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Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)(May 007)

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GUEST,Martin Ryan 16 May 07 - 08:37 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 May 07 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,MartinRyan 16 May 07 - 01:56 PM
skipy 16 May 07 - 02:01 PM
Herga Kitty 16 May 07 - 03:53 PM
Fergie 16 May 07 - 06:04 PM
Herga Kitty 16 May 07 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 16 May 07 - 07:22 PM
Fergie 18 May 07 - 10:35 AM
GUEST 18 May 07 - 08:38 PM
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Subject: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 16 May 07 - 08:37 AM

Irish 'catters will be sad to hear that Johnny Collins, the traveller singer well known in the Góilín Club and elsewhere, died yesterday. May he rest in peace.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 May 07 - 11:41 AM

Sorry to hear this, but thank you for putting the other bit on... I nearly had kittens when I read the title thinking it was the English Johnny Collins!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: GUEST,MartinRyan
Date: 16 May 07 - 01:56 PM

As it happens, I met Johnny the shantyman for the first time last year in Cobh - and look forward to meeting him again soon - so I thought it best to mention him in the title!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: skipy
Date: 16 May 07 - 02:01 PM

i'm with LTS on this one.
RIP Johnny.
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 May 07 - 03:53 PM

Sad and ironic, because the Norfolk JC was in Ireland last weekend, (and sang at the Goilin club, I think, from what I overheard him saying to Mary O'Connor at the Herga club on Monday).

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: Fergie
Date: 16 May 07 - 06:04 PM

The Shanty Johnny Collins was in the Góilín Club on Friday and he did a great set, but this thread is about Irish Johnny Collins (known in his community as Slabber).

Johnny was a stalwart member of the Góilín and he was a fine singer with a good repertoire of songs. He was a member of the Travelling People and he carried a great love and pride in his culture and his heritage. He was a great ambassador for his people and he represented many of the noble, unique and valuable aspects of his rich, vibrant and much maligned heritage. Johnny will be sadly missed by his family and his many friends whether Travellers or Buffers. I will miss him in the Góilín for I was very fond of him and I loved to hear his unique style of singing.

I composed a song about a Traveller a few months ago and Johnny said that he thought it a good song. I gave him the words and the tune, he said that he would learn it. I don't know if he did learn it but I will sing it in his honour in the Góilín on Friday night.

The funeral arrangements are as follows; Tomorrow Thursday 17th May at 5.00pm there will be a wake for him in the funeral parlour in Finglas Village. He will be interred in Edenderry after 11o'c service in the Catholic church in Finglas.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Fergus Russell


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 May 07 - 06:17 PM

It's also ironic that the English Johnny Collins is being distinguished from Slabber by being referred to as "the Shanty Johnny Collins", because he also is a fine singer with a much wider repertoire of songs, has been a great supporter of the English National festival, has tremendously enjoyed his recent trips to Ireland (including for Packie Byrne's 90th birthday) and I think would have enjoyed hearing his namesake if he'd had the opportunity. I am sorry not to have had the opportunity myself.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 16 May 07 - 07:22 PM

Fergie

Thanks for that fine tribute to Johnny/Slabber.You should post your own song here, in another thread, with some of the background...

Herga Kitty
Far be it from me to imply any limitations to Johnny Collins's repertoire ... and I am quite sure they would have enjoyed each others company hugely!

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BLUE TAR ROAD
From: Fergie
Date: 18 May 07 - 10:35 AM

Johnny's funeral mass was a memorable occasion. The clergyman was well acquainted with Johnny and his family (his wife, three daughters, ten sons and countless grandchildren) and was well able to describe Johnny and his unique personality. This familiarity gave a rare human and personal touch to the proceedings. There was some very nice traditional music played by some musician friends of the family, but the highlight was Nellie Weldon's magnificent and heartfelt rendition of Johnny's favourite song The Blue Tar Road

THE BLUE TAR ROAD

I am a true-born Irishman, a traveller am I,
My home the road, no fixed abode, I must travel till I die.
For few men give me camping space, aye and fewer call me friend.
The hard road for the traveller, I must travel till the end.

CHORUS: Hunger, hardship and poverty are the travellers' weary load,
Hunger, hardship and poverty and the blue tar road.

I came to Dublin city fair, in the year of fifty nine,
And I camped in Landsdowne's green valley, with others of my kind,
But Dublin's Corporation, good Christians to a man,
Broke down our camps uprooted us, dragged out our caravans

Out here in Cherry Orchard, where no cherry blossoms bloom.
We're forgotten and unwanted, in dirt and muck and gloom.
But the man above who died for love and was nailed unto a tree,
Sure wasn't he a traveller the same as you and me.

And please God in his own good time, He'll lift the travellers' load,
And we'll bid farewell to poverty and the blue tar road.


Nellie the singer of this song is widow of the composer Liam Weldon. Liam who died about 1997 was a good friend of Johnny's. As the last note issued from her lips the congregation spontaneously rose to its feet and issued a standing ovation that echoed loud and long throughout the large church. As I looked around I could see that everybody was very moved emotionally. There were tears streaming down the faces of travellers and buffers alike. I felt such a lump in my throat and was so overcome by the depth of feeling that I couldn't speak for a full ten minutes.

At the end of the ceremony the coffin was carried on the shoulders of his sons out of the church where they were greeted by a large group of traditional musicians flaking out some mighty jigs and reels. I would have loved to go to the burial in Edenderry but alas I had to go back to work. All in all it was a sad but uplifting experience.

Slán leat Slabber, mó lon dubh.
Fergus Russell


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (NOT the shantyman)(May 007)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 07 - 08:38 PM

Could the thread name be changed to Jonny Collins not the English man ! Gave me a worry again tonight.


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