Song: Grandfather’s Immigrant Eyes

Imagine leaving your home, your country, often having never seen a building taller than a few stories, now going to America – to New York, Chicago or Boston, only for want of a job, any job, and some food.  Just wanting a chance to make your own way.  Many, many of my friends have lived this song, with their grandfathers.  To a lesser degree, I did with my own dad, who emigrated in 1951.  The isle of tears referred to is Ellis Island. 

 

This is an old classic.  Most notably sung by Alec DeGabriele of New Barleycorn.


My Grandfather’s Immigrant Eyes
by Guy Clark

Oh, Ellis Island was swarming
Like a scene from a costume ball,
Decked out in the colors of Europe,
And on fire with the hope of it all.
There my father’s own father stood huddled
With the tired and hungry and scared,
Turn of the century pilgrims,
Bound by the dream that they shared.

They were standing in lines just like cattle,
Poked and sorted and shoved.
Some were one desk away from sweet freedom.
Some were torn from someone they loved,
Through this sprawling tower of Babel
Came a young man confused and alone,

Determined and bound for America,
And carryin’ everything that he owned.

Sometimes, when I look in my grandfather’s immigrant eyes,
I see that day reflected and I can’t hold my feelings inside.
I see starting with nothing and working hard all of his life,
Don’t take it for granted, your grandfather’s immigrant eyes.

Now he rocks and he stares out the window,
But his eyes are still just as clear,
As the day he sailed through the harbour
And come ashore on the island of tears.
My grandfather’s days are numbered,
But I won’t let his memory die,
For he gave me the gift of this country,
And the look in his immigrant eyes.

Sometimes, when I look in my grandfather’s immigrant eyes,
I see that day reflected and I can’t hold my feelings inside.
I see starting with nothing and working hard all of his life,
Don’t take it for granted, your grandfather’s immigrant eyes.

New Book Signings Coming Up – Hope you can make one…

Festival Legends: Songs & Stories Book Signings (to date):  Please check www.songsandstories.net for up to date signings and appearances.

Saturday, May 27th 2:00 – 4:00
Borders Express, Summit Mall
(3265 W. Market Street, Akron)

Saturday, June 10th 1:00 – 3:00
B. Dalton Booksellers
(Great Lakes Mall)

Monday, June 12th,
East Side Irish-American Club
(22770 Lakeshore Blvd.  Euclid)
after the 8:00 General Meeting

Thursday, June 15th 11:30 – 1:30
Crooked River Books
(In the Galleria – 1301 East 9th).

Saturday, June 24th 1:00 – 3:00
Borders
(9565 Mentor Avenue, Mentor)

Saturday, July 1st 1:30 – 3:30
Northrup Bookstore – Olmsted Falls
(8080 Columbia Road in the Grand
Pacific Junction Shopping area)

Fri –  Sun June 30 – July 2 (Eastlake)
Euclid Summerfest

Friday – Sunday, July 21 – 23
Clevelands Irish Cultural Festival
(Berea Fairgrounds)

Friday – Sunday, August 4 – 6
Dublin Irish Fest (Dublin, OH.)

Friday – Sunday, August 18 – 20
Milwaukee Irish Fest

Friday – Sunday, September 9 – 11
Pittsburgh Irish Fest

I hope you can make one of these, It helps greatly for the book store owners/managers to see the response.  More will be added soon.

Thanks you for your time and continued fantastic support.

Sincerely,

John

A funny

When God Made Ireland

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven God went missing for seven days.

Eventually, Michael the Archangel found him. He enquired of God “Where were you?”

God breathed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds. Look son, look what I’m after making.”

Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said “What is it?”

God replied “It’s another planet, but I’m after putting Life on it. I’ve named it Earth and  there’s going to be a balance between everything on it. For example, there’s North America and South America. North America is going to be rich and South America will be poor, and the narrow bit joining them will be a hot spot.
Now look over here I’ve put a continent of whites in the North and another one of blacks in the South.”

Then the Archangel said “What’s that green dot there?”

“Ahhh, that’s the Emerald Isle,” God said, “that’s a very special place. That’s going to be the most glorious spot on Earth, beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, streams and exquisite coastline. These people here are going to be great craic (Irish word for fun) and they’re going to be found traveling the world. They’ll be playwrights and poets, singers and songwriters. And I’m going to give them this black liquid, which they’re going to go mad on, and for which people will come from the far corners of the Earth to drink.”

