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Aunty Sheila’s Big Black Piano
Happiness (to continue the theme) is simply surrender - giving up what you think you are, to find in its place what you really are. Once upon a time I wanted something badly. I wanted to cycle a pianobike 166 miles from Cork to Dublin arriving in the RTE TV studios on the day of the big charity telethon. Oh yes! Gay Byrne would welcome me and say, “Did you really ride that all the way from Cork? And you collected how much? You are a hero!” So months in advance I arranged for an engineering company to build a pianobike for me. I also got four beach cycles – you know the type that four people can pedal. I asked some mad young students to cycle these. There would be 17 of us going merrily up the road singing and collecting billions to feed the world. My enthusiasm was infectious. The mayor of Cork agreed to see us off. The TV people slotted a reception time for us. They were even considering letting me sing a song – bless their hearts. And I was very well organised. Above the desk in my room was a chart where everything was checked along a date line. I was working sixteen hours a day seven days a week. I even forbad myself to play the piano that stood against the wall to my right – the beautiful big shiny black piano that my Aunty Sheila had given me. Plenty of time to play that when I returned from Dublin a hero. Then came the news that I’d have to get a written permit for money collections from every little police station in every tiny district along the way. After that the revelation that only two of the volunteer cyclists could afford to take two weeks off – it seems some of those students thought we could cover 166 miles in a weekend – Like Tour De France cyclists – I’ve never seen Lance Armstrong on a pianobike, have you? But what really blew me back was when the engineering company told me they had run into technical difficulties building the pianobike. What difficulties, I asked. “We don’t know where the fuck to start”. A month to go and they hadn’t even STARTED! I couldn’t go forward – I couldn’t go back either because I’d made so many commitments to so many people from the Mayor of Cork to the whole RTE television station. I looked at the perfect chart on the wall now with red marks all over it. I threw up my hands and said to no one in particular, there is nothing more I can do. I closed my eyes and cried in the darkness, “you take it, I can’t handle it” and then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Aunty Sheila’s big shiny black piano standing silently against the wall. I walked over to it feeling as guilty as an ex-smoker sneakily opening a packet of cigarettes. I sat down – it came to me. Now, before you listen to the inspired song that flowed that day right out of Aunty Sheila’s big shiny black piano and me, do the following. Surrender to the moment and have no preconceived expectations – be prepared to listen through the whole song – the impatient will not be rewarded – give it your full attention – do all that and it may change your life. It certainly changed mine. Click here for the song Click on the cartoon to listen to the song which opens up in a new page – let music play & revisit this page. What do you think? Leave a comment below.