Songs for your hangover (St. Patrick’s Part 2)


Hey patrons & friends,

I hope you were able to tune in and enjoy our livestream of Love Songs, Rebel Songs, Classics of Ireland (& more!) on the Maggie Cocco Music FB page. In case you missed it, here’s some links!

Heads up: true to the title, this two hour set does feature love songs, rebel songs, & classics of Ireland as opposed to the drinking songs we all know and love. I chose to feature these songs for a couple of reasons:

1. Our set was one of many featuring Irish musics at the venues we played, and I wanted to share songs that were less likely to be doubled by other performers on the lineup. 

2. I wanted to highlight songs which offered a glimpse into Irish culture and music beyond drinking culture. 

3. I was originally to play a supporting role on these gigs. Micky and our mate had rehearsed an instrumental set, and I would be invited to sit in on a couple songs. Due to rising COVID numbers our mate had to bow out. Having only a couple weeks to learn enough songs to fill our 2 hour slots (roughly 30 songs), I set to learning songs which both resonated with me and that I could approach with relative ease. Coming from a classical vocal background, I found the Celtic Women style ballads to be most accessible for me 🙂

I’m really happy for the foundation in folk music that by necessity I’ve begun to build! Micky of course was phenomenal in introducing me to these musics, and since his background is in the pub musics he worked just as hard at learning the ballads for the first two shows. 

All that said, we did balance the heaviness of the lyrical content with a bit of levity in the form of a drinking game we called “Authentic Or Not”. We interspersed the Irish songs with songs similar to, inspired, or otherwise influenced by Irish songs, and put it to the audience to guess which was which. I recommend gathering a few friends and playing along as you listen 🙃

The third show saw us fly up to Kerikeri’s Turner Centre where Micky played Bodhran (Irish drum) and I sat in for a couple ballads with Irish Band Sona (first set above, watch second set here).

The songs you’ll hear me sing with SONA are “Grace” and “Ride On”. 

As stated in the video, “Grace” is one that hits me right in the heart strings. I actually cried so much when I was first trying to learn it that it took me several days to get through the song at all.

“The heart wrenching-ballad Grace tells the true story of Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett, who were married in Kilmainham Gaol hours before he was executed by firing squad for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916.” 

As we gather in the chapel, here in old Kilmainham Gaol,

I think about these past few weeks, or will they say we failed?

From our school days, they have told us we must yearn for liberty

Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me.

Oh Grace, just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger

They’ll take me out at dawn and I will die

With all my love, I’ll place this wedding ring upon your finger,

There won’t be time to share our love, for we must say goodbye

Now I know it’s hard for you my love to ever understand

The love I bear for these brave men, my love for this dear land

But when Padraic called me to his side, down in the G.P.O.

I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go.

Oh Grace, just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger

They’ll take me out at dawn and I will die

With all my love, I’ll place this wedding ring upon your finger,

There won’t be time to share our love, for we must say goodbye

Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too

On this May morn as I walk out, my thoughts will be of you

And I’ll write some words upon the wall so everyone will know

I loved so much that I could see His Blood Upon The Rose.

Oh Grace, just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger

They’ll take me out at dawn now I must die

With all my love, I’ll place this wedding ring upon your finger,

There won’t be time to share our love, for we must say goodbye

I’ll still never not cry when I hear it, but I think the time spent learning to sing it without crying was well worth it. Click here to learn more about Grace.

“Ride on” is a contemporary folk song written by one of Ireland’s most highly esteemed songwriters, Jimmy MacCarthy. Its image rich and a bit mysterious, referencing a parting of some kind that is open to interpretation. 

True you ride the finest horse I have ever seen

Standing sixteen one or two, with eyes wild and green

And you ride the horse so well, hands light to the touch

I could never go with you no matter how I wanted to

Ride on, see you,

I could never go with you

No matter how I wanted to

When you ride into the night without a trace behind

Run your claw along my gut, one last time

I turn to face an empty space, where once you used to lie

And look for a spark that lights the dark

Through a teardrop in my eye

Ride on, see you,

I could never go with you

No matter how I wanted to

Click here to learn more about Ride On.  

Don’t forget to drink water, especially if you’re drinking and crying 💚

My thanks to the Jovial Judge, Roost, and the Turner Centre for having us on a jam packed St. Paddy’s Day! Thank you also to Bevis England for sitting in on mandolin, and to SONA for having us sit in. Here’s to more folk in future 🍻

Quick reminder that an online interactive performance of LIKE A MOTH from Maggie Cocco’s Science for Sociopaths is available now until March 27th through the Dunedin Fringe Festival online. It’s absolutely free! But we ask that those who can please become a patron of Maggie Cocco Music on Patreon or make a donation to Girls Rock! Aotearoa.

Musically yours,

Maggie


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