sbc Posted: 22-Aug-10 20:05
Sorry it has taken me SO long to post this second article. Be sure to check out the other article and poem I posted several months back:
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this article for a poem by Tommy Makem.
From: “Popular Folk Music Today – Fall 1991”
The Tom Clancy Memorial Concert
By: Kerry Loudon
On the first anniversary of his death, Tom Clancy’s family, friends and colleagues gathered in New York City to honor him and to celebrate his life, thanks to the tireless efforts of Jim McKague and Mary Makem. It was undeniably a labor of love for a man who touched many, many lives.
A memorial mass was held on November 7, 1991 at the magnificent St. Patricks’ Cathedral – the splendid surroundings just dramatic enough to do justice to the occasion. Joan Clancy, Tom’s lovely widow, began with a reading which captivated the congregation. The service was conducted by (with some irony) an Italian priest, and was structured on the premise that life is too precious to waste, and that we must strive to live each and every day as if it were out first, out last, or our only. Anything less is to diminish its value. Tom’s vitality was indeed captured during the ceremony as the priest imparted to us how Tom had lived his life in that very manner – he never let anything become stale and saw the very best in every situation. Communion was offered and the mass was poignantly concluded by Joe Bossom, a lone piper, playing Amazing Grace as he slowly marched down the center aisle of the cathedral. It was a lovely, moving tribute.
A reception followed immediately at Tommy Makem’s Irish Pavilion, where people mingled, told stories of the impact that Tom had on their lives, and learned new stories. One particularly funny incident was related to me by Lou Gordon. Paddy Clancy was Lou’s best man at his wedding 36 years ago. Paddy’s wife (who was 8-1/2 months pregnant at the time) was to be Matron of Honor, but her condition and a snow storm prevented her from attending the wedding. Lou’s wife-to-be had no family in the area, and Tommy, ever helpful, told the judge that he, Tom, was Maid Of Honor. It was something I could picture Tom doing! Many other friends shared stories, and Joan gave a very warm speech, thanking all the participants and guests. She said that Tom was resting on a hillside overlooking Dungarvan Bay, a simple hand carved wooden cross marking his grave. It sounds very peaceful.
I was also very touched to meet Tom Clancy – Tom Clancy’s son. He and his family (wife Jan, son Christopher) were open and friendly, and although Tom spent precious little time with his father I believe the similarities between the two men run very deep. Hopefully this meeting was just the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. Tom, we’d all like to hear more stories like the one about your father being shot down 3 times in the same evening!
Other friends were there as well: Rick Shaw, Billy Geelan, Oscar Brand, Sylvia Tyson, Paul Quigley, Mike O’Brien (Tommy’s nephew, and Robbie O’Connell’s cousin), Tom Paxton, Judy Collins – the list goes on and on, into the hundreds!
Directly following the reception and a harrowing cab ride through Central Park, the evening’s festivities began at Symphony Space. Performers gathered to pay their own tribute to Tom, whose spirit was surely with us. The audience was treated to appearances by numerous entertainers, who sang, or recited poetry, or simply told stories. All delightful. The event was hosted by Kathleen Biggins & Malachy McCourt, who kept things rolling smoothly, aided in no small part by very capable stage hands. We saw:
The Clancy Tradition
Cherish The Ladies
The Shaw Brothers
Moloney, O’Connell, Egan, & Keane
The Makem (misspelled Maken in the article) Brothers & Brian Sullivan
Malachy McCourt w/Michael O’Brien
Capping off the concert, The Clancy Brothers & Robbie O’Connell then took the stage to a most enthusiastic crowd. We clapped, we sang, we cheered – we remembered. Tom is gone, but his spirit lives on with all of us.
All the participant’s joined the Clancy’s on stage for their final two numbers, and the audience was on their feet as well. There was an outpouring of emotion that one needed to experience to fully understand.
It was indeed, a fitting memorial.
