Sunday, March 16, 2008

patrick season: thoughts for patrick's eve

Tomorrow, for a while, the whole world will be Irish. That’s a welcome thing to share for a people who in many cases were flung out of their own country by political disagreement, religious difference, economic hardship, and starvation in waves that spanned more than four centuries’ time. With that flinging out they’ve created vibrant bits of Irish heritage from Singapore to Saskatchewan, and given back to the native land as well. The first part of the year is Patrick season, those months from Christmas Day to the octave of Easter. There’s a flow of Irish music and Irish beer -- some of it green -- and such other things as fake Irish accents, chocolate shamrocks, and green grits.

It is also a religious day, the marking of a saint who came first as a slave and persuaded kings to think about his new faith. As well as that, it’s a mark of connection, a reaching back to the family and friends, across distance, and across time.

Ireland and the music its people have taken across the world are a major part of what we think and talk about here along the music road, and part of what I write and talk about elsewhere too. On this Patrick’s eve, I invite you to think about and share your own reflections on Ireland and Irish music, and to look back at these ideas:

Irish Music, Irish Landscape

Ten Songs

Donal Clancy

Thinking about Celtic Sprituality

Cathie Ryan: Irish and American

Matt and Shannon Heaton

by Kerry Dexter

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