The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #172018 Message #4163070
Posted By: Felipa
20-Jan-23 - 06:16 PM
Thread Name: 2023 Obit: Seamus O Beaglaioch aka Begley
Subject: RE: 2023 Obit: Seamus O Beaglaioch aka Begley
tribute from musician Sharon Shannon on her facebook page, 15 Jan 2023
Jounalist Barry Egan asked me to send him my thoughts about the great Seamus Begley for an article that he was writing for today's Sunday Independent.
I wrote it with the intention of trying to describe Séamus to anyone who wasn't lucky enough know him or his music. It's an impossible task but here is my attempt, (the unedited version) accompanied by this gorgeous photo of Séamus and Mary on their wedding day.
I'm still trying to process the sudden loss of Séamus so I don't feel that I have the words yet (or maybe never) to explain the enormity of his sad departure.
I went down to Dingle for 3 days in advance of the funeral. People were paying homage to the King from dawn to dusk by playing his tunes and singing his songs and telling funny stories. There were very many tears shed by heartbroken friends and family, but also very many tears of laughter. Séamus was an amazing man to cheer people up in sad times, and for us, reminiscing about all the great and funny times we had with him was massively therapeutic.
To just tell any one story alone wouldn't do him justice. Unless a person was there to witness the atmosphere in Dingle for the past week, or to have been in the company of the great man himself, it's impossible to explain how fantastic it was to spend time with him.
He was the life and soul of every session in which he ever played. He was a powerhouse of a musician. He was like a stick of dynamite, he'd lift the roof off any house or pub session or Concert hall with the atmosphere that he created. He had audiences all over the World in the palm of his hand with his magic and he instigated pure madness and wildness in everybody that surrounded him.
Everywhere he went was a big party and nobody was excluded. He always sat in a session facing his audience and making everybody in the room feel welcome. He was extremely generous with his music and his kindness and he was exactly the same with a 90 year old person as he would be with a small child. There was never any generation gap with him.
He himself never seemed to get old. Even if he lived to be 100, he would still have been a young fella at heart.
In contrast to his powerful accordion playing and the madness and mayhem that he would instill all around him, as soon as he opened his mouth to sing, people were instantly stopped in their tracks, mesmerised, and you would hear a pin drop in the venue, whether it was The National Concert hall or in his beloved Nelligans pub in Dingle. He was the most magical, beautiful, gentle and effortless singer that I ever heard. He had an amazing memory for words and he seemed to know almost every song that was ever written, whether it was a sean nós song or his incredible interpretations of everything and anything from Elvis to John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot. He was always bursting into song mid-conversation. Music was like his second language.
Speaking of language, Irish was his prefered choice. He was more comfortable speaking Irish (which was his first language) and it was really beautiful to listen to him speaking and singing 'as gaeilge'.
He was absolutely brilliant craic, a pure tonic. He was the funniest person I ever met in my life.
He was full of devilment and mischief. He was incredibly quick witted and he'd have you crying laughing, belly laughing for hours. And as well as him being super fast with 'off the cuff' wit, he had what seemed like an endless supply of absolutely hilarious Limericks and jokes and funny yarns.
The best times that I've ever had throughout my whole life were always in his company.
He has left a huge legacy of music and songs and stories for future generations to enjoy.
He was immensely proud of of his gorgeous family and he idolised them and vice versa.
Anybody that was lucky enough to have been in his company is blessed. He was a true legend (for want of a better word).
We all absolutely adored him. We treasured every second and never took him for granted.
Farewell Seamus, we will cherish your memory until we meet again at the big party in the sky.