I have a life-long love of traditional folk music. This month I merge that with my love of song writing – taking a nineteenth century Irish folksong as the foundation to express my feelings as we enter the second year of this extraordinary presidential administration. Step into the kitchen. I’ll sing it for you.
This Month’s Music: Liberty’s Shore
Featured Non-Profit: American Civil Liberties Union
Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA
Photo: © 2017 Nicole Mandel Photography
I am really chuffed (just learned that word from pop singer, Ed Sheeran) to share a show on Saturday, March 3rd at The Burren Backroom Series with John Schindler, an extraordinary songwriter from Boothbay Harbor, Maine. To make this even more special, I will be joined by my long time musical collaborator, Seth Connelly and my talented daughter Mally Smith. Use the special $2 discount coupon code “24HOUR” when you purchase in advance.
Oh lordy, this is going to be fun! Please join us… and tell your friends!
This Month’s Music
© 2018 Traditional and Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Click the image above to play the video.
As a young man, I sang a nineteenth century Irish folk song called Erin’s Green Shore. In this song, the spirit of Ireland appears to the singer in a dream in the form of a woman who expresses her sadness about the state of her country. By singing that song, I actually believed I felt what the Irish must have felt about English oppression. But of course, it didn’t apply to me and my country. It was simply a way to connect with a foreign concept.
Fast forward to 2018 and it takes on a deeper meaning. In the time-honored folk tradition, I rewrote portions of this song to re-focus it on America – and to relate this spirit to the Statue of Liberty. I hope singers of that old Irish song will forgive me.
William Butler Yeats scholars might recognize the influence of his poem The Second Coming on the third verse of this song. Yeats’ poem is another powerful statement about current events.
Last weekend we saw a remarkable Women’s March take place all over the nation. It seemed like a loud echo of the sentiment I was trying to put into this song – positive power being activated by women “to waken my sisters and brothers, who slumber on Liberty’s shore.”
A special thank you to the good folks at the Roslindale Open Mike, where I recorded the video. Hosts Neal Braverman, Mike Delaney, Branson Bofat and Ken Porter. Audio by Steve Friedman. Video by King Yee.
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
February 10, 2018 @ 8:00 pm: The Hearing Room, Lowell, MA
Songwriter showcase, joined by John McDade and Amy Kucharik.
March 2, 2018 @ 7:00 pm: Sunapee Coffee House, Sunapee, NH
Sharing the evening with my good friend Chris Lavancher. This will be my first appearance at the Sunapee Coffeehouse. Hoping some of my midlands New Hampshire friends will share the evening with us. Should be fun!
March 3, 2018 @ 7:00 pm: The Burren, Somerville, MA
I am super excited to split a bill with my talented friend John Schindler (and special guests, Seth Connelly and Mally Smith) at The Burren back room. Doors @ 6 pm, show @ 7 pm. Come early and choose a dinner from their great menu. This all-ages show ends at 9 pm. Use the special code “24HOUR” when you order in advance to get $2 off the ticket price. Purchase tickets here.
April 6th, 2018 @ 7:00 pm: Dublin, NH
I will be the feature artist at this relatively new open mike. Dublin is a great old New England town. Come and do a couple songs at the open mike!
April 21, 2018 @ noon: New England Folk Festival, Mansfield,
Sharing a set with my good buds Peter Fischman & Deb O’Hanlon for a program entitled “Working Folks: Traditional and new songs about work, a working life, work going away.” Lots more happening at the festival all weekend long!
Click to view details for these and more upcoming shows.
Featured Non-profit: American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union works tirelessly in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the Constitution’s promise of liberty for everyone in our country. Their work is more important than ever.
Please join me in supporting the ACLU.