Last Night’s Fun

Re: Last Night’s Fun

Sad to read this postie

Giant of a man, bard, poet, musician

May he rest in peace
Kind thoughts to all

Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas dá anam

Brian x

Re: Last Night’s Fun

I had belatedly begun Last Night’s Fun just this week. Lovely monument to a lovely soul.

Re: Last Night’s Fun

its quite a few years since I read LNF, I think I will re-visit it soon - I have some memory of his description of an Ulster Fry and his dad’s melodeon playing. A grand writer, up there with Flann O Brien and Seamus Heaney.

Re: Last Night’s Fun

That’s desperate news. A huge loss to Irish poetry, teaching and music.

Re: Last Night’s Fun

I had heard this the other night, when a session-mate told me he had started re-reading LNF because of it. Sad, indeed! I might just have to take my copy to PIMW this week to read in my spare time.

Re: Last Night’s Fun

I read somewhere that writing about music was like dancing about architecture. Well Last Night’s Fun disproved that.

I can’t think of anything which better explained and captured the essence of playing Irish traditional music. His descriptions of the random thoughts prompted by tunes: who he learned them from; the stories and people he associated them with; how one tune prompted another and the associated memories of that next tune; all that was brought vividly to life in his writing.

For anyone who wants to understand this music there is no better recommendation than Ciaran Carson’s book. RIP.

Re: Last Night’s Fun

Wow, what a loss. I’ve always thought Last Night’s Fun was almost as good as a flight to Ireland but a lot less expensive.

He also wrote some great columns for the Journal of Music, worth a read: https://journalofmusic.com/author/ciaran-carson

Re: Last Night’s Fun

my fave ITM story of all time is in that book:

Young, say, Paddy from Sligo finally gets to meet, say, Finbarr Dwyer at a session. He looooves Dwyer tunes and now Paddy not only gets to hear Finbarr but PLAY TUNES WITH HIM! And to make it even better, afterward, Finbarr and Paddy talk awhile and Paddy says "twas a fine chune ye played there at the end of yer set what was it called?" and Finbarr not only tells him but *teaches him the tune*!

Paddy is over the moon. Years pass. Paddy keeps playing chunes.

Ten years later, he runs into Finbarr again at another session. Again, he is stoked…but this time, he’s all, "I’m going to play the chune Finbarr taught me!" So when Paddy’s turn for a set comes around, he launches into the Finbarr tune at the end of his set. He is astonished to see Finbarr not playing along, but listening intently. "Did I fuck it up?" wonders Paddy.

After the sess, Finbarr comes over to Paddy and says "twas a fine chune ye played there at the end of yer set what was it called?" and when Paddy says "it was yours!", Finbarr says "well you’ll have to teach it to me."

Re: Last Night’s Fun

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam

Re: Last Night’s Fun

That’s very sad news, 70 is no age at all.
LNF is a great piece of work, definitely in my top few books of all time - terrific on Irish music, v interesting on other subjects including hurling, often very funny.
One worried about the smoking content.
Thank you Ciaran,
Tom