A Ghostly voice by Chuck Boody

At a festival a few years back several of us were playing late at night; well really early in the morning–about 2 AM. Two of us were on whistles, lo D and either A or hi D, and were improvising harmonies to the slow tunes we were playing. There was a hammered dulcimer (a fine professional), a good guitar and perhaps another person or two; at one point a cello. It had been a damp day and by 2 AM fog had settled in that was thick enough so visibility was cut to just a few feet. In fact, I almost got lost getting to the session site! We were playing some Irish song, I’ve forgotten what now, but it might have been Slane (Be Thou My Vision). Suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, a lovely tenor voice rang out singing the song! We never saw the person until after the conclusion of the piece, though we all shifted to “accompaniment mode” and supported his singing. Eventually he arrived in the circle and we learned that he had heard us from across the area and found us only by following the sound. He couldn’t see us any better than we could him. He sang several other songs with us before going off to bed; including a lovely version of “Danny Boy” that argued well for the idea that it is not a trite piece in the hands of a good singer. But to me nothing matched up with that first tune. It was like a voice from heaven and added luster to what was already a magical night.


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