Thursday, March 22, 2012

St.Patricks Celebrations

I genuinely believe that St.Patricks Day is celebrated like no other, here in Northern America. I suppose thats probably down to the estimated 74 million Irish Americans that live here. Of course not all are 1st generation or directly from there, but it makes no odds to us. We are delighted and proud to have so many associated to our country and so many proud to be. Ireland truly is a very rich country. Obviously I dont mean financially, as that is something we most definitely are not. However, I measure wealth in many forms. Indeed it is well documented how rich we are when it comes to music. From the beginning of time, we have always taken great pride in our music. Many of us we're brought up eating and drinking the stuff. Most learnt an instrument, and if not, they would learn to dance or sing. Through our colourful history, we have almost always documented it through song and music. Of course, we are also a country of poets and writers and they too have created works that have been respected and cherished the world over. Whether it be from "The Book of Kells" to "Ulysses" or even to the modern rom com  "P.S I Love You", it is always great to see that fine tradition carry on. Im not sure how or why we are so expressive as a nation, because I dont believe we as a people are too open. For long periods of time our country was kept firmly under the thumb of the Catholic Church. Beliefs were that of Rome or nothing. Feelings amongst men we're never shared and women just knuckled down and kept the family together through good and more often than not, bad times.
I suppose as time passes, and times change, we learn its ok to be open and talk about feelings and fears. Emotions, both happy and sad. However, through the mediums of literature and music, it will always be the best way to express oneself.
Through this export, Ireland has resonated with many people in many countries. I suppose you dont have to be Irish to understand what oppression is, or starvation is, or over coming adversity. Being Irish, we understand what it is to lose a loved one. More than most. To this very day, many families bid fare well to their loved ones who are boarding planes to far off lands, in hope of finding work and a better life. There was a period where we as a country thought that time was in the past, but sadly we are back in the thick of it again.
Many small towns and cities are losing their young at an alarming rate. We have one of the finest education systems in the world, and some of the brightest academics graduating ever year. Only to lose them to other countries. This is truly heartbreaking.
I write this as one of the young who have left home. Im certainly not one of the bright sparks I talked about above, but with me its not much different. I like so many, love Ireland and love being surrounded by family and friends. I love my walks down Dun Laoghaire pier in the summer, or sitting in an ould Dublin bar in the throughs of winter. Driving from Dublin to anywhere in the country in a matter of hours and going from city life to the rural kingdom of Ireland. These are all things that I often yearn for. So why did I leave? Im certainly not moaning. I love my new home. I left because I dream of bigger and better. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually I realized that if I was to achieve half of what I dreamed of, I would need to leave Ireland. How long for? Only time will tell. Though I, like so many, hope that returning to home for good, will be an option down the long and winding road.
So when St. Patricks Day comes around, it gives you a great sense of pride. Pride at the fact that even those who have no Irish in them, feel the need to celebrate the day thats in it.
I had a fantastic lead up to the day itself. On the Thursday before, I was invited to take part in the New York Parade Gala event at the NYAC. There were some other fantastic acts involved like Celtic Woman, and Michael T English. Friends from the industry Im glad to say. I met some wonderful people at the event and was delighted with the reaction my performances got. I was indeed honoured to perform the American National Anthem and a couple from my new album This Is The Moment.
The following evening I was invited into the Feinstein Lounge in NY for a beautiful intimate evenings performance by Linda Eder. Im delighted that she is with the same management as myself so got to meet her after. A lady with a wealth of experience and talent.
Then Saturday came round fast at it was a VERY early start to the day. Dominique and I had been invited to the Grand Marshals breakfast at 7am and to say I needed a couple of coffee's would be an understatement. No sooner had I a slice of bacon in me, when I got asked to sing. This I was not expecting. So indeed, excuses never work when called upon to sing amongst the Irish, and Carrigfergus got a little bit of a belt. Thankfully I was well received and was able to hit all the notes. From there we went straight to the home of St.Patricks Day in America, that of course being St. Patricks Cathedral for 8 am mass! Again, been a while since I was at mass that early. There was an amazing collection of people there from all over the States and Canada, and the mass was celebrated by Cardinal Dolan. Who I have renamed Fr.Cool! Simply because of the way talks to the congregation. Keeps it light, with a point to his sermon. Needless to say, they got the point across on many occassions that they needed money! Somethings never change I suppose!! I felt like shouting back, "DONT WE ALL"!!! The music and celebration was second to none and it really was a celebration of all things Irish.
After that I went straight to do a radio show on Madison Avenue and Mr.Bloomberg went on just before me. It was great to meet him and indeed I sensed he felt to be wary of me, as one never knows who will be the next Mayor of the city!!!!

