he have lived to a ripe old age? And that one about the Lady who follows the “whistling gypsy rover” – well doesn’t he just turn out to be a King in disguise. Bloody hell that’s the plot of ever Viennese operetta from Die Schmetterlingsprinzessin onward. How the hell do you explain that? Ah well obviously these are questions for serious musicologists and I will leave it to them.
March 18 is Goddess of Fertility Day – perhaps a day when, should you not wish to be supporting someone until they finally leave home at 28, abstinence should be observed.