Manly music

Three little songs:

My earliest memory of music in my family home is this song.

I was the middle son of three boys. All under the age of ten. We each took turns at recording ourselves singing this song into a cassettte recorder. It was mid seventies Ireland and cassettes were cutting edge technology. The novelty of playing back the recordings to each hear how we sounded was a thrill I will treasure.

I guess it was our daddy or a school teacher, or both, who taught it, I don’t remember learning it. But I have known this song, by heart, since I could string a sentence together. True! It’s such a graphic story of an Irish harp. It still sends shivers of pride down my spine.

Next up is a guy whose ‘Best of..’ cassette was played everywhere by my father. Even in the car. It was the soundtrack to every journey. So much so that I developed an Italian/Donegal accent for a few years.

Until just now (watching this video) I believed his duet partner was a boy. My mother told us it was a little Italian shepherd boy. And we bought it! All three of us trying to outdo each other in the back seat with our Tenor talents.

The testosterone of the next song is off the scale. These guys were heroes wherever they went. Needless to say my brothers and I could sing their songs in our sleep. I think this may have been the song that taught me what a happy marriage is all about…”Upon my knee a pretty wench and on the table a jug of punch.”

Those are the songs of my childhood.

Thank you for listening


In response to daily prompt



22 thoughts on “Manly music

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  5. I know this music! My Aunt Martha LOVED Mario Lanza and would say, “Shh! It’s Mario Lanza” but it was a RECORD for the love of God! She could play it again. I love hearing this again and I love the Clancy Brothers. I have some of their music on my iPod. I was talking with a friend yesterday (I’m now in Colorado) a musician and she was saying how music is an eternal connection between people, a connection of experience, not just sound. Your post sure proves that!

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  10. Hi Frankie! I enjoyed coming by and reading through some of your posts. The Pope and I….(a bit hard on the child I think 🙂 And loved the Manly Music one. We used to sit around and record our voices into that cassette recorder too. My one son always played the DJ and was hilarious!
    I do love Irish music-due to St Patty’s day I was inspired to go to library yesterday looking for a few to dance to (as if I dance).
    I wanted a couple of songs from the Chieftans and a new group (relatively) called the Gloaming? then I came across a Cd by the Irish Rovers. They were part of my childhood having seen them perform in California at a little place called the Icehouse.
    My irish roots run deep and far. Both sides of the family. It’s a wonder I’m in the states and not in Ireland.
    I very much enjoyed the Clancy Brothers and your story. I’ve been blogging about four months now. Good of you to nominate Cheryl. She is a wonderful writer.

  11. Love the Irish music. Regardless if joyful or sad, there is always a realness to it. P.S. Hadn’t heard anything from Mario Lanza in a long while. Today I do enjoy listening to Andrea Bocelli

  12. Totally loved the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem….their likes will never be seen again…what a sound…what haunting voices

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