Song of Granite (2017) Movie Script

They were the first people
to settle in Ireland.
They had tremendous insight
and hidden knowledge of many things.
They had knowledge
of the future.
They could speak
the language of the birds.
They could see as the birds can see
from the sky above.
They could look over the whole land.
St. Ronan cursed him
because he killed one of his clerics.
From a vision he saw in the sky,
he heard the noise
of the upcoming battle and fled.
Part of the curse was
that he could not endure sharp sounds.
He flew from the scene of battle
in a frenzy.
He spent years hopping from tree to tree,
for he couldn't set foot on land again.
And, like the birds,
he could never trust humans again.
Gloomy this life...
to be without a soft bed.
Abode of cold frost.
Roughness of wind-driven snow.
Cold, icy wind.
Shadow of a feeble sun.
Shelter from a single tree
on the summit of a tableland.
Who created you?
God created me.
What else did God create?
God created all things.
Where is God?
God is everywhere.
Can you see God?
No, you cannot see God,
but he can always see me.
Very good.
Does God know all things?
Yes, God knows all things.
- Past. ..
- Past, present, and tomorrow.
Even our most secret thoughts and actions.
Well done.
Will God judge
our most secret thoughts and actions?
Yes, every idle word that men shall speak,
we'll render an account for it
on the day of judgment.
Good work.
We'll do another bit tomorrow.
Now, you were all
to learn a song from home.
Who will go first?
Come up and sing the song
you learned at home, good man.
I know you're dying to sing for us.
Come along, Joe.
Well done. Good boy.
Didn't he sing well?
Now, from now on,
when you're singing, open your mouth.
Like this. Open wide.
Very good.
And sing out every note clearly.
Imagine you had to get
a hen's egg into your mouth.
Open it up.
Good man. Now, sit down.
This one won't budge.
Neither will this one.
There are loads of periwinkles.
Good lad.
That's it.
Throw it out quick.
Good lad.
- I have it.
- Good man.
Now, haul it in.
Haul it in.
That's it.
Good man yourself. That's it.
Use both hands.
That's it. Good man.
Do you have it?
- Need a hand?
- Maybe.
Hang on.
That was good.
Is it getting the better of you?
I can't do it.
Let's see now.
Hold the potato like so...
Place the potato between your thumb
and the knife like that.
Hold it with two fingers, either side,
and cut through it nice and easy.
Don't do it too hard...
or it'll catch your thumb.
See that?
Good man. Let's see you try that.
Don't be worried.
It'll come with age, child.
Nice and easy, in your own time.
Mind the fingers.
Good man yourself.
- Have you many left?
- A few.
Hey, Joe! Stop your carrying on!
For God's sake!
isn't your father a fine singer?
Would you sing me a song?
I could record your voice
with this device.
- What do you say?
- I only sing at home.
Isn't this your home?
Which songs do you like anyway?
I like An tAmhrn Bragach.
And Amhrn Rinn Mhaoile.
Amhrn Rinn Mhaoile?
That's quite a difficult song
for a young lad, isn't it?
Do you know where they come from?
My dad sings them
and Colm an Bhlcaigh.
And where did they get them?
I suppose they go way back
to the poets who wrote them long ago,
but we still sing them.
Now, what would you say to that!
Come all you loyal heroes
Wherever you may be
Don't hire with any master
Until you know
What your work will be
For you must rise up early
From the clear daylight till dawn
And I'm afraid I never will be able
To plow the rocks of bawn
My shoes, they are well worn
My stockings, they are thin
My heart is always trembling
Afraid I might give in
My heart is always trembling
From the clear daylight till dawn
And I'm afraid I never will be able
To plow the rocks of bawn
- Here you are.
- Might as well.
Here, finish it!
Ah, geez.
- Might as well finish it!
- Throw it back, son.
- We don't have another bottle?
- No!
The one thing I suppose
that's lacking from my memories as a kid
is memories of my father,
because, um, there were just times
when for whatever reason,
he decided he wanted to be on the move.
Um, he would more or less
sort of just go at a moment's notice.
And I think most of the time
my mother wasn't quite sure
where he was or when he would come back.
He disappeared round about 1954 or '55,
by which stage I would be
about five years old.
Let's say four years old, rather.
He only reappeared when we moved
to King Street in Whitecrook.
That would probably be about early 1961.
We're ready, Joe.
Ah, here comes The Rocks of Bawn, huh?
Ah, from there I got away
Me spirits never failin'
Landed on the quay
As the ship was sailing
Captain at me roared
Said that no room had he
When I jumped aboard
A cabin found for Paddy
Down among the pigs
Played some hearty rigs
I danced some hearty jigs
The water round me bubblin'
When off Holyhead
Wished meself was dead
Better far instead
I'm on the rocky road to Dublin
One, two, three, four, five
Hunt the hare and turn her
Down the rocky road
And all the way to Dublin
Hunt the hare and turn her
Down the rocky road
And all the way to Dublin
The boys of Liverpool
When we safely landed
Called myself a fool
I could no longer stand it
Blood began to boil
Temper I was losin'
Poor old Erin's Isle
They began abusin'
Hurrah, me soul, says I
Shillelagh, I let fly
Galway boys went by
Saw I was a-hobblin'
With a loud hooray
Joined in the affray
Quickly cleared the way
For the rocky road to Dublin
One, two, three, four, five
Hunt the hare and turn her
Down the rocky road
And all the way to Dublin
Hunt the hare
Turn her down the rocky road
And all the way to Dublin
The mind has to be completely
blanked out
when you go into a song in sean ns,
no distractions.
Well, when you're focused on it,
when you're in the emotion of the song,
you won't hear or see
anything else around you.
- So, like, you're alone.
- You are. You are.
You're all alone
for those couple of verses.
In Oranmore
In the County Galway
One summer's morning
In the month of May
He spied Colleen
She was tall and handsome
And she nearly
Stole his poor heart away
She wore no jewels
Nor costly diamonds
No paint or powder
Oh, none at all
She wore a bonnet
With red roses on it
And on her shoulder
Hung the Galway shawl
As they kept walkin'
They kept talkin'
Till his father's cottage
Came into view
Very soon his mother
Had the kettle boiling
But all he could think of
Was the Galway shawl
He sang The Blackbird
And The Stack of Barley
And Rodney's Glory
And The Foggy Dew
She sang each note
Like an Irish linnet
Till down her cheeks
Fell the tears like dew
She set off early a'
Oh, next morning
To hit the road for Donegal
She kissed and hugged him
And then she left him
And she stole his heart
In her Galway shawl
Mchel Thaidhg bought
a new boat recently,
a trawler.
He'll do well around these parts.
You might never come back, Joe.
There's nothing left for me here.
I don't know...
I miss this place...
You always had your eye on the horizon.
My young life has passed
Which makes me feel dreary
When in exile I'm cast
On the plains of the prairie
Come hunt the red man
The panther and the beaver
And to gaze back with pride
On the bogs of Shanaheever
I am the age of the Old Hag of Beara.
The age of Newgrange.
The age of the Great Deer.
I have 2,000 years
of that stinking sow that was Ireland
resonating in my ears,
in my mouth,
in my eyes,
in my head,
in my dreams.
These horses, each with the hammer
and sickle on their flanks,
they were the horses
of the Emir of Bokhara.
They were the Golden Horde,
Genghis Khan's cavalry.
They were also the slender brown horses
in my father's and grandfather's stories.
And who truly knows that they were not?
For no one knows through
what wild centuries roves back the rose.
You have a pretty good singing voice.
And what brought you to the States?
Um, I sang in a big show.
I came over to do a festival.
Newporg, in 1965
And do you sing with a band, or...?
No, I sing by myself
What's up, Joe?
Nothing's up. Everything is fine.
Boiled egg again, Joe?
It's very hard to eat
with you looking down my gob!
Cheer up, huh?
Late night last night?
Did you tell the super
about the water drip
in that one's apartment?
I'll tell him after lunch.
She left everything to her two dogs.
We sure got some kooks!
Trixie and Coco.
She told me she took them
to the merry-go-round one time
and they liked it very much.
We'll see the priest this very morning
And tonight we'll lie
In our marriage bed
But the red-haired girl
She kept on smiling
I'll go with you, young man
She said
We'll forget the priest
This very morning
And tonight we'll sleep
In Murphy's shed
Keep your hands off red-haired Mary
Her and I are to be wed
We'll forget the priest
This very morning
And tonight we'll sleep
In Murphy's shed
Through the fair we roamed together
My black eye and her red hair
Smiling gently at the tinker
Oh, by God, we were the handsome pair
Keep your hands off red-haired Mary
Her and I are to be wed
We'll forget the priest
This very morning
And tonight we'll lie
In Murphy's shed
Thank you very much.
Do you feel homesick here, Joe?
Sometimes not.
Why do you feel homesick?
It's hard, leaving your native land
and forgetting it.
Have you forgotten it?
That's not what I mean,
but forgetting the fun
and the people and the songs,
the music and the entertainments,
the races, things like that.
I've only been here
a little under three years.
