MUSICAL MONDAY: Ireland calling…

ShamrockNever could I have imagined that blogging my Family History, intended only as a legacy to my descendants, would have the added bonus of helping make some wonderful “virtual” friends.  One such person is Angela, whose Blog, “A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND”, both entertains and informs.  As I was musing over which tune to share today, the following came as a blessing from Angela via our “conversation” on her recent post “A New Age: Leaving”.

It’s by Liam Clancy, is titled “The Parting Glass”, and Angela tells me it’s usually sang at the end of gatherings, in that beautiful land of Ireland… which I call “My Land”.. 

The Parting Glass

 “Oh all the money that e’er I see
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm that e’er I’ve done

alas, it was to none but me.

And all I’ve done for want of wit
to memory now I can’t recall.

So fill to me the parting glass
good night and joy be with you all.

Oh all the comrades that e’er I had
they are sorry for my going away.
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had
they would wish me one more day to stay.

But since it falls unto my lot
that I should rise and you should not.
I’ll gently rise and softly call
good night and joy be with you all.”

Finally I must share the song which describes perfectly my feeling for that part of the world, my Great Great Grandmother’s Homeland, which deep down in my very soul I truly feel is “My Land”…

Where the River Shannon Flows

There’s a pretty spot in Ireland
I always claim for my land
Where the faeries and the blarney will never ever die
‘Tis the land of the shillaleh
And my heart goes back there daily
To the girl I left behind me when we kissed and said goodbye

Where dear old Shannon’s flowing
Where the three leaf shamrock grows
Where my heart is I am going to my little Irish rose
And the moment that I meet her
With a hug and kiss I’ll greet her
For there’s not a colleen sweeter where the River Shannon flows.

Sure no letter I’ll be mailing
For soon will I be sailing
And I’ll bless the ship that takes me to my dear old Erin’s shore
There I’ll settle down forever
And I’ll leave the old sod never
And I’ll whisper to my sweetheart “Come and take my name as thore

Where dear old Shannon’s flowing
Where the three shamrock grows
Where my heart is I am going to my little Irish rose
And the moment that I meet her
With a hug and kiss I’ll greet her
For there’s not a colleen sweeter where the River Shannon flows.”


Do drop by Angela’s blog, it’s well worth a visit.


Copyright Β© 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

8 thoughts on “MUSICAL MONDAY: Ireland calling…

  1. I confess I thought “how strange”…do you really feel that Ireland is your home rather than Australia? Or is there just an empathy to your roots? I recall being asked by my Clare 4th cousins if I regarded myself as Irish or Australian, and I looked at them rather as if they had taken leave of their senses. I may like Ireland and also Scotland but neither are home to me. Interesting…

    • Sorry to be slow to respond, Pauleen… just catching up. Seems I’ve misled you. Australia is my “home” but Ireland is “my land”. I’ve discovered that there are many “explanations” for what I now realise is a well known phenomena e.g. ancestral memory, genetic memory and even suggestions of the paranormal.

      I have no idea where my sense of identifying so strongly with Ireland comes from… just know that it hit me “out of the blue” the moment the aircraft’s wheels touched down at Dublin Airport, in 1994, and it just grew as I travelled around, particularly in the South West. My daughter, who was with me, was as amazed as I was at this behaviour… especially the bursting into tears at various times πŸ™‚

  2. That’s an interesting point Pauleen! I am from Donegal and when I am asked where am I from I will always reply ‘Donegal’ although I have not lived there for 50 years. I can empathise with CΓ‘it – Donegal is ‘my land’ but Limerick is my home of over 30 years. I attribute a lot of this to my father – who kept alive the sense of Donegal being ‘our place’- and has passed that down to all of my siblings and some of his grandchildren. On the other hand, my sister was born and reared here in Ireland and has lived in Australia for 12 years and if you ask her where is home, where is your land, you get a very firm response : Australia! I am sure someone has written a thesis on this!

    • That’s fascinating Angela. I wish I could say that this sense of Ireland being “my land” was passed to me through the family. Sure mum talked about Susan, the shipwreck, the famine etc… and I was interested but that was all.

      My trip to Erin, in 1994, was unexpected. I was living in USA, my daughter-in-law was attending an education conference in Dublin so my daughter (who was visiting me) and I decided to meet up with her and then do some travelling… so it was “by chance” that I was even there.

      It so happens that my youngest, Dr Chad Sean Habel, did write his doctoral thesis on this topic. It’s been published in bookform and is titled “Ancestral Narratives: Irish-Australian Identities in History and Fiction” and is available on Ancestry:

      His dedication is to his GGGGrandmother and reads:
      “To Susan Kelleher of Corofin, County Clare, Ireland, who arrived in South Australia upon the Nashwauk in 1855, and to all those driven from their homeland by malice or circumstance.”

      This link will take you through to his Staff Profile at the University of Adelaide where his Academic work related to this topic is listed.

      It all still amazes me…

      • How fascinating that your son has a thesis on this very hard to define ‘thing’! Leaving one’s land does seem to have a profound effect on many people. Did your GG Grandmother leave parents and siblings behind?

  3. Thanks for the reply Angela…yes “home” has many meanings from sense of identification with land or place, to “home is where the heart is” with family, to where we live presently. I would say my home now is here (Darwin, NT) but where is my “real home” it would be Brisbane and yet I don’t quite have a sense of place there either. I’m an Aussie and a Queenslander is probably what I’d say, with a dash of Territorian: my Territory-born friend insists I can’t have dual Qld-NT citizenship because we both think we’re best πŸ˜‰

    I certainly feel the pull of the place in Ireland and Scotland. Would love to read a thesis on the topic πŸ™‚

    All these nuances are so important to family history migration as well because immigrants arriving here were asked where they were from and the answer could vary from townland, parish, town, county, or where they lived most recently….something we immigrant countries need to keep in mind.

    • My reply to Angela re: a thesis is for you too Pauleen πŸ™‚ …

      You’re certainly right about the importantance of these “nuances”. Reminds me of mum telling me that when she working in “the Union Can” just after the war with a huge number of “displaced persons” from Europe that there was a HUGE problem with arguments and even physical fights with some of the women. Seems that many Australians lumped all these refugees, from war torn Europe, together as a homogoenous group whereas many had been enemies during the hostilities and killing each other. I know that’s an extreme example.

      I’m also very aware that me claiming Ireland as “my land” may be viewed with hostility by some Irish… especially if it’s a totally idealised and romanticised view and fails to take into account the huge economic difficulties the Irish are now experiencing.

      Thanks for your comments Pauleen… they’re always inspiring and “give food for thought”… I love that!!! πŸ˜€

  4. Thanks Angela… yep Chad also has that strong sense of Irishness, although not as much as me πŸ˜‰ A most interesting book to read re: this “thing” is “The Many Coloured Land. A Return to Ireland” by Christopher Koch (2002)… I can totally relate to his thought on returning to Australia –

    “Am I truly leaving a strange country? Or will the country I am going back to now seem strange?” …

    Yes my GGGrandmother did leave family behind. The “story” is that someone needed to emigrate and the family decision was that my Susan was the best to go because she was more likely to make it in a strange land… etc. However, this could be one of those family myths? She was born around 1836 and grew up in County Clare during the “Famine” and emigrated to South Australia in 1855… As yet, I’ve not been able to find my family over there but haven’t given up hope πŸ™‚

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