recess radio program

When I Was Very Young
    by John Cech

Nonsense, we know, is a fine art, and some of the very best of it is served up with a good bit of blarney, like Len Graham does in this traditional Irish song.

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This is one of the 28 lilting, lovely, spirit-lifting, sing-along-with songs for the whole family on When I Was Young, Children's Songs from Ireland. Padraigin Ni Uallachain adds her strong, clear voice to a good number of these songs, and Garry O' Brian provides his instrumental wizardry in this ensemble. Many of these tunes come directly from the oral folk tradition and have been around for centuries, rounded like pebbles in a stream in County Clare.

These are songs of joy and heartbreak, courting and curious country characters, songs of laughing and dancing, life and mortality, sometimes all fiddling together in the same place.

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And always, always, there's the sheer love for language, for poetry, old and new, like the kind we find in the riddling verses of contemporary wordsmith, John Rice, in his lyrics for "Dazzledance," which could have been written four hundred years ago but are as fresh as today's breeze, rolling over the hills.

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Copyright 2007 John Cech

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Wednesday, 02-May-2007 19:10:37 EDT

"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."