Wednesday, February 4, 2009
There is a book store down the road from where I live; I've passed it every day for the past 2 months. I look for the sign, even though I already know what it says, and as I come up on it, I read it and it makes me smile. Yes, that's odd, weird even, but it does...so, there! Two months is a long time to deny myself the opportunity of perusing the endless possibilities of literature. I was hesitant to go inside because, well don't laugh, but I didn't want to be disappointed. I didn't want to find that it was a crappy store full of crappy books. That would have been so disheartening and....crappy.
Paperbacks Unlimited, which is the name of the store, is a literary treasure trove. They have a large selection of genres to choose from, which I can attest to because I walked the length and width of the store in the course of 3 hours. It didn't take 3 hours to walk through the store, it took me 3 hours of perusal within the store. I shop in bookstores like some people shop for clothes or shoes. We are all addicts of one thing or another. I publicly acknowledge that I love British literature best, but I would never presume to limit myself to any particular genre, because . . . well, I love books.
So, imagine my surprise when I found a book entitled "Danny Boy, The Lengend of the Beloved Irish Ballad." I've always had a fascination with the song "Danny Boy." I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that my brother's name is Danny, but ever since I was about 7 or 8 years old, and I heard Doris Day sing "Danny Boy" I was hooked. And now I have a book about the song.
3 interesting facts about the song "Danny Boy."
1.) The words were written by a British lawyer (Frederick Edward Weatherly) who wrote it on a train on his way to work in 1910.
2.) The tune for the song "Danny Boy" is based on an old Irish melody called Londonderry Air that is over 300 years old.
3.) The lyrics for "Danny Boy" had been filed away for 2 years until Weatherly was sent a melody and was asked to write lyrics to compliment the music. He dug the lyrics of "Danny Boy" out of his old files, and with only a few alterations, a new song was born.
The author, Malachy McCort, wrote that the song "has a profound effect on people from all corners of the world, a trait it shares with the truest of any work of art." As much as I love the song, "Danny Boy," I never once thought of it as a work of art. But, McCort is correct in stating that the song has the capability of reaching people everywhere, and after having read the book, I can see the artistic value of the song.
A melody was performed by a blind Irish fiddler and his tune is carried across the sea and mingled with the words of an English lawyer who creates "a song capable of describing, at least in part, the contents of the human heart." Any rendition of the song will cause a lump in my throat and bring tears to my eyes. The words are full of longing and sorrow, faith and hope, loss and reunions. It's all of those adjectives and more.
Aren't books wonderful?