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Erin is a Hiberno-English derivative of the Irish word “Éirinn”.

Poets and nineteenth-century Irish nationalists used Erin in English as a romantic name for Ireland. In this context, along with Hibernia, Erin is the name given to the female personification of Ireland.

According to Irish mythology and folklore, the name was originally given to the island by the Milesians after the goddess Ériu.

Erin go bragh (“Éirinn go brách” in standard orthography), a slogan dating from the 1798 revolution, is often translated as “Ireland forever”.

(from Wikipedia)

Wake up, oh wake up, don’t sleep, please
I had another one of those dreams
Where your feet are bound together
And the tin man is spinning again
Hold my hand, I will stand as the world turns around me
Lock the door to the yard or the wind is bound
To blow my fragile anchors away

Who’s gonna carry the blame?
Who’s gonna take up the campaign
When these injured streets are bleeding?
Politicians in command are washing their hands
Got to tend the marching bands
When the battered streets are
When the battered streets are
When the battered streets are bleeding

And I am losing my hold
There are soldiers in the hallway
They will break down these walls
There’s an apparation behind the bedroom blinds
There is black ink in the bathroom sink
If the gunmen don’t let her go
Or the snake outside will swallow the house

And I know you will try
But you cannot protect me from these shadows inside
‘Cause these dreams I have are so much bigger
Than the blade of a knife or a shotgun’s trigger
If the gunmen don’t let her go
Or the snake outside will swallow the house

Who’s gonna carry the blame?
Who’s gonna take up the campaign
When these injured streets are bleeding?
Politicians in command are washing their hands
Got to tend the marching bands
When the battered streets are
When the battered streets are
When the battered streets are bleeding

A 45-day event starting on August, 15, the Scarborough Fair was a trade meeting and a festival of music and goods in the Mediaeval town of Scarborough, England.

The song with the same name tells a story of a man challenged by his lover with a series of hard tasks, like doing a shirt without a seam and wash it in a dry well. The prize for such impossible tasks would be taking her love back.

The theme of impossible tasks given by a courted lover is common in Mediaeval music and literature.

On video, british actress and singer Amy Nuttall sings Scarborough Fair.

(Image: Scarborough Castle)

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
He once was a true love of mine.
Tell him to make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Without no seam nor needle work,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine.
Tell him to find me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Between the salt water and the sea strand,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine.
Tell him to reap it with a sickle of leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
And to gather it all in a bunch of heather,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine.
Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
He once was a true love of mine.

In 1688, James Stuart II, catholic and king of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his Queen Mary had a son. Until then the throne will be granted to their daughter Mary, protestant and married with William, from the House of Orange. But now everything has changed: there was a possibility of creating a catholic dynasty in England.

But the protestants reacted. William mobilized the dutch troops, invaded England and started the Glorious Revolution. The Stuarts left the country, and William and Mary were assigned as rulers. James, from his exile in the catholic portion of Ireland, organized an army (whose members were called Jacobites, or the restorers of “Jacobus”, the latin form of James) and started a revolt to what he sees as a coup d’etat in his country. Once again defeated by troops ruled by William himself, James has fled to France for all. After leaving their irish troops, James was called in that country as Séamus an Chaca, or “James the be-shitten”…

Siúil A Rúin is one of the most traditional songs of Ireland, and is related to the Jacobites who fight the Glorious Revolution. Its refrain was composed in gaelic, an irish celtic language:

    Siúil, siúil, siúil a rúin (Shule, shule, shule aroon,)

    Siúil go socair agus siúil go ciúin (Shule go succir agus, shule go kewn,)

    Siúil go doras agus ealaigh liom (Shule go dheen durrus oggus aylig lume,)

    Is go dtéann tú mo mhuirnín slán (Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.)

In a free english translation,

    Come, come, come, O love,

    Quickly come to me, softly move;

    Come to the door, and away we’ll flee,

    And safe for aye may my darling be!

On video, a contemporaneous version from Cécile Corbel to Siúil A Rúin:

I wish I were on yonder hill
and there I’d sit and I’d cry my fill
and ev’ry tear would turn a mill,
and a blessing walk with you, my love

I’ll sell my rod, I’ll sell my reel
I’ll sell my only spinning wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
And a blessing walk with you, my love

Siuil, siuil, a ruin
Siuil go sochair agus siuil go ciuin
Siuil go doras agus ealaigh liom
Is go dte tu mo mhuirnin slan

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I had my heart again,
And vainly think I’d not complain
And a blessing walk with you, my love

But now my love has gone to France
To try his fortune to advance.
If he e’er comes back, it’s but a chance
And a blessing walk with you, my love

Image: King James Stuart II; Wikipedia Commons

Lyrics translation: http://www.extrasolar.net/CLANNAD/song.asp?SongId=131

Mary Read was born circa 1690, as a daughter of a capitain’s widow. Created as a boy, early in her teenage joined a Foot Regiment, fighting with bravery. Later she joined a Cavalry Regiment, when fell in love with a belgian soldier. Unfortunately the soldier died in battle, and Mary, with her masculine clothes, faced the seas.

In a travel to West Indies, Mary ship was captured by a pirate vessel, The Revenge, ruled by the corsair “Calico Jack” Rackham. But, as a fate, this ship brought also the english pirate Anne Bonny, who promptly desired that new handsome sailor. Brought him to her room, but for her surprise, Mary opened the blouse and showed her hidden femininity. Mary confessed Bonny she would rather be a desventured pirate than face the tedious reality of woman’s life, and joined them.

By 1720s Mary fell in love again, this time with a young corsair. But he got into a quarrel with an older fellow, and under the seas rules, he was called to a duel. Mary realized that her lover would have no chance, and created her own quarrel with the old corsair, challenged for a duel immediately.

Mary was very skillful with the sword, but her opponent was in advantage. But in a sudden Mary opened her blouse. The corsair was distracted with the vison of Mary’s breasts, and she hit him with a fatal attack. So, Mary and her young and safe lover got married soon.

But their honeymoon was short. Mary, Bonny and Calico Jack were arrested and brought to Jamaica. After the trial, they were sentenced to hanging. Even in court Mary Read kept her corsair dignity. Asked in the courtroom what would bring a young woman to pirate’s life, she answered:

– That as to hanging, it is no great hardship, for were it not for that, every cowardly fellow would turn pirate and so unfit the Seas, that men of courage must starve.

(image: Wikimedia Commons;
information: http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/pirates/whosmary.html )

On video, brittany singer Cécile Corbel plays Mary.

March 17th. is the National Day of Ireland, the St. Patrick’s Day.

Born in Scotland in 387 a.D., Patrick was captured as a slave and taken to Ireland, still a pagan and celtic nation. He worked as a sheepherd, before he could escape and return back to Scotland. There Patrick joined the Catholic Church, and after his nomination as a bishop, came back to Ireland for christian work. So Saint Patrick would represent the overcome of Catholic Church on celtic paganism.

From XVII Century, March 17th entered into the christian liturgy calendar, and became an irish national date. The green and the 3-leaf shamrock, representing the Holy Trinity, became their symbols.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a secular party, and it’s celebrated in several places of the world where we can find irish communities, like USA, Canada and even Argentina.