Musings From Mary

A new August

Welcome to my NEW and fresh web site. I have committed to writing in this area regularly with thoughts, ideas, goings-on and…who knows what!

I will start today with saying how happy we are with our NEW puppy, Norah. Australian Shepherd. Nine weeks old yesterday and very lovely.

I shall also be adding NEW info re: my tv series (with Katalina Kovecses) this week. woo hoo!

Words of the Day 26, Aug

What a day yesterday! We went out in the canoe and swam and sat atop rocks eating picnic food and swam, and fished, and swam and read and swam…and

I guess this is what most people do…take entire days off!  What a concept.  This is the second time we have done this in the past week and our mental states have vastly improved. We have committed ourselves to doing this more….taking time.

Any of you who are self employed know how difficult, near to impossible this is to do, but we are going to strive to be better at it.  That’s is it for today!

Words of the day August 24th

I am really going to try to keep up with new comments etc now that my Summer Events have finished. SO for today, 24th Aug I will say this.

What did the hat say to the scarf?   
 “You hang around – I’ll go on ahead.”

In Silence I Sing – Published article

                                                                            In silence I sing

                                                                                                                                        ©Mary Murphy 2013

     I am not sure which is worse, telling a singer she may not sing, or telling an Irish person she may not talk.  Telling an Irish singer she many not sing or talk is downright cruel and I do believe is illegal in my native land.

 This scenario has been my reality though since late March. Not only was I stricken with some odd issue of a swollen Larynx, but bronchitis decided to crash the party as well, leaving me gasping for breath and unable to communicate in my normal fashion.

Now, almost June, I am able and allowed to speak again in low tones for limited amounts of time. When I try to release a singing note, while not supported, it is at least reminiscent of the voice I have known for so long.  It is definitely better than it was.  Think Tom Waits, on a bad day, with and Irish accent. That was me.

 I have learned a myriad of things about others and myself in the last two months. For instance, I completely own the fact that I am indeed a bona fide writer. How do I know this?  I carried and carry around a pad of paper and pencil so I can join in conversations.  The trouble is, by the time I write my elaborate, grammatically correct and ‘engaging’ remarks, the conversation has shifted, and I am left with a paragraph of  ‘out of date’ retorts. This has proven how quickly subjects shift in human communication and how elaborately retentive I am as a writer.

 This silence has shown me how animals don’t change conversations quickly at all. My dog came to me twenty minutes ago with a look of pleading. ‘Please Mary, can’t you see how hungry I am? Feed me, feed me something!’  I wrote her a long paragraph reminding her she was fed recently and how too much food would make her gain weight, and I even added an amusing antidote about our cat.  As I look back to her now, she is still in the same conversation, saying, ‘Please Mary, can’t you see how hungry I am?’   I like animals.

 While I have always known how supportive my husband is, this test of silence has only deepened my love for him. He quips from time to time, when I get frustrated, that he kind of enjoys the silence. What he does not understand though, is that once I am back to running on all cylinders, I will be waking him up at 2 and 3 am to tell him things I have been meaning to say for two months.

 This silence has also deepened my love and amazement for my friends, family, fans and musical presenters. The outpouring of well wishes has been staggering (in a great way). I have only once cancelled a show in my career due to illness; so canceling shows and tours was an extremely difficult thing to do. I am especially thankful to the supportive community in which I live, and the lovely person who wrote into Comox Valley Record to wish me well (and they, for publishing it). I feel truly loved, and that my friends is what this life is all about.

 This silence has awakened my other senses in a big way. Is it not astounding to see, hear, taste, smell, and know the world? Losing the ability to speak has been one of my life’s great teachings. I know that when next I am graced with a microphone for a performance, it will be a re-birth of myself in most humbling and delightful way. This has been an utterly frightening time but the light is coming through at the end of the tunnel.

I am eager to take center stage once again, but for now, since she is still pleading, I will go find a morsel my ’verbally’ repetitive dog.

                                                                In silence I trust.  In silence I sing.


February 1st

Here we go folks! Thanks to the lovely Kera and Meaghan, I am actually in charge of my new web site. There will of course be items I need their expertise on, but the patience level of these two is commendable.

If you know me at all, you know technology and I have never played well in the sandbox…HOWEVER…it is a new day, and I am ready for the challenge.

