Fiddler's Green references


"...September Seventeen
For a girl I know it's Mother's Day
Her son has gone alee
And that's where he will stay"

From Have Not Been The Same: The Can-Rock Revolution: "The album's most moving image was saved for the acoustic vignette "Fiddler's Green," written as a tribute to Downie's young nephew Charles Gillespie who had died of a heart ailment the previous September."

"...Tearing blue eyes sailor-mean
As Falstaff sings a sorrowful refrain
For a boy in Fiddler's Green"

The song itself is a lament-in-lyric for a mother, related to Downie, who has lost her son. It is an elegiac, mournful and beautiful farewell and reassurance all at once. Falstaff, another reference to a Shakespearian character within Hip lyrics, is a comic yet sensitive and knowing creation who appears mainly as relief in four of Shakespeare's plays. His presence here sheds light on just how sad this moment is, as even the legendary "fool" is moved and reticent. Falstaff is perhaps portrayed here in contrast. His best known line comes from Henry IV (Part 1) and suggests that discretion is the better part of valour.

Fiddler's Green is a kind of Celtic Heaven for men lost at Sea. It is said to be "...the happy land imagined by sailors where there is perpetual mirth, a fiddle that never stops playing for dancers who never tire."

Due to the personal nature of the song, it remained famously unplayed for fifteen years. There were no known instances of "Fiddler's Green" being played live until October 28, 2006 in Calgary, Alberta.

"...Balloons are filled with rain."

Maybe a simple reference to the dark clouds associated with such tragedy, but Hip Head Sam Fitzpatrick adds: "balloons are filled with rain," I've always assumed, is about an IV in the hospital. When I hear that I see the young lad looking up from his hospital bed and seeing an IV perhaps and in his innocence sees it as a balloon filled with rain. That's all I will say about that cause it honestly breaks my heart."