Tuesday, April 06, 2010

You Saw The Whole Of The School Concert


The Waterboys | MySpace Music Videos

I was hoping to
find a decent video for The Stolen Child for some reason, ah to show you all, and I stumbled upon Mike Scott's Waterboys website and saw this video there. It looks like it is done for a bunch of schoolchildren and their parents. Great stuff.


Which started me on this... A piece of fiction.


Of course I knew the above song from the radio, but I had never bought the album or listened to any more of their stuff, I don't know why. So much I don't know, things I remember only vaguely. There was a time when my wife and I had been separated for a while and she was living with some nurse friends in Verner St and was just about to head to England to live. There was this farewell party and I was invited, which was OK by me as some of the other nurses were pretty cute, but of course I didn't expect anything, being her husband still and a good ten years older (as was she), but I think that I am joking about that because I didn't shag around. One of her "friends" (I think she was in love with me) confided in me that *she* had done so, but I am pretty sure I never completely believed her. In this house, in Verner St, some time or other, I heard "Fisherman's Blues" playing. I didn't know it was "Fisherman's Blues" at the time of course. It was their latest, at that time. Was it that time? Or another? It was some story similar to this anyway. I was at this nurse's place, where she lived. She was there, I was there. Party? I don't know now. What is this music, I said to break the tension. It was awkward. I really did like the songs. I was in another Irish/Celtic phase at that time - re-reading Shame's Voice, Lemual Bucket, Yates' Visionals, listeneing to The Pagues, yet more Vin Mornington (once her fave), that other band that Enronya used to sing for occasionally, ah Gonnad - (we saw them live once, with my wife sitting on my right and another girl who was in love with me on my left. Now that was awkward. It was a case, strangely enough, of "We Will Not Be Lovers" with the girl who was in, etc... I told you I didn't shag around. Particularly with girls who were in love with me. Still don't. My problem is, was I mean, that my wife didn't love me.) She tossed me the sleeve, or was I already looking on the dark wood shelf for it, and I felt clumsy trying to catch it, not because I can't catch 12 inch slivers of cardboard, but because I felt this unwelcome vibe, this what the fuck are doing here vibe, this you don't belong vibe, and it had me off balance. Where could I step, where could I go, where could I sit? I sat on a cloth couch with a dark blanket over it, and some cushions. I was holding a cushion, tossing it and fluffing it up nervously, that's why I was clumsy, why I couldn't take a clean catch. Did this vibe come from her or from her other housemates, or both - no, that's right, she had invited me. Still, I was an intruder into their female domain. A wary fox in their happy hippy hen-house. Perhaps for some it was their first time living out of home, or of the nurse's quarters. There were happy to be free of men. She told me the music was "The Waterboys" and it didn't ring a bell, until she said you know, from a few years ago, "The Whole Of The Moon". We were sitting on the couch, no, like I said, I was sitting, she was moving around packing her stuff into boxes, lighting candles, I have no recollection, or rather I have too many, of what she doing. I said, yes. Of course, la la, Brigadoon. Brilliant. I myself felt trapped in that time-cursed rain-dirty valley. I asked a question. She wasn't going to come home, she didn't think, she said carefully, like I was an idiot. She was going to England next day (that night?). I mean to Australia, when? Ah. Maybe never, she said looking down to me, until I get to be myself, you know? Yes. Yes, I knew, that was the hardest part. To know. I saw the flashes. Things were looking up for her. I wasn't myself. Ah, that's right, eventually one night, yes, there was a party, her farewell. I recall a party, and I remember the consequences. We all got drunker than we intended, maybe all that port and dope came up behind us and pushed. Was there dope - I don't smoke? I don't fuck girls who love me, I don't smoke dope, what sort of a dick was I, am I? Was there even port? Or just chardonnay and champagne. After the party died, upstairs, we fell in a too small bed (or was that in France? Was this a big bed with lacy white pillows?) and we made love one last time. It will always be the last time now. Next morning she said she wished that *that* hadn't happened. It was in a time capsule, one day in a hundred years, I ought to know 'cause I was there. Secretly I thought she had hated me for months, years, before this time, well she seemed to have been repulsed by me. Maybe it was guilt, on either of our parts, that made it happen. Ridiculous. Maybe she let me make love with her out of pity, out of sympathy, or sorrow, one for the road old chum. Maybe she did like me still, just a bit. Or didn't hate me a lot. It's not like I'd done anything. Or like I had not done something I should have, which is different. Isn't it? Maybe she just wanted to make love, and I was the only guy who had stayed back, and I was a known quantity. Zero. Or maybe she was a bit drunk too. The song that grabbed me most that day, that night, that next morning, was "The Stolen Child." (Was her car broken down again, had I come to jump start it?) I listened to it. She went away. I listened to it. I drew pictures, pasted the lyrics into the pictures. Over and over, I listened to it. That other girl who was in love with me, not the friend, the other, a small not quite perfect girl, something of a changeling, she wept, sweet Jesus she wept. Then she went away also, solemn eyed, with no peace in her breast. There was no peace for any of us, only unquiet dreams.


BTW, there ARE no decent videos for The Stolen Child.

Lyrics by W.B. Yeats (1889), music by Mike Scott and The Waterboys (funnily enough, 1988).



Joanne Casey said...


Paula said...

You've got me crying!

That poem by Yeats and the song by Waterboys is beautiful.

Your writing this time is real and portrays your soul - very moving..

From your right hand column:-

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
Cyril Connolly

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