February 15, 2009
Nell Flaherty's Drake
Irish Songs of Rebellion
My dear little fellow, his legs, they were yellow
Nell Flaherty's Drake
His neck it was green, he was rare to be seen, He was fit for a Queen of the highest degree, His body so white, it would give you delight, He was fat, plump and heavy, and brisk as a bee; My dear little fellow, his legs, they were yellow
L.A. Confidential (Cops II)
mixed media (oil and acrylic on canvas), 2000, 122 cm x 178 cm / 48'' x 70''
Oh, my name it is Neil, quite candid I tell,
And I lived in Clonmel, which I'll never deny,
I had a large drake, and the truth for to speak,
My grandmother left me, and she going to die;
He was wholesome and sound; he weighed twenty pound,
And the universe 'round I would rove for his sake.
Bad luck to the robber, be he drunk or sober,
That murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake.
His neck it was green, he was rare to be seen,
He was fit for a Queen of the highest degree,
His body so white, it would give you delight,
He was fat, plump and heavy, and brisk as a bee;
My dear little fellow, his legs, they were yellow,
He would fly like a swallow, and swim like a hake.
Until some wicked savage, to grease his white cabbage,
He murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake.
May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt,
May a ghost always haunt him in the dead of the night,
May his hen never lay, may his ass never bray,
May his coat fly away like an old paper kite;
May the lice and the fleas the wretch ever tease,
May the pinching north breeze make him tremble and shake,
May a four-year-old bug build a nest in the Iug,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.
May his cock never crow, may his bellows ne'er blow,
And a-pot or po, may he never have one,
May his cradle not rock, may his box have no lock,
May his wife have no smock to shield her back bone,
May his duck never quack, and his goose turn quite black
And pull down the turf with his long yellow beak.
May scurvy and itch, not depart from the breech,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.
May his pipe never smoke, may his teapot be broke,
And to add to the joke may his kettle not boil,
May he lay in the bed 'till the moment he's dead
May he always be fed on lob-scouse and fish oil,
May he swell with the gout, may his grinders fall out,
May he roar, bawl and shout, with the horrid toothache.
May his temples wear horns, and all his toes corns,
The monster that murdered NeII Flaherty's drake.
May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig,
Every nit on his head be as large as a snall,
May his house have no thatch and his door have no latch,
Nay his turkey not hatch, may the rats eat his meal,
May every old fairy fiom Cork to Dunleary,
Dip him in snug and easy in some pond or lake,
Where the eel and the trout may slime in the snout,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.
May his dog yelp and growl with hunger and cold,
May his wife always scold 'till his brain goes astray,
May the curse of each hag, that e'er carried a bag,
Alight on his nag till his beard it turns grey,
May monkeys still bite him, and man-apes affright him,
And everyone slight him asleep or awake,
May weasels still gnaw him, and jackdaws still claw him,
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.
Then all the good news l have to diffuse,
'Tis for Peter Hughes, and blind Peter McFree,
There's big nosed Bob Manson, and buck-toothed Ned Hanson,
Each man has a grandson of my darling Drake,
My bird he had dozens of nephews and cousins,
And one I must get or my heart it will break,
To keep my mind easy or else l'll run crazy,
So this ends the song of Nell Flaherty's Drake.
Helnwein and his ducks
2008
Helnwein's ducks
2008
MEMORIES OF DUCKBURG, by Gottfried Helnwein
"Occidental art has orientated itself on the aesthetic ideals of the Greek classical era for over 2000 years. Picasso and Walt Disney have gone against this dictation and broke with that ideal of the human image - each in a very different way. And it was in Disney's workshops , where Carl Barks was able to create the prototype of the new ideal man: Donald Duck. Donald is the proclamation of a new era. He is no longer a copy of the so-called reality or another imitation of the Greek model, but a creation in the true sense of the word.
A creatio ex nihilo.
His shape is derived from the ideal geometrical principle of the sphere. There are no corners, everything about Donald is round, soft and flowing. And even though he looks nothing like a human being, but more like a duck, he embodies the human spirit better than all fine artworks before him have done. What is human about the Mona Lisa? Her outer form might resemble a female figure, but despite all unquestionable artistic qualities she has little to do with a real human being. It is fascinating how this small, artificial drake is a so much better mirror of the human soul. In Donald we recognize our fears, our uncertainties and weaknesses - our stupidity, our vanity, our depravity, our jealousy and our simple-mindedness. But also the very same stubbornness with which we stand up again and again after every defeat and every catastrophe and begin anew."




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