The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

Na Báid : Story

It’s 1992 and Ireland has just joined the European Union. As part of that agreement, the fisheries of much of the west coast are shut down to protect stocks of species which are now under threat of imminent extinction. In many small communities, the government has established buyout programs for captains to sell their boats and leave the profession. Many of these families have been fishing these waters for hundreds of years. There are few other opportunities for these men, their families or their communities.

Overture

Curtain down. Our Chorus sits on a stool next to a bodhrán player and begins singing. With each verse, they are joined by the remained of the band.

With curtain down, we meet our Chorus who sings the overture along with the bodhrán player. As the aria progresses he is joined by the other folk musicians.

I’ve Got A Story For You

Overture?

Seattle 2015

Scene 1: Morning Before The Auction

The edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Behind is a village.

As the curtain rises, we see Ciarán sitting alone at an overlook. He can see the sea in one direction and down to the village in the other.

Ciarán sings about the the change that seemed so slow to approach but now is about to overwhelm his village and their entire way of life.

Tsunami

Tsunami?

The tide rolls out
The tide rolls in
And the second day since God began
It’s been

And from the stars
The sounds that go on forever
Always there.

Not today.

Seattle 2009

Transition (Sea Shanty)

The curtain comes down and the folk musicians take their places with the orchestra.

Scene 2: The Auction

Day. The boatyard in a small village on the west coast of Ireland. There is a podium. At stage front left is our Chorus. The choir is behind him dressed as villagers. There is a fishing boat off to the far side of the podium

The Auctioneer is at a podium. A man goes up to the block, bids are made, the gavel falls, lives are changed forever. Next up. Repeat. Our Chorus describes the auction from the front of the stage.

Something (By the numbers)

Something (By The Numbers)?

I am the man in the endless line
Taking a place in the endless crime
You must always be there in time
You are always a step behind

I was always afraid to say
Locked off feelings in every day
I never thought I’d be in this quay
More determined
In every way

Auctioneer:
People!
Bring the
People!

People!
Slap the gavel,
People!
Let go!

Móirín:
Could it ever hurt you to be happy?
Did ever help to be high?
Did ever help you to be drinking?
Could it ever hurt you to be home safe and dry?

Did ever hurt you to be thinking?
Did ever even stop to wonder why?
Could it ever hurt you to be home safe and dry?

Ciarán:
Baby I was never good at planning
Thinking I would never make it home safe and dry.

Dublin 2012

At the back of the crowd are Ciarán’s three sons. They have just met with a counselor to discuss re-education and re-location options. The father cannot stop thinking about what the loss of their boat means to the family. But each son can’t help pondering what it means to them (and their wives and girlfriends.)

The auctioneer announces that the auction is done for today and will be concluded tomorrow. Everyone leaves except for Pól who stays behind. Although he says he is committed to staying put, he can’t help thinking about what a new life might be like in Australia.

Australia

Australia?

Pól:
There’s a bell
Turning around
In wind
Terrible is the sound.

Máiréad:
I considered my life
Would never change once
Your boots were at my door.
Why is this happening?
Cathain a tharla sé seo?

Seattle 2017

Transition (Trasna Na Dtonnta)

Trasna Na Dtonnta?

Curfá:

Trasna na dtonnta, dul siar, dul siar,
Slán leis an uaigneas ‘is slán leis an gcian;
Geal é mo chroí, agus geal í an ghrian,
Geal a bheith ag filleadh go hÉirinn!

Chonaic mo dhóthain de Thíortha i gcéin,
Ór agus airgead, saibhreas an tsaoil,
Éiríonn an croí ‘nam le breacadh gach lae
‘S mé druidim le dúthaigh mo mhuintir!

Curfá

Ar mo thriall siar ó éirigh mo chroí
An aimsir go hálainn is tonnta deas réidh
Stiúradh go díreach go dúthaigh mo chliabh
‘S bheidh mé in Éirinn amárach!

Curfá

Muintir an Iarthair ‘siad cairde mo chroí,
Fáilte ‘is féile bheidh romham ar gach taobh.
Ar fhágaint an tsaoil seo, sé ghuidhim ar an Rí
Gur leosan a shinfear i gcill mé.

Chorus:

Over the waves, going west, going west!
Goodbye to loneliness and to the distant remoteness;
Bright is my heart and bright is the sun,
Happy to be returning to Ireland!

I saw my fill of countries abroad,
Gold and silver, the wealth of the world,
My heart rises in me with the break of each day,
As I draw closer to the land of my people!

