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Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett

Den 10 Mar 07 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,Portia 12 Mar 07 - 07:59 PM
Den 13 Mar 07 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Ballyholme 13 Mar 07 - 03:03 PM
Den 14 Mar 07 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Mar 07 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Mar 07 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,Portia 15 Mar 07 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Philippa 12 Dec 07 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Philippa 17 Dec 07 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Philippa 11 Nov 09 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Philippa 18 Nov 09 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Felicity McCall 13 Dec 10 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Boydie. 22 Sep 11 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Philippa 01 Nov 11 - 01:31 PM
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Subject: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: Den
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 01:27 AM

I'm actually late reporting this. Sam died on Thursday. He was from Drumahoe and had become one of Northern Ireland's most widely admired playwrights, he died of cancer Thursday morning.

He had been working on a production based on the Battle of Messines in conjunction with friend Glen Barr, founder of the International School for Peace Studies in Belgium.

He also helped write the globally successful song John Condon - based on the youngest soldier killed in the First World War - with his partner, all-Ireland champion fiddler Tracey McRory, and Richard Laird. Here are the words to te song John Condon.

Just a day another day
Beneath the Belgian Sun
Past grave on grave
Row upon row
Until I see the name John Condon
Carved in stone
With harp and crown
Little crosses in the ground
And standing there
My silent prayer
Is for a boy who died a soldier

Wee lad who'll not grow old
Heroes that don't come home
Here they lie in Belgian fields
And Picardee

Just a recruit
In soldier's boots
From Ireland's shores to here
This living hell
This Poelcapelle
Where young men fell like you John Condon
And all around the harp and crown
The crosses in the ground
Stand up in proof
The bitter truth
The waste of youth that lies forgotten

Wee lad who'll not grow old
Heroes who won't come home
Here they lie in Belgian fields
And Picardee

Now tell me John
Fore I go on
What did you come here for
With Ireland's bold
Your life untold
Fourteen years old
To die a soldier

And all around the harp and crown
The crosses in the ground

What cause was served
So undeserved
Heros that don't come home
Sing out for all their souls
Here they lie in Belgian fields and Picardee


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Portia
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 07:59 PM

I have been trying for a couple of days now to find out some more about the song John Condon and it was only when I googled on google.ie that I discovered your posting. I heard this song last Thurs. on the radio and I think it would have been the day of the writer's death. A beautiful song and beautifully sung. Could you tell me please who is the singer and how would I find more information on Sam Starrett?


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: Den
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:17 AM

Portia, the singer is Mary Dylan. I'm not sure how you would get information on Sam but I believe there is a site where you can purchase the CD with the song on it. I'll take a look and get back to you here.


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 03:03 PM

That's Mary Dillon - sister of Cara and formerly a member of Deanta.


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: Den
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 05:40 PM

You know Ballyholme. I woke up last night thinking about this and realized I had spelt Mary's name wrong. My post above had been written in haste. Here is a link to some more info about the song. There may be info about Sam on this site. I haven't checked it fully.


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 08:21 AM

sorry to hear this, and very surprised that the first I heard was via Mudcat! Sam wrote a fine play about a soldier executed for "cowardice" in WW1
if my memory is correct he wrote children's books as well as plays


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 08:32 AM

obituary in Belfast Telegraph


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Portia
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 05:22 PM

Den, thanks for this link.
Phillipa thanks also as I intend to check out any children's books which Sam Starrett may have published.


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Subject: Obit: Sam Starrett memorial CD
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 07:19 AM

I'm sure I read in Mudcat forum about Sam Starrett's death, but I haven't been able to locate the old thread. Here is the latest news from the Derry Journal

CD tribute to Sam Starrett

'Goodnight Kiss', a collection of songs written by the late Sam Starrett, will be launched by his friends and family at The Junction, Bishop Street,[Derry, N Ireland] this Thursday [13 Dec 2007].

'Goodnight Kiss' is a labour of love in remembrance of Sam Starrett - playwright, composer, and musician - who died earlier this year. Compiled by his partner Tracey McRory and his good friend and fellow musician Richard Laird, along with many other musicians, singers and writers who had the joy and pleasure of Sam's friendship, this collection is both a tribute to Sam's memory and a reflection of the light which he brought into so many lives.

The seven songs on the CD include two which have never been released before. Also featured is the beautiful and well known 'John Condon'.

