You are viewing the electronic version of Emerald Reflections,
the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
A Sampling from Irish Fest Music Archives
February 1:St. Bridget's Day
Dane County Shamrock Club
Madison's 2004 St. Patrick's Day Parade and Events
Shamrock Club of Rock County
Shamrock Club of New Dublin
Milwaukee President’s Message
Shamrock Club Milwaukee March Events
19th Annual Special Mass to Honor St. Patrick
St. Pat's Mass Flower Donations and Memorials
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin 38th Annual St. Parick's Day Parade
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin Post Parade Party
Color Guard News and Notes
Schooner Fare in Concert
Nominations for Milwaukee Officers
Celtic Women First Friday
Milwaukee Irish Honoree Nominations
Spring Hallamor Concert #1
Plans Begin for Volunteer Party
Shamrock Club Milwaukee Admirals Game
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin Easter Rising Mass
Article Published in Irish America
RTE News Items
St. Patrick's Help Fund
Welcome New Members
Milwaukee Calendar of Events
Wisconsin Calendar of Events
A Sampling from Irish Fest Music Archives
by Barry Stapleton, Director Irish Music Archives
With a name like Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives it may seem surprising to many that his name would be celebrated in an Irish music archives. Like many genealogists know, names often only reflect the paternal side of a person. Burl Ives always gave credit to his grandmother for giving him his start as a singer. Both of his grandmothers were Irish with his maternal grandmother being an O’Flynn before marriage and his paternal grandmother a White. Burl states that, “I am fortunate both carried with them, and gave me as a little boy, many of the beautiful songs which I know now are of Irish derivation.”
Burl was born in Hunt, Illinois on June 14, 1909. He was the son of tenant farmers in the “Bible Belt” of Illinois and was singing publicly by the age of four. His grandmother Kate White was one of his greatest influences during these early days. Burl would stroll over to his grandmother’s house after his grandfather, Cyrus White would go into the fields to work. Cyrus was a God-fearing man who didn’t drink or smoke and felt that any singing should only be done in praise of the Lord. But when Cyrus left the house Kate would light up her pipe and occasionally chew tobacco while she taught Burl all the old folk songs she knew and loved.
Burl was a quick study when it came to music and soon he was singing at church functions and community functions. He went to school at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College from 1927-29 before leaving. He travelled throughout the United States for the next two years and learned many more folk songs. He then went to Juilliard in New York where he began singing professionally. He then spent many years in Broadway productions and also performed on the radio as a soloist and as part of the popular folk group “The Weavers.” His folk singing persona during his radio and concert performances was known as “The Wayfaring Stranger.”
During the 1950s and 1960s Burl appeared regularly on TV and radio and toured America promoting American folk music. He was very successful in film and played the role of Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.” He won an Oscar for his performance in the film, “The Big Country.”
Burl is also remembered every Christmas as the narrator for the classic animation film of “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
He toured Ireland in 1952 and 1953. Upon returning from these tours he put together an album of Irish Songs. During production of this album Burl wanted to research more Irish songs and found that there were very few Irish folk songs published in the States so he published his own book of Irish songs in 1955.
In his Irish album “Songs of Ireland” he states: “Many of the songs I learned in my boyhood were almost unchanged from the originals, but it was not until I visited Ireland that I felt them as part of the Irish countryside and Irish life of the past and present. Indeed, an Irish song in its homeland is a thing of even greater beauty. …Whatever it is that makes the quality of a land and the temperament of a people was so akin to me that I recognized immediately a home for my spirit.”
In 1948 Burl recorded “Blue Tail Fly” with the Andrews Sisters and it become one of his signature songs. In 1962 he had four more songs in the top forty, two of them “A Little Bitty Tear,” and “Funny Way of Laughing” entered the top ten. He recorded into the 1970s and in 1979 he retired to his home in Washington State where he died in 1995.
Burl Ives was on the front line of folk music his entire life. He was a gentle giant. His performances were spirited and through his diverse talents he became one of America’s best-loved entertainers. His presence on the musical scene not only served to sustain an awareness of neglected American folk songs, but would contribute to the resurgence of interest in folk music that occurred in the early 1960s.
