February News

Dear friends,

My newsletter is a bit late this month as I forgot ,it’s a short month and it is hard to know what day of the year it is ,because of you know what.

Anyway, I hope you are all keeping well and healthy in these testing times as we look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel and hope it’s not a bloody train.

Last week I featured a newly written song on my weekly visit to you on face-book and I’d like to tell you how it came to be written.

Some five years ago I visited Clonakilty for the first time since meeting Mary in Dublin at a concert in Dun Laoghaire.

We renewed our friendship after first meeting in Cork fifty years ago.

On one of my many visits to Clonakilty, after that, while on a walk down Church Street, we came to a lovely quiet street called Spillers Lane. The name appealed to my imagination and awoke memories of Banagher and times long passed and people gone and forgotten.

So I promised myself that one day I would write a song called Spillers Lane.

Time moved on and on and on and I kept putting it on the long finger and never got around to writing it .

Until one day about three weeks ago, while sitting at the kitchen table, an idea began to formulate in my mind and without great difficulty in ten minutes I had written the song.

It’s just a simple love song and love songs were something I always found difficult to write, even in my early day’s as a young and warm blooded budding song writer.

For a long time I seemed to have been drawn to writing long and difficult story songs.

But now, even this late in my life, I have started to write the simpler and warmer love song, drawing on some my memories of the past. At least they all have happy endings.

Back to Spillers Lane.

Before singing the song for the first time and I really mean the first time, I introduced the song by saying I didn’t know where the name Spillers Lane came from and suggested it was probably as old as Clonakilty itself.

But as it turned out I was wrong, as my old friend Robert Butler pointed out, Spiller was the name of a famous merchant family who operated in Clonakilty from the middle of the nineteenth century before going out of business in the nineteen eighty’s.

In their time the lane was used as a storage area for their building supplies and held little of the character it has today.

Hence the name Spillers Lane.

Alas! Not as romantic as I first thought.

The Spillers are now long gone and are but a fading memory.

But Spillers Lane is still there and will live on in the words of a song and in the hearts of the people who stroll there.

I hope you like the song and will someday hear it again

I look forward to being with you all on Wednesday.

Slan !

Johnny




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