It probably comes as no surprise to anyone reading here, but I grew up in Canada, born of Canadian parents. On my dad’s side, we’re descended from a blend of the British Isles, with English, Scottish and Irish blood all running in our veins.
I’m not sure why it was, but my dad gravitated to all things Irish. I think he embraced the Irish blood most of all, aligning to the “rebel” aspect of traditional Irish history. Which is odd, really, as he hated Catholics. But not enough to stop him from marrying a Catholic girl of Hungarian ancestry, though.
But, as usual, I digress. While we always had Irish related odds and ends about the house (like a genuine shillelagh), the thing I remember most while growing up was the near continual strains of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem emanating from our cheap record player. My dad had nearly every album they released in Canada and he virtually played them until they wore out. I grew to hate that music as an adolescent, gritting my teeth whenever I was within earshot.
But, as it usually happens, I myself came back that music in my early adult years. I have all of Dad’s old records now; they’re in a box in the basement. The wonders of the internet and library CD’s have enabled me to build a small playlist of tunes from those records on my iPod. I know pretty much all the words and will often sing along at times.
Dad’s been gone fifteen years now but, even so, I’d like to wish him (and all of you) a very happy St. Paddy’s Day.
[There was a better recording of this song available on youtube, but I love the black and white video of this one. They were all so young. Hard to believe three of those four are gone now too.]