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Monday 21 April 2014

The Prisoner Under the Spotlight

    It was once written by a man who thinks himself to be quite an expert on the subject of the Prisoner, that the words of the ‘Londonderry Air,’ aka ‘Oh Danny Boy,’ contain lyrics about an Irish son departing for America, having been unable to secure work to obtain any appreciation in his particular place of residence. The words The Summer's gone and all the Roses dying...tis you, tis you must bide and I must go, come out of the screen to haunt the viewer. McGoohan must know his party was over, the sixties were ending and the money had run out."
   Well I suppose the money had indeed run out for McGoohan as far as the Prisoner was concerned, and after the public's response to ‘Fall Out,’ McGoohan may very well have felt unappreciated.
     I have in front of me a copy of the lyrics of ‘Oh Danny Boy,’ and as far as I can see there is no suggestion that ‘Danny Boy’ was going to America. It could so easily have been Canada, New Zealand or Australia. The song has been interpreted by some listeners as a message from a parent to a son going off to war or leaving as part of the Irish Diaspora.
    And so if the so termed "expert" of such an interpretation of the use of the song ‘Oh Danny Boy’ was suggesting that Patrick Mc,Goohan, an Irish American, was thinking of returning home to America, as he eventually did of course, But at the time of ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ the episode in which the lyrics of ‘Oh Danny Boy’ featured, there was nothing to suggest that McGoohan's intention was to go to America. Because he had other projects in the pipe-line, four films he was going to produce with ITC.
    It was not until afterwards when discussing this with my wife, that I recalled that originally it was the Irish Marshal who was singing the song ‘Oh Danny Boy,’ then as he was knocked out by Mister X, it was he who then carried on with the song, singing, humming, and so on. This was so that if anyone had heard the Irish Marshal singing, and then suddenly stopping, wouldn't come along to see what was wrong with the Irish Marshal. So really the original interpretation has nothing whatsoever to do with it!

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