 I am sure my daughter will be thrilled with my new found ‘skill’ as the poor dear has had to say innumerable times –

 “ Mother! Click and drag…click and drag!”  😯


Opening Muse

“Mary Murphy, we need a cover page for your web site. Give us a two-paragraph synopsis of your life. You know, a quick overview, in your own words of course. You’re Irish, you’re a writer, and you love telling stories. Just make it condensed will you?”

I gulped. “Mmmm…How about one paragraph consisting of 6000 words?”


“Sure,” I say in a jovial tone. “No problem. I’ll have it for you tomorrow.”

I hang up the phone in a panic.

Writing a quick overview is an almost impossible task to ask of prolifically verbose Irish people. For goodness sake, ‘Ulysses’ started off as a two-page essay.

“Can you believe it?” I ask aloud to the two dogs at my feet. They want the story of my life in 150 words!”

I begin.

Once upon a time a sixth child was born to a family in Wexford, Ireland. She was a happy person who was thrilled to have been born into a musical family. This family sang Irish songs, danced Irish dances, ate large quantities of roasted spuds and drank a lot of tea.

(The phone rings) It is ‘them’ again.

“Yes, Mary. I think you should mention in your paragraphs that you have lived in Ireland, Canada and the US. You know, to let people know that living in three countries has been a great boost in your ability to relate to large cross sections of people.”

“Yes yes, I will mention that.”

We hang up.

“Now where was I?” I say to my four fish. …tea…..I love traditional Irish, Scottish and World folk songs. I never tire of singing them and/or interpreting them to suit my own style. My personal modus operandi for writing suits the aforementioned genres to a T. (There is that tea again.)

The Irish language is extraordinarily beguiling to me. Singing certain songs in the Irish language not only fills my own soul, but also opens non-Irish audiences up to something atypical. Conversely, people with a Celtic background relate on an intrinsic level. So it is a win win for everyone!

As a matter of fact, should you like to dive into the beautiful language that is Irish, all you need do is to learn Irish on Bitesize Irish Gaelic.

(Phone is ringing again.)

“Mary, it’s me. I think you might want to mention that your novel, ‘The Emerald Diaries – Secrets of An Irish Clan’ was picked up by the very first publisher you submitted it to. Be sure to put an obvious link on the side bar so people can go read about it. Ha ha read about it? Get it? Good thing I’m so clever. Mary? Still there? Yes, well, I know you hate it, but I think you might want to drop some names, or perhaps add a review or two. Would you like to hear my favorites?”

“Do I have a choice?” says I, rolling my eyes up to the ceiling?

“Good. My personal favorite is the one from Performing Songwriter Magazine that says, “Blessed with a honeyed crystalline voice, Mary fuses traditional, contemporary and original to create an uplifting synthesis.”
You might prefer the stage introduction you got from Will Millar, of the Irish Rovers. Remember? He said, “When you sing, you are the personification and the heart and soul of Ireland.” Or that one from the House Of Stories in Wexford, Ireland. “Between that voice and that hair, Mary is the absolute Colleen!”

“I suppose so.” I say.

“Excellent. As far as book reviews, I love the one from The Potpourri Book Club. ‘…altogether engrossing. I was immediately transported to the crackling warmth of an Irish hearth fire and the to the timeless stories one always finds there.’

“Don’t forget to mention a few names you’ve shared the stage with while on tour, or have been influenced heavily by. Like The Chieftains, Mary Black, Dolores Keene and Leo Kottke. I know you have a lengthy list, but just add a few names.”

“okee dokee,” I say again.

“And mention that your most recent CD, ‘Three Hand Reel’ has characters that live in both the CD and your novel. That should arouse interest!”

“I will if you let me get on with it.,” I say as politely as I can.

“Sorry, sorry. You go to it. But Mary?”

“Yeesss?” I say.

“Just…if you could…”

“Yees?” I say again in a singsong voice.

“It might be fun to let your readers know that you have a large bobble head brown bear award on your window sill that you won from an audience consensus at an eastern Canadian Musical Festival last year for best band.”

“Anything else?” I ask.

“Well, now that you mention it. You could let them know that they can get loads and loads of information about you if they just click on the desired category on the menu list.

We hang up. Again.

Would you look at that? I wrote my synopsis in only 140 words!


Welcome. Come in, sit down, relax , read and listen. Failte. Tar Isteach, suigh sios, lig do scith, leigh agus bhi ag eisteacht.

Mary ( aka Maire )