Wednesday, 4 October 2017

IRIS DE MENT

IRIS DE MENT




LET US TAKE A BREAK TODAY FROM "HOLY MOTHER CHURCH" AND ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SINGERS - IRIS DE MENT.

I find her music attractive because she sings in a very soulful, often sad way and because I find a spirituality in her lyrics.

I had the privilege of meeting her many years ago when he gave a concert at Queen's University, Belfast. 

That night her backers sound system did not work and she was going to cancel the concert and I went up to her and said: Iris, it's you we came to listen to. Forget the backing and sing for us with your guitar. She did.

After the concert, we corresponded for a while and then we lost touch.

AN AFTERLIFE:

One of the things we all think about is what happens when we die. Is there an afterlife etc.

I think Iris' song LET THE MYSTERY BE is how we should think about that:



The afterlife - and I firmly believe there is one - is a mystery. So, let the mystery be and let us live this one to the full and do all the good we can.

PAIN:

When I met Iris I felt that, rightly or wrongly, I saw a lot of pain in her face. I don't know if it was past pain or present pain.

We all have times of pain in our lives. But there is always a tomorrow, a tomorrow when everything is going to be better.  Her song INFAMOUS ANGEL speaks to me.



LOSS:

One of the great pains we all have in life in the pain of loss - of losing some to death or reaching the end of a relationship.

At those times - when we are deep in the winter of loss - it feels that things will never get better.

But they do! There will always be scars and memories left. But it becomes possible for us to live again after loss. Iris' song EVEN AFTER YOU'RE GONE is very meaningful to me.

I suffered a great sense of loss when my mother JoJo died after she had lived with me for the last 16 years of her life. I was the first of her 17 births. 

MAM 1929 - 2006


In March this year, I lost my favourite sister Margaret. She and I had been in each other's lives - and very close for 64 years.

MAGS 1953 - 2017




THE HEROES OF ROUTINE:

Most of us have lives of routine - at home, in the office, on the building site etc.

And yet the world would not work without the routine of the mother, the bus driver, the pharmacist, the refuse collector etc, etc.

Very few people get to be rich and famous and powerful - and even those who are not always happy.

We all have to be HEROES OF ROUTINE.

We all have to find meaning - and God if we want him - in the daily routine.

Iris's song EASY'S GETTING HARDER EVERY DAY is an anthem to the miracle and virtue of the daily routine:



CONCLUSION: I know that not everyone will like Iris De Ment the way I do. 

I confess to being a "country" fan.   

Maybe you readers might like to tell us about a favourite singer of yours, a favourite song, favourite lyrics - and why they mean what they do to you?










58 comments:

  1. What lovely photos of your mother and of Margaret! I had never heard of Iris but liked her clear direct style.
    I think we are all heroes of routine. Many of the saints teach us that the way to grow in holiness is to perform the bits and pieces of everyday routine to the best of our ability and to offer it up to God Who is present in every aspect of our lives.
    You say that too, Pat.. that we can find God and meaning in our daily routine..(By the way, that is one of the most important teachings of Opus Dei!)
    .

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  2. My real favourite is Dvorak's "Serenade for Strings"--any one of its five sections. If I feel stressed or overwrought I switch it on and the wonderful sounds rise and fall and wash everything away... Bliss!

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    1. I like Dvorak too. I was once in Prague for five days on my own and wandered into a lunch time concert and heard his: ALS DIE ALTE MUTTER - SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME - played and sung. I was deeply moved.

      "Songs my mother taught me,
      In the days long vanished;
      Seldom from her eyelids
      Were the teardrops banished.
      Now I teach my children,
      Each melodious measure.
      Oft the tears are flowing,
      Oft they flow from my memory's treasure".

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    2. Lovely to read the words in English, Pat! Thank you.

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  3. Sometimes it has to be hypnotic sound of Laura Marling.
    I would listen to "Next Time" or "What he Wrote" or occasionally maybe "Sophia"... She has lots and does live concerts too of course.

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  4. I liked Iris de Ment very much.
    I listen to Ellie Goulding if I'm in the mood "How Long will I Love you" is what I'm into now.... BUT if I really need to unwind it's got to be Beethoven's Romance in F for violin and orchestra. The real deal...

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  5. MourneManMichael4 October 2017 at 09:01

    Nice one Pat. I'm a fan too. Let the Mystery Be was the track that 'hooked' me. I've got the Infamous Angel CD, and the My Life one with Easy's Getting Harder on it.
    I think it's the plaintive slightly nasal quality of her voice that captivates as well as the lyrics.
    MMM

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    1. That's a good insight - plaintive slightly nasal quality. It seems to me that when she sings she is pulling a lot of emotion and experience out of her depths. She has certainly lived and explored her inner life.

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  6. Finding god in everyday life wasn't invented by Opus Dei.

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    1. 9,45 That's right (@9.47)..absolutely.. They keep telling us that too!)

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    2. I don't think the poster said anything about "invented" ".

