Dan Cassidy was interviewed on RTÉ earlier this month about his new book, How the Irish Invented Slang. To listen, go here and click on the 11 August link next to the description of the show. I’m not too familiar with .smil files, but Real Player worked for me (QuickTime didn’t).
He may be born and bred Brooklyn but Irish-American Dan Cassidy has made California his home since the 60s. Once a professional musician, he was lured to the West Coast by the music and the counter-culture that was radiating from San Francisco. He now teaches in the liberal New College in the Mission District and has turned his attention to his Irish roots with a book called How the Irish Invented Slang in which he speculates about the origins of so-called ‘American’ words. He claims words such as spiel, quirky, scam, sucker and even jazz are Irish in origin and were filtered through Ellis Island before becoming thoroughly American.
He talks to Myles about his music, the atmosphere of America in the 1960s, performing in Carnegie Hall and defends his thesis on Hiberno-American. He chooses some of his favourite pieces of music such as What’s Goin On by Marvin Gaye and his favourite film The Godfather: Part II.