Variations on a Theme: Ireland

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A bowl of shamrocks is the traditional gift from Irish dignitaries to the President of the United States. 

And when we are on the tail of Winter, there is no more welcome sight than a bright burst of green. The grass is really, truly, greener in Ireland. 

Studies have shown that lawns that have clover intermingled with grass produces greener lawns.
So, if you have landscaping plans in mind, this may be a solution for our more drought prone region. Please, check with your local authorities for possible bans on using clover in lawns, and be sure to identify plants correctly.
Invasive Oxalis can look similar. Any community Master Gardner group will be happy to talk your ears off about plants (speaking from personal, welcomed experience). 

Whilst you daydream of thriving greenery of turf variety, or otherwise, listen to the playlist above. 

Playlist notes:

John Field is credited as the inventor of the Nocturne, although Chopin more widely popularized it. John Field wrote many Nocturnes. 

Sir Hamilton Harty was born and grew up in Ireland. He was head of the London Symphony Orchestra for two years in the 1930s, but a brain tumor debilitated him so he could not commit to his duties. He wrote “In Ireland” in 1915. He died of a returning brain tumor in 1941. 

Augusta Holmes was a pioneering female composer. Born in Paris to Irish parents, she never shied away from her Irish roots. She made many waves within her community in support of an independent Ireland in the late 19th century. Her “Irlande” was composed to depict the struggles and triumphs of the Irish people.

Next you pass through “The Foggy Dew”, to come out the other side to witness a rainbow of colorful music. 

Ireland has many colors associated with it. Green is the first that springs to mind.

However, Saint Patrick’s official color was originally blue

Due to centuries of political ill-will towards the English (who else?), blue was gradually rejected and green adopted as the color of Ireland. 

To commemorate the Saint’s original wrappings, it’s Michael Torke’s Bright Blue Music. 

In the original playlist that aired on NWPB 3/16/2024 featured the music of Turlough O’Carolan. “Kelly Set” aired from a fantastic arrangement by Chris Norman. It’s not available to play on Spotify. There’s a small part of me that is happy that it’s such a rare gem, even the internet only contains very few copies of it.  In the Spotify playlist it’s been substituted with only one piece of the set with a more traditional celtic harp version. 

If you want to hear the very lively Chris Norman version, you can stream it online here. There are a few copies of the album online. Again, NWPB receives no compensation for purchases or views made via links. 

If you like the music you hear on NWPB, consider making a donation so that many fantastic albums, artists, and composers can be shared to many others!

Have a lovely St. Patrick’s Day!

Hannah L. W. Snyder
Host of Variations on a Theme