Traditional music is about the art, about a melody that is as clear as spring water and is as pure as the air according to a Drimalost man who was recently nominated for a Hall of Fame award for his contribution to music by TG4.
Seventy two year old Danny Meehan’s name is synonymous with traditional music throughout the country and he is as much admired for his sparkling personality as he is for his exceptional talent.
“All my heroes are fifty years younger than I am. There is a great client base for the traditional Irish music and it is in very safe hands,” the Mountcharles man said.
When Danny was 16 years of age, he emigrated to England as many as his peers did at the time.
For him it was a time of adventure and a time of youth. “We were full of adventure and full of youth. I feel that the youth of today are better educated for what lies ahead of them. For us it was a time of great innocence. The youth of today are very capable and they have a very healthy attitude and it might benefit them to widen their horizons,” he said.
He recalled when he first moved to England the landlady noticed that Danny was carrying a fiddle case alongside him and she was none too happy about this.
“When I left for England, I did take the fiddle. The landlady wasn’t too pleased so I had to put it under the bed. There were other things to do at the time.
“There was a great innocence in those days, we were young and we weren’t aware of the perils and the pitfalls of life. At that time ‘time’ was only a four letter word now we realise that we can’t catch the tail of the letters and pull them back,” he said.
While in England, Danny became immediately recognised for his musical ability and got invited to play at all the special events in England at the time,” he said.
His love of traditional music stems from his youth. His house stood at the side of the road and as it was many musicians would wander in and out of their home.
His father and mother, Danny and Nancy, were both talented musicians. When Danny began to play the fiddle at twelve he began with a world full of tunes that he never had to learn, they were inherent to him.
“Our house was steeped in music,” he said.
There was a great joy in playing tunes and many houses were homes where people would come to play. I grew up with tunes that I don’t remember learning, they are just there. There are so many young composers writing good tunes now as well. They understand that you have to have purity of melody. You cannot dilute the melody it is like spring water and as pure as the air. It’s a natural thing. There are rules that you cannot disobey and that is traditional music,” he said.
The TG4 Gradam Ceoil concert and award ceremony will take place at the University Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday, March 24. The event will be broadcast Easter Sunday at 9.30pm. For those of you who would like further information you may do so by going to www.gradam.ie.