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Pat MacNamara, Kilshanny (1895-1977)


Pat McNamara

Photo courtesy Pat Mackenzie

Pat MacNamara was lacking in the dental department and spoke very rapidly. A retired farmer and widower, living in a council cottage with his son, he was a small, wiry man with a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh.

Pat had not only a good number of songs but also a rich store of traditional tales which he would fire off at a great rate, accentuating points in the story with a bang of his walking stick and always finishing with a loud "NOW". We recorded Pat's songs and tales either in the car or in the local bar. The proprietress, Mrs Considine, was a great friend of Pat's but, while she was happy for him to sing for us in the bar, she refused to allow him to tell stories. This dated back to his practice, in the past, of launching into one of his longest stories shortly before closing time and so preventing her from shutting up shop for the night. On our last visit to Pat in 1976, the day before we were due to leave Clare, he produced a list of songs and stories that he had not recorded for us saying, "If I'm not here next year when you come over, come up to the graveyard and I'll tell them up to you". He died on New Year's Day the following year.

Taken from ‘Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection’ (2004) Musical Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6.

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