Stuck in the House: Week Two! Maybe “From a Distance” should be the anthem for these frightening times

Nanci Griffith singing From a Distance on the Late Late show a long time ago

Stuck In The House Week Two!

I know it’s hard for many people to get to grips with the idea of self-isolation, quarantine, cocooning, whatever you wish to call it.

It’s not my favourite thing. But I’m kind of used to it having spent, in total, more than a year in hospital over my life and probably the same amount of time cooped up at home.

Music is my saviour.

I think music is important.

It might even help to get some important messages across.

So I was pleased to hear Ronan Collins play two perfectly apposite songs today – Don’t Stand So Close To Me by the Police.

And From A Distance, that wonderful Nanci Griffith song which became a hit in Ireland before anywhere else.

It’s title tells us what we should be doing during this crisis. Keeping our distance.

But it’s also a song about mankind about hope about helping each other.

“From a distance we all have enough
And no one is in need
There are no guns, no bombs, no diseases
No hungry mouths to feed
From a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of home, playing songs of peace
They’re the songs of every man.”

No diseases. If only.

I remember singing (!) From A Distance while standing around a piano in our hotel in Rome the night Italy beat us in the World Cup of 1990.

The wonderful Mick Carwood was on piano and though I felt a bit stupid picking that as my party piece, everyone joined in and it was quite emotional. Well, our adventure had ended.

Now though, we’re in different territory.

And that song in many ways, could be an anthem for this crisis.

At the very least, it’s a reminder. Don’t come close.

I’m told that in shops and supermarkets people are still standing right next to others.

Please, please stop.

You’ll kill people. Really.

We haven’t locked down the country over some vague threat.

This is real.


(Here’s Nanci singing From a Distance on the Late Late a long time ago,,,



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