Closing Message: A Bit of Clare


And so, as my friend Dr. Paris Mansmann said, ‘The tunes and songs have been told.’

Let us lift our parting glasses and toast all who have been associated with this collection. To our younger generation of musicians, singers, and dancers, may I suggest keep the tradition alive, enjoy life; live, love, and laugh, and always keep the flag flying. Or, as they proudly say in County Clare, ‘Up the Banner!’ Remember, there's a bit of Clare in us all.

"A Bit of Clare" was written by Killaloe poet and family friend J.P. "Jack" Noonan. Thanks to Jack's family for allowing me to publish his wonderful poem in this collection.

Séamus Connolly
Sullivan Artist-in-Residence, 2004-2015
Boston College


There’s a bit of Clare about you

That I cannot quite explain.

It’s elusive as the fragrance

Of wild-woodbine after rain.

Or it may be I was dreaming

When I first looked in your eyes

Of the grey mists o’er the Shannon

Mingling with the star-specked skies.

With your fingertips caressing

I can feel again the thrill

Of the breezes that steal softly

O’er the turf-banks on the Hill

And I hear the lark at dawning

When your lilting laughter peals

It’s that bit of Clare about you

Which your ev’ry act reveals.

But whatever is that something

It brings back a memory

Of the wild rose in the hedges

And the berried rowan tree;

There’s a breath of Irish Springtime

Fragrant flowers and April rain

In that bit of Clare about you

That I cannot quite explain.

-- Jack Noonan



Boston College University Libraries
Séamus Connolly


Connolly, Séamus and Noonan, J. P. , “Closing Message: A Bit of Clare,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 14, 2024,