Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"There's truth, but no logic." *

“The Fields of Athenry,” that festive and jolly Irish song, is a big bedtime hit round these parts.

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling:
Michael, they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyn's corn
So our young might see the morn.
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing, we had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely 'round the Fields of Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young man calling:
Nothing matters, Mary, when you’re free,
Against the Famine and the Crown
I rebelled, they cut me down.
Now you must raise our child with dignity.

By a lonely harbor wall
She watched the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky.
Now she'll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay.
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry.

Cheery, yah?

Tonight, Terzo sleepily asks, “What does a prison ship look like? Does it have smokestacks?”

Me (to myself: Please, please shut up so you don’t wake the baby so I will tell you anything you want to hear): Yes. Yes, it does have smokestacks.

T: "How many?"

Me (How the FUCK should I know? so I pluck a not-so random number out of the air (the Titanic, always a compelling topic of conversation here, had 4, but only 3 functioned; ipso facto, my random number choice): Three.

T, perking up a bit [No, no, PLEASE go to sleep]: "So it looks like the Queen Mary?"[And I have no fucking clue, so don't ask me how he knows about the Queen Mary. If it's a ship that sank or had anything to do with a ship that sank (the QM was a Cunard line ship), my guys know ALL about it. But who am I to shut down their morbid fascinations? says the Plague Queen.)

Me: Sure. (And why the hell not?)

T: "Ok, keep singing, but skip some words. I’m tired."

Thank God he didn’t bother asking about lifeboats.

*Rose, in "Titanic"


Eleanor said...

This is spooky.

I'm sitting at work doing some research about the last convict ship to sail from England to Australia, and the group of Fenians who were on board.

I decide to take a break and check some blogs, and your post pops up.

Very spooky.

So...um....here's a link to a picture of what the boats probably looked like:


Just consider me your personal bedtime singing assitant.

P.S. Sorry...no smokestacks...

Suse said...

Sails, not smokestacks love.

And hammocks. Lots of hammocks. (For the crew. The convicts got straw).

Oh! Word verif is wingsono. Isn't that lovely?!

ssheers said...

Many years ago, when my eldest was about three, we were in the supermarket. She asked me to sing Rock-A-Bye baby (I probably had her little sister in a baby sling, and little sister was probably screaming). About half-way through the song, eldest stopped me and asked:

"Why did they put the baby in the tree?"

I don't know.

Why are children's bedtime songs such downers?

sueeeus said...

He's so precious! I love the 'skip some words' bit.

At least you had some answers! I say "I don't know" far too much. The questions, they just keep flying. Ours are more in line with bugs and why they can climb on windows or upside down without falling off, and "I wish if I could climb on windows"

Kristin said...

Oh, that's a good song! My collection of going to bed songs is getting really old. All I can remember are the songs my grandma sang to me. Some of which I realized in retrospect were a little racist! I know it was just a generational thing, but I skip those. We do many rousing versions of "I've been working on the railroad" and "You are my sunshine."

Peg said...

Do you have a copy of the cast recording "The Irish and How They Got That Way?" That's where I first heard that song, along with very many others. I think your boys might get a kick out of it if they don't have it already (and so will you). If you don't have it I will acquire one for you!

Unknown said...


A long time ago my family stayed on the Queen Mary... I guess they turned it into a hotel? And yes, I think we played Titanic the entire time. It was a thrill.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, most of our bedtime songs are either of the they-tried-to-kill-all-the-Jews-but-we-survived-so-lets-eat variety or else the war-fighting-guns-land-of-milk-and-honey dichotomy.

PS Wanna play tomorrow?

Kristin said...

I just linked to your site on my blog re: your READ poster.