johnmac's rants

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Dying Rebel

I was at the "Rising of the Moon" (a/k/a "Irish Night") at
Guinan's tonight and the house squire, Jim Guinan, sang a
beautiful rendition of "The Dying Rebel". I'm proud to say
that I put Jim up to singing this song, one of my all-time
favorites, a few months ago and Jim has kept the song in his
repertoire.

My affection for the song goes back almost 50 years and is
based on the version by Ruthie Morrissey, the only person that
I ever heard sing it prior to Jim. I used to hear Ruthie sing
it both in person at Mickey Carton's Mayo House in Rockaway
and on the recorded version in the Broadstone, my favorite
Inwood watering hole.

Mickey's Mayo House was at the Boardwalk end of 103rd St right
across the street from the Leitrim Castle. The local precinct
would park three "paddy wagons" (an appropriate name) in the
street between the two bars on Friday and Saturday nights and
just fill them up with those who had "over-loaded" at the
bars.

The Dying Rebel was one of the two songs that I associated
with the Broadstone; the other was Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop
Loving You" (the flip side of "O' Lonesome Me" -- while I
liked Ray Charles' later version of "I Can't Stop Loving You",
it brings back no memories of Inwood good times.).-- the only
song that I associated with a gin mill was Tommy Edwards'
great "It's All In The Game". I used to play the song most
days of a summer in Grippo's Torch Cafe (home of the
well-known bouncer Tom Orlando) when P.J Lennon and I would
stop in (after sneaking into the last show at the New
Dyckman); it was the summer before P.J. entered the Holy Cross
Fathers (John Keegan, John Wolters, Bill McLoughlin, & I went
up to someplace north of Albany to see him "take the robes".
After the ceremony, P.J showed the still hung-over Bill and I
where and how they slaughtered sheep: I couldn't get out of
there fast enough -- it took P.J about three years to follow
me).

PS -- Before I left Guinan's, I told Wendy Bounds, author of
the wonderful "little chapel on the river" about Guinan's, how
much I like the new Samsung Q1 Ultra Mobile PC -- it's been a
long way from the stools at the end of the Broadstone bar by
the jukebox to sitting with a 779g full-featured computer on
the baks of the Hudson -- what a ride!

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