Happy Easter !!!!

Over the past number of days I have been commenting on St. Patrick as a celebration of Ireland, but of course it is also a religious observance. I would be remise if I did not comment on the most significant day in the liturgical calendar, Easter. First and foremost tomorrow is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is a time of joy and a time for renew.Cross in Hand

I always felt a certain connection to this season, trying to deal with the death and resurrection of Jesus was at times difficult to grasp as a young boy, especially with the Easter bunny coming the night before. This year will not really smell like spring in Newfoundland but as a young boy, combining the religious observance, the Big Bunny and thoughts of spring was amazing. I think it is important to not forget the real reason for the season.

Easter Bunny

For children the Easter Bunny is a major part of the Easter season. Some research mentions the Bunny back in the 1500’s in Germany.

Here is an excerpt from http://www.holidays.net/easter/bunny1.htm

The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the Spring season.The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar.The German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s introduced the Easter bunny to American folklore.”

Easter Bunny

I wish everyone a blessed Easter season.

Ron

Wasn’t that a PARTY!!!

Well another part of the St. Patrick’s Weekend Celebration has come and gone. It was a great afternoon and evening. The weather held out for those who had to travel to come and we partied till the wee hours of the morning. I was so pleasantly surprised with the arrival of some family and friends that I was unsure if they were going to be able to make it or not.

Ron's House on St. Patrick's Day

See our St. Patrick’s Day Photos

My cousin Brent Hurdle, Patrick Foley, Bro in law Jason and myself supplied some music for the evening while my wife Lisa kept the party going with plenty of games and food for all. The food consisted of Irish stew, fish cakes, chili, and pineapple pork among other tasty treats. Thanks to me mudder in law Bessie Noel, sis in law Lois Clarke, and Juanita Tobin for bringing food along, it was much appreciated. Thanks to Brian Tobin and Perry Bowering for helping me finish the outdoor decorations. For those working tomorrow tune into our official Internet music channel of the Delaney’s http://www.liveireland.com

I promised some music, please have a listen to some of the Furey’s this song is amazing, poor ole Eddie is now gone but it is great to see them all together, this link will lead to more songs of one of the greatest Irish bands of our time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNd6zhZ_iPc

Thanks for helping keep the tradition alive!!

2 more sleeps till St. Patrick’s Day!!!!!!Ohhhh so close

Ok , I am not going to keep this long, but!! I do want to show you the passion of the St. Patrick’s Day season. Below are pics of my working friends Perry (Me buddy),Christine, Ian and our boss Edwin Fradsham, he looks good in a Paddy’s Day outfit…my buddy and fellow Newfoundland Irishman Patrick Foley gets certainly in the mood, thanks Pat.

My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of your mother, god bless, please enjoy this observance, I am sure from what you tell me she would love it.

Take a look at the pics and enjoy this time of year. I will be posting other pics over this weekend…My children are so excited…!!!!!Pssttt and ya know what? so am I!!!!

 

God bless

Ron

St. Pat's

St. Patrick’s Day Part 2

In anticipation for the season of St. Patrick’s Day I am listening to some amazing music from Ireland tonight. I have a broad musical taste, but my favorite is certainly Celtic music. I love the lyrics, the stories about the plight of the people of Ireland. I think before I go on I need to point out that I am not condoning all that happened during the “Troubles” in Ireland but I will say that it had a great effect on its people, past and present, who keep alive the traditions and way of life of the people of “Erin”

Finbar Furey

Finbar Furey

Some of the greatest performers and songwriters who keep the tradition, luckily enough are still alive including: Finbar Furey, Phil Coulter, Ollie Kennedy, and Johnny McEvoy to name a few. Take the time to seek out their songs, as you will be surprised as to the songs these gentlemen penned. I wrote one of my first blogs about the music of my youth, the music of Ireland was alluring, the harmonies kept me interested. The music of Tommy Makem , The Clancy’s and The Furey’s had the greatest impact on me. I was saddened to hear of Tommy Makem’s death in September. He was a amazing song writer, one of his greatest songs is Four Green Fields, it has been recorded by so many over the years but in my opinion his version remains the best. I am adding a previous posted segment of my first blog that talks of Tommy.

TommyI remember driving home from Sunday morning mass listing to the “potluck show’ on our local radio station during the early eighties. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem were a main stay in rural Newfoundland, certainly captivating to a young boy who got lost in the lyrics of the songs of Ireland.During the late nineties my brother and I teamed up with a talented base player – Ian Chipman of Spaniard’s Bay NL, who was a founding member of our group Erin’s Call and long time musician and song writer Paul Martin (brother of Larry Martin, founding member of the Juno Award winning Irish Descendants) of Winterton NL. During our musical career Tommy’s influence was prevalent in many shanties and ballads we sang. In 1998, we had our first opportunity to actually meet Tommy during a show in Bay Roberts , it was a humbling experience for us, as he was our idol , a mentor, and soon to be our friend. There were many groups on the roster that evening , including friends from Ireland, Evans and Doherty, who now reside in Nova Scotia. Another person person present that day, who I respected and who passed on during 2007, was Dermot O’Reilly, member of Ryan’s Fancy , Dermot called Newfoundland and Labrador home for years along with Fergus O’Byrne who still continues the legacy of Irish Folk music. Last, but certainly not least, was Gregory Donaghey, former lead singer of the world renowned Carlton Show Band. The evening was amazing; as it was an opportunity for us the merge artistically with some of the greatest Celtic groups of our generation.Tommy was a gentle soul, one who certainly shared his passion for song and story, he empowered us to continue to write and in time produce our recording Erin’s Call.My brother Barry and I stopped by the local coffee shop after the show, and to our surprise Tommy was there relaxing before his trip back to his hotel. Long time friend, Leo Puddister, asked us to sit and talk. We were so taken back by his sense of calmness and willingness to share his ideals of folk music, we will never forget it, and certainly we will never forget him.