Down all the bright years, Tom
When life was shouted
And the echoing thunder
Rolled from land to land
Reverberating from sea and sky
All that ringing vitality
Was warmly nourished
By a poetic soul
That wept and laughed and sung
And knew no boundaries
Tonight, my own soul
Flies to join the dancing spirits
Who weep and laugh and sing,
And, once again,
Thunder to the world.
tony Posted: 23-Aug-10 08:50
neat sean -thanks-t
Jane Eberhardt Posted: 23-Aug-10
Thanks for sharing this with us. I wish I had known about Tom’s memorial, because I certainly would have gone.
Tom was the most outgoing of the lads. He was always smiling. Every time I think of him or hear him perform, I smile, too. I’m not surprised that many of those who attended the gathering spoke of his kindnesses. He came to my rescue with a place to live when I only had a Siamese cat, a few duds, a Tiffany lamp and hardly a bean to my name. His neighbor was away, and I was able to stay there until I could find affordable digs.
Shoey Posted: 24-Aug-10 16:23
Wouldn't it be great to have something like that to honor Liam, too. He out lasted so many friends, who is young and energetic enough to do that? I would love to see it happen but I have no idea how one would go about it. We, his imediate family, aren't public type people or good organizers but we would be happy for it to happen. A thought.
tony Posted: 24-Aug-10 18:33
yes it would my friend ---the folk era transcripts came about years ago for folk era records selling catalouge , and were very hip to the folk scene of the 50's and 60's , and the kingston trio revival which later years introduced the impossible to find clancy album hearty and hellish an boys wont leave the girls alone on cd -plus aa multitude of irish or celtic groups on cd and us folk especially rare stuff that hadnt been recorded commercially ....the news paper catalouge was a graet side lite with writers in the know an the cat came out quartely for about 8or 9 years and absorbd by a company calld rediscover who just (recently)had a small article on the clancys(the paper was discontinued after the consalidation to redisco yrs ago.. ...if i was(were) to type or was computer inept or whats the word- savvy- id print it up ,(it would take me all day actually if i tried ) the clancy tribute ..you may catch it on the rediscover. com site ?...they were very sincere and well tuned in at folk erain those days .it was before the computer age like now( liam clancy site ) ...so ya had to be lucky to find it back the in the 80 an 90 s ---i had all the papers ..gave most away to sean an others now im happy about it coz he printed 'em about here which would of been impossible for me(and of course the world gets to read 'em if they choose.. ..thanks to sean and im very well hope luck goes his way more than once ...yes hopefully someone will compile liams -shoey ---your computer friend in clancy music tony
[Edited by tony on 24-Aug-10 18:48]
sbc Posted: 24-Aug-10 19:40
I never like to reveal which board members donate stuff to me, but since Tony opened the door...
A special thanks to Tony for giving those old papers to me many months ago. It took me so long to get them up because I had to type them out word for word and I just haven't had the time to get around to it lately.
Shoey, here's to hoping for a memorial tribute! Blessings!
Jorrox Posted: 25-Aug-10 05:16
May I suggest that the annual Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow
might be a good place to have a tribute concert to Liam?
Liam played the festival in January 2008 (and at other times in the p
ast, or so I believe). Celtic Connections has the budget and connectio
ns to organise themed, large scale, one-off gigs.
Of course, as a Glaswegian, I'm being selfish here but unless anyone
else has a better idea.......
I already contacted the festival to suggest this. They sounded quite
positive to the notion but nothing more than that. The festival runs through the last three weeks in January every year. The bill was already published when Liam passed so there was nothing they could do in 201
0. But they will be putting the 2011 line-up together about now.
There are many links between Clancy (etc) music and Scotland. For example Archie Fisher as host?
Here is the link to the comments page on the festival website. Please
send them a message suggesting they do something.
Maybe this should have a separate thread?
[Edited by Jorrox on 25-Aug-10 05:17]
Shoey Posted: 27-Aug-10 13:25
Jorrox, that sounds like a good idea. Scotland is home away from home to me, I lived there for 5 years and have always loved all things Scottish. Apart from Archie most other Scots associates of my Dad's are gone the same way he has! There are lots who would travel from Ireland I'm sure. I would still love to have something happen in New York too, since that was where he 'came of age', like in Mendecino the song.
« Back to index