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Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill

MartinRyan 13 Dec 12 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 13 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Kathy Hobkirk 13 Dec 12 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 13 Dec 12 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Pat Cooksey. 13 Dec 12 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Frank McGrath 13 Dec 12 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,John Condon 13 Dec 12 - 10:19 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 13 Dec 12 - 02:29 PM
gnu 13 Dec 12 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Joe O'Connor 13 Dec 12 - 06:16 PM
MartinRyan 13 Dec 12 - 07:13 PM
Waddon Pete 14 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 14 Dec 12 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Joe O'Connor 14 Dec 12 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 14 Dec 12 - 02:00 PM
MartinRyan 14 Dec 12 - 05:18 PM
MartinRyan 14 Dec 12 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,SussexCarole 14 Dec 12 - 06:38 PM
Suegorgeous 14 Dec 12 - 09:19 PM
Fergie 15 Dec 12 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Joe O'Connor 15 Dec 12 - 09:43 AM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 12 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 20 Dec 12 - 07:34 AM
MartinRyan 20 Dec 12 - 10:15 AM
Leraud 21 Dec 12 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Joe O'Connor 23 Dec 12 - 06:54 PM
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Subject: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 05:19 AM

Just got the sad, if not unexpected news. Details later.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam ceolmhar, dilis.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM

I saw Robbie on Monday last in hospital. He was very weak but sang the first verse of the Old man on the hob.

We were very lucky to have had his company for so long and his First Fridays in Duggans of Spancil Hill were unique. He will be sadly missed by many people and sympathies are extended to his wife Maura and his immediate family, and their extensive network of friends around the world.

Removal is from Daly's in Ennis on Saturday evening 6 to 8 pm and Mass in Clooney on Sunday at Noon. (1 mile from spancil Hill).

May he rest in Peace


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Kathy Hobkirk
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 06:31 AM

Sad news. It was a privilege to see him at The Frank Harte Festival in Dublin a couple of years ago. He was just magic. My condolences to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 07:08 AM

Driving to Kilrush this morning I was thinking of him for some reason or other, meetings we had in Crotty's and at the Nell Galvin festival.
Later Clare FM brought the news. Sad day.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Pat Cooksey.
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 07:45 AM

A fine singer and a true gentleman, a pleasure to have known him and hear him sing so many times. R.I.P. Robbie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Frank McGrath
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 08:58 AM

So very sad. The world has dimmed. RIP Robbie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,John Condon
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 10:19 AM

Truly sad day. His wife Maura, daughters Dympna, Fiona and Noeleen, son Donal and the grandchildren are all in our thoughts.

To quote the last verse of "The Old Man In The Hob"

Well Father Dan, well how are you and come over here to me,
Do lay your holy hand on me for I am on my way,
To a land that's far beyond the sky where I'll know pain no more
For God himself has called me.... To his own eternal shore


Rest In Peace Robbie. We will keep your first Fridays going in Duggan's Bar.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 02:29 PM

My sympathy to his friends and relations! He seems like a man that I would have enjoyed knowing!
An interesting older article here:
Robbie McMahon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: gnu
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 03:44 PM

RIP and thanks.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Joe O'Connor
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 06:16 PM

I first met Robbie at a Fleadh in Miltown Malbay in 1957 when I was 11years old . I've been privileged to spend many happy hours in his company at sessions and in his home in Spancilhill . Thanks for the songs , the fun and laughter , the memories and the friendship Robbie! Many a singers session at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann concluded with Robbie's great song "The Fleadh Down in Ennis. Only three of those named in the song are still with us : Chris Droney , Peadar O'Loughlin and Martin Mulhaire. In 2006 on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the '56 Fleadh I had the honour of researching and producing "The Fleadh Down In Ennis" concert with Pat Liddy and presenting it with Séamus MacMathúna.

