An Obstacle Confusion
An Obstacle Confusion
'Dancing fingers paint pictures in air,
Barneyisms embellish the craic,
And your love song steals the limelight.
Heave away, haul away,
Sail away to the music of silence.' –John Sheahan
The Dubliners were travelling through a wine-growing region in southern Germany and had stopped at a scenic restaurant with a wonderful view over the vine-covered hills and valleys. They stood outside, gazing at the breathtaking, sun-dappled panorama, an occasional medieval castle peeking through the mist-shrouded trees, and basked in the beauty of the idyllic scene. Barney eventually broke the reverential silence. ‘Jaysus,’ he said, ‘there’s a fair few hangovers growin’ up there.’
About the Book
Formed in 1962 in O'Donoghue's Pub, Dublin, The Dubliners were arguably the most popular Irish folk band in the world. Barney McKenna, one of the founder members of The Dubliners, was also famous for another reason: ‘Banjo Barney from Donnycarney’ was capable of bringing any conversation to a sudden stop by uttering something so completely unexpected as to reduce everyone present to bemused silence.
An Obstacle Confusion: The Wonderful World of Barney McKenna is a collection of stories about Barney and his ‘Barneyisms’. It was compiled by the late Jim McCann, a former member of The Dubliners, and illustrated by Wendy Shea, a long-time friend of Barney. These wonderful flights of fancy are must-reads for Dubliners fans, young and old.
Praise for An Obstacle Confusion
'The cult of Barneyisms finally finds its voice in the words and art of Jim McCann and Wendy Shea... Subtitled 'The Wondeful World of Barney McKenna', it captures the enigmatic nature of a man who made his banjo talk.' –The Sunday Independent
'Warm and witty...beautiful and affectionate illustrations.There are scores of stories to enjoy, all imbued with Barney's lovely logic. A sheer delight.' –Irish Mail on Sunday
'Over the years I have heard many “Barneyisms” from the eternally young John Sheahan and in his poem Banjo Barney, John sums up every appearance that Barney made with the line, “Barneyisms embellish the craic"...Jim McCann didn't live to see the publication of his work but thank God he didn’t take this marvellous collection of barneyisms to the grave with him.'–Tipp Tatler
About the Author
Jim McCann was a member of The Dubliners between 1974 to 1979, before embarking on a successful solo career. He returned to The Dubliners for their 2002 reunion tour, but he had been seriously ill with throat cancer in recent years. An Obstacle Confusion is a collection of Jim's memories of things that happened concerning Barney McKenna and his funny ‘Doings’ when they were on tour. Jim McCann passed away in March 2015.
About the Illustrator
Wendy Shea, a long-time friend of Barney McKenna and illustrator of An Obstacle Confusion, studied at the National College of Art and has worked for The Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, Irish Press, Sunday Tribune and The Irish Times. Wendy also worked on Richard’s Cork Leg, which featured The Dubliners and toured widely, being transferred to the Royal Court Theatre in London. Wendy has illustrated for Gordon Snell on various publications and collaborated with Maeve Binchy on Aches and Pains.