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Help: Bright Blue Rose

Mbo 17 Dec 99 - 07:48 PM
emily rain 17 Dec 99 - 08:22 PM
_gargoyle 18 Dec 99 - 04:03 AM
Brendy 19 Dec 99 - 01:38 AM
Callie 19 Dec 99 - 08:47 PM
Brendy 19 Dec 99 - 11:49 PM
emily rain 20 Dec 99 - 03:29 AM
_gargoyle 20 Dec 99 - 12:29 PM
_gargoyle 20 Dec 99 - 12:33 PM
emily rain 20 Dec 99 - 01:57 PM
Brendy 21 Dec 99 - 03:26 AM
Callie 21 Dec 99 - 07:37 PM
Brendy 22 Dec 99 - 02:07 PM
Callie 22 Dec 99 - 06:55 PM
wysiwyg 21 Jun 02 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Don Mills 28 Nov 05 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 28 Nov 05 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Guest Pat Keogh 01 Jan 08 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,nickr90 02 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,weemosinc 11 Mar 08 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Joseph Furches 24 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,cobra 01 Aug 09 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,diarmuid 04 Aug 09 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Tom Murphy 09 Aug 09 - 02:02 AM
Peace 10 Aug 09 - 12:48 AM
Peace 10 Aug 09 - 12:58 AM
quokka 10 Aug 09 - 01:06 AM
Peace 10 Aug 09 - 02:18 AM
GUEST 08 Dec 09 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,oldsymo 10 Dec 09 - 02:16 PM
Raggytash 11 Dec 09 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,srogers 20 Jan 10 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,wthdik 21 Jan 10 - 05:25 AM
Beer 21 Jan 10 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,dianeol7 30 Jan 10 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Scott Keyboards 17 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM
Jack Campin 17 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Alan H 26 Mar 10 - 06:41 PM
Andrez 27 Mar 10 - 03:47 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 10 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,vic 30 Apr 10 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,JN 05 Sep 10 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,wellaway 05 Jan 11 - 03:57 PM
Andrez 12 Jan 11 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Tony 06 Mar 11 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,just someone 08 Apr 11 - 02:44 AM
NP1 08 Apr 11 - 05:21 AM
breezy 08 Apr 11 - 11:51 AM
GUEST 10 Dec 11 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Wolf 27 Apr 12 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 28 Apr 12 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Coyote deluxe 04 May 13 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Bruce Heavenor 06 Oct 15 - 11:56 PM
Jack Campin 07 Oct 15 - 04:51 PM
BigDaddy 15 Jan 16 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Coxxy 05 Feb 16 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Zeph 06 Feb 16 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,ho 04 Mar 16 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,A Nashville Writer 03 Jan 18 - 07:16 AM
Raggytash 03 Jan 18 - 07:35 AM
Jack Campin 03 Jan 18 - 07:58 AM
Jeri 03 Jan 18 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,What a lot of hoopla over nothing 06 Jan 18 - 12:58 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jan 18 - 05:23 PM
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Subject: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Mbo
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 07:48 PM

I've been listening to Mary Black sing "Bright Blue Rose." Does anyone have any idea what this song is about?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: emily rain
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 08:22 PM

i've always wondered that myself, mbo. i eventually decided it was about how any form of serious inquiry can change you and rob you of your sleep and peace of mind. "she" could be a friend or girlfriend who lives the unexamined life.

2000 years? is that a christ reference? if i knew of a prominent scientist or troubled artist of that age (like a biblical leonardo da vinci?) i would guess it meant him.

i don't know. i'm just pulling this outta my ass anyway.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BRIGHT BLUE ROSE (Jimmy MacCarthy)
From: _gargoyle
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 04:03 AM

The lyrics might be helpful, in the discussion

BRIGHT BLUE ROSE
Babes in the Woods - Jimmy MacCarthy
(Mary Black)

I skimmed across black water, without once submerging
Onto the banks of an urban morning
That hungers the first light, much much more than the mountains ever do.
And she like a ghost beside me, goes down with the ease of a dolphin
And emerges unlearned, unshamed, unharmed
For she is perfect creature, natural in every feature
And I am the greek [geek] with the alchemists' stone.