"The Fleadh Down In Ennis

Will you sit back awhile till I sing you a song
Tis not very short nor tis not very long;
Its about the Fleadh Cheoil down in Ennis you see
So to me will you pay your attention.
I'm not a great singer but I know there are worse
I cannot help trying to sing you a verse;
For to let you all know how the Fleadh Cheoil got on
For you, now, who couldn't attend it.
They came from the North and they came from the East
From the West and the South 'twas a thriller to see;
With fiddles and bagpipes and piccolos too
And drum sticks to keep them in order.
They came down from Dublin so hearty and gay
They brought Leo Rowsome to show them the way;
Himself and Sean Seery they played all the way.
With their flute payer Vincent O'Broderic,
-- Sciddery-Idle dom-diddery dom-diddery die dee.
They came down from Cavan so far far away
I'm sure they were travelling for most of a day;
With singers and players the best I can say
To compete at the Fleadh down in Ennis.
Their players were good and their singers were keen
But Margaret O'Reilly was the best of the team;
And big Doctor Galligan he wore the bainin
Just to swank at the Fleadh down in Ennis.
From the kingdom of Kerry they all made their way
And brave Denis Murphy he started to play;
The 'Ould Floggin Reel' and 'The Black Cup o' Tay'
Sure you'd feel ten times younger right after;
From Limerick's fair city they came by the score
And Johnny MacMahon he played an encore;
And the bould Andy Keane sure he played as much more
And to finish he played 'Colonel Frazer'.
- Sciddery etc.
From Wicklow and Carlow they all fell in line
And up from Portarlington came Johnny Ryan;
He rosined his bow and he watched every line
And he won the first prize on the violin.
From Galway they came every man and his wife
With Eddie Moloney who played on the fife;
And young Kieran Collins would the dead rise
When he played us 'The Lark in the Morning'.
There was music and song from all over Clare
The Macks of Crusheen and sure all the Mulkeres;
The Mike Preston Trio and Martin Mulhaire
Not forgetting the Mister Joe Leary.
Mrs Crotty she came all the way from Kilrush
She took a high note for the 'Bird on the Bush'
She played all the day and she never did blush
Twas 'Good Girl Yourself Mrs Crotty.'
They came down from Quilty, to sing and to play
With big Martin Talty from Miltown Malbay
And our own Willie Clancy, he gave a display
Sure we know he's the King of the pipers,
Then somebody said, 'who's that man over there?'
Isn't that Jimmy Ward from the North side of Clare
He plays on the banjo with music to spare
For he plays with the great Kilfenora.
Now Peter O'Loughlin from Connolly came
He brought Paddy Murphy, twas all in the game;
They played a duet and they made a big name
For they won at the Fleadh down in Ennis.
And down from Bellbarbour Chris Droney he came
He played on a matchbox I thought twas that same;
Till someone said "Robbie what's that you are saying'
Isn't that his own small Concertina.
Our own Paddy Canny, he took oe'r the fair
He played through the streets and right up to the square;
Says Daniel O'Connell 'My Life on you there'
And I think you're the best of them all sure
And o'er from America more of them flew
And Paddy O'Brien, he was one of the few;
He'd played, the accordion you'd swear there were two
He got so many notes in together.
Now Ciaran MacMahon was busy bedad
Recording them all both the good and the bad;
But for him our music was gone to the bad
So 'tis welcome Ciaran MacMathuna.
'Tis all over now but twas something to see
So thanks to Sean Reid and the great committee;
So I wish you good health now and good luck from me
Until we all meet in Dungarvan.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 07:13 PM

Thanks, Joe. Lots of fans of Robbie's here, if you feel like posting some links.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM

...another of the friends I never met. My condolences to all who knew him and to all who will keep his First Friday nights going.

I have added Robbie to the "In Memoriam" Thread.

RIP

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 06:15 AM

There was lots of talk, old interviews and songs on ClareFM's Morning Focus today. They said the programme/podcast will be on their website for the week. www.clarefm.ie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Joe O'Connor
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 01:31 PM

http://www.clare.fm/morning-focus-podcasts


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 02:00 PM

Thanks Joe.

Direct link to broadcast tribute to Robbie on Clare FM


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 05:18 PM

I note Mudcat gets a mention in the Clare FM tribute broadcast to which Joe provided a link!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 05:45 PM

There's a nice touch at the end of that podcast where Robbie is singing his own song about the "Fleadh down in Ennis" ( which happened in the mid-1950's!) at a civic reception in his native county Clare in 2010, when he was 83. HIs memory wasn't holding up quite as well as his lungs and you can hear his wife Máire prompting each verse as he draws breath. In fact, she would be sitting there serenely as though butter wouldn't melt in her mouth... The audience would rarely notice what she was doing - but the mike did! Lovely woman.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,SussexCarole
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 06:38 PM

Precious memories of Robbie McMahon during my trip to Ireland in 200? and visit to Ennis Singers Club. What a wonderful singer and a real gentleman.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 09:19 PM

Oh, sad news. I only met him once (well, not even that, just sang in the same pub room as him and everyone else at the local festival in Clare), but he seemed a very sweet and dedicated man.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: Fergie
Date: 15 Dec 12 - 07:22 AM

