I am always on the lookout for phrases that capture meaning to live by. Mantras to guide our progress through the day, reminders of the way to be, the way to live. As I write this blog, I am listening to old Liam Clancy songs. He was born in Ireland, in 1935. His name was William, but that name was far to English for a proud Irish family. So the nickname of Liam took hold. He would study art, and acting as a child and eventually make his way to Greenwich Village, New York. He and his brothers would eventually go on to produce their own music and release records which would became famous in Ireland, but also the United States.
Above all he was a bit of a troubadour, a pied piper if you will. Young artists would gather around him as his personality and his demeanor were larger than life. His brothers died, and he started playing solo and had some success. His last album was release in 2009. At his final concert, he cited a famous poem by Dylan Thomas in which he said – “death shall have no dominion.” He died later that year in December. It was a sad day in the music world, as it seemed we lost the Irish folk voice that was reminiscent of yesterday. However, we also lost a bit of Americana as well, one the influencers of culture. Perhaps one of the souls that sponsored the cultural revolution that led to what we know call the 60s.
I heard a phrase from him years ago, that has always stuck with me. His mantra so to speak, you need to live with, “no fear, no envy, and no meanness.” That seems like words to live by, and perhaps if I were to adapt a bit of my Irish heritage, listen to a few of his songs, and remember this way to live and interact with others. So that is what I am doing this Saturday afternoon, listening to Irish freedom music and contemplating how to live.
With gratitude, I resolve today, on the Winter Solstice 2021, to whisper into someone’s ear, “No fear – no envy – no meanness. Pass it on.”