#Chorus#

For all of you who must discover,
For all who seek to understand,
For having left the path of others
You'll find a very special hand.

And it is a holy thing, and it is a precious time
And it is the only way
Forget-me-nots among the snow, it's always been and so it goes
To ponder his death and his life eternally

#Chorus#

And it is a holy thing, and it is a precious time
And it is the only way
Forget-me-nots among the snow, it's always been and so it goes
To ponder his death and his life eternally

One bright blue rose outlives all those
two thousand years, and still it goes
to ponder his death and his life eternally


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 01:38 AM

The Blackwater - The river that runs through Cork, Jimmy McCarthy's home town.
A "geek" (not Greek), is a term used to denote a freak, misfit, etc., and of course alchemy is the pseduscientific study of converting base metals into gold.

It is said that unless you totally give up preconceptions and mental addictions, stop fighting them in other words, and walk away from your "old life" and your emotional baggage, you will never be able to experience freedom.
But once you do, they say, you will feel the hand of the creator.

One also has to look at the selective repetition of the last refrain, and compare Jimmy's comparisons and connections in regards to the theme.

Every time I sing it, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

Breandán


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Callie
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 08:47 PM

One local singer thought the song was about The Troubles, but I've always taken it as a religious/contemplative song m'self. I like to sing "and she like a goat beside me" - always raises a chuckle.

Callie


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 11:49 PM

I don't know, I think the song is self-explanatory!
Funny I was at a Mary Black gig in Oslo a few years back just before the untimely death of her drummer, and my friend, Dave Early, and she said that she didn't know what the song was about. Perhaps she was joking, but I felt not a little disgusted.

B.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: emily rain
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 03:29 AM

well, brendy, let us in on it! can you paraphrase for us?


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: _gargoyle
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:29 PM

Using a plebian slang term like "GEEK" these lyrics probably are not based on a literary, mythical, or historical allusions.

However, last night, reading Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain (translatted by H.T. Lowe-Porter) Oriiginallyt issued as Der Zauberberg copyright 1924 by S. Fisher Verlag, Berlin, copyright 1952 by Thomas Mann, copyright 1981 The Franklin Library 1981, p. 511.

"As for the lodge, however, I am thinking of the cult of the sepulchre, to whom I referred you before. In both cases it has to do with a symbolism of the ultimate, with elements of orgiastic primitive religion, with wild sacrificial rites by night, to the honour of dying transforming, death, metamorphosis, resurrection. You will recall that the mysteries of Isis, the the Eleusinian mysteries too, were served by night, and in caverns. In Freemasonry there are present a host of Egyptian survivals, and there were, among the secret societies, some that called themselves Eleusinian. There were lodges that held feasts of Eleusinian mysteries and aphrodistic rites which finally did introduce the female element: feasts of roses, to which reference is made in the three blue-roses on the Masonic apron, and which often passed over into the bacchantic." (emphasis added)


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: _gargoyle
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:33 PM

Re-reading the poem in regard to the above Egyptian and Freemasonry references.... I believe the start of your answers are there.....now where is my "Bullfinch's?"


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: emily rain
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 01:57 PM

huh. fancy that?

i, also, think "geek" is out of place. when i listen to the song that word always hits me like a ton of bricks, and not just because of the way mary black sings it. but then, poets are only human. : )


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Brendy
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 03:26 AM

