I choose this simply because I love the song, I had never heard of Mickey MacConnell until I stumbled upon a random video of the goings-on inside John B. Keane’s bar in County Kerry, seems like a nice place, seem like nice people.
“Down in the caverns measureless to man, beside the sunless sea, in the shadows of the lost and found, its there I’ll likely be”, the story of an Alzheimer’s sufferer living in a home visited by “a gentle lady with the tragic haunted eyes” who he doesn’t know but agrees to see her every day to play a game where they pretend that he was once someone else.
Fortunately I read that Alzheimers and Dementia is not necessarily hereditary, which is good, for if it was then I’d probably be a prime candidate being that I seem to have inherited my fathers glaucoma and other annoying habits of his, for although he died of over-indulgence and over-enjoying himself for too long in Benidorm his two older sisters both suffered in care homes for many years from Alzheimers and I confess here and now that I didn’t visit either of them and oft-refer to them herein as “my barking-mad aunties” for ’tis easier to deal with the problem with black humour, I make no excuse for this other than the fact that when my brother would visit one of them he always reported back that she didn’t know who he was most of the time and some of the time was actually frightened by what was to her a stranger in her safe room.
Other times though he brought back stories that were bizarre like the time that he reported that my barking mad Auntie Doris had sat in her chair and spoke to him quite lucidly about her visit to Moscow just the other day and of how she was invited to a football match at FC Spartak Moscow and was asked to sit next to President Gorbachev during what turned out to be a very dull 0-0 draw, all of this from a woman who had never left England in her whole 90+ year lifespan and who lived next door to the Leeds Utd footballer Johnny Giles for many years without knowing or caring what he did for a day job other than sometimes small boys would knock on the wrong door and ask for autographs.
Read these here blogs and you’ll understand that my long term memory is in fine shape, it gets dusted down and used frequently and is often prompted by associations to music, “Hey Jude” for instance will always be sat in Form 1S at Leeds Modern Grammar School at an end of term free period when Coe the English Master brought in a record player and the only record in the class was that very single which Rob Vasey, for some strange reason, just happened to have in his bag, play “Hey Jude” anytime now and I’m back there again, instant recollection of a golden moment in the Museum of Recollections.
Which is why I cannot imagine a time when the Museum of Recollections starts to slowly close its filing cabinets one by one until eventually you are left out on the street peering in through the windows which gradually grow opaque with dust and cobwebs so that you can only vaguely read the labels on the boxes stored within, “Hey Jude” you’ll wonder, “now, erm, that rings a bell, I think”.
Still, Mickey MacConnell doesn’t just write beautiful sensitive lyrics of dreadful situations, he writes songs about shopping in Lidl and Aldi too…
And when the night is done and the singing is all sung out, then you have to sing the curtain down…