Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Statute of the Blessed Virgin in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Church, UCD Belfield

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Inventing Yesterday

Many of you will know the story behind "Yesterday", one of the Beatles' most famous songs, and one of the most covered songs in music history. The melody came to Paul McCartney in a dream, but for weeks he was worried that he must have subconsciously stolen it from someone else. After having asked around in the music industry, he accepted he had actually written it himself.

It's not one of my absolute favourite songs, but I do have happy memories of singing it in choir practice, in school, when I was about sixteen. I especially liked: "Now I need a chance to hide away."

Well, the story increasingly comes to my mind when I think of my own youth. The vision of Ireland-- not Ireland as it was, but Ireland as it should be-- which I internalized was, I assume, taken from my environment. It was "out there". Indeed, I had a vision of human life in general which I assumed was received from "out there."

When I look for evidence that this ideal was indeed "out there", I find some evidence-- but not much. I find evidence for this and that element, but not really for the vision as a whole.

And I wonder-- did I come up with this vision myself, and just imagine I'd picked it up somewhere else?

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