Yeah, well in or out of place; Eleusinian mysteries notwithstanding,

GEEK

is the word.
And the Geek in question is striving, at the beginning of the song to turn his life around (Alchemist stone - geddit?).
Why what did you think?, that jimmy and his girlfriend went swimming one morning and he was too afraid to get his hair wet?
The song is littered with symbolism:
For all of you who must discover
For all who seek to understand.
Come on lads and lassies, put the sensitivity hat on here, and 'ponder' the song
To paraphrase it would be lessening the worth of the song,
Obviously the writer was, or was putting himself in the situation where he was, looking back on his life with some measure of regret, but at the same time seeing what road he should keep to, (symbolic) to stay on the straight and narrow.
The first verse is reminiscient of a line in "The Whole of the Moon" by the Waterboys:
"I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon"
What is the Bright Blue Rose?
That which is seemengily unattainable, but at the same time not beyond the realms of possibility
Everything clear.....Good!
ll go and get my head shrunk now (ha ha) The jessins of Blasus on yis.
(intentional roonerspisim) B.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Callie
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 07:37 PM

Thanks Brendy - but y'can't deny the Jesus reference (2000 years and still it goes to ponder his death and his life eternally). I think that line rather spoils what is otherwise a poetic and murky song. Also, it narrows it from being a universal kind of awareness song to a song about following the path of Jesus. Callie


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Brendy
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 02:07 PM

No, true enough, Callie.
The 'God' thing gets me a bit too, but maybe Jimmy has had a religious experience or something. I don't know.
It doesn't really matter though to me, this obvious reference to Jesus.
The way I look at songs when I sing them is that I 'believe' in the song while I'm singing it. It's as if the words described exactly how I feel as regards to the particular subject matter.
I have many criticisms of other's songs, particularly my own, as regards to poetic licence, rhyme structures etc., but, as the perfect song has never been written, I'll settle for 98% with BBR.
The spiritual awakenening described in the song affects me very deeply, for having been part of the infernal rat-race for so long, I also left the path of others and found other 'motivators' taking over. Ireland is a country where Catholicism has soaked into all facets, including the psyche. So a song to feature such references wouldn't attract my attention too much, because I was brought up to believe in the 2000 years 'thing'.
It is the weakest part of the song in my opinion, but I'll accept it as a very important part of the song - because Jimmy thought it was important enough to include it.
And he, after all, wrote it.

Breandán.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Callie
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 06:55 PM

Fair enough Brendy, and well said! Down with the rat-race! I've just untangled myself from an all-consuming job, and feel all hopeful about things in general. But as for perfect songs, I've been on the lookout for the definitive song for some time - and you're right. The perfect song is hard to find!! Callie


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: BRIGHT BLUE ROSE (Jimmy MacCarthy)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 08:47 AM

CHORDS added.

~S~

============================================



BRIGHT BLUE ROSE

D                                     G   
I skimmed across black water, without once submerging
D       A                A7
Onto the banks of an urban morning
       D               G                        
That hungers the first light, much much more
    D         A7   D
Than mountains ever do.

               D                                           G
And she like a ghost beside me goes down with the ease of a dolphin
D                       A                        A7
And emerges unlearned, unscathed , unharmed.
    D                                     G
For she is the perfect creature, natural in every feature
             D             A          D
And I am the geek with the alchemists stone.

Em             A          D          Em      A       D
For all of you who must discover , for all who seek to understand
Em         A                   D         C      G            A
For having left the path of others, you find a very special hand

            D                      G
And it is a holy thing, and it is a precious time
    D         A
And it is the only way
   D                               G
Forget-me-nots among the snow, it's always been and so it goes
      D       A               D
To ponder his death and his life eternally

Em             A          D          Em      A       D
For all of you who must discover , for all who seek to understand
Em         A                   D         C      G            A
For having left the path of others, you find a very special hand

            D                      G
And it is a holy thing, and it is a precious time
    D         A
And it is the only way
   D                               G
Forget-me-nots among the snow, it's always been and so it goes
   D            A               D
To ponder his death and his life eternally

D                        
One bright blue rose outlives all those
G
Two thousand years and still it goes
      D       A7               D
To ponder his death and his life eternally


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Don Mills
Date: 28 Nov 05 - 05:15 AM

Picking up on an old, old thread ... Let's approach the core meaning of the song with a series of questions.