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    3. Actually, Martin Luther expressed the idea (of spirituality among the pots 'n' pans, the minutiae of everyday life) centuries before Escriva picked up on it.

      I sometimes think Opus Dei believe it a 'revelation' unique to Escriva.

      What moves me musically? For my money, you can't beat the ethereal strains of Allegri's polyphonic choral masterpiece, 'Miserere mei, Deus', his setting of Psalm 51. Now here's a taste of heavenly peace, a glimpse of beatific beauty.

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    4. Interesting Magna.... You might enjoy music of Thomas Tallis or Monteverdi then if you enjoyed the Allegri..

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    5. Yes, 17:10, I do enjoy Tallis' work.

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    6. Thanks Magna for replying - - nice!

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  7. Pat, I like Iris de Ment for lighter moments. Her songs are meaningful. But my preference is for the classics. Try Emma Kirkby singing Laudate Dominum: Monserrat Caballe - O Mio Babbino Caro - both magnificent. These bring me to heavenly realms...Anything by Mozart, Beethoven and The Sacred Music of Vivaldi, particularly the glorias..... Heavenly....

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    1. Apart from my aforementioned classical pieces - 9.58, the following are beautiful, uplifting pieces. "Up the Mountain" sung by Susan Boyle: Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" by Pentatonix: "Go rest high on that mountain" by Vince Gill. And for another delightful voice, Alison Krauss. Find Andrea Bocelli singing "I believe". All these are restful, inspiring pieces. Pat - this is a very nourishing blog on the Feast of St. Francis who encourages a love, respect and gratitude for life, nature and God's presence in a things....

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    2. Should also have added - "Because we believe" along with "I believe" - both sung by Bocelli. Lyrics are poetry in song.....

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    3. Great choices from poster 12.57
      Thank you!
      Also lovely the Beethoven Romance in F.. that Gendler kid is something else!!
      Thank you Pat for the de Ment tracks at the top. Very meaningful. We can re-listen anytime.

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  8. In fact Opus Dei's nemesis, in many respects, the Society of Jesus have their founder, Ignatius Loyola to thank for handing on that spirituality to them and to all too.

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    1. Like the earlier poster, I love the Beethoven Romance in F for violin too...I wonder if he has heard it played by the American gifted child prodigy Nathan Gendler... That kid blows me away.. wow! Hear him...

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  9. I wonder what music will be like in 50 years time . The kids will be moaning at their parents to stop playing that tweedlydee stuff dad's always singing smack my bitch up . I believe peter kay did a joke about that a few years ago

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    1. @10.50
      You're right! - Believe me, it's already happening big time...
      By the way,loved the de Ment, Pat!
      And I would agree about the person's choices of Laura Marling (--somebody mentioned her..) My fav. is Next Time.

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    2. Thanks to guy who mentioned Nathan Gendler whom the hand of God has surely touched.
      He was only 10 when

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  10. What a pleasant uplifting blog today! Today is the Feast of St. Francis so this is quite in keeping in a way, as in Pax et Bonum. Jesuits and Opus Dei, Pat's Mam and sister, Beethoven and Iris all together. That's more like it. So good not to have the nasty nonsense we often see posted. The good, as you well know in any ministry, far outweighs the bad. So Pax et Bonum to you all!

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    1. And pax et bonum to you too whoever you are!

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    2. You two are high on something, whatever it is.

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    3. Hi Magna - - no, not high on anything.Listen to some of our music choices on YouTube and tell us one of your own - - yes?

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  11. When I need my spirits lifted I turn to John Michael Talbot especially his beautiful album "Come to the Quiet". I also have a soft spot for anything by Leonard Cohen.

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  12. I love Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Very uplifting.

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  13. The Dvorak Serenade for Strings... Defo!

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  14. Alfie Boe singing "Bring Him Home" gives me goosebumps every time.. Great song but it's got to be the Alfie Boe version.. Look it up.

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    1. Yes..! Anything sung by Alfie Boe.. excellent..
      Loved those Laura Marling tracks on you tube that were mentioned this morning. Nice lyrics..

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  15. Franz Schubert String Quintet in C Major.

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  16. I wish I had someone to love me
    Barney McKenna (Dubliners)

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    1. Probably the best love song ever! And only Barney Mc Kenna knows how to sing it.......he really does it justice.

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    2. The Dubliners album can turn any gathering into a party!

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    3. I never heard of that song I WISH I HAD SOMEONE TO LOVE ME.

      I listened to it. It is very moving. Barny McKenna is so humble and simple in his rendition of it.

      Anyone like Luke Kelly's version of RAGLAN ROAD?

      Powerful.

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    4. Thank you Pat, Barney R I P
      I only discovered it a couple of months ago myself.
      Love Raglan Road too by Luke.

