From the recording ANIAR

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Memory of My Father

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Memory of my father

This is a poem by the Irish Poet Patrick Kavangh (21 October 1904 – 30 November 1967) that I set to music in about 2010 in memory of my own father Terry MacMahon to whom I owe my love of music and poetry and much much else. I have taken the liberty to change the words only a little so that it scans better as a song.

Patrick Kavanagh (21 October 1904 – 30 November 1967) was an Irish poet and novelist. His best-known works include the novel Tarry Flynn, and the poems "On Raglan Road" and "The Great Hunger".He is known for his accounts of Irish life through reference to the everyday and commonplace.


Memory of My Father

Every old man I see
Reminds me of my father
When he had fallen in love with death
One time when sheaves were gathered.

That man I saw in Gardiner Street
Stumble on the kerb was one,
He stared at me half-eyed,
I might have been his son.

And I remember the musician
Faltering over his fiddle
In Bayswater, London.
He too set me the riddle.

Every old man I see
In October-coloured weather
Seems to say to me
"I was once your father."