Who was "the first light Eden saw play" (to pick a half-line from another song), and for whom the modern urban wilderness might be hungering much more than do the mountains? Who (according to the written tradition) is the Only Way to God, a man whose life and death are still pondered 2,000 years later? Who (traditionally) provides a helping hand to those who follow his path? Who is it whose mother is "the perfect creature", dressed always in blue, for whom the forget-me-not is named "Eyes of Mary", and whose Healing Heart is called "the Blue Rose"?

The answers to these questions help define two of the three personalities engaged in this Catholic Mystery song: Jesus and his ever-virgin Mother. The third is the singer himself, Jimmy McCarthy, "the geek with the alchemist's stone", and here I have to speculate. I suggest that he skims over the surface of the Mysteries (symbolised by the Blackwater River), but is unable to immerse himself in them -- unlike She who is showing him the way and has, herself, already emerged "unscathed, unharmed".

A geek is a simpleton (look it up); having the alchemist's stone, the "Philosopher's Stone", the key to immortality, he either doesn't know how to use it, or lacks the courage "to leave the paths of others". It requires a healing change of one's inner heart (the traditional Catholic meaning of the bright blue rose) that he has not been able to achieve. But he knows that this "holy thing", this "precious time", is "the only Way", and, I suppose, longs to enter on it.

All mysteries resolved? Heaven forbid ...


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 28 Nov 05 - 10:28 AM

As far as I'm concerned that song means "time to go for a pee".

Round here (Edinburgh/Lothians) it seems to be the song of choice among bellowing overweight alcoholics who haven't been able to get within a semitone of the right pitch for 20 years. I guess it's short enough to memorize however many brain cells you've lost and nobody's going to notice if you lose a word or two.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Guest Pat Keogh
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 07:03 PM

I heard Jimmy McCarthy been interviewed on RTE radio and when asked about the bases of the song he said that he wrote the song after a particular bout of serious illness where he needed hospitalization I'm sure he said he wrote the song over a very short time something like 1/2 hour on the back of a scrap of paper I feel Brendy has given a very good analysis of the song. Surely Jimmy is one of Ireland greatest ever poets his lyrics are just enthralling and not a bad singer either.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,nickr90
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM

In his excellent book 'Ride On' McCarthy explains many of his songs.
This was written after an illnes brought on by being 'run down' as in worn out rather than driven over. He was in hospital for a 'procedure' and discharged by taxi within hours. He was 'strung out' and had a disagreement with his father and left for Kenmare where on Good Friday he had a session with a healer. Over a few days this healing worked and with his friend Chris Meehan he sang a number of songs. On Easter Sunday he woke and wrote this song - the chorus came to him spontaniously. His verdict was "There is a God, thanks be to God". In essence the song appears to have arrived in his head fully formed on that Easter weekend when he recovered his health.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,weemosinc
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 06:59 PM

I think the song is purely religious and is about the mire of our minds and t he purity and forgivness of the Blessed Virgin and Christ...Its about not knowing and afraid to trust but HAVING to let go of ones deamons.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Joseph Furches
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM

I believe that the song refers to a religious experience as already mentioned, but it is also an admonition to others to search out what they beleive.

"I skimmed across black water, without once submerging
Onto the banks of an urban morning"

This perhaps coming from the first person perspective of Jesus Christ or of Peter who both walked on water, or again a religious experience of the poets own view.

"That hungers the first light, much much more than the mountains ever do."

The hunger perhaps being the desire of humans to figure everything out including God, and attempting to "rationalize" thier religion

"And she like a ghost beside me, goes down with the case of a dolphin
And emerges unlearned, unshamed, unharmed
For she is perfect creature, natural in every feature"

The she here could be refering to the mountains mentioned previously or to something else, that does not desire to search out her religion and merely accepts it by faith.

"And I am the greek(geek?) with the alchemists' stone."

This again refering to the one who seeks everything out as a geek would, or a suppose a greek would depending on the era.

"For all of you who must discover,
For all who seek to understand,"

The poet is now speaking to those that want to discover God, those that are looking for God.

"For having left the path of others
You'll find a very special hand."

