Over the course of Spring and Summer 2020, we asked participants to send us some of their favourite songs. We asked for Songs of Our Mothers and Fathers, Songs of the Land, Songs of Leaving and Returning, Flower Songs, Bird Songs and The Most Beautiful Voice. Despite the challenging times the country found itself in, we were delighted to receive over 150 songs from all of the participants in the Museum of Song Postal Project. Envelopes were sent to us from Castletownbere, Dunmanway, Schull and Skibbereen Community Hospitals, Bantry General Hospital and from older members of the community in Drimoleague.
We are now in the process of gathering all of these songs together which we will then share with everyone in the form of the ‘Museum of Song Songbook’. We gathered some wonderful responses for our last week ‘Songs of Leaving and Returning’ including the song ‘This is My Homeland’ which was shared by Mary in Skibbereen. Mary told us that “this song makes me very happy as he is coming home to where he was born. He is returning.”
“The lights of London are far behind,
My thoughts of homeland are crowding my mind,
Familiar places come into view,
I see my home now, soon I’ll see you.”
We are so grateful to the residents and staff for engaging with this project with such thoughtfulness and care in difficult circumstances. We are delighted that this project is still growing to include members of the community from rural Bantry and from all of the West Cork Islands, kindly supported by the Creative Ireland Programme for Older People.Over the next couple of weeks we will be inviting residents in the Four Valleys in Bantry and on Sherkin, Cape Clear, Bere, Heir, Dursey, Whiddy and Long Islands to continue this vibrant conversation about songs and singing.