In her most recent post Hails waxes lyrical about the great Daniel O’Donnell. She makes the true observation that Daniel is very much beloved by elderly ladies. This worries me. At what point of the slide into old age does Love of Daniel begin? Does the Queen adore O’Donnell? Is Vivienne Westwood a fan? Are Patti Smith and Deborah Harry planning future musical collaborations with the Donegal man?
But I think Daniel Adoration is associated not just with age but also with simple-mindedness. Because it’s not just certain elderly ladies that make up Daniel’s fan base, it’s…. now how do I put this?
Q. What is the current P.C. term?
A. Developmental Disability.
Or as legend has it, in Ulster Scots parlance, The Wee Dafties.
I worked for years with the developmentally disabled and one thing that I noticed was that, whenever they could choose for themselves, their general taste in music was
crap not pleasing to my ears.
Usually they’d favour the worst sort of country and western music (think George Jones), the most anodyne so-called pop music, really dreadful heavy metal or Daniel O’Donnell and some other similar sad sap whose name escapes me.
Occasionally you’d get a classical music fan but he or she would be incapable of verbalising musical choices and I often thought that these choices were imposed upon them by parents or staff who just wanted a bit of chill-out time. For the music chosen would be soothing rather than challenging.
But to return to the fascinating subject of Daniel - at one of the places I worked staff organised a holiday for a group of residents in Donegal. They hired a minibus and spent their days
searching for Daniel O’Donnell taking in the beautiful Donegal scenery. Eventually they tracked down the O’Donnell residence but, sadly, Daniel was not at home. They did meet his mother and his aunt and were invited in for tea and scones. It was the highlight of the holiday. For the staff that is. The residents did not have much to say about it. Except for the one who always vomited when she got excited. Or thought no one was paying any attention to her. She said, ‘Daniel’s Mammy was great Nelly. She gave us photos and scones. I boked mine up and Agnes ripped her photo!”
P.S. Interestingly, to me anyway, Daniel's
beard wife is called Majella. That's my middle name. Nelly Majella Moser.