I finished work around lunchtime, and went to hang with some friends who have lived here for nearly 10years. Not a regular occurrence, but the day being in it, a pint of Guinness was had. I have been off the drink for lent, but Paddy's Day is always the exception! Especially after a day of pressing palms. I would hate to be a politician having to canvas all the time. DRAINING! I only have a certain amount of "nice"!!!!

One thing both Dominique and I both commented on was the amount of drunk people littering the city on the day. What was glaringly obvious was that the majority were not Irish. It was a shame as it clearly sends out the image about us. It seemed a lot we're young students who used the celebrations for a chance to come to the city and drink a lot. I must make the point, Irish enjoy a drink...or two, but we are not all alcoholics! Either way, its not something for me to lose sleep over. Just an observation.

Now that all the Patricks Day celebrations have piped down and normality is resuming again, I am working hard on my material for the Titanic gig I have in Ireland in April, and I am also pressurizing my agent to finalise dates throughout the States. We are also looking at the potential of some in Canada. Im aware of the support I have up there, and want to return the favour by doing some gigs there. Theatre's are harder to book than pubs and indeed if I was equipped for pub gigs I would do them. Problem is, I have always been a concert performer, and hope I always will. point being, that if there is a sniff of a chance we can get venues, we will.

I have no doubt it will be a busy year, and I am taking it one day at a time. Belief in oneself can often be hard to find, but Im blessed with a fantastic girlfriend, a wonderfully supportive family and indeed the finest and most dedicated fans/friends in the world. So on those days when I struggle, they generally roll in behind me, and carry me to a stronger brighter place. For that, I will always be grateful. We will succeed. For those who quit, never win, and for those who win, never quit.

Be well, be safe and be happy.
Thank you all

My loves
My Doves
My Eggs

Paul x

 

37 comments:

  1. In this world, we must help each other in order to archieve our dreams and goals... At least that's what I think. Worderful, simply amazing. Inspiring and warm. Greetings from Ecuador. Keep climbing!!

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  2. What a wonderful blog Paul. I'm exhausted just reading about your weekend. You're right, the young kids use it as an excuse to get drunk, and usually obnoxious, and that does give us a bad name.
    I'm excited to hear all about your next tour here in the States. And all about your Titanic performance.
    I've only ever talked to Dominique once briefly but in that time I got the impression that she is a very lovely woman who loves you very much.
    Thanks for taking the time to blog. it always means a lot to hear all about your "adventures"

    Be safe, God bless.
    Red

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  3. Wow! What wonderful observations you've put into words. Along with your outstanding singing talent you do have a way with words. Maybe you should think about writing a book someday. I'm quite sure there would be a few sold.

    Thank you for another glimpse into your life. It's amazing how much you share with us, your fans.

    Love to both you and Dominique.
    Pat

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  4. I am from Newfoundland and many of our ancestors (late 1800's and to this day) are from Ireland - most came during the "Potato Famine". I can certainly relate to every word you have said in this blog.. religion, music, song, writing and loving fun, working hard, and 'seldom' complaining. Our people also are born singing, playing music and writing songs... now I can see why!
    I can also sympathies with the feelings you have when seeing so many young people drinking too much, but.. where I live drinking is a part of the music and song.. not as much as years ago, but still there. We always thought it was because of our irish ancestry?? My apologies for making that assumption.
    I love your voice, your music and your performances. I attended the CT concert in Halifax when you were with them and it was magnificent. So please try to come to the Arts & Culture Centre in St. John's https://artsandculturecentre.com/stjohns/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=A654E38B-1F2A-4D7A-947D-2925326B46AA&menu_id=ACF3916F-D6FA-46B6-BC1E-ADF94DDE2C8F
    We love your singing and talent in Newfoundland.
    God bless, Trudy

