The Swallowtail Jig

It is presumed that The Swallowtail Jig was written in the middle of the Nineteenth Century and came to America with the Irish migrant caravan of that era. It is also known as The Dancingmaster and both names come from the men’s coat that forks in the back like the tail of the swallow.   HereContinue reading “The Swallowtail Jig”

James Joyce and Poetry

Joyce called literature “the highest and most spiritual art.” For me, music has always held that spot but if anyone can make a case for words over music, it is James Joyce. In this excerpt from his debut novel the protagonist is agonizing over the confusing and painful experience of seeing the woman he lovesContinue reading “James Joyce and Poetry”

James Joyce and the wild heart of life

There are things we don’t know and things we will never know. But as long as we live, we keep trying to figure them out. Great writers are one of the sources we turn to for answers or, failing that, insight. Here is James Joyce giving his insight into the fall, and the temptation precedingContinue reading “James Joyce and the wild heart of life”

Why The Irish Are The World’s Greatest Lovers

Ireland has been inhabited for the last twelve and a half millennia. There are more than six million people living on the emerald isle today, down from a peak of eight million in 1840, before the famine. By 1850, the Irish were a quarter of the population of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Buffalo.Continue reading “Why The Irish Are The World’s Greatest Lovers”

Down In The Salley Gardens

  A friend recently turned me on to a poem by William Butler Yeats called Down By The Salley Gardens. It was first published in 1899 in a collection called The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems. According to Wikipedia, “Oisin introduces what was to become one of his most important themes: the appeal ofContinue reading “Down In The Salley Gardens”