I’m not sure why but this song started going through my head today. This is for anyone going through a tough time.
The singers are (l to r) Mary Black, Tommy Fleming, Eleanor Shanley, and Maura O’Connell, accompanied by De Danann. For those not familiar, this was written in 1854 by American composer Stephen Foster, several years before the Civil War, but during a depression in the country.
The Irish in particular seem to have taken to this song, many Irish singers and musicians have recorded it. Small wonder, I suppose. It was just a few short years after this was written that my own great-grandparents, Ellen Lee and John Ahern, left Ireland for America. My aunt likes to say they came over during the Famine, but from the records I’ve been able to find they didn’t arrive until about 1857-1859.
Anyway, I love this song. The first time I heard it was on one of Mary Black’s albums. It almost seems like a prayer these days. If only we could sing hard times away.