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    5. It sure is Pat! I can see if we ever meet up I'll have to bring my guitar! (Unfortunately my fingers all locked together last time I played, so that might be the end of that or certainly less intense, or I could play hawaian / steel, nothing fancy mind, but might save the old arthuritis or whatever it is! (An old boy I knew once called it "Arthuritis" and it's always tickled me!)Whatever, I've still got me voice! And you'll have to be the judge as to whether that's a good thing or not!!My granddad was born in Canada and came back with his folks in the 1930's. He never lost his north American accent. He was into country and had given my father his vast collection of 78's including early country star Jimmie Rodgers. Now, of course, there isn't much you can't find online. My granddad was a big influence on my music taste but since then it has widened greatly. Yeah, so I like a lot of country up until about the 80's / 90's present. Then some of it started to sound like bad pop music, but there's always "Diamonds In The Rough" (old carter family spiritual) if you've a mind to look, which I confess I don't always and must look at Iris beyond "Your Town." What about Emmylou Harris? I think her and Iris are quite similar. I like "Sweet Old World" that she did, but I don't think she wrote it. I think it's a lament about suicide (Gram Parsons?)Oh yeah folks, I'm a one for those cry into yer beer type of songs! While I'm there, how about "Soft Place To Fall" by Alison Moorer. Again, like Iris, I haven't tried listening to more of her work because I like this one so much, but I may be denying myself. "Soft Place To Fall" (From The Horse Whisperer) Is not heroic or uplifting, it's gritty and realistic, it's "I don't know about tomorrow or next week or months or lifetime...it's just about need and just about now..perhaps it's rather selfish..but whether or not we have our own soft place to fall or not, it certainly paints a picture. I particularly like instrumental breaks in traditional country music, steel guitars, yes, but especially fiddle and the fiddle break in Soft Place To Fall is just about as good as it gets in this setting, of course, blue grass for more technique, but we're talking instrumental breaks here. Back to the Irish traditional and yeah, Luke Kelly, Wow. I'm trying to think if I've got a favourite Irish traditional. Raglan road is great, Easy & Slow, Peggy Gordon, Whiskey In The Jar & Wild Rover / Irish Rover.. What about Finnegan's Wake or whats that rather naughty one that "If it wasn't holy than the Pope it he would shun?" lyrics? Of course if we're onto naughty then the 7 drunken nights, but like others I only do 5, because it's what's hidden or not quite clear that makes the song funny and the last two verses are rather "In Yer Face" and therefore not funny, at least, I don't think so. I'll leave you with one I learnt more recently, "Fiddlers Green!" See you there, if not before! Tell them to Roisin the bow! =D

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  17. @14.54
    Lovely choice - - your Scbubert!
    Wonder if you have ever heard "The Shepherd on the Rock"?
    I think you'd like..

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    1. The Shepherd on the Rock is beautiful... Go for the Elly Amerling version Heavenly voice.. to be enticed by the"shepherd" melody...

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  18. Mozarts coronation mass!

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  19. Yes, the Coronation Mass is wonderful.. When I was a child we had one of the old vinyl records of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and I played it again and again every evening in the stylus needle nearly wore through the record! It was the only Mozart I knew at that time but I was sold for life... Still love it.

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  20. Nice post today, Pat. You put it well when you wrote you want to widen the scope of the blog.... maybe we might see some books reviews of what you are reading, theological and otherwise....
    Getting back to today's blog, 'Black is the colour of my true love's hair' always does it for me.
    Peace to all on the feast of St Francis.

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  21. Handel's Messiah, all two or three hours of it, is a slice of heaven. It never fails to lift the soul.The following is a great performance available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH3T6YwwU9s

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    1. I love "Messiah" too.! Many years ago on one of my first trips to Dublin I insisted on searching for Fishamble St as I knew that was the address of the venue where it was first performed! There was a hotel where the original concert hall building had been in 18th century. I think they had a blue plaque up to remind people of that honour.

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  22. I like St Patrick's Breastplate also a modern hymn/song called Balsam Trees. It's on YouTube

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  23. Pat, I encourage your followers to search for EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON on YouTube. A beautiful reflection which will inspire at the end of the day and particularly on the Feast of a great humanitarian and follower of Christ - St. Francis.....May the goodness keep flowing througn our lives like fountains....

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    1. Thank you for that lovely reference!

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  24. Pat i recommend a Norwegian singer called Sissel who sings modern and classical also
    a long piece By Arvo Part , Spiegel en Spiegel ,try Nicola Benedetti `s arrangement , peacefull and relaxing

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  25. Sorry to hear of the death of Liam Cosgrave, RIP. A real statesman and leader.
    Did you ever come across him, Pat?

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  26. For Magna
    Honey, I don't blame you.
    Finn mcGinn

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  27. Let's hope this is only just a passing phase and we'll soon be back to more important matters such as... scandal! How do we know the recent new recruits at Maynooth aren't already sharing each other's farters?

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    1. Oh shush! - Pat, thank you for your kindness in giving us a lovely day to share our musical preferences.

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  28. I was wondering if anyone else has listened to any new albums or you tube performances today as a result of all the super suggestions people have been making? I hope they have!

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