Posts Tagged ‘Ronnie Drew’

Walking up by the newly refurbished Workmens Club, next to that lovely hotel Bono owns, a friend notices an unusual truck pass by.

“Have a look at that!? Is that…..”

It is. It’s Ronnie Drew.

For once, Come Here To Me had a camera at the right time. Wouldn’t get that on Pimp My Ride.

*My thanks to Pól for tweeking the snap a bit, as it was quite dark. His photo-blog can be seen over here, and features more than a few gems.*

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D'ya Remember Jem? Will I Ever Forget (side b)

I’d very much like to welcome the Skytec vinyl player to the Fallon household. She’s a gem. You take a 7″ vinyl, give her a spin, and via Audacity – there it is. An MP3 file. Put the song in your pocket, put it on Youtube, do what you will- you have it now. Brilliant.

So this morning, the younger lad finds Santa left this thing. A few hours later, and I’ve already hijacked it.

The ‘Official Millenium Single‘, on 7″ vinyl, has been sitting in my room for some time now. My Dad built up a great collection of 7″ traditional vinyls, ranging from the likes of Planxty and Jim Page to one off oddities like ‘The Magnificent Seven’, a rushed out propaganda type tune about the seven prisioners who escaped from the Maidstone in Belfast. All these records offer interesting historical insight. What better place to start however, seeing as this is a “Dublin blog”, than with the Millenium Single of the capital, issued in 1988 by K-Tel.

The Official Millennium Anthem- Performed By The ‘Band Of Dubs’

The Record

Performers list:
Paddy Moloney (Chieftains)
Maire Ní Bhráionáin (Clannad)
Leslie Dowdall (In Tua Nua)
Maura O’ Connell
Mary Black
Finbar Furey
Johnny Logan
Jim McCann
Christy Moore
Paul Brady
Colm Wilkinson
Ronnie Drew
Shay Healy
Tony Kelly
The Dubliners
The Fureys/Davey Arthur

While Side A, a performence of ‘Molly Malone’ does nothing for me, Side B is absolutely fantastic. A spoken word performance from the late Ronnie Drew. Witty as ever, I recommend you give it a listen. It’s amazing this 7″ hasn’t found its way online before now.

And the day we went to the Phoenix Park
To look at the deer and sit in the grass.
And you held my hand and asked for a kiss
But I wouldn’t give in, cause I knew it was a mortal sin.
And then you said you loved me and promised a ring.
Do you remember Jem? Do I remember, will I ever forget?

SIDE A: Band Of Dubs- Molly Malone

SIDE B: Ronnie Drew- Jem

Of course, with a large enough collection of vinyl, the dad couldn’t originally be entirely sure of the backstory on this one. The back of the 7″ however notes that “All royalties from this single go to ALONE” ALONE is a “voluntary action group” that was founded by Dublin firefighter Willie Bermingham. By this logic, I presume it was through the job that this vinyl arrived in the household originally.

In the Dublin Fire Brigade museum you can find a great piece Willie wrote about himself hanging on the wall, which I’ve always considered one of the best examples of Dublin wit I’ve laid eyes on:

Joined the Dublin Fire Brigade in 1964 and spent a long time pushing for the pension. Favourite food, good old irish stew and lots of fish. For breakfast – several mugs of tea at work. Also loves to eat lots of red tape to teach the bureaucrats a little manners.

Classic. So anyway, give this 7″ a play. Side B in particular.

Lastly, if you have a copy of the complete album ‘Official Dublin Millenium Album: Dublin Songs’ issued by K-Tel (cat no. Dub1000) on vinyl, get in touch!

Now run off to Tower Records to nab yourself a Skytech 😉 Expect plenty more posts like this in the coming months.

ALONE still exists today and can be found online HERE

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Christmas, apparently.

Firstly, I haven’t a CLUE what Cidona has to do with Christmas. Must be a Ballyfermot thing. My mam and dad both insist Cidona reminds them of Christmas, and you “knew it was Christmas” when the horrible, child-cider like piss appeared in the house. I’ve never had much time for the stuff, and the tradition has come to an end in the household thankfully. For me, Christmas begins with a certain email from Ticketmaster.ie

Normally around August, you’ll find it there.


You can set your clock to it. Its as certain as Christmas itself rolling around at this stage.  It never lets down. I’m not one for ‘Fairytale’ I must confess (and this year, with the gig a good 10 days earlier than normal this is twice as true) but you’re guaranteed a good  long-set that takes you through the entire career, with everyone doing a bit of time on the vocal duty.

I’m always reminded of an encounter a friend had with Ronnie Drew at The Point a number of years back.  Drew was just off stage after belting through ‘The Irish Rover’, and out the front of The Point.

“Here, Ronnie- gis an autograph”

Bad start really.

“It’s Mister Drew to you son”

Fair enough.

“Mister Drew, gis an autograph”

“I will for a fiver”

With that, he signs the fiver and hands it straight back.

“Son, never pay anyone for an autograph, and if you do- value it properly”

I always think of that great story around Christmas, and I’m sure I’ll tell it to somebody in Brogans tonight.

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