Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Céad Míle Fáilte!
Today is a special day for me and my family. Although we're not Catholic, our spirits are uplifted at the thought of this special saint's day. Many of you know that the Fabulous Forrest Family took a year-long sabbatical in Ireland. We lived in a magical place in the northwest corner of the Republic, in County Mayo, called Murrisk. The village was little more than a collection of homes strung out along Clew Bay, anchored by a small community center, an abbey and cemetery, and a couple of taverns.
And a school. There were two classrooms - one for pre K-2nd grade, the other for 3rd-6th grades. Our children were instantly welcomed there by the wonderful teachers and students, and Professor X and I made friends with their schoolmates' parents and the teachers.
We lived in a beautiful home at the foot of Croagh Patrick, a high mountain with a tiny chapel atop it. Legend had it that St. Patrick had climbed up, built a church there, and after fasting for 40 days, he threw a silver bell down the side of the mountain, knocking the she-demon Corra from the sky and banishing all the snakes from Ireland.
Our fireplace was often ablaze, filled with the loveliest smelling peat, as a wild wind raged outside. I miss the smells and sights of Ireland as much as the sounds. Such music they have! 'Tis fine, indeed.
Here's a clip of one of my favorite movies, Hear My Song. Here's some fun background information about it. It's got a brilliant soundtrack. Ned Beatty plays real Irish tenor Joseph Locke in a VERY loosely based version of Locke's last concert. Very cute Irish guy Adrian Dunbar plays a concert promoter who persuades Locke to come out of forced retirement (he was wanted by the Brits for tax evasion) and perform at a benefit for a London concert hall. This clip shows Locke (Beatty's voice is dubbed by Vernon Midgely) singing on the way over to England.
Another marvelous film related to Ireland is Waking Ned Devine. Some youtuber combined the last song in the film, a classic tune entitled The Parting Glass, with some photos of Ireland with a special emphasis on County Mayo. It's sung by Shaun Davey.
Oh, geez. I'm starting to get teary-eyed.
If you're wondering about my post title, it's Gaelic for A Hundred Thousand Welcomes. Which is what we received when we went to Eire. I remember so well one of my son's friends opening the door to his home when we came for supper one night. Young Matthew proclaimed to the four of us "Come in! You're very welcome!"
Now I'm REALLY getting all teary. We absolutely must go back and spend more time in that place. A piece of my heart is there.