Re: Pitch in on St Patrick’s Day (PM Mailbag Friday, 01 March 2013) – I am also of Irish heritage. Many Australians are as our forefathers were sent there as prisoners of Mother England.
Before I could think for myself mum would take us all to Mass as it was regarded as a Holy Day. Now we have gone mad with green food colouring. No doubt “Danny Boy” will be sung over & over. But is the song truly Irish? No. In 1910 an English lawyer wrote an “unsuccessful” song by this name. On his American sister in law’s advice he set the lyrics to a tune she heard called Londonderry Air. The song was a great hit with the American Irish, but the newly arrived migrants had never heard of it. It was also a hit with the Northern Irish as it emphised their ties to the British.
Another of my favorite Irish ballads was, “I’ll take you Home again Kathleen”. A song that congers up the thought of someone returning his wife to the Emerald Isle. This one was written by an American whose wife’s name was Jennie. This song bought a tear to my eye whenever mum sang it. You must give these American Mick’s their dues. So get on with the parade and save some of that green 7UP for me.