Everything’s changed – but it’s still our heyday, baby!

“And this is our heyday, baby, And we ain’t gonna be afraid to shine.

Cos we can make our heyday last forever, And ain’t that what it’s all about”

  • Mic Christopher – Heyday, 2001.

You know the song.

I can’t sing or play it for you here, but it’s the one from the Guinness ad. The one where Michael Fassbender (or is it the ex-Mayo footballer Kevin O’Neill?) dives off the Cliffs of Moher and swims to New York to say sorry to his brother. Or his friend. Someone who seems to forgive him anyway.

Jamie Callaghan, brought up down the road from me in Ransboro, sang a great version of it as the finale of Theme Night #26 – the online show we recorded back in April when we were in the throes of peak lockdown.

And I was reminded of it the other day when I met one of the great newspaper men of this town to ask his advice on writing a column. He’s retired now, and I joked about how things were in his heyday. He came straight back at me to say that his heyday wasn’t over yet. He may be retired from the day job, but he’s writing short stories now and being published, busy with a gaggle of grandchildren and no coronavirus was going to stop him.

And I think that’s what Mic Christopher was getting at. In his live shows he used to introduce this song by saying that the word ‘heyday’ was generally used to denote a time in the past where lay a person’s best work or the best time of their life. He thought however that each day you should aspire to do your best work, and always try to make this time the best time of your life.

Tragically, he died in an accident aged 32 soon after writing this song. What he’d give to be alive now – pandemic or no pandemic.

And that’s why we used it as the big closing song back in April. We all remember what it was like then, and indeed what it is still like to an extent. Everything has changed. We can’t see our family and friends in the way we would like. Businesses are suffering. Musicians can’t make a living.

But this is our heyday, baby. And each day we wake up we can treat it as such. We’re here, we’re alive, and a new day full of possibility is stretching out before all of us.

And ain’t that what it’s all about.

PS Jamie did a brilliant job on the song – you can watch it below…

Column 1 for The Sligo Weekender – published Sept 3 2020.