Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Wearin' O' the Green

Spring is tentatively advancing on the Frozen North, so it seems rather appropriate to celebrate a holiday whose traditional color is green at a time in which Yankees begin to see that color again on the landscape.

Although I am not Irish, nor have a desire to don a green 'fro or flashing green necklace or down some green beer, I am grateful for the influence of St. Patrick on the spiritual traditions of western civilization.

I've never been to Ireland, but that hasn't stopped me from appreciating that wonderful country's music. It began early in my life. My mother sang the "Irish Lullaby" to me as an infant. It was the only lullaby she ever sang.

In the 60s at the height of the folk music craze I discovered the music of the Clancy Brothers in the beautiful love song, "Will Ye Go Lassie, Go?"

Lucky Charms cereal and Irish Spring soap aside, Ireland has always fascinated me. Its people have managed to weave beauty out of sorrow, and still maintain a healthy sense of humor. My current favorite music from the Emerald Isle comes from Robin Mark, a worship leader and songwriter from Belfast.

Of course, I would be remiss for leaving out the Muppets version of Danny Boy;

or an old Gaelic Blessing:

Deep peace of the running waves to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the smiling stars to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you

or a glimpse of the magical green country that inspires the poet's rhyme and the singer's tune:

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