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  5. Thanks, Paul, for this heart warming blog........we so love your home country, Ireland, but we are so thankful that you are sharing yourself with us in the States.....YES, THIS IS YOUR MOMENT!!!!!!!! Now, I gotta go VOTE!! :):):):)

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  6. I've only been to Ireland once, and it was the most beautiful place in the world. Hope to go again someday. We, too, are Catholic and that is one of the things I love about Ireland - Catholic heritage. We heard you sing at the Embassy Theatre in Ft. Wayne, Indiana a few years ago. You have the voice of an angel, Paul! Take care and God bless you and your family.
    from The McMahon Clan

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  7. Very nicely written Paul...I have no doubt that you will go far (and of course, behind every successful man is a strong & loving woman). I'm glad to hear that you and Dom had an eventful & Happy St. Patrick's Day. I'm crossing my fingers for a Florida (West coast) concert. Hugs, Sandy M. Martin

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  8. Paul you are truly a great man. I am so glad that a lot of your dreams have come true. I Love your voice. At times I still wish you were with Celtic Thunder. But you needed to follow your dreams. Not just you I like all the CT guys and have them as my friend. I even have Ryan as my friend. I will remain faithful to all you guys. And I and so many other fans they are all doing very good trying to help you get an award in the European crossover.

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  9. Paul
    Fantastic blog as usual ... It sounds like you had a great St Paddy's Day... Can't wait to hear about your next tour ...I'm going to see you in Sellersville, Pa May 15 and can't wait ...
    As always God Bless
    You and Dom
    Charlotte A Patton

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  10. Thank you for the wonderful blog Paul. I am Irish in my heart and soul even if I am not in truth. My love for anything Gaelic, both Irish and Scottish, will last for all of my life. You and your music brings me as close to the rolling green hills of Ireland as possible without actually being there. Again thank you for all you do for us by sharing your wonderful voice with us.

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  11. YOUR JUST THAT AMAZING TENOR...I ADORE YOU AND THAT VOICE! YOU ARE QUITE THE COMEDIAN AS WELL.. GREAT CRAIC!
    XOXO

    TWITTER.COM @SHELLYWELLEY
    MICHELLE MCDONALD

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  12. I really enjoyed reading your blog Paul.Im really excited about how well you are doing as a solo artist.Do you think you will ever tour in Australia? I know it's a long way from the USA but Im sure we'd make you welcomed.In the meantime I will continue to vote for you as the bestest.Good luck and enjoy your life in USA
    your biggest aussie fan
    Linda xx

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  13. Paul, thanks for the blog. Good luck with the competitions. Enjoy your trip back to Ireland! Looking forward to some tour news!!!!

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  14. This was a very wonderful message! Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Greetings from a 76 yr. Irish grandmother and her 15 yr. Irish granddaughter. Thanks for such a beautiful and touching blog. I tweeted to your mum sometime back that you reminded me of my precious Irish daddy(looks and voice), yes, he was a tenor. Daddy has been gone since 1998, but when I first heard your voice, it brought tears, as it sounded so much like his voice. My Irish Mummie was a soprano and many times they did duets. "Just A Song At Twilight" was one of their favourites.
    Paul don't ever stop believing in all your dreams. You certainly have so very much to offer. Not only is your voice awesome, yes, your writing touches the very core of many hearts as well as our's.
    The best to you and beautiful Dominique. You two should come to see Ryan Coulter play soccer at ETSU. We see him play often as we are ETSU soccer fans.
    Love to you both and God Bless your coming in and going out.
    Dorothy and Darian(Knoxville, Tennessee)
    P.S. We need to go vote, it has been 2 hours since we last voted.

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  16. Once more I say ,if God forbide the voice should go,your music could still be heard in Your beautiful writing

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  17. Paul, you give me so much pleasure with your voice, your songs, your sharing your life with us; it is my pleasure to return the favor and support you in any thing you strive to do. Sending my love.

