Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can't forget Killarney...

Speaking of Christmas carols, I can't help but mention one of my favorites. It also evokes a traditional Irish Christmas like the songs I wrote about earlier, but it is certainly a more modern song.

The carol I'm referring to is Christmas in Killarney by John Redmond, James Cavanaugh and Frank Weldon. Bobby Vinton's version of the song conjures up memories for me of my childhood living room: me resting on the floor below the Christmas tree with Christmas in Killarney playing on the stereo system's record player. It might have been the very song that inspired me to learn how to use the record player and place the needle at just the right place so that I could repeat my favorite song, although I remember enjoying all the songs on Bobby Vinton's Christmas album.

Only now listening to it again do I realize all the references to Irish culture in the song: the holly leaves, the ivy green, the mistletoe, the jigs and reels...

Click here for Jim Corbett and Chris Caswell's version of the song, sung with a nice Irish brogue.

Here are the words (a more complete set of lyrics than the ones used in the audio version linked above):

Christmas In Killarney

Verse:
The holly green, the ivy green
The prettiest picture you've ever seen
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home
It's nice, you know, to kiss your beau
While cuddling under the mistletoe
And Santa Claus you know, of course
Is one of the boys from home

Bridge:
The door is always open
The neighbors pay a call
And Father John before he's gone
Will bless the house and all
Our Hearts are light, our spirits bright
We'll celebrate our joy tonight
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home

Repeat Verse

Bridge:
We'll decorate the Christmas tree
When all the family's here
Around a roaring fire
We will raise a cup of cheer
There's gifts to bring,
And songs to sing
And laughs to make the rafters ring
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home

Repeat Verse

Bridge:
We'll take the horse and sleigh all
Across the fields of snow
Listening to the jingle bells
Everywhere we go
How grand it feels to click your heels
And dance away to the jigs and reels
It's Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home

Repeat Verse

Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home

In the mood for more Christmas carols? Check out footnote Maven's "heavenly host" at A Choir of GeneaAngels. The angel to footnote Maven's right in the center of the choir is standing in for me.

Also see Thomas MacEntee's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories at Destination: Austin Family. Check out his calendar daily this month for some good mini-memoirs of this nostalgic season. This post will be listed under Christmas Music on December 21.

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