Monday, March 17, 2014



Willard Leroy Metcalf - Green Pastures
An outside turned white
was once a delight, 
but now it's reason for gloom! 
Along with the white 
that fell in the night 
is a sky turned grey with doom.
No color in sight
except for the white:
No joy fills this sad sitting room.

Can it be a coincidence that St. Patrick's Day falls in the middle of March? Dreary winter has us longing for color, and the wearing of the green will do. On those St. Patrick Days of long ago, when school was so important in our lives, we joined the Irish in their custom of sporting the green.

Were there consequences if we failed to participate in the green tradition? Was there pinching of the greenless occurring that day? Foggy memory can't recall it. When did pinching become the penalty for disregarding the Irish on their day? 

Maybe we just weren't aware. Maybe the the whole world already knew. Maybe the pinching practice was rampant and widespread. 

Back then life was slow and easy in the mountains. The hub bub that vibrated outside our valleys and hollows most often passed us by. And, yes, and weren't we all the better for it, now?

Maybe you know that It's a Long Way to Tipperary, but did you know that Tipperary is a town in Ireland?
It's a Long Way to Tipperary
It's a Long Way to Tipperary
Up to mighty London came
An Irish man one day,

All the streets were paved with gold,
So everyone was gay!
Singing songs of Piccadilly,
Strand, and Leicester Square,

'Til Paddy got excited and
He shouted to them there:
It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go.
It's a long way to Tipperary

To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye, Piccadilly,
Farewell, Leicester Square!
It's a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there.

Maybe you know that a limerick is a kind of poem, but did you know that Limerick is also a town in Ireland?
Limericks - Edward Lear

A certain young fellow named Bee-Bee
Wished to wed a woman named Phoebe.
"But," he said, "I must see
What the clerical fee
Be before Phoebe be Phoebe Bee-Bee

A canner, exceedingly canny,
One morning remarked to his granny,
"A canner can can
Anything that he can;
But a canner can't can a can, can he?"

Finian's Rainbow
1947 Broadway production that ran for 725 performances

 You might have heard of 
Glocca Morra, 
but did you know that 
it's a fictional town in Ireland?
How Are Things in Glocca Morra?
A popular song from the Broadway play, Finian's Rainbow, 
about a fictional village in Ireland'
How are things in Glocca Morra? - John Gary
(a bad beginning, but a good version of the song - it's all right to be partial!)

Maybe you've heard the harmonica tune,  
Peg O' My Heart, by the Harmonicats, 
but did you know the lyrics of the song 
are about an Irish girl named Peg?

Peg O' My Heart
1933 movie about a girl named Peg and her father
who live a simple life in an Irish fishing village.
Published on March 15, 1913 
Featured in the 1913 musical Ziegfeld Follies
Charted at #1 in November 1913
 #2 hit for Henry Burr in December 1913
 #7 for Walter Van Brunt in January 1914
#1 for Jerry Murad's Harmonicats in April 1947
#1 for Buddy Clark in June 1947
#1 for the Three Suns in June 1947
#4 for Art Lund in June 1947
#8 for Clark Dennis in June 1947
 #5 for Ted Weems in June 1947
 #64 for Robert Maxwell in June 1964
 Peg O' My Heart - Pat Boone
 Peg o' my heart
I'll love you don't let us part
I love you
I always knew it would be you
Peg o' my heart
Since I heard your lilting laughter
It's your Irish heart I'm after
Peg o' my heart

 Hadrian's Wall
Built in northern England by the Romans to keep the barbarians out. Were those "barbarians" ancestors of our Scotch-Irish ancestors? It's likely. What do you think?
The Isle of Innisfree
 A haunting melody with lyrics expressing 
the longing of an Irish emigrant for his native land.
 Became a worldwide hit for Bing Crosby in 1952
The Isle of Innisfree - Bing Crosby - 1952

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
Audio Clip

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart's core.

The old countries were longed 
for by ancestors before us,
 as we long for our hills 
when we leave them.

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