Have you ever noticed how music has a funny way of bringing you right back to where you were the first time you heard it? It never fails, Spice Girls brings me back to my childhood when my neighbor friend and I would sing & dance along with “Wannabe” over, and over, and over again… Now you probably have a rough guess at my age too.
Rest assured, my music tastes have become more refined as of late. Case in point, O’Carolan’s Welcome.
You can listen to it here:[audio:http://www.stephanieclaussen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/05-OCarolanss-Welcome.mp3|titles=05 O’Carolans’s Welcome]
The First Layer of Memories:
I first heard the song when I was traveling in Ireland for a study abroad program. Arcadia is the college that ran the program, and they have some wonderful people working there to orient students that are just arriving, and they also plan a few trips to cover some sight-seeing basics for the students. While on one of these bus trips, Grainne, an Arcadia employee/counselor switched her ipod with mine, and I listened to O’Carolan’s Welcome for the first time while looking at rolling green hills, misty atmosphere, sheep, castle ruins and all things perfectly Irish, so naturally—that’s what I see in my mind’s eye every time I hear this song. Isn’t that great? It’s like a mini-vacation for when I’m feeling stressed out. A few days later, Grainne had emailed me the song, and I happily listened to it a hundred times. It’s a good thing cassette tapes are a thing of the past, or I’d probably have worn through at least 5 copies of it.
The Second Layer of Memories:
The song’s journey doesn’t end here! Since I’m a musician, I have been known to get really excited about songs when I hear them and attempt to replicate it for my own repertoire. I was lucky enough to have a kind soul rent me a harp while I was in Ireland, so as soon as I got home to my flat, I took to learning it. This song is now one of those “good friend” memories that come back to me every time I play it on my harp: I think of Grainne, irish scenery, my rented harp, and my flat.
The Final Layer of Memories: Processional Music
Let’s build in another layer to this song. Fast forward to about five years later. Ireland was starting to be a distant memory now. I have a lot of pictures on my computer, and occasionally I would look at those, but it was starting to look less and less like I’d be able to go back to Ireland any time soon. I had just gotten married, and what do you know?? A very resourceful husband had found an incredible package deal for a six-night stay, rental and air-fare to IRELAND!! I pretty much hit the ceiling, I was so excited. I emailed Grainne straightaway because I knew I’d have to have dinner with her while I was there. You can’t travel 5,000 miles and not take some time to talk with the nicest person in Ireland again. During our dinner, we got to chatting about the wedding, when she asked me, “So what music did you choose for your processional?”
With a twinkle in my eye I said, “O’Carolan’s Welcome“. Her reaction was priceless!
So what’s YOUR favorite song? Do you have one with a lot of good memories wrapped up into it? I want to hear it!
Emily is a student and friend of Stephanie’s, and helps with occasional harping/blogging enthusiasm.
Stephanie Claussen has served the wedding industry in Minneapolis & St. Paul since 2000. Lovely harp music could be available for your ceremony–consider hiring Stephanie!