Watch Out For the Kettle

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This installment of the Sound Series takes a listen at the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. We hear a set of excerpts about leaving home and losing offspring to the sea from the John Millington Synge play “Riders to the Sea.” They are set against the sounds of a crowd and a band playing “The Unicorn Song” at the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center. As the party dies down, we hear the sounds of Irish fiddler Paddy Jones (visiting from his home in County Kerry) playing a ballad at the Leadway bar for a meeting of the Fiddle Club of the World. On the surface it seems like St. Patrick’s Day revelers have forgotten the reason and the roots, but upon a closer look, you can see that underlying the fun (for many), are still strong ties to the land of their ancestors: ancestors that paid the price of leaving their homeland, forced to the sea and forced to leave their mothers, families and cultures behind.

All sounds by Tim Joyce
Photo Credit: Tim Joyce