Irish Tenors and all that jazz

I wasn’t planning to write today, instead working fewer hours to make time to contemplate, read, be in nature. Until I realized it is St. Patrick’s Day! Gone, at least for now, are the days when I would make our kids a simple breakfast of green milk on cereal or pancakes, the table dotted with an early morning chocolate treat of Andes chocolates wrapped in green and imperfectly shaped shamrock cutouts.

I decided to simplify this St. Patrick’s Day of 2021 (now that it’s half over) by making it about the music of the Irish Tenors. That in itself will issue its own sentimentality as I wrote much of My Music Man with these songs playing in the background, and Mom and I listened to the Irish Tenors’ music often during the past months and years. I would say to her –remember how Daddy Dick loved this music? I’m honestly not sure any more if Dad was quite as fond of all of it, imagining him enjoying certain songs but able to do without others. Not like me. Or Daddy Dick or Mom. We adored any song of the Tenors that we’d ever heard.

In a previous recent blog I cite a passage from My Music Man’s Chapter 5: Heart Strings. That chapter also provides my explanation about our Daddy’s Dick’s love of the Irish Tenors.

“The music closest to Daddy Dick’s heart was music of the Irish…..In 1974, as he neared the end of his life, Daddy Dick donated his entire Irish tenor John McCormack vinyl collection to Portland’s Multnomah County Library. To some, John McCormack was the most popular of all Irish singers and sometimes said to be as popular in the United States in the 1920s as Elvis Presley was in the 1950s. Daddy Dick’s collection was one of the largest McCormack collections in the world, accumulated over twenty-five years and containing all the discs the tenor made, from his first efforts to his final recordings in 1942: a collection of nearly six hundred songs and arias. Daddy Dick had labeled each of his 78 rpm records with a British flag for those purchased in England, a shamrock for the discs from the Emerald Isle, and without a designation if purchased in the U.S. This collection was Daddy Dick’s final gift to the library: for years he had spent St. Patrick’s Day at this historic building, presenting recordings of his beloved music for all to enjoy, and adding in stories about McCormack –a man well known for his humor.”

My Music Man, Chapter 5: Heart Strings

So, for today, I’ll skip the wearing of the green and simply let those old CDs roll. Who knows, Daddy Dick, Mom and Dad might just drop in. Don’t have a collection nearby? Start with this one, a most favorite Irish lullaby, especially for our Daddy Dick. And me.

Listen to Chapter 5: Heart Strings from My Music Man.

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