Sing a Song of Docklands – The Point of the Tide
Welcome! The song The RICCYS of Raytown was written by members of Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre in collaboration with Artists Jerry Fish and Max Greenwood to celebrate the cultural community history of Rin-Aun, (the old Irish name for Ringsend, meaning The Point of the Tide, an area colloquially known as Raytown). Commissioned by Dublin City Council’s Arts Office, in partnership with Creative Ireland & Sing Ireland, song development was captured by Adrian McCarthy and Curious Dog Films (see below), with performances taking place in local venue Windmill Lane Recording Studio (also below), and in The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, as part of the Sing a Song of Docklands Gala Concert on 21st May 2023, which featured three other community song commissions celebrating Dublin Dockland areas Grand Canal Dock & Pearse Street, North Wall & Sheriff Street, and East Wall. The larger project Sing a Song of Docklands was instigated, and is overseen by Musician Conductor David Brophy.
“Looking at this commission, I became fascinated by Ringsend & Irishtown’s history and significance for Dublin Bay, and I knew Jerry Fish who i play piano for was passionate about Ringsend, having a long family history in the area. Lyrics are written, and directly inspired by conversations with young people in Ringsend. Their Dublin wit and local community stories speak of the area’s past, present and future.” Max Greenwood
Ringsend was nicknamed Raytown for the historic popularity in local diets of Thornback Ray, now facing extinction. “Ray up your back” was advice offered to the old Rowers & Dockers of Ringsend, after noticing those eating them would stave off arthritic spinal problems.
This performance of The RICCYS of Raytown follows two other Jerry Fish Maritime-themed songs, Fish in the Sea and Liffey Deep, in Ringsend’s iconic Windmill Lane Recording Studio:
RICCYS – Ringsend & Irishtown Community Centre Youth Service.
Silicon Bay – Tech giants’ growing presence in Dublin Bay.
The Flats – multi-story homestead for many in Ringsend.
Don’t dare throw a stone, you might hit your cousin – a local saying encouraging respect for family and community.
The Liffey and the Dodder – Historical tidal rivers feeding Dublin Bay.
Cambridge & Clonna Gael Fonteney – local Rowing Clubs.
My Nanny got flattened – knocked down by a local priest, who conducted her funeral service.
Appler, Shadey, Sticky & Pip, Buffer, Shoulders, Muddler, Culey & Chip, Nutsy & Noodles Great Lover Diesel Do – a mix of old Ringsend Docker, and modern nicknames.
We carry our departed over the bridge to Ringsend – A funeral tradition kept to this day.
Though me Granny always said “Throw me over the sea wall” – A personal recollection from Jerry Fish. The Sea Wall, since reformed, protected houses on the Pigeonhouse Road from the Liffey Port channel.
Rin-Aun – The Point of the Tide
Before the North and South Walls were built to create a safe channel of entry to Dublin Port, Ringsend was a thin ‘spit’ of gravel & sand bank forged over time by the confluence of tidal waters in the wide estuary mouths of the Rivers Dodder and Liffey. A primary Maritime landing place for Dublin Bay, the location offered a unique 360º view of the surrounding 5km-wide estuary. Local oarsmen, called Hobblers would use knowledge of the bay’s dangerous, shifting sands and channels of water, rowing out to secure contracts to guide ships into “The Second City of the Empire“. Later industrial development saw Ringsend & Irishtown surrounded by reclaimed land, and residents’ lives becoming further entwined with activity in the bay, port and docks.
Ringsend & Irishtown Community Singer-Songwriters:
Josh McGuinness, Reagan Tucker, Madison Tucker, Luke Johnston, Tiffeny Angel Powell, Ella Doolin, Ella Mae Cullen, Miya Dunne, Kayla Dunphy, Jessica Thompson, Leah McGrath
Jerry Fish – Vocals, Lyrics, Workshops.
Max Greenwood – MD, Project Director, Piano, Vocals, Composition.
Mary Barnecutt – Lead Workshop Coordinator & Cello
Rory Pierce & Mary Barnecutt – Cellos & String arrangements.
Choreographer – Natasha Gregg
Thanks to all supporting staff from RICC – Emer Simmons, Brendan Cummins, Lorraine Barry and student Cal Baron.
Audio recording, production & mixing – Larry Hogan at Dublin Studio Hub
Videography and editing – Céilim Robinson
Documentary by Adrian McCarthy and Curious Dog Films
Jerry Fish aka Gerard Whelan is a native of Ringsend in Dublin’s Docklands. Many generations of Jerry’s family inhabited and still live in Ringsend, both of his great grandmothers were neighbours among the bottle blowers, sailors, dockers, merchants and fishermen of Raytown. As a boy he was often told: ”Never to throw a stone in Ringsend or you might hit your cousin”. Jerry has a passion for Dublin history and folklore, particularly its nautical history, Dublin Bay and its surrounding docklands, the Liffey, the Dodder and his beloved Ringsend. Jerry Fish blasted onto the music scene in the 1990’s, touring the globe as front-man of alternative rock outfit An Emotional Fish, the band who gave us the indie rock anthem Celebrate. These days the name Jerry Fish is synonymous with Festivals, Carnival Sideshow, Circus and Theatre. Jerry’s genre bending and idiosyncratic style of entertainment has made him a household name within the Irish Music industry. With two Platinum selling solo albums, an MTV award and IRMA Music Award, and a solid reputation as a supreme and spectacular showman.
Musician and Educator Max Greenwood has enjoyed working within the Irish music industry for 18 years since moving to Ireland from Nottingham via London. His critically acclaimed songs and solo piano work feature in film and TV, and he has played throughout Europe, America, SXSW, and on Later with Jools Holland for artists such as Iarla Ó’Lionáird (The Gloaming), Mundy, Mik Pyro (Republic of Loose), Jerry Fish, Jack L, Vyvienne Long, Fionn Regan, Tom Baxter, Naimee Coleman, Gerr Walsh, Adrian Crowley, and Mick Hanly.