An Irish Blessing


Key: D major

Time Sig: 2/4

Parts: SATB

Complexity: simple - designed to be partially sightread

My grandparents were second generation Irish, and although I've never been there, the music I learnt from my mother is a thread of song back to my ancient home. I have been blessed indeed to have the experience Zoltan Kodaly talked about where folk songs have helped me know my heritage.

My Nana and Papa had An Irish Blessing printed on a tea-towel, hanging in their little kitchen and these words bring them back to me, and bring a wee tear to my eye.

This song will become part of the sightreading material I'm creating for the Kodaly scholarship. The tune is made up of d,r.m and s. In the first full verse, everyone sings this in unison. If you are sightreading, and up to this level, you are welcome to try it out and let me know how you get on!

I haven't put in interpretation markings. I feel like they are obvious - sing the oo's softly and flowingly. Sing the verses with a sense of elegant phrasing - singing to the last note of each phrase. Breath without apology, don't rush on that account! This piece presents a good opportunity for choristers to consider their role in the choir. Who has the tune? Who has the accompaniment? What might this mean for how you sing your part?

Happy St Patrick's day!