Saturday, October 28, 2006

Celtic heritage at the Ryman Saturday

Those of us who live in Tennessee know that the politics here can sometimes be a very tough game. As much as many Tennesseans complain about politics and politicians, I think politics is a critical part of our makeup as a people, because so many of us are at least partly of Irish or Scots-Irish extraction. As I have written here in the past, I think there is a gene in people (especially but not exclusively men) who have Celtic heritage that give them a magnetic attraction to political things. Whenever we get frustrated about politics, we should remind ourselves that this is just another part of our heritage and we are better when we learn to swallow the good with the bad.

Music is also an important part of our heritage as a people, and like politics, I think we have a magnetic attraction to it. Here are the Chieftains along with Ricky Skaggs with a little celebration of that heritage at the Ryman.



At Saturday, October 28, 2006 1:24:00 PM, Blogger Mike Faulk said...


The descriptor on Mountain 'publican notes I'm an 8th generation east Tennessean - not because I claim some birthright to some political office or position of prestige, but - because it identifies the genes that in large measure make me what and who I am.

While "Faulk" is German, "Dykes" - my mother's maiden name - is scots/irish through and through.

My children's names are Katherine and Andrew. Without knowing it, my wife and I chose names that subsequent geneaology research disclosed have appeared in each generation of my family since the 1600s.

In landscaping my home, we excavated a portion of my back yard improving it with a 90 foot-long stacked stone wall. Until looking at a coffeetable book of Ireland, the thought never occurred to us that we had replicated the stone walls and fences so prevalent in the motherland.

Of all the musical instruments for my son to choose to learn, wouldn't you know the bagpipe was his decision.

It all comes from that scot/irish blood. You, and those who understand something about that heritage, now know me - and what I'm made of; what values were within me before I every came into this world - far better than I'll ever be able to describe in words.

At Saturday, October 28, 2006 2:37:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

You and I have far more in common in terms of our heritage than I ever realized. My Father's side is also German and my mother's side is Irish. Growing up I was closer to my mother's people and hence I identified with that side of my heritage far more. The Irish and Celt in me tends to show in a multidude of ways. I think the German shows primarily in an insatiable love of German food.

When you look at the South as a whole and Tennessee in particular, it is amazing how much the culture is Celtic to the core, from the foods we eat (we eat more cole slaw and potatos as a people, I think, than the rest of the world combined, and I think that is just one example), to the music we favor (what we call mountain music and country music orgiginated in Ireland and Scotland), to our stubborn temperment that often gets the better of sure does me sometimes.

I think we do things without realizing that have been passed down from generation to generation-a lot of it is, I think, in the blood.


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