Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!

Who called to see me last evening but Sr. Evelyn who was born in Lyreacrompane? Evelyn is full of joy, intelligence and all her life has shown huge commitment to being a Sister of Charity. Now in her mid-90’s, she visited her sister in the U.S. last summer with her niece and grand-nephew. She is also in religious life and was celebrating her 100th birthday. Isn’t there some stuff in these Lyreacrompane women!

Evelyn lives in Monasterevin in County Kildare. The convent was formally the residence of Count John McCormick, the great Irish Tenor. Nobody sang the songs of Thomas Moore like John, according to Evelyn. Thomas(1779-1852) was the son of a Moyvane man, lived an extraordinary life, his entire family predeceased him and is titled ‘Ireland’s National Poet.” His poetry and songs are regarded as very sentimental but they do find a strong echo in the heart. James Joyce loved his songs, used  them in The Portrait as so many did here in North Kerry.

One of my favourites is “Oft in the stilly night.” The poet wakes up in the middle of the night and tells of the thoughts that come to him. His choice of words is wonderful, “the light of other days around me.” The memories that come back to us in the middle of the night but also the fears. The second verse is in the present tense.   Evelyn’s niece is an accomplished pianist and we tuned into singing that song . It’s worth listening to John McCormick:

Well, as Mossie Lawlor says, “nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”
Oft in the Stilly Night

Oft in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus in the stilly night
Ere Slumber’s chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

When I remember all
The friends so linked together,
I’ve seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather:
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garland’s dead,
And all but he departed!

Thus in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

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One thought on “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!

  1. Synchronicity! IT was in the “witching time” last night, sleepless and seeking some solace in Croom Orthopaedic. I decided that the Moore Melody my father ‘s favourite was suitable to ease the mood. YouTube obliged. Lo and behold, your post this morning astonished me. God is weaving his ways between both of us.

    “Oft in the stilly night”
    Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

    OFT in the stilly night,
    Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
    Fond Memory brings the light
    Of other days around me:
    The smiles, the tears, 5
    Of boyhood’s years,
    The words of love then spoken;
    The eyes that shone,
    Now dimmed and gone,
    The cheerful hearts now broken. 10
    Thus in the stilly night,
    Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
    Sad Memory brings the light
    Of other days around me.

    When I remember all 15
    The friends so linked together
    I ’ve seen around me fall,
    Like leaves in wintry weather,
    I feel like one
    Who treads alone 20
    Some banquet-hall deserted,
    Whose lights are fled,
    Whose garlands dead,
    And all but he departed.
    Thus in the stilly night, 25
    Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
    Sad Memory brings the light
    Of other days around me.

    Liked by 1 person

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