Hello world! Welcome to blog 2 Childhood days
Hello again , Mary K here , I will give you some background here on how I started in music.and probably the things that shaped me into a music lover and some memories of childhood
when i was aged 8 I knew I had music inside me . I knew if I had an instrument of some kind I would be able to play it. At primary school Mrs Donnelly told the rest of the class they should sing like Maire Burke, yes she called me Maire , My family called me Marie but I was actually officially Mary Kathleen. Mrs Donnelly was a very stern teacher but I always managed to get a little smile from her when I sang I used to tinkle with the piano in the school hall and thats when I knew for sure music was what fascinated me , comforted me , made me both happy and sad in equal measure. I used to hear my mother singing lovely airs and there were many music gatherings at home. we lived in a housing site in a small hamlet which had a forest and a castle some fields , 4 pubs ,two shops a chapel and a church ,a chapel hall a post office and an old water mill.when I was growing up there were two housing sites there is now four . I played on the street with Susan Boyle who has relatives beside us
I used to go for holidays to our aunt Mary Ann’s house in Tyrone. It was a farm and I loved waking up in the morning, hearing the birds singing and the cows being brought to the byre for milking ,Aunt Mary Ann with her apron on shooing the cows with uncle John. I just loved the whole vibe , going up to the hen house and getting the fresh eggs for the breakfast . Then going to the dairy where you could smell the fresh butter . There was a water pump with a big wooden handle so i would fetch water fill up a creamery can put it on a wooden wheel barrow and set off down the lane to put in the troughs for the cows to drink. Aunt Mary Ann couldn’t understand how I loved the farm so much she used to say “You have electricity and running water at home and yet you love all this? I dont understand it at all.” But I did love it and I still find a great stillness and peace in that same place all these years later . I cant explain it maybe its the good memories .
We used to wash outside with a basin and I had my own soapbox and face cloth and tooth brush. in the evening at 6 o clock we would all be called in to say the rosary ,a very serious ritual everyday but some days it was very funny My cousin Packie would usually find something funny to laugh at and we would all be in stitches at times but uncle John and Aunt Mary Ann prayed and paid no mind to us during the Rosary but we would sometimes get reprimanded after it 🙂
I loved the evenings we would get tucked into bed which was in the sitting room in an in shot with curtains pulled over a tiny little window and a holy picture on the wall. The gas tily lamp would be on and friends would gather in the house to play cards ,then the music and singing would start and Maryann would play the mouth Organ she was really good its the happiest times I recall in my childhood. I used to visit an old lady up the lane and sit with her for hours.
when the hay was cut in the meadow Uncle john used to throw us up to dance on the hay stack to flatten it down then take us down and more hay would be thrown up and then us after it. I also helped with the rickleing of the turf.. Aunt Mary Ann predicted I would be a farmers wife one day . It never happened 🙂 If we could go back in time thats where I would want to be .
Aunt Mary Ann was very good to me maybe because I was her God Daughter. One of the delights of being there is when The bread man came around , I used to buy creamola foam of him every week and a cream cake . We didn’t get to the shops and there was no car all my cousins had bicycles and Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle John . Once a week i would go to mount field on the back of Aunt Mary Ann’s Bike I had to keep my feet stuck out and Aunt Mary Ann peddled away .all the way to mount field we visited a woman there then the shop and back again.
Aunt Mary Ann would also go into the loft and bring down things for us to play with ,Chalk and a blackboard an old typewriter . There was two bedrooms and the sitting room between them we used to call them the upper room and the lower room . The sitting room had the huge in shot where the big bed was. As I got older I was delegated to the lower room . The toilet was outside at the top of the back garden and it was very dark so we used to have a PO under the bed I hate the smell of Jeys fluid Mary Ann used to put a drop of that in the PO and I could smell it at night.
I had access to a button row accordion at Mary Ann’s and used to play The rose of Arron more and a couple of other tunes . there was a lot of tears when our holidays were over .and we had to leave Aunt Maryann’s behind for another year I missed her so much and it was always hard to readjust to living at home and going back to school which I hated so much . When i was about ten I got an old guitar got strings and a book and Sean quigg showed me how to read chords I practised every day nearly drove my mother round the bend but as the weeks went by I got better and better .
One day I was sitting at home my father looked out the window as a big lorry pulled up ” Northern Ireland Carriers ” I was so shocked when the man came in to the door with a big box and my mother handed it to me . It was a brand new guitar she had ordered it from a catalogue for me . I was just elated and when I tuned it up and started to play My mother and father were delighted My father said she will never do the dishes now 🙂 It was the most precious present I ever received from my mother and father it was black with a red rose on it I went around the housing site showing it to everybody . Then weeks later I told them Malachi Divine was selling an accordion for £5.00 They took me up to his house in Dreen and I was playing a load of tunes on it on the way home . There was no stopping me now there was a few broken keys on the accordion but i managed to work my way around them
A few weeks after that I joined Feeny accordion band and was issued with a new button 2 row accordion I learned every March tune and was out marching in parades by 13 years old . It was great fun I loved it but things in N Ireland were very dangerous then so I was taken out of it . My next adventure in music was with a band I was 15 it was a man my father knew through work got me started Jimmy Mulgrew .The fourth member of the band joined us later Christopher Logue who would go on to become very famous in Ireland as the other half of the duo Logue and McCool.
I cant finish this blog without mentioning Learmount forest where I spent many hours as a child I always seemed to like to be close to nature and to have a forest on the doorstep was a great thing I won an orienteering competition there when I was 15 because I knew every part of it and I was a great sprinter then as well . There was a castle there as well which was a bit spooky and I had heard all sorts of ghost stories about . I still get very vivid memories of that time so in today’s blog I am going to share a song I wrote about it called Childhood days in Learmount I also recently done a video there for one of my releases ” I never had it so good ” which I am including