Thursday, June 15, 2006

ON IRISH MUSIC Listening to the music of the Clancy Brothers just now as we begin the first day of a short vacation "down the shore." The Irish! What a gift they've given us through music. Irish music can lift us to the heights of beauty in an air or lament on the pipe or the piercing moans of the tinwhistle, or send us into a mad dance on the pub floor with a dizzying jig or reel to the fiddle and bodhran. What lies behind each song, I think, is courage. The courage of the Irish to go there. To go into the sadness of love lost or to the oppression and starvation of their people. To enter into the reality of life and to dance in it. Some say the Irish can tend toward escapism in their drink and their song. Perhaps at times it's true. But I think the greater gift of the Irish is their ability to face life's hardships with this courage! Indeed, the Irish are the lords of the dance and when we hear their delirious jigs and reels formed in the midst of all of life's crosses, we dance with them.
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