As my blog “Rape on a plate” proved so popular instead of a Hot Cross Bun or an Easter Egg I thought I’d bring you Aon Focail Eile.
When I ran a radio station on the Costa del Sol back in 1996 included on the programming was a weekly Irish music show. The owners of a San Pedro de Alcántara Irish restaurant contacted me one day so say I just had to hear a new CD they had – Aon Focail Eile.
The song was written by Ritchie Kavanagh but their version was by the Noel Furlong Family Group and both commanded the Irish music charts for weeks on end. Both myself and my presenter Tony Murphy played it so much we wore the CD out. We even had Noel Furlong on the show to discuss this wonderful play on words.
Now I’m told by Irish speakers that “Aon Focal Eile” literally means “one more word” or “another word”. However the song is about when Ritchie or Noel first went to school and as “focal” is pronounced “fuck-al” or basically “fuck-all” it was the nearest fun you could have to profaning whilst always falling back on the fact you were merely speaking Gaelic.
When I first worked in Dublin I was well used to “industrial language” but was quite shocked when the demurest of secretaries would “feck” this or that. Again she would have faked both shock and horror if for a moment I had suggested she were swearing insisting it was merely a common word in her native tongue.
Of course she was right and there was “focal” I could have done about it!
(To enjoy the delights of the Ritchie Kavanagh recording click on the video above).