Jim Curley's Blog (12)

Getting to be My Favorite Christmastime Song

The Boys of Barr na Sraide

Oh the town, it climbs the mountain and looks upon the sea

At sleeping time or waking, 'tis there I'd long to be

To walk again that kindly street, the place where life began

And the Boys of Barr na Sráide went hunting for the wren

With cudgels stout they roamed about to hunt the dreólín

We searched…


Added by Jim Curley on December 19, 2014 at 9:00am — 6 Comments

'Machine Made': A Second Look at Tammany Hall

In "Machine Made: Tammany Hall and The Creation of Modern American Politics," author Terry Golway doesn’t sugar-coat the negative aspects of a New York institution that flourished for about 100 years. What he does is swing the pendulum back from a crazy imbalance caused by…


Added by Jim Curley on July 3, 2014 at 3:30pm — 8 Comments

'One Great Irish Spot': Syracuse's Tipp Hill - Where Green Goes on Top

After the Erie Canal was finished, many Irish people settled west of Syracuse on a hill overlooking the canal. This area became known as Tipperary Hill. When the city first installed traffic signal lights in 1925, they placed one at a major intersection in the main business…


Added by Jim Curley on March 13, 2014 at 10:00am — 19 Comments

Great Irish Romances: Oisín and Niamh

I don’t know what to make of this story, a great adventure of pre-Christian Ireland. There are many variants to this tale, but here are the basics: Oisín (oh-SHEEN) is one of…


Added by Jim Curley on January 29, 2014 at 9:00am — 11 Comments

1916 and Beyond

I just picked up the CD of Mise Eire / Saoirse? and wonder if any WGers saw it when it first came out in 1960 or have seen the CD more recently. What do you think?

I bought it mainly to hear the background music by Sean O'Riada, said to be the father of the traditional music revival of the 20th century, and am only…


Added by Jim Curley on December 12, 2013 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

'The Big Crowd' - When New York Was Irish

One of the joys of my early childhood was going with my family to the beaches of New York City, particularly Rockaway and Jacob Riis. Getting there was at least half the fun. We’d go over the George Washington Bridge, then…


Added by Jim Curley on November 14, 2013 at 4:00pm — 6 Comments

The Great Hunger Museum: A Destination, Not a Detour

In September, after one of my occasional trips to Boston, I decided to take a detour to investigate The Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. Friends had told me about the collection hosted at the library on the Hamden Connecticut campus, until last September, when it moved into its own building, located about a mile from the main campus.

The two-story,…


Added by Jim Curley on September 28, 2013 at 1:00pm — 6 Comments

Your Experiences with Croagh Patrick

Tomorrow is the last Sunday in July, and the day that pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick in County Mayo.  Has anyone in our group done the climb?  Has anyone done it barefoot?

What was the experience like? Did you consider it a real pilgrimage or simply a mountain to climb?…


Added by Jim Curley on July 27, 2013 at 5:00pm — 16 Comments

Meeting Dev

In 1970, I met with several other friends and teachers in Dublin. One of them had political connections, so we got an audience with the President of Ireland, then Eamon de Valera, at the presidental mansion in Phoenix Park. Some of the visit I remember as comic: we arrived at the gate, all six of us, in a car not much bigger than a VW Beetle.I'm sure the guards were used to limos and grand cars coming up to the gate and thought "who are these jokers sitting…


Added by Jim Curley on July 25, 2013 at 5:57pm — 9 Comments

tribute to Felix Dolan

Next Saturday, July 20, at the Andy McGann Festival during the Catskills Irish Arts Week, there will be a tribute to the renowned piano and keyboard player Felix Dolan who died this April. Dolan was one of the seminal performers of traditional Irish music in the New York City area, going back to the 1950s, and played for more than 50 years. He was also a really good guy.

Here's the info (only on part of a day-long festival).:

Friends of Felix Dolan: 3:15-4:15…


Added by Jim Curley on July 13, 2013 at 12:06pm — No Comments

'Transatlantic' - A Voyage Worth Taking

I recently finished reading "Transatlantic," by Colm McCann. Several years ago, a friend gave me McCann's previous novel, "Let the Great World Spin." I hated it; didn't like the times, didn't like the setting or the subject (mid-1970s drug-infested New York City).

I Loved "Translatlantic." It is story of a family (specifically a grandmother, mother and…


Added by Jim Curley on June 24, 2013 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Tragedy Visits Mayo Village on the Titanic, 101 Years Ago

One hundred and one years ago today, 14 people from Addergoole Parish, County Mayo, left for America from Queenstown (today known as Cobh) on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Only three would survive.

These emigrants are still remembered by relatives each April with an early morning ceremony in Lahardane, County…


Added by Jim Curley on April 11, 2013 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

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