Wednesday, September 17, 2008

St Moya, U2 and " the young man with his reputation behind him"

As anyone around here likely knows,
I am a sucker for vibe, reverb, celtic, emotive and ethereal music...

It often "feels" like God..

Sometimes it is; even when we don't know it; and when the writer didn't necessarily intend, embed, or pray it into the music.

As one crazy dude suggested, "there is no such thing as Christian music...or there is nothing else."

In 1983, when my brother and I attended our first U2 worship service...uh, concert;
The Alarm blessed us big time;
U2 blasted us...

but the recorded music that both introduced the band and lingered after the closing congregational echoes of U2's Psalm 40
was an amazing clip of music flooded the New Haven Coliseum.

Somehow it felt like God.

The haunting and God-haunted song--"Theme From Harry's Game," sung by Clannad can be heard at the beginning and end of the recently re-released to DVD "U2 Live at Red Rocks," as they played it at every stop on that year's tour.

I get the chills watching it...the mist and rain of the day put it off the charts, ethereally speaking.

Clannad singer Moya Brennan tells how the song wound up admired by U2, in an excerpt from her autobiography:

Bono tells a story that he nearly went off the road when he heard it on his car radio. He had to pull up and listen to it properly. It was so unusual, and, of course, Bono recognized that the singing was in Gaelic. We were very flattered when U2 later used it to open and close their show and also in their concert video filmed at Red Rocks.
read more
"There is Power to Change Says Irish Singer"

But hear the story about the song itself through Moya's own words to me (2nd hand) twenty five years later; and you'll catch additional reasons it is Godhaunted and why U2 intuitively "got it."

Click "posts" and then "Moya Brennan, Dave, Fresno and God Moments" on the box below (if it isn't automatically set to Moya). Thanks a metric, keltic ton to Keltic Ken for the interview.

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Lyrics and translation:

mtheochaidh soir is siar
** I will go east and go west
A dtáinig ariamh an ghealach is an ghrian
** From whence came the moon and the sun

Fol lol the doh, fol the day
Fol the doh, fol the day

Imtheochaidh an ghealach's an ghrian
** The moon and the sun will go
An duine óg is a cháil 'na dhiadh
** And the young man with his reputation behind him

Imtheochaidh a dtáinig ariamh
** I will go wherever he came from
An duine óg is a cháil ne dhiadh
** The young man with his reputation behind him

And the story behind the TV show it was commissioned before; and the real life story it was based on...which of course inspired U2:
Harry's game was an ITV drama about Captain Harry Brown -- an SAS undercover agent - infiltrating the IRA. Harry is on a mission to find the assassin of a British Cabinet Minister in the Falls Road area of Belfast. Harry is alone: not even the army has been told of his presence; his wife is fed up with him. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, in which too many innocent lives will be impacted and neither side can win. Harry befriends a local woman who falls for him, and will in turn be consumed by Harry's relentless search for the assassin. The IRA soon realise they have an informant in their midst and bring in the same assassin to hunt down Harry. The play's ending ... (warning - spoiler!) .... was sad: the betrayed and by now dead Harry is lying on a dirty street as the locals just step over the body, ignoring it. Based on Gerald Seymour's first novel Available on DVD - ASIN: B0009YVDB2

Contains loose parallels with the real-life events of both Grenadier Guards/SAS Captain Robert Nairac, and his murder by the IRA in 1977, and the 1979 assassination of Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Airey Neave.

The chorus "Fol lol the doh fol the day, Fol the doh fol the day", orginates in Irish mouth-music.

Documentary director Billy Magra put these visuals to the song, while shooting the Past & Present/ Clannad documentary in Donegal (no 'official' video clip was ever made for Harry's Game).

Several versions of the song:

April 2007 performance:

Set to scenery by a fan:

From the documentary:


Bonus: the song Clannad did w/Bono:

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