I found this wonderful song I love called Kilkelly Ireland and spent time enjoying it last night. What makes this song quite different is that it is based on a family's history.
For those of you who know little about the song, it it is based on some letters that were found in an attic in America. After the letters were found, a family member wrote a song based on these letters.
It starts out "Kilkelly Ireland, 18 and 60. my dear and loving son John" The John in these letters is John Hunt who emigrated to the United States around 1855. His family was not literate so the local schoolmaster actually wrote the letters but each letter was filled with news of life.
Although the song takes bits and pieces out of the letters, Peter Jones, the songwriter, was able to convey so much about family in Ireland and the yearning of parents to see their son again. The last verse is the letter sent to John to inform him of his father's death. Each verse ends with a desire to see him again and when is he coming home.
This song speaks of what happened to the people who lived in Ireland during the potato famine, of those who emigrated elsewhere to live and the difficulty of not being near each other. It makes one realize that once people moved away, they might never return home. Might never seen their family again. Can you image how hard that would be? Now we can move away but still hop a plane home to visit. I searched to find out if the letters used for this song could be found online. Yes they are there!