December 5, 2009

"Those were the days my friend. We thought they'd never end."

The days have ended for Liam Clancy.

"Liam Clancy, the man Bob Dylan described as the 'best ballad singer I’d ever heard in my life,' has died. He was 74."

Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...


The Drill SGT said...

I always thought of that as being derived from a Yiddish piece, it was interesting to see it done by an Irish Ballardier.

I did follow up on the songwriter though. Gene Raskin appears to have taken it from a traditional Russian/Ukrainian piece.

regardless, it is a great melody

Maguro said...

Brings back many dad loved the Clancy Brothers and played their records constantly.

I've been a wild rover for many a year
And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer,
And now I'm returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the wild rover no more

Classic stuff. RIP.

Fred4Pres said...

I have spent more than a couple of evenings doing exactly that in the White Horse Tavern.

Sheepman said...

First time I became aware of them was when they performed Dylan's "When the Ship Comes In" at the 30th anniversary show at MSG. It was a fine, spirited cover.

The building, in the linked article, looks neat.

Cedarford said...

Dad liked the Clancy Bros, had their albums with his other Folkie fare. He wasn't even ethnic Irish.
They did some interesting stuff..great harmonies, telling political stories as well as straight ballads. Liam, the lead singer had a great voice.

Completely outside that, the old Mary Hopkin version was a "who sang that incredible song!!" moment for me in the 80s. I had to know.

Resurrection moment: buried in the Palin thread, Madison Man had a very funny little post I thought was worth putting up again.

MadisonMan said...
When my wife told me her water broke, I gave her a kleenex. (True story!)

In my defense, I was sound asleep when she told me.

link: leaking females, Clancy, song, Irish, Welsh

bearbee said...

Russian gypsy song.

Always impressed me as something reminiscent of the Russian Revolution

Ann Althouse said...

In the patter in the beginning he connects it to Dylan Thomas and the tavern in the song to the White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village. Thomas drank too much there one night (and died). We used to live a couple blocks from it, back in the 1970s.

William said...

And Shane McGowan of the Pogues still survives. Shane has lived to bury his doctor and two dentists. His dying fall is the best since Dylan Thomas.

EDH said...

Wasn't the Irish brogue recently voted the "world's sexiest" accent?

Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...

Those were the days

Theme song for the Obama administration?

vbspurs said...

WHO? ...RIP.

(I feel I will be saying this a lot on Althouse, now that the Boomer generation and its generational icons are kicking their buckets)


MamaM said...

A bucket full of memory tipped with that kick.

However, it is the Melanie Safka version we remember.

Along with "What Have They Done to my Song?".

Cedarford said...

MamaM -

However, it is the Melanie Safka version we remember.

You remember incorrectly.

MamaM said...

So far there are 255,738 viewers who have listened to Melanie Safka version on YouTube.

I don't know where you are coming from with your opinion on my memory Cedarford, but I would accept clarification or an apology, whichever fits.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

However, it is the Melanie Safka version we remember

Maybe you do. I'm a Melanie fan and don't remember her making a version of this song.

Mary Hopkins is who I recall making this a hit.

THIS is what I think of when I remember Melanie

God I'm getting old :-D

Adele Mundy said...

Thats so very interesting Cedarford. I did not realize the Clancy Brothers covered Horst Wessel Lied.

MamaM said...

Nuts...I can either eat crow and admit Cedarford was RIGHT about my memory or delete my declaration of certainty...Sigh.

Cedarford, I remembered incorrectly on this. MrM and I along with 255,738 viewers were listening to the Mary Hopkin's version that came up with the Melanie google.

DustBunny, thank you for your gentle re-direction

Cedarford said...

MomaM - That's cool. I remember a fair number of things incorrectly as well.

And misplace songs between artists in heated conversations. Like me thinking Don Cafferty did "Hungry Heart" - not Springsteen - and losing a fairly humbling bet, so sure was I.

At Althouse, what is really funny is when someone is dead wrong (see Freder Frederickson's famous thermodynamics lectures of a few years ago on Gorebulbs) and when other posters point out they are incorrect, dig deeper out of pride. Then the goading starts to make Freder or DTL or etc. angrier and dig even deeper and say even more stupid shit.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DustBunny, thank you for your gentle re-direction

No problem. The sixties WERE a long time ago and you know what they say about being able to remember the 60's. LOL

rcocean said...

The original 1917 Russian Version -
Dorogoj Dlinnoju

Penny said...

This was a very popular singalong song way back when.

Singalongs were more inspirational than karaoke.

Why, you ask?

Because there was usually at least one person playing an instrument.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Speaking of clichés, as you do @ 10:06 AM, at least the NYT obit didn’t say that the Clancy Brothers had “changed the face of folk music” as so many bios, in print or on the tube, do for pioneers in any entertainment field.

amba said...

Now that made my heart stop for a moment.

It was probably because of the Clancy Brothers -- no, it was because of the Clancy Brothers -- that my sister and I went to Ireland for a week the summer when I was 21 and she was 17. We were going, like moths toward flame, towards the way they made the English language all golden and warm like whiskey.

O, you rap and you call
And you pay for all
And go home at the break of day.

Nichevo said...

Didn't they crap on Lord Nelson? Smug...fellows. May they like it where they've gone.

Hector Owen said...

Possibly of interest, this on the Clancys, and the song.

wv = sughtbia, in green, which looks Gaelic as anything.