Monday, March 14, 2011

'Tis Irish I am...

'Tis Irish I am, and proud am I of it..."
My grandma used to sing this song. I've realized I can't really, in kindness, share the rest of it. 

However, there were other songs.
"Me mother and father were Irish,
Me mother and father were Irish,
Me mother and father were Irish,
And I am Irish, too." (pronounced Irish stew)
"We kept two pigs in the parlor,
We kept two pigs in the parlor,
We kept two pigs in the parlor,
And they were Irish, too."
(We thought it was hysterical as kids. I love to share this with my grandchildren.)

Or, how about
"An Irish Lullaby" (Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra).
This was a regular in our family. I learned some years ago that it was written in 1914, so it can't really be from the 'homeland,' but is still dear to us. I always sang this one to my babies.

The list goes on for us, too.

There were probably others that I don't recall, but my grandma was very proud of her Irish heritage. She was Irish through her Grandmother Morgan whose grandparents, Edward and Margaret (Frazier) Orr were born in Ireland. Somehow, even with a very long and strong English heritage, Grandma Epps  and her siblings always considered themselves Irish. So does my mom.

Having recently viewed a couple of programs dealing with Irish heritage, I have a newly deepened appreciation and respect for that hardy people. (Links to those programs are here and here.) It seems that no matter the difficulty or devastation, they carried on. They seem to have been able to find joy in living while carrying a deep-seated sorrow. An amazing people! I count myself blessed to have their blood streaming through my veins.

3 comments:

  1. “When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.”

    Edna O'Brien quotes (Irish Writer, b.1932)

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  2. I wanted to share my history with the song that you have posted.
    I am of African and Cuban descent. I went to school in New York City and I learned the song Tis Irish I am in 2nd grade for a school play. I have searched for the song online and many folks do not know what I am talking about.
    I am 32 now and this is what I still remember of the song mistakes and all:
    Tis Irish I am and Tis Proud am I of it
    The town I wander Killarney's my home
    now I love her green meadows her lakes and her
    collies I wear her shamrock wherever I roam
    and sing her majesties Erin Go Bragh
    Patricks and bridges Irish men All
    The rocky the road as it leads up to town
    It never could keep a good Irish man down.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing your memory with me. I'm surprised at the many versions of this song that have been presented to me since making this post. Isn't it surprising how clearly we remember some things?

    ReplyDelete