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Hello Everyone, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Let the music and dancing begin. I was watching with pride, as my son Declan, (who now drives himself) on one of the coldest days of the year in February, heading off to Gaelic Park, for his Saturday morning Accordion lesson with Jimmy Keane. Declan is now, a regular at Irish sessions all over the city, with mentors like, Pauline Conneely (who picks him up for school also every morning) Gerry Carey, Larry Nugent, John Williams, and the list goes on. It takes me back to Ireland when I used to go to the sessions also. I was a member of the Carrickmacross, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. I also played a lot of the local Ceali’s dances with the great Peter Murphy.

The Shamrock is a very loved and respected symbol of our faith, thanks to St Patrick, and a thing I really miss. I would always wear it with pride on St. Patrick’s Day. Of course, like a lot of other things, it’s not allowed into America anymore (unless you live in the White House of course). I’m thinking they probably have a photo with it, and then throw it out. And I’m not even a pessimist. I think a lot of people think the Shamrock is our national emblem, but, in fact, it is the Harp. A musical instrument, which to me, represents the nature of Ireland and the people (along with the Shamrock of course). No, it’s not a sword or any kind of weapon, it’s a peaceful musical instrument, in a country that never started any wars.

I was thinking about all the places in and around Chicago, that promote music and I started writing a song about the Irish sessions. Brendan McKinney came to mind, who is an outstanding musician along with his wife Siobhan. So, I incorporated O’Neil’s Pub, ‘Chief O’Neil’s’ that is, which is a landmark for traditional Irish music and is owned and run by Brendan and Siobhan. By the way, they serve a great pint of Guinness and the finest of food there also. So in the course of about ten minutes, I wrote this month’s song. The song is titled

'At The Irish Session’
I hope you have a great month of celebrations! As always, be good to one another, Joe.

‘At The Irish Session’
Written by Joe McShane

Verse 1
The sky is bright somewhere tonight
Somewhere across the ocean
In this old saloon, we’ll play our tunes
So we won’t feel so lonesome
There’s a fiddler here from County Clare
And one from county Galway
A bosca ceoil from near Listowel
And a piper from Chicago

Chorus
Three or four come through the door
And sit around the table
Banjo’s, fiddles penny Whistles
And anyone that’s able
Before too long the place is thronged
And everyone is welcome
Its a piece of home from across the foam
At the Irish Session

Verse 2
We all meet up at O’Neil’s pub
And share our tunes and story’s
From hearts of gold come songs of old
And tales of old past glories
With a touch of pride in every eye
In this city, we’re all neighbors
An outstretched hand from Ireland
No one here’s a stranger

Chorus
As three or four come through the door
And sit around the table
Banjo’s, fiddles penny Whistles
And anyone that’s able
Before too long the place is thronged
And everyone is welcome
Its a piece of home from across the foam
At the Irish Session

Bridge
So if you want a bit of craic
and have the music take you back
When work is done come join the fun
At the Irish session

Chorus
As three or four come through the door
And sit around the table
Banjo’s, fiddles penny Whistles
And anyone that’s able
Before too long the place is thronged
And everyone is welcome
Its a piece of home from across the foam
At the Irish Session

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