Billy Murray was one of the most prolific artists of the early acoustic era (1895-1925) of the recording industry. He sold more records than any other artist of his generation. Known as “The Denver Nightingale,” Murray was mostly known for his comic songs but his repertoire included patriotic songs, sentimental ballads, love songs, vaudeville skits and refrains for dance band numbers. Most of his recordings were done as a solo artist but he also did many duets, trios, quartets and quintets.
He was born William Thomas Murray in Philadelphia on May 25, 1877. Both of his parents, Patrick Murray and Julia Kelleher Murray were from County Kerry, Ireland. In 1883 the family moved to Denver, Colorado. In an article attributed to Murray in 1917, he talks about his early musical success:
“In 1896 I was trouping with a minstrel show, and finally landed in ‘Frisco.’ The Edison Jobbers in San Francisco were Bacigalupi Brothers, and one of the members of the firm, or one of their customers, attended a performance at which Matt Kief (Keefe), the famous minstrel, and myself sang ‘The County Mayo’ (‘The Lass From The County Mayo’)… As a result, Matt and I were engaged to go to the store and make some records of the song. At that time many dealers had devices by which eight records could be made at once, and Matt and I were set to work in front of one of these.
“None of these cylinders are known to exist today.”
Murray was soon recording for all the major labels by 1900. In 1905 Victor was boasting that Murray’s “The Yankee Doodle Boy” was the top-selling record in its history. He broke that record the following year with “The Grand Old Rag.” Some of these early recordings remained in catalogs for over 15 years.
According to Joel Whitburn in his book “Pop Memories 1890-1954, The History of American Popular Music”, Billy Murray had 169 charted singles and 18 number one songs. He is listed as number five in the top 100 artists of this era. Some of his famous recordings included Irish-American hits such as; “Bedelia,” “My Irish Molly-O,” “The Irish Girl I Love,” and “Harrigan.” Besides “Harrigan,” he was also famous for introducing other George M. Cohan songs such as “Give My Regards To Broadway,” “The Yankee Doodle Boy,” and “The Grand Old Rag.” You may think that the last song is spelled wrong but it isn’t. Murray sold many records for the first year with this title until the public demanded that Cohan change the lyrics. Cohan changed the lyrics to “The Grand Old Flag” and Victor Records changed the label, but the recording with Murray singing the old lyrics remained the same.
In 1909 Murray signed a joint contract, along with other artists, with Victor Records that lasted for ten years. Murray remained one of the country’s most popular artists through the 1920s. Besides his solo recordings he began doing more work with other artists. He claimed to discover Ada Jones who also became a major artist and with whom Murray did many duets with. He also performed with the American & Premier Quartet and the Heidelberg Quintet. All of the artists that ever worked with Murray remembered him as an energetic individual with a well-developed sense of fun.
Besides music, Murray’s other love was baseball. Murray would spend days at the ballpark. Baseball is what solidified his relationship with Cohan. He would practice with the Yankees regularly and played right field for them in exhibition games around the country. He found ways to play hooky from recording sessions just to play or watch baseball. He knew every player on all of the sixteen major league teams and also played for a theatrical baseball team, the Long Island Good Hearted Thespians Society. Because of his association with baseball he was also credited with making popular the great American song “Take Me Out To the Ballgame,” although no known recording exists. His last recording was made in 1943 and he died in 1954. He married three times but had no children.
February 1: St Bridget’s Day
February 1 is St Bridget’s Day. St. Bridget is one of the three early Irish saints who influenced the course of Christianity in the country, the other two are St. Patrick and St. Colmcille. She was known for her powers and her eccentricities. Some of the stories are fabulous, some require less suspension of belief of natural effects. Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth, she died February 1, 525, at Kildare. Bridget founded the religious settlement at Kildare, or church of the oak, on the Curragh.
The main significance of the Feast of St. Bridget would seem to be a christianization of one of the focal points of the agricultural year in Ireland. St Bridget’s Day is also the start of spring in Ireland. Every manifestation of the cult of the saint is bound up in some way with food production. A relaxation of the rigors of winter weather was expected at this time, for according to tradition what the saint had promised:
Gach`re la go maith
Every second day fine
On St. Bridget’s, farmers’ wives made a cake called bairinbreac. Farmers gave presents of butter and buttermilk to poor neighbors. Some killed a sheep and sent portions of meat to friends. It was believed that the saint travelled around the countryside on the eve of the festival, bestowing her blessing on the people and their livestock.
