Saturday, November 12, 2005

Roisin Dubh

Thirteen years ago a fourteen year old boy onboard a green double decker bus, making his way home from a Guns‘n Roses show, lost his liquor. As the jake-braking bus had its way with the contents of his stomach, the other Dubliners onboard, all too casually familiar with rolling bus puke, lifted their feet to allow for the flow. The bus stopped outside St. Mar ’s, the Catholic school that had lost its “y” while a 75-year-old man stumbled out of a pub, fell down to his hands and knees, and began to grope the filthy sidewalk for his eyeglasses. The bus moved on without the old man. Dublin can be coarser than 40-grit sandpaper but it’s a grit that makes the tender, livid, bruised spots all the more delightfully painful. As I was going over, one voice pierced the acrid air. The G’nR fans on board required little more prodding. The bus erupted into a chorus of national heroes Thin Lizzy’s version of "Whiskey in the Jar." Even the puker piped in.

Phil Lynott is one of Dublin’s tender, bruised spots. He was an impossible combination: black and Irish. At the same time. Before his metal solidified Lynott wrote the song "Buffalo Gal" (on the early, rarely appreciated record, Shades of a Blue Orphanage — named with a nod to Lynott’s earlier band Orphanage). The song supercedes even Springsteen’s nostalgia for the lost world of adolescence. They’re closing down the old dancehall. Making love from memory, as Lynott would later say. But something stranger happens here. Buffalo Gal / You’ve had your fun / You’re button’s undone / and the time’s right for slaughter. In a dirty world, this song, with its strange chanted sections and odd rhythms, actually hurts me.


Mr. Poncho said...

Hey Ms. Lefty,
I meant to discuss this at the Willie show, but I've got an art-rock musical version of "War of the Worlds" that includes your boy P. Lynott (it also has Sir Richard Burton narrating). It's all very "Heavy Metal, the Movie" meets Star Wars and Andrew Lloyd Weber. Not a meeting you want to be at, but one for the history books. The ones that cover bad music.

Anonymous said...

Phil Lynott = Tuff! I wonder if there is a Phil/Prince connection? There must be something -- maybe the mustache is a good place to start looking.

Can we expect something from the Seals & Croft catalog soon?



P.S., Noticed the "one . . . he" construction in my previous post. Sorry about that. I had just eaten an entire pack of free Tic Tacs and was apparently suffering from some kind of toxicity.

Mrs. Lefty said...

That is some bad music I certainly would like to hear.