Chorus

On my journey oh! my heart rises!
The weather is beautiful and the waves are settled
Steering directly to land of my bosom
And I’ll be in Ireland tomorrow!

Chorus

People of the West, they’re the friends of my heart,
Welcome and celebration awaits me on every side.
Leaving this life I pray to the Lord
That it’s with them I’ll be stretched in the graveyard!

Traditional 1945

The current comes down as the stage is reset. The villagers sing the nostalgic song all emigrating Irish people learn in school.

Scene 3: Evening At The Bar

Int. A typical rural Irish pub.

Everyone meets at the bar to cry in their beer. Our Chorus describes the buy out deal the villagers have been offered.

Starting Over

Starting Over?

Swinging out on the sundial
Giving up
But then meanwhile
I would take you away

(Far away)

Setting out on a mean tide
Looking back at the cliff so high

I’d take you away

(We’ll be starting over.)

Over the hills
Right through those trees
There’s a curving path
Down to that sea

They had planned a life
For everyone
But you can’t extract new meanings
From that sun.

Seattle 2016

The auctioneer gets up to bemoan the fact that everyone is taking their ‘sentence’ so eagerly. He reminds them of a ‘rising’ in 1791 at the nearby river and taunts them for not being as brave as those men.

To The Bank

To The Bank?

I

All hearts were aflame
Seventeen Ninety One!
The gleaming of blades
At the rising of the sun.
They went off to play
At the river Gleann Dunne.
The roll of the drums and they sang

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d hold their course
In the wind and the rain.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d own their names when day was done.

II

They pulled out their claims
And they followed their sons.
They marched down the lane
At the beating of the sun.
They’d hold up the place
Til their case had been won.
There fortune did burn
Like a flame.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d hold their course
In the wind and the rain.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

The river flowed
And gaily stepped the great parade
To the bank.

Confrontation (Interlude)

III

They pulled out their claims
And they followed their (son)
They burned down the rails
At the dying of the sun
They hauled down the bars
And they pulled out their claims
They thought they would do as you say

They pulled out their claims
And they swallowed their tongues
They ran out of range
At the setting of the sun

The roar of the guns
As they sang.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d hold their course
In the wind and the rain.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

The river flowed
And gaily stepped the grand parade
To the bank.

Seattle 2012

Ciaràn mocks him. How can he be running the auction while suggesting resistance? He calls him a hypocrite and makes a bad pun that if they fought back at the town bank it would end about as well as the fight at the river bank 200 years ago. An argument ensues with everyone angrily exiting the bar.

You’ll Never See The Like Of Me Again

You'll Never See The Like Of Me Again?

Open your eyes
You’ll see a fading memory.
Don’t you see it?

Open your eyes.
You’ll see the moving shadows
That covered over me.

Steady as she goes.
You never see the fading light
Moving far in the light
It never
You never get to see again?

Open your eyes
You’ll never see
The like of me
Again and yet
The tide returns
And never ends.

Such a surprise?
Did it ever
Just don’t look back
And don’t look in
The thread afraid
Worn in both ends.

Seattle 2015

But Tomás remains in his chair after everyone else has left. The reality of the situation is only now sinking in for him. He thinks about where he will go if there really is no more fishing in the area.

Canada

Canada?

I
Canada.
Oh Canada.
Long may you wave.

Far away
And far to sea.
I dreamed I wept
And you were there.

II
Canada.
MyCanada?
Long may you wave.

Far away,
And far from me.
I dream at night
That you could see.

Far away,
Far away,
How far away,
From me?

Far away,
And far to sea?
How far away,
The sea.

Seattle 2016

Transition (Lullaby)

Curtain down. The folk musicians move on stage to join the choir as villagers.

Scene 4: Next Morning

The kitchen of Ciarán’s house; a modest, typical Irish bungalow.

Móirín makes breakfast for Ciarán. In this duet, he tells her that he feels like he’s let his family down–especially her. She replies that he never really considered her feelings–always making decisions for the both of them.

I Dreamed Of You Tonight

I Dreamed Of You Tonight?

I

I dreamed of you tonight
It wasn’t that hard
With everything in sight

Whatever it was I was living for
Never did know what I’d be in store.

II

I can’t say that I felt the same
Never fully letting go of all the blame
You never had a <> left behind
Ever since I held my ground

I rained down on
Dizzy memories
Landing deeply
Did you know that?

I would’ve gone anywhere with you.
Over the ocean blue
I’d see you through

And I never meant any harm to you
(That’s right)

Over the ocean blue
Over the ocean blue
Over the ocean blue
Over the ocean blue

Seattle 2015

There is a pounding on the door. Ciarán is approached by the crowd and is informed by one of the townspeople that they are all going to the bank to stop the auction. He argues that it’s pointless, but reluctantly gives in and agrees to join them in a march on the auctioneers.

