Friday, September 5, 2008

Irish Roots

According to family legend, when my Great-great-grandfather, George Convy, emigrated from Tullamore, Ireland in 1866, he brought a chunk of sod from his homeland to St Louis, MO. He kept it stored away, but when he was feeling particularly homesick and melancholy, he would take it out and cry over it.

I don't know how true it is, but the story tugged at my heart.

These days, my CD player has been spinning a variety of Irish music - sweet folk ballads, drinking songs and traditional fiddle tunes. I wanted to honor that bit of my family's history with a new, old Irish song:

The Turf o' Tullamore

words and music © Erin Friedman

Into the West – land of the free
In freedom will I e’er a stranger be
So up the stairs I climb
Open up the trunk and find
The piece of home I carried ‘cross the sea

Weeping o’er The Turf o’ Tullamore
Exiles both – the Irish sod and I
The Turf o’ Tullamore
Will know my bones forevermore
Sweeten my grave when I
Lay down to die

For my sons I made a pledge
They’ll not beg The Crown for daily bread
There’s days I understand
The promise in this promised land
And days I fill my glass with my regrets

When I take my final rest
Lay The Turf o’ Tullamore upon my breast
And it’s sweet - the dream I’ll dream
Home to Erin’s fields of green
By the Shannon’s holy waters, I’ll be blessed

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