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November 2020 It Starts With a Song

It Starts With A Song
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Hello everyone,
Well this is the big election month (God help us). I don’t get too involved with politics, so Happy Thanksgiving! The turkey’s are safe from me this year, I’m now a full Vegan. If it’s got a Momma, I don’t gobble it (no pun intended).

Thank you to the Irish American Heritage Center, for having Declan and I do a virtual online show. I hope we get to do another one, we really enjoyed it. Even though it’s an online show, to us it’s like a live show. There’s a certain amount of nerves and adrenaline going through the body. And that’s what we miss so much these days. You can practice your music all day and night in the house, but, until you play in front of an audience, it’s just not the same. And, you realize that playing live is where you really learn. So, thank you Meg Buchanan and Mike Shevlin, and anyone else who is involved in the live Friday night shows from the Heritage Center.

On the first day of November (All Saints Day) one hundred years ago this month, Kevin Barry was hanged on the grounds of Mount Joy Jail, Dublin. I read about a jailer who spoke up after the execution of Kevin. He was regretful about being there. He recalled how Kevin Barry was taken to the gallows the day before his execution, where he was offered passage to America, so he could finish his studies. He had already won a merit based scholarship by Dublin Corporation to become a student of medicine. The British offered him a lifetime pension and college in the US, if he would inform on his comrades. Kevin was tortured so brutally, his arm was broken from being pushed so far up his back. The jailer recalled Kevin listening to all the offers that were made to him, and then said while looking at the hangman’s noose “I think it will hold my weight, now take me back to my cell”. Kevin was hung the following day. Kevin Barry R.I.P.  Just days before this Tomas (Terence) MacSwiney R.I.P. the Lord Mayor of Cork died on hunger strike.

I was chatting on the phone with my friend, fellow musician, Stephen Smyth, a few weeks back. He said “how are things in America”. Stephen lives in Portaferry, Co Down, and we’ve been doing some songwriting together lately. I had just watched the weather channel and I said “according to the forecast, there’s a cold spell coming in from Colorado”. Stephen said “and I heard California is burning”. So, all of a sudden, as songwriters will do, and that’s never let the words get away, in case you would lose them.

So, we wrote a song called ‘Where’s A Man Supposed To Go’. It’s a song about the times we’re living in right now, with a little humor thrown into the mix. So, we’ll make it the song for this month. Happy Thanksgiving!

Be good to one another, Joe

‘Where’s A Man Supposed To Go’

Written by Joe McShane and Stephen Smyth

Verse 1
There’s a cold spell coming in from Colorado
While California burns in the summer sun
There’s a friend of mine real sick just down the block
His life on hold with each ticking of the clock
The Mississippi’s banks are overflowing
In Chicago there’s a cold wind a blowing
A hurricane is coming through the Gulf of Mexico
Where in the hell’s a man supposed to go
Chorus    
Where’s a man supposed to go
It looks to me nobody seems to know
20-20 vision came a little too late, and a-way to slow
Tell me where’s a man supposed to go
Verse 2
They laid me off my job, last Monday
I cancelled my vacation yesterday
So I’m sittin’ on my front porch just a rockin’ in my chair
I’m out of beer, does anybody care
This new normal ain’t normal to me
Can’t believe what I’m seeing on tv
Will I ever get to see another live country show
Tell me where’s a man supposed to go
Bridge
I can’t go to my local dancehall
Milwaukee might run out of alcohol
In church we’d stand together we’d sing and we’d pray
Hoping to see a brighter day
Chorus
Where’s a man supposed to go
It looks to me nobody seems to know
20-20 vision came a little too late, and a-way to slow
Tell me where’s a man supposed to go
(tag) Where’s in the hell’s a man supposed to go

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