As the Evening Sky Grew Dark: A Dublin Song

For a song with such a pleasant name, the Dublin ballad “Easy and Slow” has a rather less easy-going parentage. Socialist playwright Sean O’Casey may have written it for his 1942 play, Red Roses For Me . Or he may have written new verses to add to an already existing song, one he learned from an old Dublin woman working in the Liberties or Moore Street markets. Or the ever-present shadow of Dominic Behan may have written the new verses. These are not to be confused with the extra, spoken-word verses that Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners, or someone writing for Ronnie Drew, may have added some decades later. On the other hand, the Clancy Brothers’ Flowers in the Valley album’s liner notes from 1969 list it simply as being a “traditional”, implying its origins as being from some even far less specific time and place.                Given its confusing lineage, the story it tells is a relatively simple one. A young man meets a girl named Annie, somewhere around Christ Church Cathedral in the

Open the Door Homer: Dylan, Yeats and the Blind Poet

                              1. Songs of Myself “I Contain Multitudes”, the opening song on Bob Dylan’s 2020 album, Rough and Rowdy Ways , its title inspired by fellow American master Walt Whitman, is a concise distillation of a life long-lived. It is filled with inspirations, with culture, with the personal and the political, love and death, from 'today, tomorrow and yesterday'. Dylan's opening lines, 'the flowers are dying, like all things do' is a distinct echo of Whitman's 'the past and present wilt' from Section 51 of his epic "Song of Myself" and the same section of the poem that gives Dylan's song its title: 'I am large, I contain multitudes'. But as the title suggests, there is far more buried within.                Upon the song’s initial release, commentators remarked upon the song's following lines’ reference to Ballinalee, a quiet town in central Ireland, and its links to “The Lass from Ballynalee”, an English tran