Robbie McMahon was the embodyment of the heart and soul of Irish traditional unaccompanied singing. He loved to sing and to listen. He understood the deep connections between the songs, the people and the culture. He was always happy and willing to share his songs and the history of the songs. I first met him in Ennistymon Co. Clare about 20 years ago. He sang Spancil Hill and I was blown away by the power of his performance, being familiar with Christy Moore's version I was really taken by Robbie's longer version and afterwards I sat beside him and he filled me in on the story behind the song and Robbie's own role in it's rediscovery. Over the years we bumped into each other at festivals and concerts and singing sessions and he was always such good company, always full of energy and vitality. He will be sadly missed by so many.
Fergus


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Joe O'Connor
Date: 15 Dec 12 - 09:43 AM

Joe O'Connor


ROBBIE MCMAHON (11/12/1926 – 13/12/2012)
Will you sit back a while till I sing you a song……."Ballad singer, lilter, song writer story teller and comedian ROBBIE MCMAHON enthralled audiences all over Ireland, the UK and the US for more than 70 years with his inimitable style of singing and lilting and with his infectious good humour. Winner of several All Ireland titles for singing in English and Irish, lilting and newly composed ballads, he held court on the first Friday of each month in Duggan's in Spancilhill at a soirée known "Robbie's First Friday." Robbie's life received the Hollywood treatment in the shape of the acclaimed film documentary "Last Night as I Lay Dreaming." No stranger to accolades, the esteemed office of President of the Ennis Singers' Club sat lightly on his shoulders and in October 2010 he was accorded a civic reception by Clare County Council. A notable participant on several Comhaltas tours, that organisation bestowed a Gradam Seirbhíse on him three years ago. In May 2011 he received the Fleadh Nua Gradam Ceoil. Robbie's talent was not confined to his fine voice as evidenced by the many great songs such as "The Old Man in the Hob" and "The Red Cross Social" which he has composed. But "The Fleadh down in Ennis" must surely rank as his masterpiece. Go luí an cré go héadrom air is go gcoinní Dia í mbois A láimhe é.
Joe


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Dec 12 - 10:58 AM

Just back from the funeral. Mass ended with the congregation, led by Mick Scanlon, singing Robbie's version of Spancil Hill . Couldn't hang around for the likely session, unfortunately.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 07:34 AM

Pity you didn't stay for a while Martin. The session was very good with Mick Scanlan, Mike Hackett, Deirdre Scanlan, John Condon and Micheal Marrinan all singing Robbie's songs.

Wonderful night, wonderful senf off and I was priviledged to hear Robbie sing his last few lines in the hospital 2 days before he died. Typical Robbie sang the first verse of "The mand on the hob".

Already looking forward to first Robbie First Friday since he died on january 4th. There will be a great crowd.

HE will be sadly missed RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 10:15 AM

Both Caoilte Breatnach and I were distinctly under the weather that weekend - so we snuck off home after a quiet pint in Duggan's before you lot came back from the graveyard... Pity, but unavoidable

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: Leraud
Date: 21 Dec 12 - 08:01 AM

I met Robbie a few times at the Ennis Fleadh. He was an amazingly powerful singer and my condolences go to his family.

Lynne Heraud


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Subject: RE: Obit: Robbie McMahon of Spancilhill
From: GUEST,Joe O'Connor
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 06:54 PM

RobbieLament for Robbie McMahon

As we stood beside your graveside and sang your soul to Heaven,
My heart with grief was breaking and I turned my head to cry,
Now I stand here on my own as the sky sheds nature's teardrops,
With my mind so full of memories that 'tis hard to say goodbye.

Ah those great songs that you sang ,they'll ring in my ears forever,
Songs like the Red Cross Social and the great Bard Of Armagh,
But the song that touched my soul ,fashioned by a master wordsmith,
Was the one you wrote in '56 about that famous Ennis fleadh.

When the maestro Sean Maguire heard you lilt the Mason's Apron ,
He warmly shook your hand, to hear you was such a thrill.
And the song you made your own is known throughout the world,
For where great singers gather they all sing of Spancilhill.

When the First Friday comes again and we gather in Mike Duggan's,
And your impish smile is missing and your great voice hushed and still,
We'll tell stories of the good times and we'll sing songs in your honour,
And we'll keep that flame still burning that you lit on Spancilhill.

Now I've said my last goodbye and I turn away in silence,
But my mind keeps wandering back to the happy times we've seen
We thank God for having known you though it breaks our hearts to loose you.
May your rest be peaceful Robbie , we won't see your likes again.

© Joe O'Connor 16/12/'12


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