We, the people, inhabiting this north Atlantic Archipelago,
sit and await the UK Government’s pleasure in deciding what our futures will be
(Brexit Deal/No Deal/ Revocation)?
As PM May “jets off ” to meet President Macron and Chancellor Merkel and beg for a stay of England’s
self-constructed and self-administered Brexit axe
Meanwhile, let’s relax and enjoy a concert.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had one!
So here’s the music of Ireland’s last bard, said to be Ireland’s greatest composer
Toirdhealbhach Ó Cearbhalláin (Turlough O’Carolan)
He spent his life travelling back and forth between Ireland and Scotland
playing and composing for the great and good!
He was born in 1670 and died in 1738.
Son of a blacksmith, he was a blind Gaelic harper, composer, and singer whose great fame is due to his gift for melodic composition.
His life overlapped with other great European composers: JS Bach, organist (1685-1750), GF Haendel pianist, violinist, organist and oboeist (1685.1779), A Vivaldi, violinist (1678-1741) and A Corelli, violinist (1653 – 1713)
Only O’Carolan was a harpist and composed for the harp
You can hear echoes of their influences in his work, but his Irish voice and music predominate
This was our contribution to European music during the English-imposed Penal Laws
which, according to Edmund Burke constituted “a machine of wise and elaborate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement in them of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”
O’Carolan’s most famous piece was his Concerto
Here it is, as played by 30 harpists, protesting early in the 21st C,
at the Irish Governments decision to drive a motorway through Tara,
a mythical site in Ireland
Remember: This is Ireland’s music throughout the Penal Laws, another time when England did their worst for Ireland
Whatever the UK decides, Ireland will move forward into her own future,
remembering our ancestors’ bravery, talent and abilities
and building upon their achievements to create the society we want,
not what England decides to dole out to us.
Let’s hope Scotland does the same
Savage, John (1869). Fenian Heroes and Martyrs. Patrick Donahoe. p. 16.