Michael the Archangel gasped in wonder and admiration, then seemingly startled, he said, “Hold on a second, what about BALANCE, you said there was going to be balance..?”

God replied wisely, “Wait until you see the wankers I’m putting next door to them!”

Wearing Red Fridays

Subject: FW: Red Friday

I, for one, plan on following the plan set down in this message….

Red Friday
Just keeping you “in the loop” so you’ll know what’s going on in case this takes off.

RED FRIDAYS —– Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the “silent majority”. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing.

We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions.

Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that..

Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red

By word of mouth, press, TV — let’s make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once “silent” majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked “What can we do to make things better for you?” is…We need your support and your prayers.

Let’s get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear some thing red every Friday.

IF YOU AGREE — THEN SEND THIS ON

IF YOU COULD CARE LESS THEN HIT THE DELETE BUTTON — IT IS YOUR CHOICE. WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.

THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED—- SO WEAR RED! — MAY GOD HELP AMERICA TO BECOME ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, AGAIN!

HAVE A GREAT DAY

Song: City of Chicago

This song was written by  Barry Moore, who took the stage name Luka Bloom (Luka after the song Luka by Suzanne Vega and Bloom, from James Joyce’s Ulysses), to make his own path, outside of his famous brother, Chrisy Moore, who, ironically, had a much bigger hit with his own recording of Luka’s song.
It talks of the Irish emmigration and search for a new home, before, during and after Black 47 or An Gorta Mor, the Great Hunger, in which between 2 and 9 million people (depends on who you talk to), died or emigrated from Ireland.

City of Chicago
by Luka Bloom/Barry Moore

To the City of Chicago,
As the evening shadows fall,
There are people dreaming,
Of the hills of Donegal.

Eighteen forty seven,
Was the year it all began,
Deadly Pains of hunger,
Drove a million from the land,
They journeyed not for glory,
Their motive wasn’t greed,
Just a voyage of survival,
Accross the stormy sea.

To the City of Chicago,
As the evening shadows fall,
There are people dreaming,
Of the hills of Donegal.

Some of them knew fortune,
And some them knew fame,
More of them knew hardship,
And died upon the plain,
They spread throughout the nation,
Rode the railroad cars,
Brought their songs and music,
To ease their lonely hearts.

To the City of Chicago,
As the evening shadows fall,
There are people dreaming,
Of the hills of Donegal.

Grab My Hand

Grab My Hand

Joe is walking down the street and falls into a hole.  He jumps, he yells, he tries to climb out, all to no avail.

Then a doctor comes along.  He hears Joe’s cries.  He leans over, writes a prescription, tosses it down into the hole and walks on.

A priest comes along, he hears the cries.  He offers a prayer and a blessing and moves on.

Finally, a friend of Joe’s comes along.  “Hey Jim, can you help me out?  I’ve fallen in this hole and I can’t get out.”
Jim jumps in the hole.
“Jim, what they heck are you doing?  Now we’re both trapped.” the man says.

Nah, I’ve fallen down into a hole before,” Jim says, “and I know the way out.”

***
My thoughts on this:
No matter where you have been, where you are, how bad things get, there is always someone who has been there.  You are not alone.  I am there too.  Grab my hand, for I have been in the hole and I know the way out.  You are not alone.  Grab my hand.

A funny, funny, funny

TOO flippin funny!!!!!

“I never quite figured out why the sexual urge of men and women differ so much. And I never have figured out the whole Venus and Mars thing. I have never figured out why men think with their head and women with their heart.

FOR EXAMPLE: One evening last week, my girlfriend and I were getting into bed.

Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says “I don’t feel like it, I just want you to hold me.”

I said “WHAT??!! What was that?!”

So she says the words that every boyfriend on the planet dreads to hear… “You’re just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man.” She responded to my puzzled look by saying, “Can’t you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?”

Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, I went to sleep.

The very next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big unnamed department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn’t decide which one to take so I told her we’d just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so I said lets get a pair for each outfit. We went onto the jewelry department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. Let me tell you…she was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave short of a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn’t even know how to play tennis. I think I threw her for a loop when I said, “That’s fine, honey.” She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement. Smiling with excited anticipation she finally said, “I think this is all
dear, let’s go to the cashier.”

I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, “No honey, I don’t feel like it.”

Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled WHAT?”

I then said “honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You’re just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman.” And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me, I added, “Why can’t you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?”

