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Favorite Irish Songs for St. Patrick's Day


oldgrappler
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Thanks for playing, @mcpapa. And I love your entry. This is authentic Irish art. My two entries are Irish songs sung utilizing an American art form, so inathentic.

 

For a few years, I participated in a benefit concert/Irish event held around St. Patty's Day at Xavier University. It's purpose was to raise money for a certain Catholic charity in Central or South America.

 

The format was basically all things Irish art forms. This included readings of Irish literature by several professors from Xavier, different styles of Irish music, some instrumental, some acapella and sung, again, by said professor. Some of the participants actually had an Irish accent because they were from Ireland originally.

There was a local Irish band that would play. And then there was my quartet.

 

One of our guys was friends with a retired Xavier U professor (Joe something) who actually was the guy who put this event on every year to raise money for this Catholic priest in Latin America. Any way, he invited my friend to sing and to bring his quartet. So, my friend would sing some Irish song that he knew, then all four of us would sing as a Barbershop Quartet, a few songs that were either Irish in origin or were sung from the perspective of an Irish immigrant to America who was fondly remembering his/her homeland.

 

So, what we did was a little out of character with the rest of the acts because theirs were all authentically Irish, poetry, stories, and music written and performed on traditional Irish instruments. Then the four of us would get up and sing an Irish themed song using an American art form (Barbershop harmony). I always felt a little out of place, but the crowd was so appreciative and expressive towards us. Especially when we would sing our closer--An Irish Blessing.

 

I always enjoyed that gig (unpaid) because the organizer of the event was such a genuine guy and he'd invite us to an after-party at his house, a few blocks from Xavier. The food was always magnificent. Catered in. And there were free drinks, wine, beer, liquor, and soft drinks (of which I only partake). Then my quartet would do a few more songs (not Irish). It was always very enjoyable.

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And no list of Irish music is complete without a version of this classic:

 

[video=youtube;zc41L1-KcG0]

Maybe the first time we realized that my avatar had real vocal talent was listening to her rendition of Danny Boy at a middle school concert.

 

Years later, her best friend’s dad passed away. She was asked to sing Danny Boy at his funeral service ( his favorite song). You could tell that there was some trepidation among the attendees when she took her place with just her phone for instrumental accompaniment.

 

After she finished, the minister looked over to the choir director and said, “How would you like to have a few like that in the choir”.

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I'll bet that was a thrill for her mcpappa and mcmomma.

 

You are right, Danny Boy has to be on any list of Irish songs. I remember listening to a Barbershop quartet do an arrangement of this song at a contest. When they hit the tag (usually the last measure or two of the song), the hair on my arm was standing up and goose bumps. So, amazingly beautiful and touching.

 

Music can speak to our hearts like few other mediums. And the Irish seem to have knack for expressing that feeling of longing for home and the old ways more than other cultural heritages have.

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