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  18. Thank You Velvet Voice : )
    I love reading about your life and adventures. You are a very good writer. You always give us that glimpse into the real you and real Ireland. I do have Irish blood in me and am proud of that. Seems like you have made some wonderful contacts there in NY. So happy you love living there. You know we have been trying hard to get the vote out for you : ) I so hope a tour is in the offering this year. Your shows are the greatest and there is nothing better than hearing you sing in person. You put everything into your songs. Thank You!! A big hello to Dominique,she is so sweet and devoted to you. : )
    Love and Hugs,
    Jean O

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  19. Great Blog Paul, Much Love to you and my Lil' Lassie Domi!

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  20. So much emotion Paul, I am choked up, but beautifully said. Thank you for sharing you with us fans/friends. You are very unique in who you are and your voice is incredible. I have listened to singers for all my life thanks to my Dad, who used to sit and have me sit with him as he played all types of music from Latin to Martin to Caruso, etc. etc. So music is in my soul, but your voice is mesmerizing. You will succeed Paul and we will be there with you all the way. God Bless you and your loved ones

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  21. Thank you Paul,
    I am very pleased to read your Blogs. Never worry because we will always support you. I pray your DREAMS will come true so you and Dom can stay here. I would like to ask a favor could you please come to the bay area when you are in concert. My daughter and I would like to go to one.
    Thank you again, God Bless you and Dom. We love you.

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  22. As usual...a stellar Blog!!! Such fun to read your musings about life in New York and your lovely Ireland. Thank you for sharing a small part of your life with us. We will always support you in whatever you do, because we feel the love you have for us too. Thanks and many blessings for you and the ones you love. Perri

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  23. Beautiful blog. Thank you. I’m fifth-generation Irish-American on my father’s side, more Scots than Irish on my mother’s side and of course, being American, some other dilutions along the way. My aunt once reckoned my generation was still about 83% Celt. I love to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, too. I think it has to do with the pride of being descended from people who came here with so little and achieved so much. Most didn’t arrive as conquering heroes but rather as refugees from famine or religious and/or political persecution; they were poor in money but rich in spirit and courage. They became prosperous and prolific, and were a major force in creating the cultures of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and America. It is a good thing to celebrate their spirit, their heritage of music and poetry and love, of life itself and of family and friends particularly.
    Your voice and talent are amazing, but there are a few other tenors in the world worth listening to as well. I think what draws your fans to you is the person you are, the love in you that leaks out in your interviews and blogs and such. You’re very Irish in spirit, in my opinion. (I know public personas don’t always match private reality, but it’s hard to believe anyone could put on that good an act through that many Meet’nGreets!) It is sad, as you say, that so many have had to leave Ireland, for whatever reasons, but the world has been immeasurably enriched by it.
    Our forebears may have left Ireland in sorrow, but they succeeded in the New World spectacularly. You didn’t come here in that sorrow, but I hope and expect you will continue the Irish tradition of spectacular success. And clock just beeped, so gotta go vote again!

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  24. Once again you remind all of your devoted fans as to why, other than your phenomenal talent,we all care so much for you. I was so touched by your music,then by your messages/thoughts on being here in our country, you and your Dom are a wonderful example of what Ireland has to offer and we're all delighted to have you with us.

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  25. Great blog Paul. Your messages are always so sincere. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Love your music.

    Best of luck to you and Dominique. She is a real sweetheart.

    Kathy Norowski

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  26. Paul, you have such an amazing way with words!! More often than not your blogs bring tears to my eyes.
    I can't begin to tell you what your music has done for me in the past year but I will say that I literally owe you and the rest of CT my life. For that, I'm more than willing to cast a vote where I can to show my appreciation.

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  27. I have found like Paul that on St. PADDY'S DAY EVERYONE. Is Irish. This year I had to work. My job is in a museum of contemporary art. I was absolutely going to celebrate my hisotory i bought the most amazing Irish hat and dressed in green sporting my hat to work. I was so proud to be the only person that day who did celebrate!

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  28. Paul,
    Although times are hard and leaving home is even harder, we are happy that you and Dominique have graced our country with your presence, your wit, your charm, and your music. I loved seeing you "up-close and personal" in Philadelphia last November. Would love to do it again!
    Believe!
    Maggie

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  29. Paul..you write the best blogs, but this one was very special...I hope to be able to camp out again for one of your shows in Los Angeles very soon!!!!...Chris and I had such a good time waiting to be front row center at the El Rey and we can't wait to see you again!!!!..I can't seem to get your blogs to take my comments, so I'll just say I'm Sharon/Thumper

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  30. Great Blog! Thanks for sharing.

