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Celebrating Mick Moloney on Samhain

Karen daily

Karen every day. [Photo by Dan Brown]

The pleasure of an unrestricted Halloween in New York City was in all places on October 31, however you did not have to attend the revived Village Parade to really feel the power. Indeed, it’s possible you’ll not have seen the arrival of some 17 revelers on the fabled Playwrights Tavern on West forty ninth Street, additional up downtown – just like the spirits they wished to painting, every wearing bizarre avenue garments and carrying their transformations in tote baggage . Devices and Stored Words. These had been the individuals in an annual Celtic celebration referred to as Samhain. The begin of the Celtic New Year, the division between gentle (summer time) and darkish (winter), has been celebrated on this night in Ireland for two,000 years. Bonfires had been lit and the ashes had been strewn on the crops to deliver good luck and harvest for the subsequent yr, the useless had been commemorated and even meals was cooked for them and shared with the poor. October thirty first is the night when the veil separating this world from the opposite world is thinnest and permits spirits to move by means of. The ancestors of the household had been honored and welcomed whereas dangerous spirits had been repelled. Carved turnips in home windows warned of the unwelcome, whereas paneling protected those that ventured outdoors from hurt.

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Some members of this Samhain group have been partying because the early Nineteen Nineties when Maura Mulligan invited her Irish language and dance college students to analysis a personality in Irish mythology or historical past and seem as that individual’s spirit on Samhain night time. Food and historical past had been shared, and a standard candlelit ‘Ceremony of Light’ commemorating just lately deceased members of the family and associates marked the conclusion. Now organized by the ‘Nollaig Na mBan’ girls who celebrated the 4 Celtic ‘Fire Festivals’; Imbolg, Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain since 2016 the occasion has weathered lockdowns and inclement climate to return this yr as a memorial to the good Dr. Mick Moloney, musician and champion of Irish historical past and tradition. Donations had been inspired to assist efforts to alleviate the wants of refugees and others affected by the struggle in Ukraine. This was the main target of the charity supported by these attending current fireplace festivals. Each “Spirit” participant introduced a track from Mick’s large repertoire, with costume, props, singing and dancing. Each yr we really feel lucky to have multi-talented Dan Brown step up because the ‘digital camera ghost’, capturing the essence of every artist.

Seated in a properly embellished room reserved for us by the superb tavern workers, with the Brendan Behan menu beside us and the energetic and spirited Ukrainian-born Masha serving, the celebration started. Maura Mulligan, who has just lately returned from two Mick Moloney music excursions – one in Northern Ireland and the opposite in Galicia, Spain – reminded us that the roots and shared historical past of various cultures have a lot to show us. Between programs, the “ghosts” appeared, starting with Mary McIntyre, who challenged us to guess the title of her track. No one managed to reply “Mother Malone,” however given Mick Moloney’s prolific repertoire, it was comprehensible. Sheila Houlihan recited the phrases from “Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake”, written in 1883 by Tin Pan Alley fan Frank Horn. Dee Nolan, carrying a inexperienced masks, adopted the morsels with an attractive rendition of “Green Grows the Laurel”, the group becoming a member of within the refrain. The devotion this deserted girl has for her lover was heartfelt. Masks had been the spotlight of Mary Fee’s costume as she carried out a recording of Pigeon on the Gate and Bonfire Witch Pat Mangan Jig danced to The Geese within the Bog.

Delicious appetizers had been loved adopted by Nancy Oda’s play “Safe in the Harbor” by Eric Bogle. Nancy reminded us that Covid has taught us to re-evaluate demise not as an ending however as a transition to a different a part of the cosmos. Tami Ellen McLaughlin recalled the well-known Niall O’Leary dancing on the street when Mick Moloney carried out whereas that author carried out the unknown “My Dad’s Dinner Pail,” which detailed the nested moveable meals container utilized by Irish staff and is frequent in American households the place households labored lengthy hours within the fields, factories, and mills. Elizabeth Lenihan recalled the underestimated Irish migrant staff in England. Mick Moloney was himself a building employee in 1964, an expertise mirrored in his rendition of Murphy Can Never Go Home, which premiered on the Irish Arts Centre. Maura Mulligan, wearing Spanish apparel, taught us the refrain of ‘Tuirne Mhaire’, about an Irish woman who neglects her spinning wheel, uniquely made with its legs crafted in London and Spain. Mick’s final Galician music tour featured singers instructing Spanish and Galician choirs to the viewers. This track reminds us how Mick appreciated the music’s multicultural roots. Karen Daly, exhibiting the unique cowl of the 1912 efficiency, reminded us of the present track “If it wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews” and Mick’s Smithsonian lectures on the collaboration between these two ethnic teams. Karen represented German-Jewish immigrant Nathan Strauss, founding father of Macy’s and a serious philanthropist and social activist.

Mary Fee shared her conventional bread “Bairin Breac” wherein a hoop and a nut had been hidden. Dee Nolan discovered the ring, signifying a New Year’s engagement, whereas Tami Ellen McLaughlin discovered the nut for knowledge. This is at all times a enjoyable and scrumptious exercise and nearly took our minds off dessert.

Laura O’Keefe taught us “Call and Response” to an appropriately gory “Weela Wella Walya,” full with bloody knife, and we ended with Henrietta Blyden exhibiting the outsized affect of singer Jim Reeves with a recording of “Ten Kola Nuts.” from 1986”, sung by Guinean Mory Kante and a mixture of Mandingo and jazz music. This mixture would have delighted Mick with its fusion of African genres.

The temporary Ceremony of Lights gave names to these we have misplaced, along with the outsized ghost of Mick Moloney. Her power appeared to encompass our candlelit circle. When we lastly left the busy tavern to a throng of revelers, we had been as unassuming as after we arrived, however all of us felt richer for the information generated by the sharing of phrases and music. It would not shock us to even glow just a little at nighttime and lightweight our method house.

Nollaig Na mBan NY want to assist the wrestle in Ukraine and asks associates to donate to https://www.veselka.com/support-ukraine/ or Sunflower of Peace Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/sunflowerofpeace .

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