You will find him, by departing from those that blindly follow their faith, and searching out what you belive, you will find "a very special hand" perhaps a reference to the hand of God.

"And it is a holy thing, and it is a precious time
And it is the only way"

Holy thing and precious time are self explanatory in the light of the hand of God. And perhaps a religious reference here to Jesus being the Way?

"Forget-me-nots among the snow, it's always been and so it goes"

This part I have no idea about???

"To ponder his death and his life eternally"

Pondering Jesus' death, and his eternal life (post resurrection)

"One bright blue rose outlives all those
two thousand years, and still it goes
to ponder his death and his life eternally"

The bright blue rose, perhaps refering to Christianity, or to Jesus Christ, irregardless it has existed for 2000 years, and again a reference to pondering Jesus.


Thats my interpretation. Do with it what you will


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,cobra
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 08:47 AM

Joseph,

Many thanks for your interpretation. I have just been listening to the Maura O'Connell version (with Dolly Parton!) from this week's Mike Harding R2 show, available online for another few days. The song has always made the hairs on my necj stand. But that is true of much of Jimmy McCarthy's writing. I consider him unfailingly spiritual in his writing and he always seems to me willing to expose his vulnerabilities.

I agree with your assessment - if not, necessarily in detail then certainly in broad terms. Thank you for your thoughtful input.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,diarmuid
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 03:16 PM

This song is uniting an Irish Geek and an American Goddess on the banks of the river Lee in trying to understand its meaning. Methinks that it is so simple and yet so deep that its meaning is like a treasure hidden in full view if only we had the intelligence to see it. I am still awaiting her verdict but I am sure it will be way more profound as she is as luminous as the Philosophers Stone.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Tom Murphy
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 02:02 AM

The song is about change. From once being blind, deaf, and dumb and then understanding the purpose of life. It seems as if the "geek" line is kept in the song on purpose to communicate an awkwardness, and yet a transition in the life of the author. It seems like Jimmy wanted to communicate a definite change in the song after the following line:

"And I am the geek with the alchemists stone."

The rest of the song is obviously about Christ.

The "forget-me-nots in the snow" might be snow angels...

In summary, it's a song of a life of one who once was deaf and blind and then was able to see very clearly the role of man "to ponder his (Christ's) death and his life eternally".


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Peace
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 12:48 AM

It is certainly a wonderful piece of writing. I wonder if "Dream of the Rood" played any part in the inspiration for the song? It almost seems to be modern allusions and wording that harkens to some Anglo Saxon ancestors.

The Beowulf-like descriptiveness and resulting foreboding in the first stanza--well, I don't know but would guess the writer of this song's words is very well-read. I wish I knew more about Jimmy McCarthy.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Peace
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 12:58 AM

As an aside, Wiki has his name spelled MacCarthy--a spelling I've never encountered before. From most other sites it's McCarthy.

Mary Black's homepage has the lyrics to a large number of songs by some seriously good songwriters. And 12 of those songs are Jimmy McCarthy's. Got some interesting reading coming up.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: quokka
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 01:06 AM

There are a few threads mentioning him, Peace...maybe someone in Ireland could give us more info?

Cheers,

Quokka


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Peace
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 02:18 AM

That would be great.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 09:53 AM

It is about the journey to salvation and does speak of Christ and redemption.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,oldsymo
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 02:16 PM

re BRIGHT BLUE ROSE

Can anyone help with a finger picking pattern.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 03:55 AM

Try a claw hammer style, it can be made to fit quite easily


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,srogers
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 10:36 PM

I like all you people.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,wthdik
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 05:25 AM

Very interesting reading.

I always thought this song was about death and the human fear of death.

I thought 'she' was a reference to death which is 'a perfect creature, natural in every feature and the only way'.

Whereas the 'geek with the alchemist stone' was humanity's struggle to accept the enivitability and deeper spiritual purpose of death.

I thought that 'for having left the path of others you find a very special hand' was referring to spiritual life after death (god's hand, whatever god may be).

Anyway that was just what I thought but now i'm thinking I have misinterpreted the song - or may it's just open to many interpretations. Regardless, I love this song!