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  31. I loved the blog, Paul. But, reading all you did in a few days is exhausting, I can't imagine actually doing it.

    My brother had a St. Patrick's Day party this year and while it is foolish we all had to much to drink that night. It was a lot of fun and as someone that rarely ever goes out and does anything (or even really talks to anyone) I take fun when it knocks on my door. So I guess we were some of those kids that drank to much and give it a bad name (we were in my brother's apartment, not in public though).
    My brother has a theory about why so many Americans get so drunk on holidays, it's simply an excuse. I mean look at Cinco De Mayo, the 4th of July, New Years a lot of Americans get way, way too drunk on all of those holidays and The 4th of July is the only one that is actually an "American" holiday, the rest we just took as an excuse to get drunk. (Except New Years- that's the whole world, but still and excuse to drink too much)

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  32. Paul - Thank you so much for such a thoughtful blog - and mixed with some LOLs! It makes us all so proud when the rest of the world recognizes your talents and we are here to continue to help to get the word out. YNWA
    Jean

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  33. Think of those 74 million Irish Americans as cousins you've yet to meet who are glad to have ya this side of the pond -- you're with family wherever you go!
    Been reading the other comments; have to say Frankie's is my favorite -- "if God forbide the voice should go, your music could still be heard in Your beautiful writing".
    We luv ya, cuz!

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  34. Paul, being a third generation American/Irish I was raised in a very "Irish" family. Everyday was about family, the importance of family, depending on one another, being there for each other. Faith, compassion, happiness, joy, was all shared. Even though my Mom was an only child,we grew up close to our sixth generation Irish cousins and everyone in between. We celebrated together and mourned together. It was always said in my family that someone is a stranger only once! That is how we were all raised and I try to remember it always. I was no longer a young girl when I first stepped on Irish soil, the fullfillment of a lifelong dream, but it was the compassion and the friendliness of the Irish people that made me feel as if I was at home with my own family. It is that gift from everyone we met along our journey that I treasure the most.

    I had been taught to always believe in ones self, ask for God's guidence and always know that your family and friends will believe in you and support you in every way imaginable, so when I read in your blog "Belief in oneself can often be hard to find, but Im blessed with a fantastic girlfriend, a wonderfully supportive family and indeed the finest and most dedicated fans / friends in the world" it hit so close to home. That is the gift of the Irish. Dispite the trials and tribulations of the Irish people and the country it is their faith, support and their joy at ones accomplishments that makes them special.

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  35. I was thinking how beautiful your post was until I got to the bit about the Catholic Church. Of course the religion has had a chequered past, but everything and everyone can only be as good as the current awareness allows them to be. Today, and in the past, there have been some wonderful people in the church and in charge of it. The doctrines they teach - Jesus' words - have helped to change the world for the better.

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  36. Hi Paul, you just stir up emotions whithin> God Bless you dear one..and Dominique..So so happy u 2 are engaged. went to see Geo Donalson at the Plough in Philly..he's so down to earth and funny..
    Miss u...have all your albums too. so so wish u were available here in or nearby Philly.I'm in Springflied.PA saw u in Lancaster a year ago..Celtic Thunder is not the same..altho I know Sharon works hard for all the lads..and now w/Ryan and his issue..what mystery..Not for me to know..personal I know..but when saw George D..He just raised an eyebrow..making me think..hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm not sure whatever..I hope Ryan will recover and of course respect his privacy..any more problems w/his love life and all that is crazy..maybe he should just stay in Ireland... not funny I know..sometimes as u well know..things just need to be addressed as far as where u are and what is important in your life..my goodness so miss you voice..I have downloade all..especially "You Raise me Up" a favorite..and of course "do wacka do" Hope you and Dominique will enjoy ur life..it is very short..you have accomplished so much so far..I just wish there were more venues to allow the American people to hear your voice..It is just amazing...love always to you both.met Dominique at World cafe Live last year and you too Paul..Oh yeahhhhhhhh have 3 pic's.will never let them out of my hands....
    Faith

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