The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 20, 2013

Mike Pound: Brown-bag concert, biscuits and gravy top to-do list

By Mike Pound

— I’m a sucker for Irish music, and I’m also a sucker for biscuits and gravy. That’s a good thing today because I need to talk about both.

I guess I don’t have to talk about them, but I will because both relate to a couple of neat things. Some people, including a lady who sent me an email recently, don’t think I should be writing about things like Irish music and biscuits and gravy. The lady came across my column for the first time and was appalled. She wrote that my column was “a waste of ink and valuable newspaper space.”

As you can imagine, when I read what the woman wrote, my feelings were hurt just a bit. The woman was clearly being unfair. I mean, my column doesn’t use THAT much ink.

The lady’s point, I think, was that I tend to write about trivial stuff rather than the more important things happening in the community. To which I wanted to respond: “So what’s your point?”

I want to talk about Irish music because earlier this month, I stopped by Grace Episcopal Church, 820 Howard St. in Carthage, to listen to the Rev. Steve Wilson, accompanied by Mary Ann Andrews on the piano, belt out great Irish or Irish-like songs for 30 minutes or so.

When I was a kid, we lived in Ames, Iowa, and I spent the second semester of second grade attending Sacred Heart Catholic School. The assistant pastor of the church at the time was a young Irish priest whose name escapes me. The priest’s name was probably O’Malley or something like that, but because I was in second grade, it didn’t stick with me

Anyway, this Irish priest would sometimes drop by our classroom to say “hi,” and when he did he would always sing a song involving a guy name Clancy who was always “lowering the boom.”

Evidently, Clancy was a nice enough guy until someone did something to offend him. When that happened — as the song went — “Clancy lowered the boom, boom, boom.”

I’m not sure what sort of message the song sent to second-grade kids, but we all agreed it was a neat song.

Father Steve, as he is better known, didn’t sing about Clancy and his boom-lowering, but he did sing just about every other Irish song I could think of and some that I couldn’t. Some of the songs were upbeat, happy tunes, and some of them, like the history of Ireland itself, were sad. Of course, the classic “Danny Boy” was on the song list, as was “Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder?” Also on the list were “When Irish Eyes Are Shining” and “My Wild Irish Rose,” along with a haunting song called “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen.”

The presentation of Irish music was part of the church’s brown-bag lunch concert series. On the first Monday of each month, folks are invited from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. to take a sack lunch to the Parish House and enjoy some great musical entertainment.

There is no charge to attend the concerts, and the musical lineup and performers change from month to month. The next Grace Episcopal brown-bag concert will be held on April 1. For details, you can call the church at 417-358-4631.

Now, on to the biscuits and gravy. On Saturday, the Joplin Host Lions Club will hold its annual pancake feed. Well, it’s not just a pancake feed, it’s an all-you-can-eat pancake feed.

It’s an important distinction.

And it’s not just pancakes. It’s pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, plus a drink.

The feast will run from 7 to 11 a.m. at Martin Luther School, 2616 S. Connecticut Ave. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children. For tickets or details, call 417-529-0065.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.