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Beer
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 07:59 AM

Mary Black does a superb job but my favorite version is done by Tommy Flemming.
Beer (adrien)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee9UleYSd0g


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,dianeol7
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 08:29 PM

Just heard this song performed by Maura O'Connell & friends- truly a treasure- beautifully written & sung. I believe the title is a reference to the Virgin Mary. In Catholicism she is associated with the color blue. She is often depicted in Middle Ages and Renaissance art in blue dress. The rose is a symbol of the feminine. The allusions to the story & message of Jesus Christ are obvious, as are the ideas of transformation & self-discovery. My guess is there's a lot of autobiographical stuff in there as well. I love how the song evokes both the past & present & stirs deep emotion- at least it does for me. Many thanks to the composer - beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Scott Keyboards
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM

Reading through this thread has helped my understanding of this beautiful song a little. So much symbolism indeed and clearly referring at least in part to Christ (Don't tell me the '2,000 years and pondering his death eternally' are accidental or incidental?). I seem to remember that Jesus himself has been called the bright blue rose among the snow (Most precious of all flowers? Snow = purity?) although I cannot quite yet recall precisely why. Like many splendid poems interpretation is in the eyes and ears of the beholder.

I picked up this song from a CD made by Karl Byrne who plays at the Tolbooth pub at Glasgow Cross. Never heard it before but it's now being added to my band's repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM

Well that's one more Glasgow pub to avoid then (not that I ever went into it whan I was living there, it always seemed to be packed full of football supporters).

Mercifully that piece of pretentious crap seems to have died a death in Edinburgh, I haven't heard it for years.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Alan H
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 06:41 PM

I have listened to this song dozens of times and am intrigued as to the events that inspired the writer.

I think the song could be about the baptism of a child, going 'down with the ease of a dolphin', 'emerging unlearned, unshamed, unharmed' and being 'a perfect creature'.

The bright blue rose seems mostly likely to be Mary, who like us 'ponders his (Jesus'?) death and his life eternally'.

Your thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Andrez
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 03:47 AM

It would be great to have a few more links to clips of great versions of this song by different artists. Would anyone be able to post links to a few more clips please?

I really liked the Tommy Flemming clip posted above and of course I always loved Mary Blacks version which was the first I'd ever heard.

So if there are some more great versions online out there it would be great if they could be shared around a little further.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 11:37 AM

Does anyone have a midifile of this song. If you come across this email me johnmcg51@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,vic
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 03:15 PM

and she like a ghost beside me goes down with the ease of a dolphin .....

is this not wisdom ?


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,JN
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 04:54 PM

I think the first verse is about not insomnia... if you take the black water as being a metaphor for being asleep, the poet "skims across" it "without submerging" until morning "onto the banks of an urban morning".

Maybe the next line is about how urban life is much more stressfull than country life - urban life "hungers the morning much much more than the mountains ever do"...

His wife/girlfriend who lies beside him does not have this insomnia problem however and is able to submerge into the black water (sleep) "with the ease of a dolphin" and emerge in the morning rested, "unlearned, unshamed, unharmed"

Not as clear on the rest of it but the first verse seems to fit pretty well i think...


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,wellaway
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 03:57 PM

I think it refers to his own restless life his mothers natural creativeness, his own ability to turn nothing into gold and his father who was a very spititual person.
Try to get clip of the Late Late Show on RTE around Christmass 2010. Jimmy explains his reasoning behind the poem.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Andrez
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 06:24 AM

Would someone be able to put up a link to such a clip at all? Please, pretty please?

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 04:18 PM

Like all great poetry it is written so that it may be interpreted in many ways. Obviously Black water is at one level the river Blackwater near where Jimmy is from... but I also imagine its life... perhaps swimming there as a child with childhood sweetheart, her a natural free spirit.. swimming through life with the grace of a dolphin. unlearned in philosophy/religion, un(a)shamed (Sex/ Catholic guilt.. not awkward and self-conscious not geek like... contrasting with Jimmy the geek.. who's ability to turn base words and notes into priceless art contrasts with his fear of entering the water/life... while he ponders his own death and his own life .. because he seeks to understand life and death, fearful of both... she has just beautiful natural lightness of being.