Her life also begat a number of stories. Among them:
• When Bridget asked for land for her community, she was told she could have all the land that her cloak would cover. As she laid her cloak down, it spread over almost the entirety of the plains, allowing her to build on the choicest of land in Ireland.
• Bridget as a child once gave away all of her father’s armaments when he went in to visit a king.
• Bridget once needed to hang her cloak while she was working in the fields, and the only thing available to use as a hook was a sunbeam.
• Bridget had her own brewer.
• When Earl Strongbow was dying, he affirmed that he saw St. Bridget approaching his bed, and she struck him on the foot, and the wound she gave him mortified, and of this he died. This happened six hundred years after Bridget’s death.
• Bridget had the same status as bishop. She is often portrayed as holding a crozier. Her religious community was divided between men and women. She also held equal rank with the archbishop; if he had an episcopal chair (cathedra episcopalis), so St. Bridget had a virginal chair (cathedra puellaris), and was pre-eminent above all the abbesses of Ireland, or of the Scots, for sanctity and power.
• She also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which St. Conleth presided. From the Kildare scriptorium came the wondrous book of the Gospels, which elicited unbounded praise from Giraldus Cambrensis. According to this twelfth-century ecclesiastic, nothing that he had ever seen was at all comparable to the “Book of Kildare”, every page of which was gorgeously illuminated.
• She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, February 1. About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.
St. Broccan Cloen, who died in 650, wrote the following as a part of the history about the saint:
Ni bu Sanct Brigid suanach
Saint Brigid was not given to sleep,
Dane County Shamrock Club
The Dane County Shamrock Club met on Tuesday, January 13, 2004, and enjoyed the last tape of the “Irish Waterways” as well as a presentation from Joel Van Oosbree. The presentation was on his semester in Belfast in affiliation with the Habitat for Humanity. It included some slides.
We’re in the midst of our membership renewal period. A reminder to all that we look forward to your participation in our club activities for 2004; we have a number of interesting plans. The planning for activities around Saint Patrick’s Day continue at full steam. A recap of what those activities are:
• Shamrock Shuffle Road Race (5K) starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2004.
• Flag Raising Ceremony and Irish Person(s) of the Year Award at the Capitol at Noon.
• Saint Patrick’s Day Parade starting at 1:30 p.m.
• Dane County Shamrock Club Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration on Wednesday, March 17, 2004, at the Coliseum Bar starting at 5 p.m.
The Dane County Shamrock Club urges members of all other clubs to join us for the road race and the other ceremonies on March 14. These activities are open to all Irish and those aspiring to be Irish.
– Bob Kerans, President
Madison’s 2004 St. Patrick’s Day Parade
MARCH 14 ON THE CAPITOL SQUARE
2004 Parade Theme: “THE PIPES ARE CALLING”
PARADE DAY EVENTS
• 10 a.m. SHAMROCK SHUFFLE RUN, sponsored by Famous Footwear. St. Patty Shuffle/run/walk: Will start at Willy St. – Spaight – through Orton Park – Rutledge – Baldwin – Morrison – Thornton (turn at Spaight) and return.
• 10:30 a.m. PARADE MASS at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 404 E. Main St. Madison, WI. With music by Madison Folk Harp Society “Mad City Harpers” and “Navan”
• 12 noon FLAG OF IRELAND RAISING CEREMONY in the Capitol hosted by Dane County Shamrock Club.
• 1:30 p.m. MADISON’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE on the Square, sponsored by Park Bank. 2004 Parade Theme is “The Pipes are Calling.” Media sponsors: Charter Communications, WOLX 94.9, TRIPLE M 105.5, 105.1 THE BUZZ, Web site sponsors Wired Republik Parade web site: www.stpatsmadison.com
• 3 p.m. ST. PAT’S EVE PARTY at the Park Ponderosa Ballroom, Mc Farland. Sponsored by the Celtic Music Association and Celtic Cultural Center Web site www.celticmadison.org
More details on this and other St. Patricks Day Events will be posted on the web sites in the coming weeks.
• FEBRARY 17 – Chili Mix (6 p.m.) and Regular Membership Meeting (7 p.m.) featuring video of Ireland
• MARCH 16 – St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Senior Center; 5:30 p.m.; (no regular meeting)
Everyone bring some of your favorite chili and we blend it all together for a delightful meal. Come and enjoy good food and good company. Then enjoy a fine video of Ieland.
