Top of the Morn’ – My Beloved!


May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside a fire. Laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire ~ Irish prayer

How could I ever forget and make a statement to all of you, a few months ago, in my blog writing that my Uncle  John was the only known published author that I knew of in my family? That is so not right!!

From the time I was a little girl, my Dad would sing to us four kids in his oh so awful voice, the words of a song called Kathleen Mavourneen. And now, his eight grandchildren have to suffer through it! It has gotten to the point that we roll our eyes, we grin, we outright laugh when he starts in. He sings the song to remind us of his and our family roots. You see, Frederick Crouch is his namesake and his great-great-great Grandfather. Professor Crouch composed the song Kathleen Mavourneen in 1837. “Mavoureen” is a term of endearment derived from  the Irish Gaelic mo mhuirnin meaning “my beloved.”

Irish soprano Catherine Hayes (1818-1861) was the first Irish woman to sing at La Scala in Milan. She learned the song Kathleen Mavourneen and it became her signature tune during concerts. She, in fact, sang it for Queen Victoria and over 500 royal guests at Buckingham Palace in June 1849. The song, gained popularity with American audiences as a result of the extensive touring of Catherine Hayes.

The song became a popular camp-fire song during the Civil War period and in fact, it plays a prominent role in Michael Shaara’s historical novel the Killer Angels and it’s film adaptation Gettysburg. 

I have never heard the song sung in it’s entirety, only a  few verses in my Dad’s less than outstanding rendition. Perhaps, some day, I will hear the song in a more memorable voice that can do it justice but until then, it is just a family joke, every time my Dad starts in.

Top of the morning to my beloved family! Wish we could all  be together, share a dinner of corned beef and cabbage. Who would bring the green beer? Erin? Kyle? Kara? Devon? Marc Ryan? Holly? Taylor? Maggie – no definitely not Maggie!

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