In Which I Learn Why There Are No Great Women Composers

This is a “Guest Post”. I simply found it & decided to share it here because I found the controversy educating me. (That doesn’t mean I agree with views expressed by the author.)

I didn’t seek permission to re-publish. Trust “song of the lark” owner won’t object.


Lots of people have hobbies like knitting, jogging, or stamp collecting. Because I am the nerdiest nerd to ever nerd, the closest thing I have to a hobby is learning about the history of women in music. It’s a topic that doesn’t get as much press as the old chestnuts like “classical music is dying” or “Stradivari’s secret […]

Scott Torrance in Cork 


we met thanks to people on Periscope – the live streaming App.  

Scott was sitting on Dublin grass in the Phoenix Park. Drawing the obelix from Egypt that celebrates the military victories of Wellington.

I kept my eye on him.  Every mark he made on paper – every single line. He was too good to ignore, too attractive.

Scott shuffled himself comfortable under the shade of a tree that might have been planted specially for him. 

I heard him offer his drawing to anyone who wanted it. Anyone tuned in live to his “scope”.

The polite thing would have been to wait. 

I said to myself in Cork:

 “Me me me – I want that drawing – it’ll never happen again, boy”

So I whispered – in my loudest internet voice 

“I’ll have it please. May I have it?”

The rest is history… 

(Buy the authorised biography of Scott from Scotland, when it’s published. 45% reduction on published price – only through this site) 

Who wrote this limerick? 

I found it in the Notes App on my iPhone – from 2013. Doubt I wrote it – I like it too much.

There once was the classic mother-in-law

Who considered she hadn’t a flaw

She knew all the answers

Crosswords and chancers

Until she found she had snot in her jaw

Wanting more 


I’ve always been found 

wanting more than a woodpecker carves 

into the last tree 

in the last forest,

wanting more 

than my mother’s ever offered,

– even more than father bestowed 

on one of his good days. 

I was born wanting more time for love. 

I’ve grown hungrier by the day, 

thirstier by night, 

always grasping for clean air. 

There’s never been a father more loved,

ever since letters of infinity 

were strung together 

on a necklace 

that shines with promise

and gradually shrinks 

until it chokes 

the living daylight out of me. 

I’ve always wanted to beg. 

Like most beggers,  

my voice has been feeble 

– barely enough courage 

to pay the price father demanded. 

I’ve always been found 

wanting to trust more.

I’m used to starving. 

Bless me Father, 

for I have sinned 

on a daily basis. 

let me do penance 

– only let me have time to pay. 

Poem by Paul O’Mahony: “Life-saving anthem: I stand against the crowd

I stand

against the crowd

I stand out from the crowd

I am an individual





Awkward in my comfort

Edgy in my skin

Alive in my own little way

I live my say

I give the best shot I can

Every day.

I stand against the crowd

of wasters who fritter

their life away their way.

I waste my life my way

I fritter my days into

the oblivion I fashion

every step I say.

Because I am who am


Condemned to be myself

I stand out from the crowd

comfortable in my discomforting way

that comes from every pore

every sore

every score of my expressions.

It’s my art

The heart of my song

The liver that cleans my spleen

seen in all my glory every time

I stand against the crowd

Each and every difference





Understandable me.

See that fella

hovering on the edge

the one who isn’t fitting in

the one with the shifty eyes

the glint of his own

You can smell that he’s

An outsider

A weirdo

An awkward one

An individual


A body of imagining




Scheming to survive

The crowd

The collective view

The “what we all think”


I stand against the crowd

I stand out from the crowd

Away from the crowd

Proud of my own way

Fiddling the melody

Composed of notes

I’ve assembled from the crowd

Playing the game I’ve invented

The rules I’ve annunciated

Predicated on the shoulders

of giants who have fallen

in battle

Against the crowd

Castigated on shoulders

Of heroes that have died

For the cause of being


I reject the way of the crowd

Every time my heart pumps

Blood from the flat of my soul

To the peak of my imagination.


I will cause

Conflagration to

instigation of the self


Author of my fate

Creator of my faith

Born to be wild

Not filed away in a box

I defy

I stand against the crowd

That would

Categorise me

Classify me

Entomb me in place

where they could ignore me

where they could make me safe

from causing a splash

from making a difference

from changing

The course of history

The dreams of others

The Universe.

For such a cause

I stand against the crowd

I stand out from the crowd

to welcome you

Fellow traveller

Fellow awkward person

Follower battler

For your way.

For your way is my way too

Your way is yours

My way is mine

Our way stands out from the crowd

We stand against the crowd.

We stand up for ourselves

We stand who stand.

Against the crowd

Unto death.