Singing My Him Song [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Read it and weep: They don't make lives like this anymore," hailed the Irish Voice of A Monk Swimming. Indeed, that exuberant self-portrait, which overflowed with both hilarious and bittersweet anecdotes, paid tribute to the joys of a freewheeling life—and made Malachy McCourt one of the world's most irresistible rascals.

When we last saw Malachy McCourt in 1963, he was lost, his family gone, his life in chaos. In Singing My Him Song, Malachy shares his new adventures and a ...

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Singing My Him Song

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Overview

"Read it and weep: They don't make lives like this anymore," hailed the Irish Voice of A Monk Swimming. Indeed, that exuberant self-portrait, which overflowed with both hilarious and bittersweet anecdotes, paid tribute to the joys of a freewheeling life—and made Malachy McCourt one of the world's most irresistible rascals.

When we last saw Malachy McCourt in 1963, he was lost, his family gone, his life in chaos. In Singing My Him Song, Malachy shares his new adventures and a career that took him to radio, television, movies, and politics. He meets Diana, the woman who has remained his wife and partner to this day. He battles and ultimately triumphs over the bottle. He explores a spirituality that leads him to become a real father and a real son; he was there for his children as they grew, and he was there for his mother, Angela, in her final days, in a way he couldn't have been before. And he confronts his own mortality when he is diagnosed with cancer in 1998. Darkly comic with his ever-inventive use of language, Singing My Him Song rounds out an uncommon life of "a master raconteur" (Houston Chronicle).

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Devotees of the McCourt family's reminiscences can rejoice: Frank's younger brother Malachy continues the saga in Singing My Him Song, the follow-up to his bestselling A Monk Swimming. This moving new memoir follows McCourt as he rehabilitates himself from a life of drunken debauchery and remakes himself into a loving, sober (though, thankfully, no less entertaining) husband, father, media personality, and, of course, author.
USA Today
...I found the audio version of Malachy McCourt's subsequent Singing My Him Song to be wonderful.
San Francisco Chronicle
A highly entertaining book with some great moments.
Boston Globe
You might want to give Malachy's work a good leaving alone unless you're willing to have others gawk at you as you laugh out loud at the world he offers up as well as the life he has lived, loaded down with fun.
New York Times
Outrageous and comic.
Philadelphia Inquirer
A rollicking good read that, as the Irish say, would make a dead man laugh.
From The Critics
Until his brother Frank turned the family moniker into a brand name in the late 1990s, Malachy McCourt spent most of his life trying to parlay Irish bonhomie and a gift for the gab into something approaching a living. His latest memoir, unlike 1998's A Monk Swimming, has a more sober and contemplative tone. Here the maverick McCourt brother recounts years spent working as a professional barkeep in New York, playing a professional barkeep on a soap opera and turning both a Gotham talk-radio studio and a Chicago theater into, well, barrooms. Since a fondness for whiskey is an occupational hazard that comes with a lifelong career dispensing the bottle, McCourt tells his often sad tales of urban adventure and familial abandonment (both suffered and perpetuated) with the self-deprecating humility of someone with a long history of attending twelve-step programs. In the end, this memoir is an involving and funny story of an ordinary Irish lad with show-biz dreams and old-country demons. The bitter knowledge of failure is what gives this McCourt much of his wisdom and wit.
—Chris Jones

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"If ever there was an unexamined life on this earth," says Malachy McCourt, "it was mine." No more. In this sequel to his memoir A Monk Swimming, McCourt examines his every itch and scratch. These confessions of "a recovering Catholic" are written with obvious anguish and great personal insight, but in public view the insights often become clich s: the mea culpa of a charming Irish alcoholic, womanizer and deadbeat dad who recounts, in an enchanting brogue, the violence, irresponsibility, self-righteousness and self-pity engendered by his childhood of poverty and despair. Though the abridgment lacks smooth transitions and the author has a habit of dropping his voice at the ends of lines, this will surely become a popular recording for most listeners. For McCourt knows how to tell a story, how to read his lyrical sentences and how to get the most out of his rich, sardonic humor. Based on the HarperCollins hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 18). (Sept.) n Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In his second memoir, actor and rogue McCourt overcomes alcoholism, cancer, family problems, and more, and in the end, admits to enjoying his tumultuous life. His "gift of the tongue" creates charming phrases, e.g., the "nattering insistent voice of alcoholism" made him "the man who gave good intentions a bad name." With Irish charm and humor his reading of these lively stories adds a dimension denied his popular printed books. Some profanity and a few criticisms of Catholicism will rankle the pious, as did the famed Angela's Ashes by his brother Frank. McCourt is his own person, from a whimsical Micawber dodging creditors to a liberal radio talk show host exposing corruption, especially Nixon's. Government investigators assumed he was an illegal immigrant (he was born in Brooklyn). Often unemployed, the author deplores this hazard most actors suffer. Warmly recommended for open-minded adults. Gordon Blackwell, Eastchester, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Tom Deignan
Malachy McCourt's new memoir Singing My Him Song picks up where his best seller A Monk Swimming left off. As the old saying goes, you'll laugh and you'll cry, right along with Malachy, as we follow the actor/raconteur from Hollywood to Broadway, as he boozes, befriends famous men, and bucks the system.
Irish America
Kirkus Reviews
Lg. Prt.: 0-06-019721-8 Raconteurial outings, beery and otherwise, from a professional Irishman. Malachy, the lesser talent of the McCourt brothers—his McKibben, Bill LONG DISTANCE: A Year of Living Strenuously Simon & Schuster (192 pp.) Dec. 2000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061873416
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 428,550
  • File size: 392 KB

