Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dancing girls

I went down to Yorkshire for a silver wedding. My cousins were renewing their marriage vows, and afterwards, a party in a church hall with cold beef and a hot band. They played Irish folk while the diaspora danced. I love to dance. When I was a girl, I would play my one Irish folk record, vinyl and black, in my gran's bedroom. The room at the front, the only room large enough to hold a small and dancing girl. My mother would climb the stairs and say: "Don't play it so loud - the neighbours will hear." Hear rebel laments, she meant, which would never do. Hear too of unicorns that missed the ark, and of a beautiful girl with diamond eyes and a black velvet band holding back her hair. The fiddler struck up the tale of the boy bound for Van Diemen's Land because of her. I said to my own child: "Shall we dance?". She nodded. I scooped her up, all tartan and lilac tulle, and we walzed together. She watched the swirl around, my elderly aunt holding her sister in her own arms close by. She wanted down, and held up her hands for me to hold and move her still, turning her under, around and away, reeling her back. My dancing girl looked up at me - a beat - and smiled.

20 comments:

Heather Bestel said...

My daughter and I will be dancing at a wedding this coming weekend. We both love to dance and twirl together. Soon she will be almost as tall as me and she will be doing the twirling and I will be being twirled. Where did the time go?

The Grocer said...

There's something about Irish music that makes even those of us with two left feet (and I am certainly in that category) tap them in the hope of hitting the rythm.

Flutterby said...

Quote from Snoopy: "To live is to dance" and your post proves it.

Just like me ... said...

This is just a divine post - and as luck would have it I just posted a celtic - irish play list at my place - your suugestions for additional tunes welcome - I bow to the msster :) le

Arcadian Advocate said...

Great stuff, a lovely new memory which hopefully your daughter will pass down the generations.
Enjoy.
http;//arcadianadvocate.wordpress.com

Pam said...

This post reminds me of another, long-ago post about you and your daughter dancing together. Such sweet memories you're creating.

bohemian mummy said...

You sound like you had a wonderful time. I also love to put music on and dance with my daughters. My eldest loves to dance but the baby is still a bit young to appreciate it, still there's time to teach her.

BM x

Miriam said...

Lovely post, brings back happy memories of dancing with my own two! Also of twirling with boys in the Gaeltacht!! What fun! I've recently learned how to play "the Washerwoman", an Irish tune, on the French Horn! Keep on dancing, mimi

Pam said...

Watching a child dance is magic in itself. My son wiggles his bum and twirls around and jumps and shrieks. He has no rhythm at all but he has the enthusiasm of professional.

that girl ? said...

They say you should always dance like no one is watching... words to live by I say! I can get my Small Child to dance sometimes by being 3 she most likes to choreograph the moves!

Rebecca said...

Unrelated to today's subject...
I just bought your book and I am astounded at its profound beauty.
You have such a gift for communicating feelings and pictures. It is the most enjoyable read I've had in quite some time.
Thanks for sharing your talent with me.

Mom/Mum said...

In my book, dancing makes the heart soar, the face smile and the stress fly away. I love to whirl my boys around. Great post.
have just finished your book. it was brilliant. I loved it and will be recommending it to all and sundry. Thanks Wife In The North.

cuthbertstgirl said...

You have such a gift for describing those moments of joy that are the reward for the hard slog of parenthood. Thank you! I love to dance with my small girls as well and I think they groove much better than their mummy.

Tatty said...

Enjoy these days - they grow up all too quickly..

My baby is now 8 going on 18, she's beautiful and will always be my baby. There's something special about little daughters!

Tx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

So lovely, dancing with your daughter.

And how weird that you have to go DOWN to Yorkshire...just how far north can one get??!!!

Pigx

Housewifeinthehighlands said...

We dance to Strictly Come Dancing, gracelessly copying their moves and swinging my daughter around. My toddler boy dances round and round in circles till he falls. My daughter is four and has a growing repertoire of Irish songs. Favourites are Molly Malone and I'll tell me Ma. Singing and dancing always gives us so much fun together.

Wife in Hong Kong said...

Like you I had a girl after three boys. I haven't suffered your loss and I wept for your pain but I share your joy.

what happened ?how did i get HERE? said...

Reminds me of dancing in my granny's fron room in Dublin nearly 40 years age. We'd all pitch up, eat her out of house and home, the dads would go to the pub and the mums and kids would dance away! Lovely memories. I can still smell the turf fire and homemade bread....Feel sad that my kids won't have the same experience being an ex-pat in London but I try very hard to make opportunities for us to have fun together, and maybe make some happy memories for them....

Kitschen Pink said...

I just did this all in reverse - I read your blog a while ago and added the book to my Christmas list (I like to get in early), then, today, whilst browsing 'how to visit Farne Islands' I discovered that you are the darling of Tourist Information and that the Farne Islands are in the North East! You see, she says to hubby, blogging is entirely an educational experience..... t.x (I learned to waltz this way - which is why I never mastered corners or turns, my grandpa always picked me up for the tricky bits, to save his toes!)

cheshire wife said...

Sorry, I had to have a lie down after your previous post. So it's Strictly Come Dancing here I(you) come.