Thursday, March 17, 2011

Black 47, "Funky Céilí"

Black 47, featuring my old Bells of Hell friend Larry Kirwan, with some great soprano sax by Geoffrey Blythe (formerly of Dexys Midnight Runners) and Uilleann pipes by Chris Byrne. The clip stops rather abruptly, but you get almost all of the song.

Larry is a prolific writer as well as a musician. I once saw one of his plays (the title now escapes me), which was based on the idea, "What if the Beatles never made it big?" Set in Liverpool in the late 1970s, the story was built on a reunion of the group, which broke up after Paul McCartney unwisely insisted that "Till There Was You" should be their second song promoted for the charts. At the time of the play's action, racist demagogue Enoch Powell has become Prime Minister and Britain is wracked by violence. John Lennon is still in Liverpool with Cynthia, living in public housing, unemployed, and on one occasion getting crazy drunk and running naked through the streets shouting, "All you need is love!" Ringo Starr soldiers on, playing drums for local pub bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers. George Harrison is a priest. The big splash is Paul, returning from the U.S., where he's become a pop star, bragging of having written the theme song for Spiro Agnew's successful presidential campaign.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.