Meet the Author

Malachy McCourt, sixty-nine, is the father of five children, and the grandfather of three. He lives with his wife, Diana, in New York City.
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Read an Excerpt

Part One
Behind Bars

On Sunday afternoons in 1963, the summer I worked in a Hamptons hostelry called the Watermill, myself and assorted staff would adjourn to the beach, armed with a largish cooler chock-full of ice, vodka, and orange juice. One of our number, Dan Cohalan, did a creditable Job with the guitar, and, as we knew a reasonable number of songs with choruses, we were able to gather quite a number of children around to join in, and their parents were delighted to have us in loco parentis so they could go off walking, swimming, or having affairs in the dunes.

What a joy it was to hear forty or fifty silvery six- and seven-year-old voices raised in bawdy song, and sung with as much conviction as if they knew what they were singing:

Oh, I've got a cousin Daniel,
And be's got a cocker spaniel,
If you tickled him in the middle,
He would lift his leg and piddle.
Did you ever see,
Did you ever see,
Such a funny thing before?
D' ye know my Auntie Anna,
And she's got a grand piana,
Which she rams, aram, arama,
'Til the neighbors say, "God damn her!"

I taught them the occasional limerick, as well.

Rosalina, a pretty young lass,
Had a truly magnificent ass,
Not rounded and pink,
As you possibly think,
It was grey, bad long ears, and ate grass.

I can only assume that the parents never asked to hear the new repertoire the silvery-voiced little ones brought home from their sandy Sunday school.

Not a few adults Joined us, too, as we were the jolliest gathering on that strand. Two very attractive young women, Louise Arnold and Lynn Epstein, plunked themselvesdown on the sand at Cohalan's invitation, and soon became regulars. They revealed that they had produced some Off Broadway shows, which sparked my interest. I was of a mind to get serious about the acting trade, due to my newfound penchant for suffering.

It depends on where you are in life, I suppose, but some people think that to be a great actor it's necessary to be entirely miserable, and if misery is the grandest qualification, then it was, Move over, Burton, Olivier, and Gielgud--McCourt is on the way.

Sundays were not a joy unalloyed, as every child singing there might suddenly remind me of my own two, who seemed lost to me forever. That summer, my estranged wife, Linda, had informed me that she was going off to Mexico to divorce me. We'd been separated for two years by then, but occasional bouts of blind optimism had led me to believe that it would somehow all work out.

"What about the children?" I had asked her.

"What about them?" she asked. "We never did have anything resembling a marriage, so don't be a hypocrite and pretend we were a family." She spoke truth, but that didn't make me feel any better about it.

One Sunday, when it was too hot to sing, my morbid contemplations were knocked right out of my head, at least for a time. I was enthroned beneath my protective umbrella (this because I have skin which, when exposed to the sun, makes the common beet seem albino), when out of nowhere there hove into my purview the most astonishingly beautiful and graceful woman I'd ever seen in all my life and travels. She had rich brown hair and striking almond-shaped eyes. She wore a modest white bathing suit and, as she stepped along the water's edge on her long lithe legs, the water glinting with sunlight behind her, her slim body and swanlike neck seemed to sway in time to music. Upon her right hip there was perched like a koala bear a bright-faced, blond-haired child in the two-year old range.

It never occurred to me to think that the presence of a child might imply that there was a husband somewhere; in that moment I was so absolutely smitten that I couldn't conceive that any obstacles might stand between me and this vision.