But I was at
the Newport Folk Festival in 1966.
But I must say now, and back then too,
that the Clancy Brothers gave me
great help in getting those things.
- When you started here?
- iYes, when I first started.
One pleasant evening
In the month of June
When all the feathered songsters
Their liquid notes did sweetly tune
It's there I met a female
And on her features
Were signs of woe
With young Bonaparte
Concerning the Bonny Bunch of Roses, O
Well, we didn't know
where he was, you know.
And the last...
The first we'd heard about him,
I was at a Clancy Brothers concert.
And I used to hear Joe talking
about the Clancy Brothers.
So I made it my point
to meet one of them, which I did,
and I asked if he knew Joe,
and he said, Oh, yes, very much so.
He says, Actually he's over in New York.
We just left him.
We've come over here
and we're going back there.
So I said,
Will you tell him his wife's dead
and to contact his children?
Which he didn't do.
For you must rise up early
From the clear daylight till dawn
I'm afraid you'll ne'er be able
To plow the rocks of bawn
I still think
it's the best song of the lot, like.
Yeah, I do too.
I said, when you do a concert without
singing that song, it seems incomplete.
I know what you mean.
When did you learn it?
Ah, when I was going to school.
- Did you learn it from your father?
- Well, they all had...
- What do you mean, going to school?
- Huh?
What do you mean, going to school?
Well, when I was a boy.
That's what I was talking about.
There are certain songs you have to...
you have to get.
And when you get it,
it doesn't mean so much to you.
It's before, when you wanted it,
that it means a lot to you.
Then you get it and that's it.
It's a... It's a song I had to have.
Do you remember
singing that one in public?
I remember... The first...
I tell you now,
the first time I ever sung that song...
there was a next-door neighbor
getting married
and we were all invited to the wedding.
And I sang them two songs.
But nobody saw me singing
because I was hiding behind the door
while I was singing.
That's true. That's true.
- How old were you?
- Huh?
Uh, 12.
- Twelve?
- Yeah.
That was the first time
I ever sang that song.
My father said, he said...
I'm glad you sang, he said.
You sang right, he said.
But I wish, he said,
you wouldn't keep it up
till you know what you're doing.
And that's the most solid advice
I ever got.
Oh, they all said that I sang them well.
- Did he hear you singing it?
- Yeah, he was there.
I probably didn't sing it... well,
or with any feeling, you know,
because I-I didn't know what I was doing
or understand what I was doing.
But I developed my own way of doing it.
I put myself in Sweeney's place.
Now, when there are several
characters in either a song or a story,
how do you decide
which character you become?
I put myself in the place
of the man who's felling,
who's-who's the main part of that story.
We'll say I'm telling the story
about Finn McCool.
Now, I'm looking at Finn McCool.
I put myself as a person who is
satching this thing happening.
But he is the main character there,
Finn McCool.
But I'm watching him. I'm following him
all along the path that he's taking.
So in other words,
you're both following him along the path,
you're watching him,
but you're also playing him.
- You are him at the same time then?
- Yeah.
I'm putting myself in his shoes
although I'm only following him.
Joe, what you mean is
you get the feelings as if you were him.
Yeah, well, that's what it means.
But you see him as being not you.
I'm following him...
That song was in the book
he showed me yesterday.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
I said, How dare you sell me some book?
I said, You call that a good book
with 'Mursheen Durkin' in it?
Oh, come on!
Oh, he said, he said...
And the man said I was perfectly right.
Yeah, but that doesn't...
- Books can't be perfect.
- Oh, I know, I know.
- You have to have a mixture.
- I know, I know.
Even that book in there
has some terrible songs in it.
I... I know, I know.
And then he said, I want you
to write down all the ones that you know.
And I said, I will not write down
all the ones that I know,
because I wouldn't
be seen dead with them.
Why? Come on!
That song... Paddy, Paddy was a gentleman.
So what? Do you know it?
Paddy should be a gentleman.
Oh, I heard them.
Goodbye, Mike, and goodbye, Pat
And goodbye, Kate and Mary
The anchor's weighed, the gangway's up
I'm leavin' Tipperary
Know what I mean?
How... How can you buy
all the flowers in the sky?
How can you buy two blue Irish eyes?
I put a five star on that one,
know what I mean?
Five star?
I'm off to Philadelphy in the morning
With me shillelagh under me arm
And a twinkle in me eye
Listen, they're improved
when you sing 'em anyway.
At least... At least it's you.
Thank you.
But I won't. I still won't do it.
You should though,
because it could be interesting to see
if they're the same or different
from what other people are singing.
Thank you, dear,
but I would be...
