The Land Called Ireland
            by Bill O'Connor, c.2001

Omagh, Northern Ireland, was the scene of a terrorist car bombing in 1998.  The blast killed 29 people and injured many more.  In response to this atrocity, a community choir was formed which consisted of Catholic and Protestant youth.  This choir came to Milwaukee in the summer of 2001 and combined with the Irish Fest choir on a number of songs, including my Irish Blessing.  During one of the performances, a chaperone for the choir leaned over to me and with tears in his eyes said, "You have to keep writing songs."  Well, I was moved by the energy, dedication, and sincerity of the choir and on August 15 I wrote this song in their honor.  That evening I found out that that day was the third anniversary of the bombing. I sometimes wonder if I didn't have a little help in creating this song. 

Albums: One More Song/Theiss & O'Connor;  Through the Years/Bill O'Connor

I am the land called Ireland
I've seen countless tales unfold
By the time that man arrived here
My hills and vales were old.
My rivers flow from my mountains
Cascading to the sea
My forests home to the fox and hare
My lakes glisten quietly.

I am the land called Ireland
And my people know me well.
They have worked my fields and labored
And my fruits have served them well
They have built their homes in my valleys
They have cared for me and for them
They have sung my songs from the hilltops
They have made me what I am.

I am the land called Ireland
And I have heard my people cry
Through the struggles and the fighting
I have seen my people die.
But now the dove is soaring higher
And I have heard the song she sings
I've invited her to abide here
And bring peace upon her wings.

I am the Land called Ireland.