Two Waves

Two Waves?

Seattle 2004

Scene 5: To The Bank

Ext. Day. The road from Ciarán’s house down to the village.

The protesters march to the bank to demand an end to the auction and a renegotiation of their terms.

To The Bank

To The Bank?

I

All hearts were aflame
Seventeen Ninety One!
The gleaming of blades
At the rising of the sun.
They went off to play
At the river Gleann Dunne.
The roll of the drums and they sang

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d hold their course
In the wind and the rain.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d own their names when day was done.

II

They pulled out their claims
And they followed their sons.
They marched down the lane
At the beating of the sun.
They’d hold up the place
Til their case had been won.
There fortune did burn
Like a flame.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d hold their course
In the wind and the rain.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

The river flowed
And gaily stepped the great parade
To the bank.

Confrontation (Interlude)

III

They pulled out their claims
And they followed their (son)
They burned down the rails
At the dying of the sun
They hauled down the bars
And they pulled out their claims
They thought they would do as you say

They pulled out their claims
And they swallowed their tongues
They ran out of range
At the setting of the sun

The roar of the guns
As they sang.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

They’d hold their course
In the wind and the rain.

“To the bank!”
“To the bank!”

The river flowed
And gaily stepped the grand parade
To the bank.

Seattle 2012

The crowd all march away off stage towards the town. Cian lags behind and wonders what his life will be in a new home in the United States where his cousin (our Chorus) already lives. Since the Chorus cannot interact with the characters, they talk over one another. Cian is not only the youngest of the three boys, he is also the most enthusiastic to leave. Unlike his brothers, he thinks of this situation as an opportunity to escape, although he can’t say so openly.

America

America?

Seattle 2016

Móirín walks up to Cian and asks him why he’s not marching with the rest of the people. For the first time, he shares his internal conflict with her.

Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy?

Seattle 2015

At that moment, one of the townspeople rushes back to tell Móirín that her husband has collapsed and is being rushed to the hospital.

Transition

Curtain down. The folk musicians and the choir return to the orchestra.

Scene 6: The Hospital

A hospital emergency room. Ciarán is waiting to be treated, watching news footage of the protest march.

Ciarán is in a hospital bed watching a television news report of the march to the bank–which failed to achieve anything. He sees himself on the TV.

Fallen Leaves

Falling Leaves?

Thinking back on the falling leaves
The oak, the elm
And the running streams
And all the things that you ever had
That now had now turned to dust.

Everything that I ever saw
Went all along with the floating logs
And everywhere that I could see
Was all my fault.

I’ve seen myself on a TV screen
And crowded out
By the glowing beams
And everywhere that I have been was
At such a cost.

I’ve seen myself as a man of dreams
Shot my hand
In a very few schemes
I even laughed
When I saw my end
But that’s not
Who I am.

Seattle 2005

Scene 7: Home (Morning)

At home in Ciarán’s bedroom.

Móirín is calling in the dogs from the field. Ciarán is thinking about how difficult he’s been to live with just as she comes in to check on him. She tells him to stop the fight and to tell the villagers to accept their fate. She insists that everyone will listen to him. If he does not, she threatens to leave. In her view, the protest no longer brings the town together–instead it is tearing apart all the families. He agrees, wondering how easy it was to give in today when it would have been so impossible just a few hours ago.

I Will Try You

I Will Try You?

Ciarán
I will try.
I will try.

I will try (you).

Móirín
In every single dream
And every thing we’ve lost
This is no fairy tale
This is one time it costs
I begged myself
That I would never
Promise them.
But every time I do then
here you come again.

Móirín
With everything you left me
And with everything bought
You never thought to spend me in your arms.

I never meant to tempt you
And with all your friends
But now you know just what you’ve lost.

I know the time depressed you
When you were under my skin
But now you know we’re done
And I’ll really walk.

Ciarán
Take my hand
Let’s walk for a moment
Down to the edge sea.
We’ll go talk like old
In the moment.
Listen.

Ciarán and Móirín
You can say you see in the open.
You can say you’re free.

I believe you’ll dive
Down to the headland
Down to the memory
Down to the edge of the sea.

Seattle 2018

Pól walks in. Ciarán tells him what he’s decided. Pól now realizes that he–and his brothers–will have no choice but to leave. How to break it to Máiréad. How to break it to his brothers.