On March 16, the Shamrock Club is working with the Senior Center, as we did last year, sponsoring the St. Patrick’s Day Party (last year’s party was one of the best ever held at the Senior Center). There will be a fine Irish menu at 5:30 p.m. and great Irish entertainment at 6:30. “Casey’s Fancy” will entertain us again this year and there might be some other Irish entertainment also. This fine evening of Irish food and great music can be enjoyed for the small fee of only $5.50 per person. You can make your reservations at our February meeting.
– Tom Kennedy
Shamrock Club Of New Dublin
Greetings from New Dublin. We had a busy month of December but were able to celebrate Christmas together on December 7th at the Pine Tree Supper Club. Fifty members were in attendance. Our own Gerald Murphy lead us in song with some wonderful Christmas carols. The Shamrock Club also sponsored and decorated a tree for the Chamber of Commerce Santa Land.
We are pleased to announce our Irish Man and Irish Rose for 2004 St. Patrick’s Day festivities. They are Michael O’Connell and Suzi Snyder. Congratulations to them both. We are entering a busy time for our club and will begin meeting every Monday evening at 7 p.m. at Sommer’s Midtown in downtown New London. Anyone interested in attending or helping on a committee please feel free to join us.
We hope you all enjoyed a blessed holiday season
– Carrie Katerzynske
Milwaukee President's Message
Ladies and Gentlemen, Shamrock Club Members All;
Welcome to all our new members! Our St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations are just a month or so away and our schedules are filling up fast. Good volunteers are hard to find but year in and year out our members have stepped forward and made our annual events hugely successful. Volunteer positions are still available so call early and call often. Door personnel, bartenders, food servers and others are needed along with a number of co-ordinator slots between the Mass, the Parade and the Post Parade Party. Contact Kris Pluskota, Dan Malloy or Chuck McLaughlin about helping out.
February seems like a slow month but the Bradley Center still has several events, the Color Guard Pipes and Drums, under director Richard Pfieffer, are preparing for the new marching season and our St. Patrick’s month events will be fine tuned.
The Shamrock Club is planning on attending the Milwaukee Admirals Game on February 2 at the Bradley Center. Contact Sharon Murphy at smurphy@ wi.rr.com for tickets.
Come to the February meeting and be introduced to our new Irishman of the Year, Irish Rose, and Shamrock Club Parade Marshal. There will also be entertainment by Shamrock Club member Erin Canon on harp.
– Joe Hughes
Shamrock Club Milwaukee March Events
The date of the Shamrock Club Milwaukee chapter’s March meeting has been changed to March 11 from March 4. There is a concert in the ICHC’s Hallamor on the night of the fourth. The meeting time, 7 p.m., will remain the same.
Volunteers are needed on Friday night, March 12, to set up for the Post Parade Party. Contact Chris Pluskota to help out. Also, we need someone to coordinate the kitchen service for the Post Parade Party. Entertainment for the party will include the Trinity, Glencastle and Cashel dance schools; Leahy’s Luck, Blarney, Celtic Keep, Bantry Bay and West of Ennis. The Post Parade Party, as well as the Mass and Parade, will take place on Saturday, March 13. See the Emerald Reflections or our website for more information.
19th Annual Special Mass to Honor St. Patrick
Will be held prior to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Sign reader for hearing impaired
Shuttle Bus: from ICHC rear parking lot (2133 W. Wisconsin Ave.) to St. Patrick’s Church and after Mass return to Parade Route or parking lot for just $3 per person. Bus to leave sharply at 7:45 a.m. for the Church
Tickets for bus can be purchased by mail or at the Shamrock Club March General Meeting
ATTN: breakfast WILL be served.
For Bus reservations or information contact:
Mail reservations for BUS ONLY
Phone: Number of Reservations______ Amount $_________
Bus Reservations will not be taken after March 7
St. Pat’s Mass Flower Donations and Memorials
Memorials and donations will be taken at the Milwaukee February general meeting to help defray the cost of flowers for the St. Patrick’s Mass, March 13, 2004. Names will be printed in the Mass Booklet. Mail orders can be taken up to February 27, 2004. Make checks payable to the Shamrock Club. Contact Chuck and Bonnie McLaughlin; 12007 W. Walker St., West Allis, WI 53214; (414) 771-0458. Thank you.
– Chuck McLaughlin
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