'Goodnight Kiss', the title track of the CD sang by Eilidh Patterson, was inspired by one of Sam's great passions in life, the plight of the ordinary soldierfrom Ireland in World War One. It's a song about the famous Christmas Truce in 1914 when both German and British soldiers climbed out of their trenches and met each other in no-mans land. During this short truce, the Goodnight Kiss - the last sniper shot of the day, was not heard.

'Dancing on the water' is a happy song performed by a group of people all of whom had the privilege of working with Sam.

The launch starts at 1pm and is open to the public. The producers would also like to invite all of Sam's friends, acquaintances and admirers along to the event.

'Goodnight Kiss' will retail at £7.99 and all proceeds will go to WHSCT Altnagelvin Cancer Care. CD's will be available at the launch and afterwards in the following places; Holywell Trust, Spar at Drumahoe, YMCA, The Junction. If you can help to promote and sell any CD's please contact Tracey @ Holywell Trust 028 71 261941.


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 17 Dec 07 - 09:56 AM

thanks to whichever mudcat elf connected my latest news with the earlier thread!


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 01:11 PM

There will be a tribute to Sam Starrett at the Playhouse, Artillery St., Derry N Ireland next week, 18 Nov.

looking for some on line info I found a note that playwright Felicity McCall was working on "Flowers of the Forest, facilitated and adapted from the WW1 project by the late Sam Starrett" to be presented at Waterside Theatre, 2009. Well, she has just had a WWI play presented at Waterside Theatre, "We Were Brothers" (about Irish Catholics and Protestants who fought side by side and esp. about Willy Redmond, Nationalist MP, brother of better known John Redmond).Tonight this play is on at the Playhouse. don't know whether it owes much to Sam Starrett?

I also found the following obituary (probably the same one with clickable link above)
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northwest-edition/daily/tributes-pour-in-for-writer-sam-starrett-13421431.html

Tributes pour in for writer Sam Starrett
By Brendan McDaid
Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Tributes today poured in for Londonderry playwright, songwriter and " talented gentleman" Sam Starrett following his death from cancer.

Mr Starrett (57), from Drumahoe, who had become one of Northern Ireland's most widely admired playwrights, died of cancer yesterday morning.

He had been working on a production based on the Battle of Messines in conjunction with friend Glen Barr, founder of the International School for Peace Studies in Belgium.

He also helped write the globally successful song John Condon - based on the youngest soldier killed in the First World War - with his partner, all-Ireland champion fiddler Tracey McRory, and Richard Laird.

Together with Tracey, Sam had performed at the annual war commemoration ceremony in Belgium at the invitation of the Ypres town council.

The couple also wrote a song for the young victims of the 1996 Dunblane school massacre which they played at the children's gravesides.

Last year, Mr Starrett was commissioned by The Playhouse Theatre in Derry to write The Worthless Soldier, based on the experiences of Derry teenager Bernard McGeehan, who was charged with desertion and shot by his own side.

Following a successful run locally, attended by members of Mr McGeehan's family, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs commissioned the play to be performed in Dublin.

At the time the Irish government had joined the Shot At Dawn campaign to put pressure on the British Government to pardon 300 Irishmen killed for alleged desertion or cowardice during the First World War.

Niall McCaughan, general manager at the Playhouse, today led tributes to the Derry man: "We were shocked when we heard he was very ill and very saddened to hear this terrible news.

"He was one of the few people who were commissioned to write plays here that then went on tour, and throughout his work with us at The Playhouse he was always a gentleman."

Speaking from Sam's home in St Johnston, Co Donegal, his friend, local community activist Diane Greer said: "We had been friends for a very long time. Sam gave me my first and only starring role in the critically acclaimed play Home For Christmas.

"He was my friend and I am going to miss him desperately."

Ms Greer said Mr Starrett was one of the few playwrights whose work often focused on the Protestant heritage he came from, and reconciliation.

"He even tried to depoliticise the poppy and used history to show the common ground," she said.

Glen Barr added: "Sam was highly thought of. He was a very talented man, a friend and he will be sadly missed."

Mr Starrett's funeral will leave his late home in Altaskin, St Johnston in Co Donegal, tomorrow at 1.15pm for a service at Glendermott Parish Church followed by burial at Altnagelvin cemetery.

