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Subject: [Irish Genealogy] "When New York Was Irish - Terence WINCH (b. 1945NYC)
Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 02:42:03 +0000 (UTC)
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I’ll sing you a song of days long ago
when the people from Galway and the County Mayo
and all over Ireland came over to stay
and take up a new life in Americay

They were ever so happy, they were ever so sad
to grow old in a new world through good times and bad
all the parties and weddings, the ceilis and wakes
when New York was Irish, full of joys and heartbreaks

We worked on the subways, we ran the saloons
we built all the bridges, we played all the tunes
We put out the fires and controlled City Hall
we started with nothing and wound up with it all CHORUS

You could travel from Kingsbridge to Queens or mid town
from Highbridge to Bay Ridge,
from up town to down
from the East Side to the seaside's
sweet summer scenes
we made New York City our island of dreams CHORUS

I look at the photos now
brittle with time
of the people I cherished when
the city was mine
O, how I loved all those radiant smiles
how I long for the days when we danced in the aisles CHORUS

-- Words & music by Terence Winch

Terence Patrick Winch was born in New York City in 1945. He grew up in an Irish neighborhood in the Bronx, the child of Irish immigrants. In 1971, he moved to Washington, DC, where he became involved with the Mass Transit readings in Dupont Circle.  He published the first issue of Mass Transit magazine and co-founded Some of Us Press with Michael Lally and others. His writing, which shows New York School and other influences, has been widely published and anthologized. Primarily a poet, he has published fiction and non-fiction as well. He was the subject of a profile on National Public Radio's All Things Considered in 1986, and has been featured a number of times on The Writer's Almanac radio program. From 1975 to 1981, he was a regular book reviewer for The Washington Post and has also been a contributor to The Village Voice, The Washingtonian, The Dictionary of Irish Literature, The Oxford Companion to American Poetry, and other publications.

Terence Winch has also played Irish traditional music from childhood, and co-founded the band Celtic Thunder in 1977, writing much of the band's material for its three albums. His best-known composition is When New York Was Irish,  which has been covered by scores of other artists.

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