OK the final verse is a Religious reference clearly but I take it as ... Jimmy isn't alone in pondering life and death... and that for those that strike the right chord, what we do echos in eternity (as will Jesus's teaching and Jimmy's art) .. most of us are doomed to be forget-me-nots lost in the snow (born to blush unseen, wasting our sweetness on the desert air) but others become the Blue Rose.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,just someone
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 02:44 AM

Is it just me??? I always thought "she like a ghost beside me goes down with the ease of a dolphin and emerges unlearned, unscathed, unharmed" was about ..err, oral sex. Isn't it obvious?


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: NP1
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 05:21 AM

No it isn't - and you have a word wrong in that line - it's awakens and not emerges -

'I skimmed across black water
without once submerging
On to the banks of an urban morning
that hungers first light much, much more
than the mountains ever do

and she like a ghost beside me
goes down with the ease of a dolphin
and awakens unlearned, unshamed, unharmed
for she is a perfect creature,
natural in every feature
and I am the geek with the alchemist's stone'

Jimmy mentions writing the song after experiencing a 'hands healing' from a woman in Dingle during a time when he was unwell.

He explains all his songs in his book - Ride On - in song and story' TownHouse, ISBN 1-86059-169-8, pp220


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: breezy
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 11:51 AM

Dear NPI



    'Awakens' sounds O K but    'emerges ' is in lyrics I searched
and

Mary Black sings 'emerges'

So does Christie Moore,

So maybe it is 'emerges' ?


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 06:38 PM

Just happened to look up the song for someone Stateside just now and found this exchange. This may provide some factual explaination as to the background to the song.

In the seventies in Cork, 'Cafe Locra' in the Western Road was operated by Bill Daly and his partner Bernie. It where everyone who was anyone in the arts in Cork sometimes started and almost always finished the night.

The upstairs back room could hold about twenty people at a squeeze and it was here after gigs that Jimmy McCarthy, Jimmy Crowley, Seamus Creagh (RIP) etc came to wind down, chat and occasionally sing new songs etc.

On some nights there I had a Celtic antology edited by Grace Rhys and published in 1927. ( It was among the last projects funded by the IRB covert fund for the Celtic Revival ) She commented on p 34 of the introduction on what a person said to her when she confirmed that she was editing the collection of Celtic poetry and how pleasurable she found the task.

" That do not suprise me: for I have alway's believed the Celt has found the alkahest that reconcilles nature, religion, and art"

GR : " The alkahest ? And what is that?"

" The alkahest" said he " is the great solvent. The thing that the old alchemists were after"

GR then goes on to say ' it does seem that these Celtic poems reflect a different athomesphere from that we commonly breath to-day. In them the unstable realities of life. all it's changing essences of yesterday and to-day, have been dissolved in a sensitive medium and recreated for our better inspiration '

Jimmy loved that collection and many of the poems in it are mystical. As to the actual meaning of the song, the introduction began by saying that it was Melager the Greek poet who made the first anthology, the word approxmately at that period meant 'a collection of flowers''

Jimmy is a deeply spiritual person and the song as a whole, as many of his songs are, is the product of an experience. I will leave that to Jimmy himself to delinate if he feels like it but this is where Jimmy got concept of the ' alkahest ' and I can recall both Jimmy re-reading the introduction and discussing it with him on several different occasions.

dospoet@gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Wolf
Date: 27 Apr 12 - 08:03 PM

My guess:
Go deep inside yourself
find out who you really are

Instead of analyzing, use the
gifts you've been given

Don't conform.
Come from a deeper place
seek your own path
and providnece will assist you
and gift you to the mystery.

2000 years ago Jesus challenged the status quo of the day.
Not by conforming. But by love. And that aint easy. But that's
what will connect you to the infinite.

