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What's All The Fuss About?

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay 

Recently, I was watching Ireland's Late Late Show hosted by Ryan Tubridy. This talk show has been running for over 50 years now. Every aspect of Irish life eventually gets discussed here at some stage. There was a music group featured called 'Irish Women in Harmony'. It was recorded during lockdown by a number of Irish women singers, who put their voices together to create a song for release in aid of domestic violence victims. The song is called 'Dreams' and was originally recorded by an Irish music group, the Cranberries. The line-up of singers includes the wonderful Moya Brennan, a traditional Irish singer, always a favourite singer of mine. She's from my time, that is to say that her career was already in progress when I still lived in Ireland. At the younger end of the spectrum there are singers like the talented singer/songwriter Una Healy and another young singer called Erica Cody, with whose work I'm not yet familiar.

Image by Sublimeantc from Pixabay

"Dreams" & Reality

So Ryan Tubridy, the show's host, interviewed the ladies after their performance. Their excitement was palpable and they had obviously worked hard together and bonded beautifully across the generations. It was nice to hear them chatting about their achievement. They performed their song in a powerful manner. It couldn't fail to make an impression. But not long after the 'Irish Women in Harmony' spot on the show, I would have been hard-pressed to remember the tune they had performed so beautifully. That's the problem. It's a Cranberries song. I left Ireland in the mid-1990s, and the Cranberries were only starting up. When the Irish Prime Minister and now Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar recently shared that the music of the Cranberries was all around him when he was growing up in Ireland, I realised that he's from a different time to mine. A much more recent one. There are huge gaps in my Irish experience because I left Ireland over two decades ago.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

Don't Know the Cranberries

In Ireland we love popular music and quite a few international music acts like U2, the Corrs and the Boomtown Rats have come out of the country. The Cranberries were different because unlike most of the famous Irish bands, they were not from Dublin. They were fronted by the charismatic Dolores  O'Riordan who was, by all accounts, a colourful character. I remember one or two of their songs from the early days.  However,  neither song left a lasting impression on me. You could say I missed out on this group. There's nothing new about a bunch of artistes getting together to record a song. Live Aid got there first. There's also nothing new about a bunch of Irish female singers recording together either. The excellent 'A Woman's Heart' project from around 1993 would have covered this angle too. 'A Woman's Heart' featured wonderful singers like Mary Black and Maura O'Connell. So I feel the IWIH is really for the younger generation, not mine. With no disrespect to the Cranberries, I can't tell the difference between their music and supermarket muzak. I'm sure they are least concerned. Other people get all excited about them and I'm like 'what's all the fuss about?'

Image by Masum Ali from Pixabay 

About Covid-19

Some people are wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to Covid-19. Many are protesting against having to wear masks and restrict their social activity. I agree that it's very hard. But to keep our health, we need to observe the instructions. Hopefully, the day will come when we can move about freely. But that won't be for a while.   One Facebook user I know is quite furious about the Covid rules. He comes across as uncouth. His FB page is full of expletives. His posts usually begin by cursing people who actually wear masks and observe social distancing (f***ing idiots, he calls them).   According to this fountain of wisdom, more people die of TB in the world than have died of Covid. I replied to his post by explaining that as TB is a disease usually prevalent in developing countries like India, there's probably no hurry on getting it sorted. The minute a contagious disease like TB starts affecting people in wealthy countries like the USA, it will probably be tackled on a war footing and gone within a year. Anyone who thinks that fears about Covid-19 are exaggerated should remember the victims who have died in agony. This is nothing about which to be complacent.

Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay 

Not Yet Time to Unlock

Because my late father-in-law was someone who was very welcoming to guests, like any traditional Indian person, our house tends to be the type into which anyone can just walk in. Not any more. A few people, particularly people from households including Covid-19 sufferers, just walked into our house lately. I have my hands full asking people not to enter the house, sit outside, wear a mask and use sanitiser. Not to mention keep a safe distance. I have no intention of relaxing the rules at this juncture having come so far.  I heard a sad story lately about a woman from south India who didn't step outside the house for six months. Alas, she caught Covid-19 from a vegetable man who brought deliveries to her house.   So you can bet I'll be making a fuss about Covid-19 for some more time. There has been a movement against something called 'Covid shaming'. I wouldn't shame anyone for the world. The trouble is that while Covid runs its course in healthy people, it's fatal for others. It's not something about which we can afford to take a chance. That is tragic, but calling out people for 'Covid-shaming' will backfire. It's a fact.

Please visit the other group members.

The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are  Ramana, SanjanaPadmum,  RajuShackman, Srivatsa and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


  1. Watching you barring people from your entering your home will be a sight to see indeed. Particularly in Lucknow with the Ganga Jumna tehzeeb etc still popular.

    1. I came to know today that there's a strong 'no Covid-shaming' movement emerging here in Lucknow. One couldn't but feel sympathy for anyone who has been Covid-shamed. But when I found myself being 'Covid-shamed' by my younger children, I sat up and took note. I had to admit, they may be junior to me in age and experience, but they were 100% correct. In fact social distancing should be easier in India, because people often sit out in the open air when they have guests. If I ask people - who have their children with them - to sit in the open air, it's as much for their protection as well as mine. Culturally, Indian homes welcome guests. But there has to be some adjustments to how we do it. At least for a while.

  2. Back in the sixties at the height of the so-called British Invasion (the musical invasion) were Irish Show bands-one of which was called the Blue Aces. Myfriend Ron Ryan was a singer/songwriter for them They were better than the London based band Ron wrote several huge hits for, the Dave Clark 5

    1. Yes, most enjoyable. But I think Maria will agree with me, this isn't at all Irish in sound or style. It is a good copy of American (whatever that means) with a tinge of UK (if it means something). The lyrics are particularly American. I think even the beatles modified their music for the masses, I could be mistaken, I'm no expert.

  3. In America we have managed to advertise our problems quite well so you will know what I reference here. We confuse mask wearing with violation of personal rights. This leads to Fuss on both sides of the mask (or mask lack). It has never been a personal right to abuse another.

    1. I wish we didn't have to go through this. This killer virus has changed the world forever and is full-on germ warfare in my humble opinion. So it is what it is and it being what it is, the only option is to wear the damn mask. It is the kindest thing to do under the circumstances. People protest, the virus spreads and more people will die.

  4. I'd been struck by the sheer quality and qaintity of musical talent from Ireland; A tiny country with a population close to Pune (where I live, if you call that living). Just wondering Maria, do you like Enya? And SineadO'connor? So nice to read about this topic, and also more and more talented musicians, in their drive towards career success (I don't blame them) actually give the people what the executives think they want. So almost all of the more successful artists/bands relinquish less or more of their own instincts. Occasionally, even that great band Queen bowed to this pressure. As long as they retain some their originality.... it is still worth it.


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