I'd be getting away from something
that I believe in, and I won't do that.
- I'm not saying to do them in concert.
- Oh, no, no.
I'm saying there's nothing wrong
with singing them for him...
I can sing all them songs for you
if you want me to.
You could label it, Songs That Joe Heaney
Knows But Doesn't Like.
Sure, a little bit of heaven
Fell from out the sky one day
And it nestled on the ocean
In a spot not far away
Are you sure you're Irish?
There Was, uh, this character back home
and his name was
Cathal Bu Mac Giolla Ghunna.
He was most known for a poem
he had written called An Bonnn Bu.
In the poem, he laments the death
of a little bird from thirst,
and he taunts those who warn him
that he himself will die of thirst.
Anyway, when Cathal Bu was dying,
he was still wandering about
from place to place.
An old woman got him refuge, and a bed.
She went off to summon the priest for him.
Eventually, when they got
to the house where Cathal Bu was...
they found him dead in the bed.
And there scribbled on the wall
was a poem he had written
confessing all his sins.
You know that
ifs never too late, Joe, to go back.
They might be happy to see you.
I know that, I know that...
But I think that too much water
has passed under the bridge.
I went to England last year
and met my father.
I was going to write to tell you,
but I changed my mind.
I hadn't seen him
since I was five years old, you know that.
My grandmother and I went over
to search for him,
and we finally found him.
He was in London.
He plays music himself from time to time.
Do you know what he said to me
when we found him?
He said,
I always knew that you'd find me.
Do you know...
in all the old stories...
why it is that the warrior
always kills the beast?
I don't know.
Because it' is the warrior
who tells the story.
How do you mean?
Sometimes I don't know
if I'm the warrior...
or the beast.
There were fish in Ireland's rivers.
There were animals in her hollows.
Wild, monstrous creatures roamed
her plains and forests.
Creatures that one could see through
and walk through.
We lived in ease and saw new animals grow.
The bear, the badger, the boar,
the deer, and the wolf.
Then, sudden as a rising wind,
between night and morning,
there came a sickness...
and on the seventh day,
all of Partholn's race were dead,
all except one single man.
I am that man, his companion affirmed.
Tuan shaded his brow with his hand...
and he remembered back
through incredible ages
to the start of his life
and the beginning of time in Ireland.
Listen, Mire,
I've a list of songs
I haven 't yet recorded anywhere,
and I believe it would be good
to record them.
Look, Mire, I have to find
some way out of this country.
I don't want to die amongst strangers.
There are fine people here,
but they are not my own people.
If there was some way I could...
Maybe you could ask around and see...
Look, Mire, I 'd better go now.
There are people here waiting
to use the phone.
We'll talk about it again. Goodbye.
I haven't seen you here before.
How long have you been here?
Seven years.
That's a long time.
I would wait twice as long for a poem.
Have you caught good poems?
The poems I am fit for.
No person can get more than that...
for a man's readiness is his limit...
and often,
the slow hound catches its prey.
It was foretold by a man of knowledge
that I should receive All Knowledge
by the bank of this river.
And then?
And then,
I would have All Knowledge.
And after that?
What should there be after that?
I mean, what would you do
with All Knowledge?
A question of great weight.
I could answer it if I had All Knowledge,
but not until then.
What would you do, young man?
I would make a poem.
I was born at night.
That's why I was always so shy, they said.
My mother told me stories.
My father taught me to sing.
And when I had grown
and had listened to the world's song,
I felt that there could be
no greater happiness
than to return to that song.
In song dwelled the most precious
and the most incomprehensible
dreams of mankind.
The mountains stretched
into the heavens in those days.
The songbirds of the air
listened in wonder to this song,
the most beautiful song in life.
Birds don't sing
songs of glory
Ice wrapped wings
That's my story
A str mo chro
When you're faraway
From the home you'll soon be leaving
And it's many a time
By night and day
Your heart will be sorely grieving
Oh, the stranger's land
Might be rich and fair
And riches and treasure golden
You'll pine, I know
For the long, long ago
And the love that's never olden
A str mo chro
In the stranger's land
There is plenty of wealth and wailing
While gems adorn
The rich and the grand
There are faces with hunger tearing
Though the road is weary
And hard to tread
The lights of their city may blind you
You'll turn, a str
To Erin's shore
And the ones you left behind you
A str mo chro
When the evening sun
Over mountain and meadow is falling
Won't you turn away
From the throng and listen
And maybe you'll hear me calling
The voice that you'll hear
Will be surely mine
Oh, somebody speedy returning
A rn, a rn
Will you come back soon
To the one who will always love you?