The Singing Irish!

The Irish are a musical people. The Michael O’Neal Singers will present The Music of Ireland on Friday, March 14, in a program that reflects the musicality of the Irish in a number of ways, including words, melodies, rhythm, and dance.

As is common in agrarian cultures, the Irish handed down many of their traditions orally. Their folksongs and ballads reflect the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of a beleaguered, yet proud and resilient people.

MOS will sing songs that recall the long standing resistance to English domination, e.g., Wearin’ of the Green and The Minstrel Boy. The sadness heard in these songs in tempered with a strength of purpose that helps explain some of the dichotomy of the Irish “personality.”

We will also include selections that speak of the love the Irish feel for their land and its people, e.g., Down By the Salley Gardens and Danny Boy. Folk songs are represented with Molly Malone and The Girl I Left Behind Me. The Irish people also enjoy a good party and that theme is represented with Mairi’s Wedding and The Rakes of Mallow.

The sense of fun is present in dance as well and we are pleased to have The Mulligan Irish Step Dancers return to our stage for a fifth appearance with MOS. To further enhance the evening’s program we’ve included a sing-along of several “Irish-American” songs which remind us that around Saint Patrick’s Day we’re all a little bit Irish!  It is in that spirit that we will end the concert with a traditional Irish blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rain fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again,
May God hold you ever in the palm of his hand.

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