Grace – A love story

Tommy Makems’ Four Green Fields is one of my favorite songs, but I have to admit that there are many songs that stir my feelings towards my ancestors and their music. The most romantic but sad story is of Joseph Mary Plunkett and Grace Gifford. Joseph Plunkett (1887-1916) was a scolar and poet, but he was also involved in the Easter Rising of 1916, he was the youngest of signatories of the proclamation of the Repubic of Ireland. Joseph Plunkett suffered from ill health and he had an operation for glandular tuberculosis only days before the Rebellion, he left his sick bed to partake in the failed attempt to overthrow the occupying English. He was to be married to his sweetheart Grace Gifford on Easter Sunday but was called to the uprising. They were married in Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) just hours before his execution. The song that tells of this story is called “Grace”, please take a listen to Jim Mc Canns’ version, it is my favorite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZzEy5zBeEw

One more interesting piece to this historical event is that Joseph’s Aide de Camp was a young man called Michael Collins. Johnny McEvoy wrote a stirring ballad about the “Big Fellow” (It is a great movie staring Liam Neason)

God Bless

St. Patrick’s Day Countdown!!

St. Patrick

St. Patrick’s Day

 

Ok, for those of you who do not know me all that well, I have to admit I am a major freak for St. Patrick’s Day.

 

 

It is true it is a religious observance in the Catholic Church, but in Newfoundland and Labrador especially, it is a truly wonderful celebration. I await the day with such unbridled anticipation; it almost eclipses Christmas (almost!!).

 

For those of you who would like to start at the beginning, please take a look at this website, it will give you a closer look into the Saint who started it all. St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, http://www.theholidayspot.com/patrick/historyofpatrick.htm

Our Planned Celebration

 

St. Patrick’s Day is a planned celebration in our home, the children are taught to embrace the season and to learm more about their ancestors, (it do help drive away those winter blahs). We usually have a party at our home with plenty of fun, family, friends, games for all and yes, the music. My wife Lisa spends hours researching games that children and adults can play, most of these are of education value that helps all understand more about this holiday.

 

 

 

For me the countdown to “Padddy’s Day” started weeks ago, but now it is soon time for me to start the decorating, we decorate both inside and outside, this ensures the festive atmosphere is clearly displayed.

St BridgetOver the next 13 days I will be posting some ideas on how you can become a part of this celebration of Ireland with your family and friends.


St. Bridget

Do you know there is a lady patron Saint of Ireland? Her name is St. Bridget [Brigid] Her mother and father were actually baptized by St. Patrick, her observance day is February 1st, for more information go to: http://www.stbridgetofireland.org/ ) .

My brother Barry was facinated by this discovery and wrote a beautiful song called St. Bridget.

The Fairies

What wonderful folklore, the fairies!

 

As a child my mother had me frightened to death over the fairies. We were always warned about if we went into the woods and got lost turn your jacket or sweater inside out, or keep a piece of bread in your pocket, especially if the fog rolled in while picking berries or just exploring in by Fairy Hill in Riverhead, Harbour Grace

 

All towns in the Conception Bay North Area have their own fairy stories. Below is a photo showing Hibs Cove, Port de Grave. You can see where fairies hang out, especially when the fog rolls in!

 

Hibs Cove, Port de Grave

 

 

I know for the most part these pieces of folklore kept the youth of the day in check, but it was passed down generation after generation and for the most part what is spoken about to this day is still the same in parts of Ireland. Back some months ago I had the opportunity to sit in on a short seminar hosted by the Baccalieu Trail Tourism Association, they had two guests from Ireland. The event was a real eye opener for me as I listened to the gentleman explain how he interviewed students and some adults regarding fairies and folklore, the astounding part about it was the connection from Ireland to Newfoundland, it was almost spookie. I also found the comments from the room and especially the students of our local school very interesting. It prompted me to research the phenomena of the Fairies, if you like learning go to: http://web.ncf.ca/bj333/faries.html .

 

One of my friends and web designer Margaret Ayad is a fellow fairy buff , I know she has a great deal of information on this topic, maybe she may share some more insight into amazing subject (in the comment section).

 

 

These are so much to discuss around the topic of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day, I look forward to hearing from you and any traditions you may have on this topic.

 

My next blog will center around the music and the food of Ireland.

God Bless