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THE FIDDLER OF DOONEY from the poem by WB Yeats

It is one hundred and fifty years since the birth of W B Yeats and to celebrate, the DPSC asked its members to create a painting to reflect one of his poems. I chose The Fiddler of Dooney. At first it was my intention to depict the fiddler in a pub making merry but after a little research I came across a recording made by Yeats at the BBC in which he reads the poem and gives a small introduction in which he explains that he set the poem at the Rock of Dooney where he used to go as a child to picnic. I also discovered that the poem is a reflection by the fiddler in the latter years of his life so I painted him in pensive mood with his book of songs that he bought at the Sligo fair.
   
                              WHEN I play on my fiddle in Dooney, 
                              Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
                              My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet, 
                              My brother in Moharabuiee. 

                              I passed my brother and cousin:
                              They read in their books of prayer;
                              I read in my book of songs 
                              I bought at the Sligo fair. 

                              When we come at the end of time, 
                              To Peter sitting in state, 
                              He will smile on the three old spirits, 
                              But call me first through the gate;

                              For the good are always the merry, 
                              Save by an evil chance,
                              And the merry love the fiddle
                              And the merry love to dance:

                              And when the folk there spy me,
                              They will all come up to me,
                              With 'Here is the fiddler of Dooney!'
                              And dance like a wave of the sea.

The Fiddler of Dooney, Oil on canvas 45cm x 60cm
Post published by Tomas King 1st April 2015
The painting will be exhibited at the DPSC annual exhibition in Dun Loaghaire

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