No Frontiers -Jimmy McCarthy / Mary Black

“No Frontiers” sung beautifully by “the delectable” Mary Black was written by James McCarthy, Irish singer-songwriter.

If life is a river and your heart is a boat
And just like a water baby, baby born to float
And if life is a wild wind that blows way on high
Then your heart is Amelia dying to fly
Heaven knows no frontiers
And I’ve seen heaven in your eyes

And if life is a bar room in which we must wait
‘Round the man with his fingers on the ivory gates
Where we sing until dawn of our fears and our fates
And we stack all the deadmen in self addressed crates
In your eyes faint as the singing of a lark
That somehow this black night
Feels warmer for the spark
Warmer for the spark
To hold us ’til the day
When fear will lose its grip
And heaven has its way
Heaven knows no frontiers
And I’ve seen heaven in your eyes

If your life is a rough bed of brambles and nails
And your spirit’s a slave to man’s whips and man’s jails
Where you thirst and you hunger for justice and right
Then your heart is a pure flame of man’s constant night
In your eyes faint as the singing of a lark
That somehow this black night
Feels warmer for the spark
Warmer for the spark
To hold us ’til the day when fear will lose its grip
And heaven has its way
And heaven has its way
When all will harmonise
And know what’s in our hearts
The dream will realise

Heaven knows no frontiers
And I’ve seen heaven in your eyes
Heaven knows no frontiers
And I’ve seen heaven in your eyes

The Stone Bridge at the entrance to the Town of Macroom, County Cork, Ireland

The colourful market town of Macroom is midway between Cork and Killarney. The ancient stone bridge at the entrance to the town crosses the River Sullane. Remnants of the 15th century Macroom Castle’s huge entrance gate and Norman Tower (visible in the picture below) loom over the Market Square providing an excellent photographic opportunity.

HE’S BACK: Jimmy’s new album, Hey Ho Believe, is out nowMcCarthy was born in Macroom, County Cork. He has 11 siblings. The family had a business distributing newspapers and magazines all over Munster. However the family soon lost their business from a combination of bad health and bad luck. Despite this, his father made sure that things would still be good for their children.

McCarthy left school at 15 where he was unhappy, without an Inter Cert and became a stable boy at Vincent O’Brien’s place in Ballydoyle, but after five years between Tipperary and Newmarket Jimmy returned home. Read more here

Wexford’s own Declan Synott, who was guitarist with Mary Black’s band for a very long time, is first cousin of Eithne Agar, who is co-ordinator of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, VTOS. I did some classes with her in the nineties. Both are very gifted people.

I also had reason to visit Macroom, Co. Cork some months ago. I expect the folk I visited will probably know the McCarthy family, as everyone in small towns normally do know each other. Next time I’m in touch I shall find out. I do adore Jimmy McCarthy’s song-writing. Mary Black has done great justice to his songs in the past.

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