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Script for audio journal

North and South of the River

There’s no fool like an old fool, they say, so what happens when a bunch of oul’ coots gather together to make music? The next batch of posts may enlighten you as to the question just posed and may also, perhaps, enrage or entertain. Anything’s better than a yawn, I guess. And everything that is not that bloody virus is a plus. At the moment we can’t meet as a group, as we are in lockdown, so I have set out a version of songs that are in our repertoire but which have not yet been recorded. With any luck (and, as three of us are north of 70, we’ll need it!) we will be able to resume our normal practice of meeting weekly and playing tunes, singing songs and generally enjoying the crack.

North and South of the River is a metaphor for the sectarian divide in Ireland which is over 400 years deep and still a factor in the life of that small island washed by the Atlantic waves. The divisions splitting our planet are various: religious, ideological, political, ecological, economic. You, too, can assuredly add to the tally.

Christy Moore wrote this with assistance from Bono and the Edge from U2. I first heard this sung at a club in Western Sydney in the mid-1990s. I took it up at about the same time and, a quarter of a century later, in lockdown, I present it here instead of at the same club, The Penrith Gaels, which is shuttered and, who knows when it will be open for business and live music.

North and South of the River

By Quentin Bega

I was born in the middle of the 20th Century and have, somewhat to my surprise, found myself in the next one with something more to say and do.

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