‘I met with Napper Tandy,and he took me by the hand,
And he said”How’s poor ould Ireland, and how does she stand?”
She’s the most disthressful country that iver yet was seen,
For they’re hangin’ men an’ women for the wearin’ o’ the Green
Anonymous: ‘The Wearin’ o’ the Green (circa 1795 ballad)
The Green has had an influence on my life from my childhood days till now.
I opened my eyes one evening and they were there,the men of Ireland and there they stayed.
In my parents home they gathered, a breath of Cork,Sligo,Donegal and other God forsaken Counties of theEmerald Isle.
Sons of Tara: Con O’Dwyer, Andy Malone ,Murray, O’Shea, John O’Connor and the others that have since faded into the mist.
Friends of my Father a long way from home ,enjoying a beer with an English family who didn’t mind if they wore brown shoes with a blue suit.
After the stories followed the songs,and my mother would look at me and then her watch,and I would try and become invisable, for I loved the songs and definately didn’t want to be sent to bed. They sang the Rebel songs, although I didn’t understand them at the time. Later the bittersweet ones.
He would sing along with them too.and then if the Beer had really influenced him he would give them his favourite, and they would sit and listen to it’s melancholy words, even though they knew it wasn’t really Irish at all. It was like them sad.
”I’ll take you home again Kathleen, across the ocean wild and wide.
To where your heart has ever been,since you were first my loving bride.
The Roses all have left your cheek,I’ve watched them fade away and die.
Your voice is sad when e’re you speak and tears bedim your loving eyes.
Oh I will take you back Kathleen to where your heart will find no pain.
And when the fields are fresh and green I’ll take you to your home again.”
Thomas Westendorf 1875