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Why is it that we clean in Spring? I found myself cleaning the other day because of mass outbursts of rain so a Spring clean was on. I actually found myself outdoors even more during the winter. I found this an interesting time though, apart from the cleaning part. I spent a small while dusting behind the couches and all the boring stuff, until I came to my instrument stand. I have a good few there including a few banjos, my Dave Shapiro bouzouki and mandolin, a Martin tenor guitar, and a couple of ukuleles. A few of these of which I hadn’t picked up in a while as my constant gigging instruments are mostly in their cases. So out came the dust cloth, wiped them down and made them look nice and shiny again. I couldn’t just put them back, so I started playing them one after the other. I love my Epiphone ‘Mayfair’ banjo. Its a 1920s pre-war American made banjo with a beautiful floral design on the back, a very slim neck, beautifully dark coloured wood and a yellow machine head. It was the first banjo I bought with my own money. A nice man from Raheny here in Dublin sold it to me. I remember driving to his house, arriving to his workshop, and viewing all his banjos for sale as this is what he does…collect, repair, recondition, and sell banjos. He had banjos from every era and from the four corners of the world and each one had its own little character. I remember a short scale 1900s Orpheum, a robust 1970s Framus, and a crazy expensive Gibson Mastertone, all things of beauty. His house was a little slice of heaven, or a little slice of hell…..depends on which side of the banjo fence you sit on!!!
As I sat there playing through my instruments, I noticed the weather outside had become very intense. I remain convinced that the building actually shook. It was mad weather, as the wind blew and the hail stones pelted down littering the ground in white. It was the type of weather that makes you stop whatever you’re doing to take minute to look out through the window. I thought about the moment, and with the instrument in my hand, I wrote a little song about it. Inspiration comes at any time so I went with it. The words of three verses came very easily, but no chorus came to mind. So I wrote a three verse-no chorus song during my Spring clean day. Not too bad at all….cleaning is not as bad as they say I’m thinking. However I am going to have to wait for the next day of mad weather to finish the song off with a suitable crazy weather inspiring chorus, and it looks like I won’t have to wait too long. Welcome to an Irish Spring.

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