My six-year old grand-daughter has been staying for a few days. Like almost every other kid in America, she is out of school as part of our communal attempt to contain coronavirus.
We bake and cook all day, and Niya spends a lot of time in the bath.At night, I sing her to sleep with a selection of Irish folk songs. It gives both of us enormous pleasure. I know I am lucky to have found such an appreciative audience.
Yesterday I heard poor, long-suffering Alexa being berated for failing to play a song Niya was requesting.
‘What song do you want?’ I asked.
‘Tacos and Knuckles’
“What? Who sings it?’
‘You do. You know Grandma. Alive, alive oh.’
The song she wanted, and which Alexa finally produced, was Molly Malone.
The verse about the ghost with the barrow is particularly relished by both of us. I have loved it ever since my father used to sing it to me at Belfast bedtimes in the 1960s.
Here, in case you do not know the song, is Sinead O’Connor singing it just a little better than I do. And below that, a bonus picture of Niya in her two-tone sequinned shamrock t-shirt and proudly showing off her first wheaten, made to Auntie Dot’s recipe. I’ll make an Irish woman of her yet. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.