Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gaelic Lives!!

h Sting and the Chieftains Mo Ghile Mear (With Some English

I grew up around many people of Irish ancestry. Some of my friends had grandparents who fought the British for Irish independence. The Irish suffered a lot of discrimination when they came to America. Their traditions and faith were mocked by those who had been in America longer. When my mother told me stories of discrimination endured by Slavic immigrants, she sounded a note very similar to the stories told by nuns of Irish ancestry who taught me and a student body that was in large part Irish American.

It is odd that Irish Gaelic is struggling for survival in its homeland.Irish writers used the language of their conquerors with skill. The English left the predominance of their language as a legacy of the British occupation. Force of will and ethnic pride is however bringing back a resurgence of Irish Gaelic. Not only is it being taught in schools. Some rural areas where Gaelic is spoken in a pure form are being maintained as language preserves.

I do not know a word of Gaelic except for a phrase taught to me by an Irish bartender that would not endear me to anyone who would understand it. But I love the sound of the language.Whenever I listen to Irish music, I try to find it in Gaelic. The death of a language leaves me with an indescribable sadness. A tongue that joins even two people has a soul. There is a melancholy to the thought of the last speaker of a dying tongue singing a song no longer understood by the living. From Coptic to Cornish, the march of human progress is littered with languages left by the wayside.

I am including with this posting two songs that showcase the beauty of Gaelic. I hope this posting inspires in some of my readers an interest in Irish music and in others the desire to preserve their ancestral language and traditions, whatever they may be

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love that Irish music - thanks for Posting Yo!