The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89022 Message #1700415
Posted By: GUEST,Fred McCormick
22-Mar-06 - 02:15 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Golden Glove (Dog and Gun)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Golden Glove (Dog and Gun)
Well Jim, for once I've got to admit you are right. I ran into Mary just this afternoon and she denies ever having existed.
After my initial comment I wasn't intending to get involved with all this; life is too short and there are too many vindictive idiots around to make this type of unpleasantness not worth the effort, particularly when there are far more rewarding things to be spending time on. Intervention on my part would have been surplus to requirements anyway; Mary seems to be doing very well on her own thank you very much. However, as my name has appeared on the rapidly growing roll of honour (it was me you were referring to wasn't it Fred?) I thought I'd have one last word.
I was struck by the differing approaches of the participants. First there was the calm, dignified approach, the summing up of the situation and the questions clearly put (and as yet, unanswered). Then came the squirming evasions, the accusations and innuendos and the smoke-screen tactic of raising the fact that the writer declined to give her full name. If she was to reveal herself as Mary Robinson or Mary Queen of Scots would it make one iota of difference to the argument? It occurs to me that if Geoff Wallis was being 'ironic' when he threatened to use a knuckle-duster on his critics, why are he and his friend so anxious to learn her name? It sounds more than a little sinister to me. Finally you had the bullying foul-mouthed obscenities; you could almost see the flecks of foam at the corner of the mouth. As Fred himself once quoted in a phrase he borrowed (without naming his source) "Breeding breaks out through the eyes of a cat".
Don't get me wrong; I have no moral objection to such language; I've used it myself on occasion. The problem arises for me when it is used as a substitute for argument and discussion as it was on this occasion. There are far too many people around who are inclined to substitute insult and innuendo for discussion.
The questioner didn't need my or anybody's support; she was well able to handle the situation, which she did with skill and humour, and didn't she have two extremely able assistants to back up her case.
Those of us who have been privileged enough to have worked with traditional performers are often struck by the generosity and the trust on their part in passing on their precious load (I hesitate to use 'material'; it seem that that word is reserved exclusively for a self-appointed few). In taking on this load, you also take on the responsibility of passing it on to people who are going to respect it, take care of it and ascertain that it is kept for future generations to appreciate. In the case of our Clare singers, it seems we have erred badly, for which I apologise (posthumously in he main) to Tom Lenihan, Martin Reidy, Nora Cleary, 'Straighty' Flanagan, Pat MacNamara and all the other beautiful people who have been so generous with their songs, stories, music, friendships and time. I can only promise that we'll try to be more careful in the future - we'll certainly think twice before we put our fieldwork within reach of these two.
Thank you Mary, whoever and wherever you are, for bringing some dignity and common sense into this sordid business.