The whole country has gone bananas for music since Sharon Shannon played a tune to a field of cows in Dungarvan last week.
On this farm, over the weekend, my daughter Grace, with concertina in hand, played ‘Britches Full of Stitches’ for the galloping herd.
She didn’t put a foot wrong.
And sure enough, just like with Sharon Shannon, my cattle couldn’t get enough of it. They came stampeding to her side from all quarters. Indeed, before she had finished, I could swear that one or two of my more light-footed bullocks had made an attempt to do some class of a jig (even though Britches Full of Stitches is, if truth be told, a polka).
Anyhow, after Grace’s performance, there was nothing for it but the main act. I strapped on the guitar like Johnny Cash, plus a few tunes of my own.
And with U2 playing in Dublin over the weekend, I felt I could do a lot worse than to treat the steers and the half squeezed bulls to the songs made famous by the Dublin outfit.
I started with ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and wrapped it up with ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.
I did them just like Bono himself.
After my rendition, I explained to the gathering in the field that U2 were a very influential band, and that Bono was a great fellow entirely.
I also told my bullocks that I would have been there myself in Dublin to hear him sing, if only I had got a ticket for free.
With the U2 cattle concert at an end, I really got going and, strapping on the banjo, headed next for the hen house in an effort to serenade the poultry. Yerra, Sharon Shannon only half did the thing, if you ask me.
The pair of hens residing there have been the bane of my life ever since their arrival a few weeks ago.
A most unsavoury pair of birds, it has to be said. Anyhow, starting of in a G chord, I belted out a few Pecker Dunne classics, starting with ‘The Tinkers Lullaby’.
The hens loved it. Now we were cooking!
They connected with the Pecker.
It was a great attempt by me to get the birds onside, and it worked a treat. With the hens flying high, in the end, didn’t the elder of the two birds strike off herself with some sad old lament. Probably about a long lost love or something. She clucked away for a good quarter of an hour, and I accompanied her on the banjo.
I was unable to decipher much of what she was tying to express, for I don’t speak hen language.
But I heard enough to know that it was a mournful old ballad with nothing but sadness to it.
It was like the kind of thing the old people used to sing on the radio years ago.
The hen really plucked at the old heart strings, there wasn’t a dry eye in the hen house.
With her song over, our musical journey at an end, I bade them farewell and returned to the great outdoors.
Overall, the whole melodic experience had been nothing short of a resounding success, nothing performed in Croke Park over the weekend could match it.
A farm operating in absolute harmony can be a wonderful thing to behold.
Sharon Shannon playing the fiddle and accordion for a herd of cows in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, was a big hit on her Facebook page.
Grace Lehane in concert.