Ancestral Lands and John B Keane’s

Today we met with Brendan Lawlor who lives on a farm very near where my relatives lived While he doesn’t know his family history far enough back to connect, I’m fairly certain we are fifth cousins. He has a beautiful farm and I have to feel a little sad for my relatives who had to leave this beautiful place.

We came into the kitchen to the wonderful smell of newly baked scones and muffins.

Looking towards his mother’s house and the rest of his land

We had a lovely talk and even learned where some of the next Star Wars movie was filmed in County Kerry!

Some shots looking towards Knockanore Mountain and the land my relatives farmed

Old buildings on the land – after awhile you quit stopping to look at every one but we weren’t quite there yet.

A farmer mowing the grass field behind our Airbnb house where they will not remove or mow too close to the “Fairy Tree” (to the right of the truck)

Our back yard

So out for a night with John Wade, our Airbnb host. We started at the bar in the Lisowel Arms with a special drink – named the Irish Flag – creme de menthe, baileys, and I think a brandy on top.

Then on to “John B Keane’s” for a show of storytelling, singing and poetry. Here Billy Keane performs with a guest

On the left a couple we met who farm right near where my McElligott ancestors lived.

Mickey MacConnell playing his most famous song “Only Our Rivers Run Free” You can hear here it here(not my recording). This song can bring tears to my eyes. A poignant ballad about Ireland.

Here is a recording of it

Eoin (Owen) Hand, former footballer and manager, and also musician

The Black Hills of Dakota was one of John B Keanes favourite songs and he always sang it at the end of sing along sessions in his pub in Listowel. To honour his memory the song had been adopted as an unofficial anthem and is sung at the end of every musical evening with great gusto !  We were probably about the only people who knew what the Black Hills are – or certainly the only ones who had been there! I was amazed that everyone in the bar knew this song and sang along. This is also not my recording but exactly as it was done for us. I know the song from being in the play “Calamity Jane” in high school!  What great craic! (Yes it is pronounced crack but it just means “fun”)

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