FATHER IN EXILE
(Written by James Connolly in the U.S., Christmas, 1903)
Tis Christmas Day in Ireland
And I'm sitting here alone
Three thousand miles of ocean intervene
And the faces of my loved ones
In my little Irish home
Come glancing in and out my thoughts between
O, to catch the loving kisses
From my little children flung
To feel the warm embrace when wife
And husband meet
To hear the boisterous greeting in
The kindly Dublin tongue
That makes brightness of the dullness
Of our murky Dublin streets
Tis Christmas day in Ireland
And I my lot bewailing
Am fretting in this Western land so cold
Where the throbbings of the human heart
Are weak and unavailing
And human souls are reckoned less than gold
O the headache and the heartache
And the ashes at the feast
Attend us every hour of our sojourn
In this land
Till the heart-sick Irish exile turns
His face towards the East
To that land where love and poverty
Can wander hand in hand
Tis Christmas day in Ireland
And ringing over yonder
Are Dublin streets with Irish love of life
And I'm here in exile moping
In spirit yearning wander
To that Irish land to meet my Irish wife
O the lovings and the strivings and the
Griefs we share in common
and the babes that came to bless us
As sweet buds upon a tree
O curses on the cruel fate that sent
A father roaming
And blessings still this Christmastide
My Irish home on thee.
The third annual 'James Connolly Festival' will host a broad list of cultural, political acts and events - with music, theatre, poetry, films, art, debates and lectures intended to commemorate the centenary of the Russian revolution.
Six days that will shake the world!
In May of this year the Socialist Voice, in association with The New Theatre, will host its third week-long political/cultural festival in the heart of Dublin City. The festival will this year commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution 1917.
The mission of the James Connolly Festival is to promote progressive culture and to facilitate debate surrounding current and contemporary politics.
James Connolly was one of the founders of the Irish trade union movement, so one of our main goals will be to highlight the importance of trade unions for workers, especially among our youth. The festival is also more broadly committed to promoting non-sexist art, culture and politics, embracing progressive Irish theatre and artists in a comfortable space for debate that promotes the exchange of ideas.
An extension of the 'James Connolly Memorial Weekend', in previous years, the festival has hosted acclaimed national and international figures such as Sister Teresa Forcades and James Petras who delivered the James Connolly Memorial lecture.
This year US political philosopher, Zoltan Zigedy will give the address. This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Arbour Hill on the Sunday, to mark the occasion of Connolly's execution and to pay tribute to him and to the other leaders of the 1916 rising.
The James Connolly Festival 2017 will most certainly be the place where politics and culture meet.
This years main topic of discussion and debate will be centered around the 1917 Russian Revolution and its continued relevance in Ireland and elsewhere today.
Debates and aftershow discussions around Right2Water, Bus Éireann and the multitude of other pressing issues facing Irish people today is the thread that ties the James Connolly Festival together, making it the most unique week of the whole Irish Festival circuit.
There will also be discussion on present day USA, which will include two films "Fanatic Heart" and "The Brainwashing of my Dad" about contemporary US political activism and culture.
You are sure to find some debate or quiet conversation happening at any point, once you set foot in the historic Connolly Books.
From theatre to poetry and from film to debate, the festival has something for everyone.
Among our biggest attractions this year will be the world premier of renowned actor and director Ronan Wilmot's play: "Big Jim Larkin" in conversation with Ronan Wilmot, performed by Jer O'Leary. Ronan will also perform, Eddie Naughton's highly acclaimed "Inishfallen Fare Thee Well"
No festival is complete without music and this year will be no different as Rónán O'Snodaigh, lead vocalist of Kíla will dazzle his audience with music, poetry and song in a unique and intimate concert. "One of the country's most exciting and provocative solo performers in any musical style" (RTÉ).
Temper-Mental Misselayneous will host a bill with Scotland's very own folky-blues, political commentator Calum Baird.
Musical duo Matt Callaghan and Yvonne Moore will play rebel sounds from their vast songbook.
One of Ireland's best unsigned singer/songwriters Ross Breen will perform an exclusive session to close the festival.
To get people together and share in a performance is one thing, however to allow then those people to socialise after the event is just as important if not more so. That is why the festival will host a social event each night in the Red Room where people can relax, unwind meet and discuss the politics of the day in a comfortable environment and friendly atmosphere.
The festival and the organisers of the festival firmly believe in Connolly's emphasis on education being a key element in the struggle for social justice. Without education and particularly political education, our people will continue to suffer under current and future governments Debt and Austerity policies.
Having the festival hosted in Connolly Books, which stocks all of Connolly's works as well as a wide range of historical and contemporary political, economic and cultural writers, audiences will be certain to be able to avail of essential political readings.
Throughout the festival there will be film showings both in the theatre including Soviet director Eisenstein's groundbreaking "October".
As mentioned the festival will include two films "Fanatic Heart" and "The Brainwashing of my Dad" about contemporary US political activism and culture.
Films will be announced closer to the festival date.
Given that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution, we felt it would be a fitting tribute to the politics of Connolly to theme this year's festival around the October Revolution, which ushered in a new era of workers' rights and trade union organising all over the world and was celebrated in Ireland at the time by thousands gathered outside Liberty Hall.
This year's highlight lecture on the 1917 Russian Revolution and its relevance today will be given by prolific American academic, political writer and social commentator Greg Godels, aka Zoltan Zigedy.
The festival itself will be in the oldest and only radical bookshop left in Dublin – Connolly Books. Here you will find volumes of books, magazines, pamphlets and periodicals ranging from the collected works of James Connolly and V.I. Lenin, to the many publications of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. There are also books on great revolutionaries such as Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and many more. The Communist Party of Ireland's publications will also be on sale, which includes its monthly Socialist Voice paper, Unity paper, books and pamphlets, leading the analysis and voice on all matters concerning the left and contemporary understandings of Class, State and Imperialism.