Monday, December 5, 2011

The Music of Ireland

Today I listened to the "Irish Priests", one of my Christmas favorites, even though it isn't really Christmas music.  Dad heard the music and asked for the CD to listen to, and we got into a discussion about Ireland.  I think my Irish blood is about 4 or 5 generations back.  My Irish ancestors were part of the Long clan.  My Grandfather on my Mother's side was Vern Long.

My Dad has been to Ireland and I haven't - yet.  He learned quite a bit about Ireland however, when he went there.  He told me about a book:  How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill.  Cahill argues a case for the Irish people's critical role in preserving Western Civilization from utter destruction by the Huns and the Germanic tribes.  The Wikipedia entry is skeptical.  I would guess that there were many factors in European civilization, including the Irish monks toiling away at copying books. 

 We do know that Ireland has a long history of avoiding death as a penalty in any case.  We also know that St. Patrick brought Christianity, or to be precise, Catholicism, to Ireland.  Whether he got rid of the snakes is a very different question!  We also know that the Irish have music in their blood.  My Grandpa loved to sing, and it was one of the few ways of entertainment on the farm when my Mother was growing up.  Not so long before my Grandpa Long went to the nursing home, I went to where he lived, along with my Mother and her husband.  We all sang, even Grandpa.  It was quite wonderful.

No one can dispute the music and dancing of Ireland.  Both music and dance have been important for me as far back as I can remember.  I can't dance anymore in my arthritic body, but I can sing, and I do!  I love to hear beautiful music, especially if it is meaningful and/or fun.  And someday soon, I will visit Ireland in person.

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