Irish Songs and Folklore

After spending a weekend in Ireland there are many things that I look back on that I really enjoyed. The Irish countryside that consisted of green fields as far as the eye can see, broken up with castles and large formations of limestone made a lasting memory in my head. Another aspect that really stuck out was the kindness and joy of the Irish people especially when sharing the stories and folklore of their ancestors. I have never been to a place that took more pride in passing along the tales of their forefathers and mythology of their people. On our group’s trip to the Cliffs of Moher the tour guide filled the ride with many Irish stories and songs to keep us entertained. The song Molly Malone was a group favorite and tells the tale of the most beautiful women in Ireland and the shy street musician who loved her. Unfortunately, Molly dies at a young age from a fever and because she was so beloved by all the surrounding pubs within a 15-mile radius stayed open for three days straight. The man who really loved her most was Timothy Pendleton who was so engulfed in despair from Molly’s death he left Dublin and immigrated to America where he became a successful trader. The story ends with how one night Timothy after having a few brandies plays a tune on the violin he had not touched since Molly’s death, seconds later she appears, kisses him and asks him to continue to paly so she may dance.  Timothy’s peers thought he was a little mad, because he never married and stayed in his home every night playing his violin by himself. Another similar Irish song is Galway girl, but what really interested me were the stories of the Irish fairies and ring forts. A ring fort is the home of an Irish fairy and it must not be disturbed. Farmers throughout the country have areas of plowed fields left untouched for fear that if they destroy these ring forts they will be plagued with bad luck. It is estimated that there are 45,000 ring forts currently on the island and that in the past there were over 90,000. Stories and traditions like these are passed down through the generations and are shared with visitors alike. This is something that I thought was so unique to this country and is something I really loved. 

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Molly Malone statue in Dublin.

 

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