Despite the religious symbols, I don'tknow that this song is "religious".

I think it's about awakening to something spiritual, and once you encounter
it, you have to follow it no matter how difficult it is.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 28 Apr 12 - 07:35 PM

I've long since given up trying to interpret any of Jimmy MacCarthy's songs (that's how it's spelt on his CDs, of which I have 2). They just create beautiful images for me. The best possible words in the best possible order.

My favourite version is Christy Moore's. In his book he says that he rarely includes it on a set list but will play it if requested. I emailed a request to him and he played it just for me at a concert in Liverpool a couple of years ago now.

It's really special.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Coyote deluxe
Date: 04 May 13 - 08:09 PM

Jimmy who wrote it said in an interview I saw that he didn't know what it was about


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Bruce Heavenor
Date: 06 Oct 15 - 11:56 PM

Bright Blue Rose has been historically used in medieval times to symbolize Mother Mary. Blue has been used to point to the mystical elements of Mother Mary. Perhaps black water is a symbol of the ocean of worldly concerns that separates us from the divine and bright blue rose is a symbol of his reliance and mystical refuge Mother Mary. With those symbols in mind, the words provide an interesting spiritual exploration.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Oct 15 - 04:51 PM

Bright Blue Rose has been historically used in medieval times to symbolize Mother Mary.

Like where?

Got a link to any mediaeval picture that portrays one, with or without the BVM being involved?


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: BigDaddy
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 08:43 AM

"The theoretical roots outlining the (Philosoper) stone's creation can be traced to Greek philosophy." - Wikipedia. I just can't believe "Geek."


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Coxxy
Date: 05 Feb 16 - 10:13 PM

Many deep meanings some understood and some a mystery like the purpose of life
Don't know much but I understand enough to love it
Had the song for our wedding 18 years ago ( I'm 72) and will have it for my funeral


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,Zeph
Date: 06 Feb 16 - 10:31 AM

I read somewhere, but unfortunately can't remember where, that he wrote this just after the birth of his child, which is a pretty mind-blowing and spiritual sort of time anyway. It kind of made sense to me then.

I'm only repeating what I read, I don't even know if he had any children, and I don't want to undermine any of the thoughtful and interesting interpretations above.

It's not an easy song to introduce: the thing that appeals to me personally about it is the lovely and powerful imagery of it. One doesn't want to appear to be preaching religion at an audience, whatever one's personal beliefs. Just share the wonderful visions that such poetic words can conjure up, whatever the origin


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,ho
Date: 04 Mar 16 - 04:06 PM

really wonderful song


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,A Nashville Writer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:16 AM

A song is basically useless if people can't understand it first time around. Think about 'The Dance' .... 'The Gambler' .... 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' ....etc ....etc.
Apart from meaningless lyrics, the song is - from a musical standpoint - awkward to sing and badly constructed.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:35 AM

"from a musical standpoint - awkward to sing and badly constructed"

I think this says more about your ability to perform than it does about the sing. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have this song in their repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:58 AM

A song is basically useless if people can't understand it first time around.

If you can persuade your audience you are a sage living on a superior plane of wisdom you can string together any old incoherent garbage and they'll lap it up with reverential awe. Hence the success of this one.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 09:57 AM

There are people who want things handed to them on a silver platter, and then, there are those who enjoy figuring things out. There are also people who enjoy lyrics that inspire, and allow, their own interpretation.
That's all.


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: GUEST,What a lot of hoopla over nothing
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 12:58 PM

How can any of you people talk about the 'meaning' of this song when none of the artists who have recorded it know what it means ..... nor does the writer himself know what it means. Thank God for 'Whiter Shade Of Pale'!


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Subject: RE: Help: Bright Blue Rose
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 05:23 PM

Agreed! Dare I suggest that a lot of people like it just because it has a lovely tune! Certainly that's what drew me to it in the first place, when I heard Mary Black's version of it.
The same could be said of the "Ellis island" song which is currently featuring again in the list of threads - of course it has a meaning, but again, a fantastic tune which pulls you in!


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