Spring forward,fall back. When it comes to daylight saving,this is how most of us remember.Put the clocks forward by an hour in spring and return the gift in Autumn by going back an hour.
In 2019,daylight saving time for Ireland began on Sunday,March 31st at 1 am.This will be in place until Sunday,October 27th at 2 am,when the clocks will fall back.
The result of a European Parliament vote on the matter means that
this practice is set to be discontinued in 2021.Member states have until April 2020 to make their decisions to remain permanently on what effectively is European Summertime settings.
A very bright younger member of my family feels that there is an anomaly.I was reminded that under the 1880 Definition of Time Act,the official time for Ireland was classified as Dublin Mean Time.The timing was taken from time measurements at Dunsink Observatory,near the suburb of Finglas.
Dublin Mean Time,or Dunsink Time as referred to by James Joyce in his novel Ulysses is 25 minutes and 21 seconds behind Greenwich Mean Time.The bright member of my family is of the opinion that we,Irish,lost this precious time when Greenwich Mean Time was harmonised across the Islands of Great Britain and Ireland.
This spark from my loins feels that Ireland will lose the full hour if it aligns with European time.It was posited that these hours lost are lost forever and in his mind there will be a lost Irish hour floating in the ether,neither here nor there but nowhere.Lost forever.
The rhetorical question “Who knows where the time goes”? is the title of a musical masterpiece by the unsurpassed Sandy Denny.Without doubt,one of the greatest British singer/songwriters of all time.
On this date,April 21st 1978,Sandy Denny lost all her hours,not just her daylight saving ones,when the life support system she was hooked up to was turned off.
She had fallen down a staircase in a friends house a few days previously and never regained consciousness.She was only thirty one.
While still in her teens she began playing the singing circles of the burgeoning coffee shop scene of Soho,London.She soon came to the notice of musical stalwarts such as Bert Jansch,Martin Carthy and John Renbourn.
The first record she cut was with The Strawbs in 1968 entitled “All our own work”.
Although the album was not commercially available until 1973,it was the first recording of
“Who knows where the time goes”? .
This version undoubtedly possessing a delicate beauty only hints at the artistic monument it became under the wizardry of Richard Thompson’s guitar treatment in the definitive version of the song by Fairport Convention on their Unhalfbricking album of 1969.(posted at top).
The Fairport Convention version was not the first commercially available version of the song.This accolade goes to American Folk singer Judy Collins on her 1968 album which bore the same title.
There have been numerous version of “Who knows where the time goes”? including versions by Lumiere,Mary Black,Nina Simone. While all these readings have their merits,the Fairport Convention cut is the definitive.
Today,on the anniversary of Sandy Denny’s death I ponder,not only,her too short stay on this floating ball but for all the hours we simply let slip away,wondering instead of doing,overthinking instead of acting.
Sandy Denny.Rest in Peace.