As usual, jet lag is kicking me on the return trip. (The outbound trip is much easier, for several reasons.) I had thought I was over it the first day—but it turns out I was only so exhausted that sleep came at any time, any place. :) But it's getting better. Gradually, my wake-up-and-can't-get-back-to-sleep time has stretched from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. to this morning at 4:30 a.m.—almost normal. I knew there was no hope of getting back to sleep today, because I woke up thinking about how far away our children and grandchildren are, and how much that not only hurts now but potentially makes life difficult years from now if we don't get hit by a truck but have to face becoming too old and infirm to live independently. a sad situation many of our friends are currently going through with their parents.

Lying in bed awake was not producing any solution to that problem, so I got up and went to work. And one of the first things I ran across, on a totally and completely unrelated search, was this song: "The Missing Piece," by Cherish the Ladies.

Yes, I cried.

There's a sadness woven throughout Irish music, despite the gaiety of many of its songs. Naturally, this song of family far away and of the expat's dilemma—homes in two countries and yet a stranger to both—moved me especially this morning. Like most music of this sort, it also dredged up other sorrows, present and ancient, from family visits recently postponed to the loss of loved ones almost half a century ago.

We need such moments of grief and remembrance, and that's one of the strengths that make Irish music what it is.

Then it's time to move on and get to work. (After writing about it, of course. That's how I cope.)

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 6:11 am | Edit
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Dear Linda:
I see your concern about growing old and not being able to live independently with family far, far away.
I trust you have some kind of savings account for this situation. Living in a place such as where Bill Vaughn resides is a good choice, but very expensive...
I give thought to this, too. I have prayed that I go suddenly, before I get to the point where I can't live independently.
My mother was smart. She actually got hit by a truck at age 58. (Dark humor.)

Posted by Diane Villafane on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 7:20 am

I didn't mean this post to sound as maudlin as it does. My point is about the power of music容specially Celtic music葉o evoke both strong emotions and powerful memories.

Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 4:10 am

I agree that music can be powerful, but I think there are other genres of music that bring out strong emotions and memories. For me, it can be Celtic or Folk. Remember Dave Mallett's "Fire". Wow! But even Rock or Pop can have songs like that. Mike and the Mechanics' "The Living Years" - that one gets me every time. Certainly for others, Country music has the same kind of power. If I could figure out what they are saying in Rap music, maybe that would be powerful/emotional. (Perhaps I should start with music from "Hamilton"). I don't think it is the genre so much as the ability to tell a story. And for different people, different genres speak to their souls.

Posted by dstb on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 8:31 am

Right! For me it can just as easily be a classical piece with no text at all.

Fire is a heartbreaker, as are Kilkelly and There were Roses. I'd never heard The Living Years until now, but it's another one. Not to mention Cat's in the Cradle. Warning: do not click on these links unless you are prepared to spend some quality time with your Kleenex box.

I think folk music容ven if it's merely "folk-like," and/or written in another genre葉ouches us so deeply because it arises from and speaks to the great emotions容specially the great sorrows熔f life.

Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 11:57 am
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