I don't know how long it took me to realize I wasn't breathing, but a huge exhalation brought me back from near drowning on dry land. Turning to the nearest body on the beach, who happened to be Louise Arnold, I gasped the question, "Who in God's name is that vision walking toward us?"

"That's my friend, Dee, who's visiting me this weekend," sez she.

I was flabbergasted that a mere human being would know this celestial creature.

"I must meet her " said I, "and would you be kind enough to do the introductory honors." Louise was amenable, as she was quite the hand at matchmaking. "Dee!" she called out.

"Would you come here for a sec?"

"Dee" came striding over, a so somewhat bemused expression on her lovely face. Silenced by the presence of such beauty, I could only extend my own paw to shake her soft hand. The brain and the tongue had disconnected at once, and anything Ithought of saying seemed stupid and banal. Finally, I managed to rasp out a "How do you do?" though my tongue felt inert.

Dee sat down and, as I'm not fond of nicknames or dimmutives, I ascertained that Diana was her proper name. So Diana she was to me, although old friends and family still call her Dee. I mumbled something about it being a nice day. She agreed. A bit of silence, then I tried again, "A bit too hot, though " She agreed again. An agreeable woman, she was.

Shortly, Diana excused herself, and off down the beach she went, and I was left feeling like a complete ass. "By Christ, McCourt," I said to myself, "for all yer gift of the tongue, for all your much-vaunted charm and gallantry, you couldn't trot out the treasure trove of complimentary clichés you keep on hand in case of being caught without something to say?"

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Table of Contents

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Introduction

October 2000

Drying Out and Cleaning Up

Devotees of the McCourt family's reminiscences rejoice: Frank 's younger brother Malachy is back with Singing My Him Song, the follow-up to his bestselling A Monk Swimming. This moving new memoir follows McCourt as he rehabilitates himself from a life of drunken debauchery and remakes himself into a loving, sober (though, thankfully, no less entertaining) husband, father, media personality, and, of course, author. In the excerpt below, McCourt recalls the fateful summer day he met his wife of 35 years on a beach in the Hamptons.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 4, 2009

    ANOTHER HOME RUN FROM THE MCcOURT CLAN!

    WHAT A LIFE THIS MAN HAS LED! THE STORY OF HIS LONG JOURNEY TO REDEMPTION IS HILARIOUS AND TUGS AT YOUR HEARTSTRINGS IN THE RECOUNTING OF IT. MALACHY COULD HAVE EASILY LED THE SAME LIFE AS HIS FATHER, BUT HIS LONGING FOR HIS CHILDREN TO HAVE WHAT HE MISSED PULLED HIM INTO BEING THE FATHER HE LONGED FOR BUT NEVER HAD. ALONG THE WAY, HE HAD A RAUCOUS GOOD TIME AND MIRACULOUSLY LIVED TO GET HIS LIFE ON TRACK. HE WON THE HEART OF A BEAUTIFUL SMART WOMAN WHO WAS WILLING TO GO THE DISTANCE WITH HIM. HER LONG WAIT WAS REWARDED AFTER MUCH TRIBULATION, AND MALACHY BECAME THE FATHER AND HUSBAND SHE SO RICHLY DESERVED. AS USUAL, THE MCCOURT SPIRIT SHINES THROUGH IN LYRICAL PROSE THAT IS SPELLBINDING.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    If you love the Irish, you will absolutely adore McCourt's style of reading: a must read!!

    McCourt writes with an unassuming, natural quality that he does not censor,as he tells on himself, and various happenings in his life. The book is an assessment of his life, told in a refreshing style, full of real and intended emotion that grabs the reader when least expected. His style is unique, interesting, cynical, satirically humorous, and so typically of an Irish mind. Overall, it is a delightful book, the best part being his attraction, and continous caring for his beloved Diana.

    A great deal of courage is what it took to write this book. I am glad I am reading it, and intend, by the nature of this writing, to continue reading Malachy McCourt's books.

    Respectfully submitted,
    C.A.Higgins

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    The best fun I've had listening

    I listened to this audiobook at the behest of a friend. This guy is absolutely hilarious. I found myself sitting in my car after arriving at my destination completely engrossed in his story. The fact that he tells his own story with that brogue makes it that much more powerful and amusing. His story is funny, sad, exciting and very real. I felt like he was telling me his story directly to me (in the back of some pub in Ireland). It was my first audiobook and actually got me hooked on books in this format. Buy it, you'll listen to it more than once, as I have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    K

    ======================================

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    ---...---

    :B

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