Thursday, June 9, 2011

In My Own Country
                                             Hunter S Thompson.    Big Sur, California, U.S.A                                                   

I've been a few months settling back into my own country, hence the period of absence from the blog! I play two regular gigs in Kenmare (a beautiful little town on the ring of Kerry) and was given the following poem by a local artist there. I've set the poem to music. The poem is a translation of Francois Villion by Hunter S Thompson. The original poem is called "Du Concours De Blois" and is quiet a bigger and different beast. Thompson's translation is the epigram of a book he wrote concerning his time with the biker gang "Hell's Angels," Hell's Angels is the name of the book also, not surprisingly! Funnily enough it was Biker Weekend here in Killarney when I wrote the melody for this poem, though the escapades of "Hell's Angels" are a far cry from the placid crowd that fill Killarney for Bikefest. Villion was a French poet from the 15th century. A vagabond and a murderer (he killed a priest in a bar brawl), lost in obscurity in his own time, he became quiet well known in later centuries. I think the poem suits Ireland and its vagaries quite well. I love the duality of the first line. How it can be both a beautiful and sad thing.

In my own country I am in a far off land
I am strong but have no force or power
I win all yet remain a loser
At break of day I say goodnight
When I lie down I have great fear of falling.