10/12/2007

The Auld Triangle

Following on from Adelante's musical post on Woody Guthrie I have decided to share with ye one of my favourite Irish songs, The Auld Triangle.

It was written by that great Irishman Brendan Behan. It was in his play "The Quare Fellow" and was written during his stay in Mount Joy.



The Dubliners give it a haunting melody that fit the song perfectly.

I have always found myself drawn to the tragedy and wit of Behan. As well as being a successful poet, author and playwright he was also a Republican and a member of the IRA.

His biographer Ulick O'Connor recalls one day, at the age of eight, he was returning home with his granny and a crony from a drinking session. A passer-by remarked "Oh, my! Isn't it terrible ma'am to see such a beautiful child deformed?" "How dare you," said his granny, "he's not deformed, he's just drunk!"

For those who criticised his drinking he exclaimed "Where I came from, to get enough to eat was an achievement. To get enough to get drunk was a victory."

To accusations that the IRA court-martialled him he said, "Yes, I was court-martialled in my absence, and sentenced to death in my absence. So I said 'go ahead and shoot me. ..in my absence!'

Another occasion saw him enter a priest's house, badly shaking with alcohol withdrawal and gasping for a "cure". The priest provided him with a little whiskey in a glass, exhorting that providing him with it was like "tapping a nail into your coffin". Behan reportedly looked at the meagre amount and said, "You wouldn't mind giving the nail another tap would you father?"

He once said, "It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody."

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