Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today is the National Holiday of Ireland.  And in honor, I am playing three patriotic Irish songs.

Gorgeous Ireland used to be a relatively poor place . In the past 30 years, Ireland's economy started to boom. It is now one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of per capita income, and the greatest success story in Europe. It also explains why Ireland is such an expensive place to visit.

One more thing- Irish people dress really well in Dublin when they go out at night.  And if you are gay, head over to the George in Dublin -- and end up at the greasy 24 hour dive across the street that serves the worlds best chili fries which come in handy when you are dead drunk and hungry. (If anyone knows the name of the place please leave it here). The guys in Dublin can be gorgeous, and our friend above is just one of the thousands of hot guys you can see there-- although they tend to dress more moderately in public.

The first song is the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland, "Amhrán na bhFiann" or "The Soldier's Song.

Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the "bearna baoil",[fn 4]
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
’Mid cannon’s roar and rifles’ peal,
We’ll chant a soldier’s song

The second is the famous ballad Danny Boy, which is a poem set to the tune of Londonderry air (or Derry Air if you are from the Republic of Ireland).  This song is used as an unofficial national anthem in Northern Ireland (the part that is in the United Kingdom, where the national anthem is of course God Save the Queen).  . This version is sung by Deanna Durbin in the 1946 movie Because of Him. The lyrics are very moving, they are of a mother speaking to a son who has leaves Ireland during the Irish Diaspora (over one million starved to death) in the mid 1800's Irish potato famine. Half of Ireland's surviving population of 6 million left for places most notably the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia.

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling,
From glen to glen and down the mountain side;
The summer's gone, and all the roses falling;
It's you, it's you must go, and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow;
I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow;
Danny boy, Oh Danny boy, I love you so.

But if ye come and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be.
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I will know, 'though soft ye tread around me,
And then my grave shall richer sweeter be,
Then you'll bend down and tell me that you love me,
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.

Finally, we have a third national anthem to play today - Ireland's Call. Originally written and sung at Irish Rugby matches, where Northern and Southern Ireland field one team, it is now being played more often as a song that all of Ireland can sing together.  It is very catchy.

Come the day and come the hour
Come the power and the glory
We have come to answer
Our Country's call
From the four proud provinces of Ireland

Ireland, Ireland
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call

From the mighty Glens of Antrim
From the rugged hills of Galway
From the walls of Limerick
And Dublin Bay
From the four proud provinces of Ireland

Ireland, Ireland
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call

Hearts of steel
And heads unbowing
Vowing never to be broken
We will fight, until
We can fight no more
From the four proud provinces of Ireland

Ireland, Ireland
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call

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