St. Patrick's Day is typically a joyous celebration for people living in Boston. But with strict limitations across the state closing down bars and other establishments to limit the spread of the coronavirus, people that make money from the celebration. WGBH News' Morning Edition host Joe Mathieu spoke with WGBH Radio's Brian O'Donovan, host of The Celtic Sojourn, about the effect of the outbreak on the local music community. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Joe Mathieu: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Brian O'Donovan: At least six feet away, Joe. Good to be with you in this kind of snowy St. Patrick's Day, and a very unusual one, to say the least. That's an understatement.

Mathieu: No thanks to Tom Brady.

O'Donovan: Yeah, but it just reminds us of the value of sports and distraction, essentially.

Mathieu: How about that for the light side. He gave us one thing on the way out, something to talk about other than the coronavirus.

O'Donovan: Yeah, at a crucial time.

Mathieu: I wanted to talk to you. I'm really happy to see you. A lot of people woke up feeling bad today, as you know, feeling emotional for world seemingly shutting down around us. Your companionship [and] your optimism are some of the reasons that people listen to this radio station. I am among them. We could use a little bit of both right now. How are you feeling today?

O'Donovan: I'm feeling obviously under the same realization that the world has changed even from a week ago — one single week ago. And the world has changed. I think no matter where we come out at the other end of this tunnel, and it's it looks like a long tunnel, the world will be a different place. I tend to look at that clearly as an opportunity. I was saying to my kids who are grown kids at this stage, aging from 26 to 37, is that this is now their world — truly, honestly their world. And there's an optimism, I think even for older people like me, that they will finally be handed the mantle to make this a different world than the one they went into the tunnel with. And I can only think of that optimistically. I'm not saying that Pollyanna-wise, but it is going to be a new world.

Mathieu: That's an inspired view, actually, if you look at it the right way. And you've been dealing with some closures yourself, right? This should be a busy time for you on stage.

O'Donovan: Absolutely. And last week when we still had people coming to work here at WGBH, they would meet me and go, "oh, I'm so sorry your event was canceled." And I couldn't take it on personally because I would constantly say it's not as if it's a "woe is me" situation that our shows were uniquely canceled because it wasn't the case. I was kind of channeling the disappointment for so many others. You're talking about the high profile ones like Broadway, sports leagues and everything that was happening here with symphony, etc. Mine was slightly smaller. Go further down into the clubs and pubs that people were not just looking forward to playing because that's what people do, but this, Joe, for a lot of independent artists is one of the times that they make hay. Essentially artists are the original gig economy. I don't want to make them uniquely focused on as the ones that are being impacted by this, but they are the original gig economy: they show up, they play, they get paid. If they don't, it's all over. We managed to get one show in in Rockport and then canceled. Forget about the musicians, this is a guy who schlepped in microphones and took out the speakers — a very important roadie, a very important support person. And he looked at me almost with tears in his eyes and he said, "do you realize how many people are going to miss rent in this town at the end of April?" And that really sunk into me. That is the type of situation we're facing.

Mathieu: That hurts. When you think of all the pubs, you think of South Boston shut down.

O'Donovan: At a time of joy.

Mathieu: What are you going to do today?

O'Donovan: It's interesting, actually. Again, as you would imagine, the arts community has banded together, especially the music community. And again, we're blessed with having the technology these days that we have online. So they've rallied around and if you go on the Internet to any of your favorite groups or pubs or anything else, you will find online entertainment going on today. That is the new reality, the current reality that we're facing. Please support them and please, perhaps even more importantly than supporting them and appeal for funds, is an appeal to keep arts in your life. This is the humanity that's more desperately needed now than ever before. So just logging on, listening to music. I have created actually to playlist, Joe, I'll just tell you this. And again, I'm only putting myself in this position as a curator. I'm simply the messenger here. But I've created two playlists that I offered for St. Patrick's Day. One is very reflective and calming, like a salve or a bomb. The other is more uptempo — what you would expect to have today. Have a beer, have a glass of whiskey, have a cup of tea with friends and move around your kitchen wherever it is. I had the most requests for that, three orders of magnitude than any other playlist I've ever put out for request. And people can get those playlists. If you send me an email right now — — and put "playlist" in the subject line, I will send you each of those playlists courtesy of WGBH because of its license arrangements with artists, we can do this. And we want to do this.

Mathieu: That's fantastic. And by the way, if you go to Brian's page on our website at, you can also find links to those playlists. We've got them on our website as well. And you can see what Brian looks like if you don't know.

O'Donovan: I've got a face for radio, is the old joke that we all use.

Mathieu: A lot of people may not know you were a big swinger in the pro sports business. You were the vice-president of the Patriots at one point. You were later the chief operating officer of The Revolution. You believe Tom Brady is out?

O'Donovan: It looks like he is. I don't think Tom says something like that without it happening. And it's just extraordinary how much of a backdrop he has been to our New England life over those years and brought a lot of joy to a lot of people. Let's not lose sight of that. I'm like Shaughnessy and in the Globe and I'm kind of looking forward to it because it makes something really interesting. Where is he going to go, and who is he going to play? I think every game that Tom Brady plays in, whatever team he plays, I think is going to have a huge New England level of interest in it.

Mathieu: Brian O'Donovan, thank you for coming in. You're going to leave us with a couple of special words here.

O'Donovan: Just a quick poem written by John O'Donoghue. I always use it for times like this and I use it a lot in my shows. It's called "Blessing" or "Beannacht."

And it goes: "On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble, may the clay dance to balance you. And when your eyes freeze behind the gray window and the ghost of loss gets into you, may a flock of colors — indigo, red, green and Asia blue — come to awaken in you a meadow of delight. When the canvas frays in the crook of thought and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you, may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home. May the nourishment of the Earth be yours. May the clarity of light be yours. May the fluency of the ocean be yours. May the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.