Ireland #5

I feel in the mood for music tonight and realise how much I miss going to live gigs. I would have said that I don’t go to very many but I realise now how much they actually mean to me and how much I look forward to them. They are something that I will never, ever take for granted again once Covid is behind us.

It’s hard to beat an Irish gig, especially if it’s held in a pub or small intimate setting.

The song that has been playing on my mind today is one from Christy Moore, one of Ireland’s best known singers. It’s a fun song really and relates to the town of Lisdoonvarna, which is known for its match-making festival and spas.

Lisdoonvarna is in Co. Clare, my father’s native county, and he talked a lot about how he spent holidays there with an aunt of his when he was in his early teenage years. They used to stay in a hotel and he was thrilled to be her companion on those trips.

I hope this gets your toes tapping and lightens your heart:

Romantic or Insane ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 129

Moonlight, 1874
Watercolor painting by Winslow Homer.

I shared this painting by Winslow Homer on Facebook the other day with the word Romantic ….. tagged on and was then a bit taken aback when a friend commented: From a Romantic.

All sorts of things came shooting into my mind, including sociological readings where the point is made that in some societies romantic love is perceived as a form of insanity. And what about match-making in the Ireland of not too long ago and even of today in the likes of Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare.

Is romance all about heart ruling head, I ask. But there again, we talk of ‘heady’ days of falling in love.

I have to bear in mind, too, that I’m the person who identified the greatest love poem of them all, here on this blog, as being this one from W.B. Yeats:

When You Are Old

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars

Insane or otherwise, I think it will matter hugely to me when I am old and grey to know that at least one man loved the pilgrim soul in me.

Will it matter to you, dear friends, or where do you stand, sit, lie on the question of romance and insanity?