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25
Thu, Feb

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Hello everyone,

Hope you’re all keeping well. I’m still overseas at my brother Nick’s house R.I.P. It will be sold before long and become another one of my memories. A place where I used to go and hang out with him whenever I was able. And I don’t think I’ve practiced my instruments as much as this, since I was a teenager. It’s the one thing in life that keeps me from going nuts (maybe I should say, more nuttier). I am lucky, I have 5 wonderful children (four surviving) Christopher, Tracey, Joseph, Bridget R.I.P. And Declan, and they call or text me everyday, as does my wife Margaret. I’m looking forward to Declan coming over in a few days. He was really looking forward this year to the Fleadh Cheoil, in Mullingar, which is now cancelled of course. He was hoping to enter for four categories, Accordion, Piano, Singing, and Ceali Band. You’ll be there next year Declan. Hopefully life as we used to know it will return soon, and I for one will be more grateful in future.

This month’s song, I wrote after going to the west side of Chicago on the Blue Line Train. I went down to a blues bar to listen to some great guitar/harmomica playing, near UIC and Halstead.

On my way back on the train I saw what I thought was an old African American lady sitting about 20 feet away from me, and she never moved. I actually thought she had passed away, she was so still. Then after about 12 stops she moved a little, just as I was getting off at Cumberland, a couple of stops from the airport. So, I wasn’t heading for a flight, as I wrote in the song (it just seemed to fit). Anyway, I had already quietly taken five dollars out of my pocket, and I just leaned over and put it in her hand as I was leaving. She had very kind, yet frightened eyes, and much younger than I had thought earlier. Even though I never met her before or since, something about her affected me and I felt concerned. I left the train hoping she would be safe. It’s funny how some things stick with you. I still think of her and pray she’s okay.

I Thank My Mother For The Way I Look At Life.
She was one of the most giving people I’ve ever known. Our house was never empty, in fact one day I said to my mother, “there’s a man working with me and he’s from Kerry and I think he was an orphan”. He was around 22 years old. My mother said sure bring him over for a bite of dinner tomorrow, so I did. That man (Gerry) came for dinner the next day and my mother told him to gather up his bits and bring them back to our house. Gerry lived with us for around 8 years, he was part of the family. All that love was in one tiny house. Now my mother and my brother along with my father lie together in the same grave. There’s an enormous amount of love lying there tonight.

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy.
As always be good to one another.
Joe

 ‘Girl On The Blue Line’
© Written By Joe McShane
Verse 1
All I could see was a figure on the train
I was heading to the airport for my plane
For 15 stops I thought I’d seen a ghost
Then she looked up and I thought I felt a smile
When I saw the saddest eyes look into mine
Verse 2
I felt my hand reach down into my pocket
And I handed her five dollars then departed
We didn’t speak a word just shared a moment
I walked away I was feeling very lonely
I saw a young life looking so much older
Chorus
A young girls heart just beating like a drum
And a fear of the back streets of the city she calls
home
Sitting on the CTA just driving time away
Or maybe she ain’t got no place to go
Just staring out the window of the Blue Line all alone
Bridge
Who knows where she came from
Who knows where she’s goin
Does anybody care anyway
Someone’s daughter someone’s son
Who could care less when all is said and done
Chorus
A young girls heart just beating like a drum
And a fear of the back streets of the city she calls
home
Sitting on the CTA just driving time away
Or maybe she ain’t got no place to go
Just staring out the window of the Blue Line all alone

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