Barman’s Blessing
Posted by


Irish music has a rich tradition of parting songs, and Máirtín’s voice makes this the perfect way to close

©2011
lyrics by Melissa L. Tatum
music by Berdene C. Foye
arranged Máirtín de Cógáin and Brian Miller
recorded by The Máirtín de Cógáin Project
vocals Máirtín de Cógáin
guitar Brian Miller
recorded at Sonic Edge Studios, Minneapolis
recording engineer Christopher Blood

Here’s a preview sample of the song.

When Dene sent me the melody that would become The Barman’s Blessing (originally known as Closing Time), I had for some reason just listened to a series of songs about parting at the end of an evening. I decided that Ghost of a Rose needed its own closing song, and once I made that decision, the lyrics practically wrote themselves.

Even though I wrote this song for Ghost of a Rose, for some reason, I’ve always heard Máirtín’s voice singing it. I first heard Máirtín singing with The Fuchsia Band at the Kansas City Irish Fest and immediately became a fan. It’s a little surreal that he agreed not only to contribute his voice to this CD, but he is singing the song I’ve always associated with his voice.

Máirtín de Cógáin is a multi-talented, infectious personality from Cork whose talents are boundless. In addition to his solo singing career, he is front man for The Fuchsia Band and The Máirtín de Cógáin Project. He’s twice won the All-Ireland storytelling championship, and if you’ve seen the marvelous movie The Wind That Shakes the Barley, you’ve seen him in action as an actor.

He is accompanied by Brian Miller, whose intricate yet driving guitar style has made him one of the most sought after guitar accompanists in the North American Irish music scene.

The lyrics:

Night has reached a peak, says the clock on the wall
‘Drink up lads’, says the barman, ‘who’s for Last Call?’
Time to bid adieu to old friends and new
Until we meet again, may God be with you

CHORUS: Auf weidersehn, farewell, mar sin leibh, and shalom
Khoda hafez, slan abhaile, travel safely home
Arrividerci, Au revoir, aloha, adios
No matter how you say goodbye, it’s time for us to go

The Fiddler’s packing up, the flute is breaking down
Before we say goodbye, let’s share another round
A toast to your good health, to luck, prosperity
Until we meet again, whenever that may be

Wind at your back and sun on your face
God keep His hand upon you and guide you with His grace
Wherever life it takes you, wherever that you go
You’re welcome back here anytime but now it’s time to close