O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 53

O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 53
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periodical Publisher
Regan Printing House, Chicago, 1913
periodical Editor
periodical Title
O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians
volume Number
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104Iris / i Minstrels and .lk [ usiciansTHOSE OLD IRISH AIRSCome Katie avourneen touch up your piano,And play off tile tunes that your father likes best;Youve been taxing your brains with those German composersLets hear from Tom Moore, just by way of a rest.Your teacher has told you no doubt that theyre trashy,And nothing but simple and common affairs;To some they may be, but to me theyre entrancing,So just play a few of Those Old Irish Airs.Ah, Moore was the man to put grah in his verses;To reach the right spot sure, twas he knew his art;A magician in troth with a wonderful latchkey,That opened the door of each Irishmans heart;He never would stop and apply for admittance,But softly creep in and make off with your cares,And well may his countrymen cherish his memryFor putting such words to Those Old Irish Airs.Was there ever such musicso soft and so soothing,So mournful and wild, so exciting and gay?Such melody clear as the stream from the mountain,Which splashes along in its own artless way;The blast of defiance, the sigh of oppression;From the lilt to the lullaby nothing compares.All the moods mixed in an Irishmans natureAre clearly expressed in Those Old Irish Airs.If its mournful you feel or in vein sentimental,Just choose any book that you find will includeThe Last Rose of Summer ; The Exile of Erin ;Believe Me ; The Coolin ;theyll answer your mood.If stirred be your soul by the wrongs of your sireland,You know courage will win while the coward despairs.And the spirit that breathes in Let Erin Remember,Is enshrined for all time in Those Old Irish Airs.If its mirthful you feel, and in need of diversion,Look over the feast, theres enough and to spareSee The Maid on the Green with her chum Yora ChreenaAt The Top of Cork Road with Tile Rakes of Kildare.Dont tell me theres naught to admire in such music;Twas made for all time, you can see how it wears,Why the blood rushes up to my cheeks at the sound,And my heart beats the time to Those Old Irish Airs.In the war for the Union with my Irish companionsIve heard those airs played when the battle was nigh,And Ive marked the wild look in their eves as they listened,As if it were glory to fight then, and die,Irish Folk .7/Iusic l Precious HeritageAnd when I lay wounded and death hovered oer me,The music would haunt me and mix in my prayers;And I wondered at times if the angels in heaven,Have songs that would equal [ hose Old Irish Airs.Dont tell me the music is trashy or commonThat fills men with motives so unselfish and high.There is not a bar in your famous composersThat would stir us to fight for a cause till we die.If lost be that cause for a timewell, no matter;The spirit to conquer will survive in our heirs,And the hope smoldring deep in an Irishmans bosom\VilI be fanned into flame 1w Those Old Irish Airs.Then, Katie, avourneen, play off the dear music,And please your old fatherif but for tonight;Though it may not show art, nor display execution,Its all in the taste, and we both may be right.Play off the dear music that breathes of the shamrock,The moor and the mountains, the fields and the fairs.Though tyrants may strangle a cause and a people,They never could smother Those Old Irish Airs.OsMusic which in the words of Agnes Gordon Hogan, is a language withoutan al:)habet, a speech without a tongue, a power without a limit, still retains itssubtle influence over the Irish heart, although over one hundred years ago LadyMorganthen Miss Owensonin her Patriotic Sketches, bewailed the regret-table and undeniable fact, that the warm, ardent sprit of national enthusiasmwhich hung delighted on the song of national melody to which many an asso-ciated idea, many an endeared feeling lent their charm, has now faded intoapathy, and neither the native strain nor sentiment which gave it soul touches onthe spring of national sensibility or awakens the dormant energy of national taste.Music was to the Irish a living delight, a mysterious key to a host of undis-covered emotions, hoarded in the secrecies of the soul. Irish music haunts thememory unlike certain modern compositions of which a critic in the ChicagoMusical Leader says: It comes and it goes but when it is gone theres not evenan echo of it left in the mind of the listener. \Vherever the Irish goandwhere have they not gone?tlieir music or the memory of it clings to themthrough life. A selection conveying a sorrowful cadence in its burden willawaken thoughts of home. kindred and early associations, filling the mind ofthe auditor with emotion and sorrow, writes Cornelius ODonovan, an exile inCanada, but a change in the metre substituting animation for sentiment, willproduce a corresponding change in the feelings, and the heart that but a shorttime ago was bowed down. has again resumed its gavety. How aptly thepoet voices the spirit of vain regrets which torture our very souls, when wecontemplate the havoc which the tragic trinity of persecution. pestilence andproscription has wrought in the historic Green Islethe once renowned Land ofMusic and Song.
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O'Neill, Capt. Francis
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O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians

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