The family have asked for donations in lieu of flowers to be passed on to the Foyle Hospice, 61 Culmore Road.
--------------------------------------------------
Reminder, Sam died in 2007. A memorial programme will be presented at Derry Playhouse 18 Nov 2009.


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Subject: Tonight: Sam Starrett memorial
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 02:30 PM

Where Did The Days Go? (A celebration of the work of the late Sam Starrett) 18th November 2009@ 8pm, Playhouse Theatre

"Sam Starrett passed away on the 5th March 2007. Sam was a musician, songwriter, playwright, community activist, historian and, above all, a warm, gentle and humorous man. In his memory, contemporary singer/songwriters and actors will gather to celebrate his rich legacy of songs and stories. Featured artists will include, Eilidh Patterson, Mary Dillon, Richard Laird, Roy Arbuckle, Paddy Nash, Eamon Friel, Dave Duggan, Jim Lecky and Sam's partner, Tracey McRory. Together with Sam's family and friends they have put together a wide ranging programme capturing the essence of the man: his community, his humour, his beliefs and his love.

"All proceeds of the concert will be donated to Ward 10 Altnagelvin Hospital.

2Tickets are available from the Playhouse Theatre priced £12.50
For bookings call the Playhouse: 028 71 268027" (late now!, I think you can get tickets at the door)


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Felicity McCall
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 07:25 AM

In reply to Phillipa- for a number of reasons,my WW1, Heritage Lottery/CRC sponsored project developed to become a completely new piece of historically accurate theatre, 'We Were Brothers,' based on the events of Messines, which has toured in both an adult and a schools' version.


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Boydie.
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 05:35 PM

Sam Starrett was a very proud Drumahoe man and for years was involved in anything good happening in the Drumahoe area. It was only in the latter years of his life that Sam was widely recognised for the talents that he had.
Sam had written many ballads, poetry and songs about the everyday events and people of his beloved Drumahoe. Indeed some of these songs can still be heard sung at venues in the village.
Sam along with his friend Billy Hyndman formed Drumahoe Football Club in 1979 and the club is still in existance,with a few of Sam's friends still at the helm.


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter/playwright Sam Starrett
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 01 Nov 11 - 01:31 PM

I'd be interested if you would post some of the Drumahoe lyrics, Boydie. And you'd be welcome to sing one or two this Thursday night, 4 Nov if you come to the monthly singing circle upstairs at Tinneys Bar in Derry city.
----
http://www.derryjournal.com/lifestyle/entertainment/songwriters_honoured_for_wwi_ballad_1_3202920

Published on Tuesday 1 November 2011 11:07

A song penned by three north west musicians that recalls the human tragedy of the First World War has been named folk song of the year by BBC Radio Devon.

Written by the late Sam Starrett, Richard Laird and Tracey McRory, 'John Condon', recounts the tale of a 14 year-old Waterford boy who was the youngest known soldier to die in the First World War.

The emotive ballad was named BBC Radio Devon's folk programme's song of the year, beating the likes of Richard Thompson and Paul Brady to the number one spot.

Now a local audience will have the chance to hear the song - and others inspired by World War One - at a concert to be held in the Playhouse on November 13.

The concert has been organised by Tracey McRory and Richard Laird and they are delighted that Richard Digance - host of the folk programme on Radio Devon - will be joining them for a special performance, his first ever on the island of Ireland.

Richard Laird says local music lovers can expect some exceptional performances.

"There will also be a host of other wonderful performers taking part - Sean Donnelly, Janet Dowd, the talented Eddie O' Donnell and Marie Clarke. And there will be a very special performance of our song 'Boys of the Island' by Thornhill College Choir."

Following a visit to the Battlefields of Flanders in 2002 the songwriters felt inspired by the tragic beauty that preserves the memories and secrets of a lost generation of young men to write an album 'Boys of the Island', which includes the song John Condon sung by Mary Dillon,

Since 'John Condon's' release, the song has been recorded by a number of other artists: Niamh Parsons; Jerry Lynch; Flossie Malavialle and most recently, beautiful and emotive Co. Armagh singer Janet Dowd. It was Janet Dowd's version that was named Number One by Radio Devon.

The Playhouse concert gets underway at 8pm on November 13. To book or for more information visit www.derryplayhouse.co.uk or telephone 71 268027.


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