Apparently I’m not having sex tonight either….but at least that bitch knows I’m smarter than her.

Life’s Real truths

1.. My wife and I divorced over religious differences.
She thought she was God and I didn’t.

2.. I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
3.. I Work Hard Because Millions On Welfare Depend on Me!
4.. Some people are alive only because it’s illegal to kill them.
5.. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
6.. Don’t take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.
7.. You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
8.. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
9.. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.
10.. I’m not a complete idiot — Some parts are missing.
11.. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
12. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.
13. God must love stupid people; He made so many.
14.. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
15.. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.
16.. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
17.. Being “over the hill” is much better than being under it!
18.. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.
19.. Procrastinate Now!
20.. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?
21.. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
22.. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
23.. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!
24..They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.
25..He who dies with the most toys is dead nonetheless.
26..A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.
27..Ham and eggs. A day’s work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.
28.. The trouble with life is there’s no background music.
29..
I smile because I don’t know what the hell is going on.

and my all time favorite…..

30.. The original point and click interface was a Smith and Wesson.

First Book Signing

What a NIGHT!

So tonight was my first book signing (y’know I can’t type signing without misspelling it as singing, is that Freudian?).  No idea what to expect.  It went really well.  Sold quite a few books and had a ball talking to people.

A “funny” thing happened though.  When I first got there, I pulled up in front, unloaded by poster, easel, giveaways, extra books etc..  So I park the car and go meet the administrator, to see where they want me to set up.  I go back to my stuff and the poster is gone.  This is a very nice 24 x 36 inch foam board of my book cover – gorgeous and very expensive.  I was pissed!  4 people searched all over for it, no luck. after about a 1/2 an hout, this guy gets up to do a presentation.  He has a drawing kind of thing, stuck to a foam board.  Hmm….

SURE ENOUGH HE HAD TAKEN MY BOARD to use the back.  Never asked me, one of the administrators, nothing.  Didn’t even have the class to apologise after.  Oye I was pissed.  Glad to get it back, definitely, but damn, how could you just take it like that?  I would have gladly let him use it, but if he had asked, I am quite sure the administrator would have found him something.  Damn, I guess I am still pissed.

Well anyway, the night was good and the signing was good and I am off to a great start in selling Festival Legends: Songs & Stories. 

Song: Hand Me Down Me Bible

Hand Me Down Me Bible

This song was written by legendary pianist, composer, producer, singer . and so much more, Phil Coulter.  I first heard it sung by a man who is often called the best ballad singer to ever walk the earth, Luke Kelly.  Luke did a very funny intro, saying the first part of the song was sung by any man, a sinner like we all are.  Then the second was sung by Dr. Ian Paisley, the leader of the screw Ireland at any cost party.  Doctor Ian is also a Reverend, but peace between brothers, literally next door neighbors, evidently isnt in his religious doctrines.  For more years than I have been alive, Dr. Ian has fomented death and destruction on any and all Catholics. 

We are all brothers, it is past time to let it go.  800 years of hurt, subjugation and hate – it is past time to let it go.  We can do so much more together than we can apart.  Think of that in the confessional. How this hate can be explained, before God, I just cannot fathom, let alone by a religious leader. Let it go.

It is a rebellious, ballsy, boisterous tune – that you just have to sing along and tap your foot to.  It is called Hand Me Down Me Bible, or as Luke called it, Hand Me Down Me Catechism

Hand Me Down Me Bible
by Phil Coulter 

Oh Oh Glorio,
Now I’m the Lord’s disciple
Oh Oh Glorio,
Now Hand me down My Bible

I like my liquor and my livin’ hard,
May the lord save my soul.
My salvation was a turn of the card
My hearts as black as coal.

But everybody’s got the right to go wrong
Everybody’s got to sing my song
Everybody’s got the right to go wrong
Sing my song, Sing my song.

Oh Oh Glorio,
Now I’m the Lord’s disciple
Oh Oh Glorio,
Now Hand me down my Bible.

Oh Oh Glorio,
Now I’m the Lords disciple
Oh Oh Glorio,
Now Hand me down my Bible.

I don’t give a damn for any man,
As all the world can see,
Time has come to make a stand
Well, to shine your light on me.

Come on people, let your life begin,
Come on now let the sun shine in,
Come on people let your life begin
Let it in, let it in.

Oh Oh Glorio,
Now I’m the Lords disciple
Oh Oh Glorio,
Now Hand me down my Bible.