Transition

The band and choir return to the stage.

Scene 8: Finale

A starry night. The boys are sitting at tables outside the door to the bar.

Outside the bar, the three brothers discuss what has happened to their father. Pól is told there is a phone call for him–his girlfriend–and he goes inside to speak with her. As they talk, he makes the decision to leave.

Martello Towers

Martello Towers?

MÁIRÉAD: Looking at flowers
Outside the village tower
I knew.
(I knew?)

Feeling for the sun
When I knew you were the one
I knew.
(I knew?)

I was thinking of that time
When we first would make that climb
I knew.
(I knew?)

I remember that your hand;
Almost more than I could stand
And I knew.
(I knew?)

Growing, growing, growing
Never knowing where we’ll go.

But we knew.
(I knew?)

PÓL: I know you think you love me.
It’s something we all do.
And I know you’re thinking of me
And that’s lonely too.

And maybe you think you are.
And maybe you think you’re not.

But I never thought this would get to you
No I never thought this would get to you
I just never thought I could get to you
Til now.

Seattle 2009

Pól sits down and the other two immediately guess what has just happened. Tomás can’t understand. He thinks Pól is simply giving up and briefly insists they can somehow continue to fight and regain their livelihood. But as he speaks, he loses momentum and slumps back in his chair.

Tower Hill

Tower Hill?

I wish were on Tower Hill
In the place where I was born.
I would cast my gaze on bonny lakes
By the stream down to Glean Duine.

Forward.
Forward.
Forward to a different to a different place.

Forward.
Never sees that first mistake.

Falling,
Falling,
Falling down.

Reckless feelings
Always let me down.

I wish were on Tower Hill
In the place where I came from.

You can’t

Seattle 2015

Together, the boys realise that if they back their father, the rest of the town will also join in and the unrest will end. Their mood gradually changes from one of anger and depression to muted optimism–each trying to buck up the others’ spirits. They head outside and enthusiastically describe the places they’ve each decided to go to.

You Can Dream

You Can Dream?

I

Let me tell ya boys.
‘Cause I won’t be around.
Let me tell ya boys
That I won’t be around.
There’s a ship that I’ll be on
But it’s not out on the sea.
It’s a plane up in the sky
And I guess that’s where I will be.

There’s a heaving sail
And a burning foam
In a rolling gale
That never seems to slow.

It’s a passing tale
Over empty shoals
Don’t you know.
(Don’t you know?)
(Don’t you know?)

Let me tell ya boys.
‘Cause I won’t be around.
What I thought of all you feckin’ gealt…
And everyone else in this damned town.

Well I thank my stars
For all the time I claimed
You could put ’em all to shame
(It’ll never be the same.)

I died that night.
When they sold that boat.
Come along.
Come along.

Chorus

You can dream with me!
You can dream with me!
As we shove off to the shining sea
You can dream with me!
You can dream with me!
And everything that we’re going to be.

II

Let me tell ya boys
That I won’t be around.
Let me tell ya boys
That I won’t be around.
There’s a ship that I’ll be on.
But it’s not on the sea.
There’s a plane up in the sky.
And I guess that’s where I will be.

Let me tell ya boys.
‘Cause I won’t be around.
What I thought of all you feckin’ gealt…
And everyone else in this damned town.

Well what I think my brother’s trying to say
To all you noble clowns.
You could could put ’em all to shame
It never……?????
I died the night
As I sang these notes.
Come along!
(I never felt so alone).

Chorus

You can dream with me!
You can dream with me!
As we shove off to the shining sea
You can dream with me!
You can dream with me!
And everything that we’re going to be.

Bridge

Canada!
Australia!
America ya know.

Hey! It’ll be so cool.
(Why can’t I go with you?)

Canada!
Australia!
America ya know.

Hey! It’ll be so cool.

Bridge

Canada!
Australia!
America?
(I know)

Hey! It’ll be so cool.
(Why can’t I go with you?)

Canada!
Australia!
America ya know.

Hey! It’ll be so cool.
(Why can’t I go with you?)

Seattle 2016

1xOverture
2xTsunami
3xSomething (By The Numbers)
4xTrasna Na Dtonnta
5xAustralia
6xStarting Over
7xTwo Waves
8xCanada
9xI Dreamed Of You Tonight
10xYou’ll Never See The Like Of Me Again
11xTo The Bank
12xAmerica
13xBeautiful Boy
14xFallen Leaves
15xI Will Try You
16xMartello Towers
17x Tower Hill
18xYou Can Dream

20Triplets
21Primrose
22Sleeping Maggie ???????????????????????

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