Recital Afternoon

afternoon recital 1

NewsFour happened to be at the meeting point of a collaboration of forces when the organizers of the annual One City One Book initiative came together with Dublin City Council’s Let’s Walk and Talk scheme at the Irish Waterways Interpretive Centre on April 8th.

Pat Liddy started the afternoon’s proceedings in Temple Bar before setting off to hit various points along the River Liffey, the traditional inspiration source for centuries of writers.

It is reported that the group of followers swelled at times to 200 people. With Pat’s unending sea of knowledge relating to the locations they passed, they made their way, finally gathering at Grand Canal Basin. There the congregation was handed over to Ifty Finn, from Waterways Ireland, who played host to guest speaker PJ Mathews, author and lecturer at UCD.

PJ Mathews gave the audience an insight into this year’s One City One Book feature, If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, which takes its title from a line of Seamus Heaney poetry. Mathews opened with an observation that the book’s map adheres to “The old divide, as the categories are sectioned under their correct titles of North of the Liffey and South of the Liffey.” He described this type of humour as intrinsic to Dublin, but also commented that the book “brings something of another place into our well rehearsed thoughts.”

The various poetry and song styles; historical, contemporary, familiar and little known were looked at, with recitals and songs to illustrate.

On completion of his rendition of The Auld Triangle, PJ commented, “That’s the earliest in the evening I have ever sung that song.” Other tunes on the day included Kavanagh’s Raglan Road put to music, Dubliners style, The Dawning of the Day, and that haunting melody The Lonesome Boatman, which was made more poignant by the canal location.

Pictured, left to right: Grace McGuire (DCC), Elizabeth Cuddy (UNESCO City of Literature, DCC) PJ Mathews (Author, Lecturer UCD), Jane Alger, Director, UNESCO City of Literature), Ifty Finn (Manager, Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre).
Photo by Maria Shields O’Kelly.

By Maria Shields O’Kelly