‘How can I protect you when all the crowds have gone?
Now your party’s over, all this world is wrong’
The words of one of Aslan’s greatest hits, ‘Crazy World’ were never more apt today when a nation held it’s breath as Christy Dignam made his final journey through Finglas to his funeral service.
Along the way, his cortege passed St Fergal’s Boys National School, where a young Christy first recognised his love of music and song before it passed Erin’s Isle GFC, another bastion of Finglas pride. Here a large screen was erected and tributes to the late singer were aired.
And Finglas did not let their royal son down. Christy’s story is one of many a child who grew up in the city suburbs when the drug culture was insidiously taking root in Irish society. He spoke in later years of child abuse that he felt was the cause of his growing heroine addiction.
‘I have fallen down so many times
Don’t know why
Don’t know where
Don’t care less it’s all the same’
The initial success of Aslan was interrupted and traumatised in truth by Christy’s addiction and self destruction.
But with the mirroring of a great love story, greater even than Diarmuid and Grainne, the love and support of his wife Kathryn and the arrival of his beloved daughter Kiera, Christy had a reason to overcome his demons.
‘How can I protect you in this
It’s alright, It’s alright…’
Aslan reformed and certainly, among Irish audiences, reclaimed their popularity, and achieved the second coming.
Was it the heartfelt story, so often experienced – the city boy strangled by a drug culture…. he collapses and appears vanquished only to rise like the Phoenix from his ashes and recreate himself.
There’s no doubt but his frankness about his emotional and addiction issues endeared him not just to his native Dublin, but to Irish people across so many generations. And how he then had to fight yet another battle against amyloidosis, a rare type of cancer.
Today, the natives in Finglas were joined by fans from all across the country who sang the words of Aslan’s biggest hits as a peaceful Christy moved quietly through the streets.
Never could he have had a more attentive, contained and mesmerised audience. It was a fitting farewell for a man who endeared himself to so many, far beyond the boundaries of his musical career.
The late, great Christy Dignam
As the song says, he had ‘travelled through so many towns’
‘When the talking’s over
All the crowd has gone
Nothing left I can do
Am I ever gonna get through to you
It’s alright, It’s alright
This is a crazy world‘
The accolades were many today from some of the Irish music scene’s biggest personalities. But today belonged to Christy, his family and his extended family of fans who worshipped a man who lived perhaps at times, within his own crazy world.
The crazy journey ended for Christy today, the party’s finally over but not before the boy from Finglas became celebrity royalty, a national hero.
The King of Finglas, Christy Dignam, RIP 1960-2023
Feature photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie