The disputed “CONNOLLY” poem read LIVE by OÁC [ subtitles]

This is another live recording
but this time the audience was… a bit special and… pretty restless. Some of you might feel
surprised or disappointed or even shocked by the behaviour
of some members of the audience. Well there’s no reason
to feel that way, really. I have recorded an afterword with the necessary explanations.
You’ll find it at the end I’ll try the poem about Connolly’s execution. Won’t be an easy job in here It happens that this year 2016 is also the centenary of the Irish uprising
on Easter Monday 1916 at the Dublin GPO This is a poem
whose authorship is disputed between Liam MacGabhann
and William O’Donnell; both of them are dead. This poem’s particularity is that it is narrated in the 1st person by one of the soldiers of the firing squad: the son of a Welsh miner who was picked on
as a member of the firing squad O my my! who was picked on to be a member of the firing squad If K. agreed to keep silent, maybe I could… Go ahead with it! Anyway, with K…, it’s getting insane. “CONNOLLY” The man was all shot through that came to-day
Into the barrack square; A soldier I – I am not proud to say
We killed him there; They brought him from the prison hospital: To see him in that chair, I thought his smile would far more quickly call
A man to prayer. Maybe we cannot understand this thing That makes these rebels die: And yet all things love freedom — and the Spring
Clear in the sky: I think I would not do this deed again
For all that I hold by: Gaze down my rifle at his breast—but then,
A soldier I. They say that he was kindly – different too apart from all the rest A lover of the poor; and all shot through, His wounds ill dressed, He came before us, faced us like a man
Who knew a deeper pain Than blows of bullets – – ere the world began; Died he in vain? Ready — present: And he just smiling – – God,
I felt my rifle shake. His wounds were opened, out and round that chair, Was one red lake. I swear his lips said ‘Fire’ when all was still, Before my rifle spat
That cursed lead – And I was picked to kill A man like that. Well that’s the way it is! The street people can be real nice
but at times they can be quite restless. They have developed a habit
of expressing themselves in a loud-mouthed sort of way. You won’t change them. I know that some of you will say that
I shouldn’t be giving away my pearls to the swines but no, I cannot agree it takes everything to make a world,
including swines, or people behaving like swines
without being aware of it I will never agree with a system
that reserves the right of access to culture to a happy few who can pay for it the prim & proper bourgeois class I was born myself in the bourgeois class;
never felt much of a prim & proper fellow Even less now that I’m an outcast These people are my peers; they’re not trying to
sabotage the show, they… they’re simply… in another world. and… a good few of them
are simply helping with the service of the food
or clearing the tables You see, when L…
becomes aware of the monitor she starts dancing
and watches herself totally unconscious that
there’s a f—ing show going on, and that this camera is working — even though it’s doing pathetic work
at a miserable 6 or 7 frames/second; if Y… pinches the maraca
on the music stand, it is not ill-intentioned, it’s a toy! just as for the two kids who wish
to play with Hubert’s drums on stage to them they’re toys and the thing is Hubert and I
went searching for this stupid maraca which had been taken
before our very noses I even searched on the ground
thinking it might have fallen, so… so in the end we found the whole thing
more comic than outrageous really. Some people have been talking about
a fight going on between K… and O… I haven’t heard of any bloodshed,
broken bones or even blows so obviously it was an
argument more than anything else. They just went to town
over trifles, as usual. it is more audible
during the “Connolly” poem than in the Shakespeare sonnet. These people may not have
the same educational level as I or any person from the bourgeois class; well, their attitude may be incongruous,
out of place; but that won’t stop me going on putting these cultural items
at their disposal. You may think they don’t have
any respect for Culture & Art; but then ask yourselves: have these people ever been respected? We shouldn’t expect more respect from people
than what we’ve shown them. When you come to think of it, these people are similar to… the groundings. And that is why Shakespeare’s memory
should not be offended; for, you see, the Bard loved the groundlings. And God knows they must have been
restless more than once. But he loved them all the same. And when the character of Sir John Falstaff died
at the end of “Henry IV”, the groundings felt so devastated that he resurrected Falstaff
for another play that he wrote especially for them; that was “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. guitar & drums by Hubert de Leusse performed, recorded & subtitled
by O. Á. Christie

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