By Mattie Lennon
Recently while listening to Peggy Sweeney singing "Oh The Pale Moon was ris...."
If I were the moon I'd feel a bit peeved. OK, the rising of the moon is well documented. Poets revere it, artists immortalize it and it even seems to have played a significant role in Ireland's fight for freedom. What with shining on dying rebels and casting it's beams over shining pikes. And didn't Lady Gregory have plans to ;".....all change places at the rising of the moon"? Once it rises majestically into the night sky we have numerous requests for it; "guide the traveler his way". ".....shine on the one I love" and many more.
But when did you last hear a romantic ballad about "The Setting of the Moon"?
I'm after scanning a list of jigs, reels and hornpipes and I couldn't find one tune named after the aforementioned phenomena. You can go through every housing estate in Ireland and you won't find a setting moon depicted in a wrought-
Why is there not one word of praise for the moon going down? Surely there is some form of moon-
Why don't we see a beautiful Colleen with an Irish Wolfhound, at a round Tower backed by a beautiful moonset?
Have you ever felt compelled to write about the setting moon? I must say I haven't, because in all fairness I have to say I haven't ever seen a moon set. And come to think of it even my philosophical friend in West Wicklow, who was somewhat of a nocturnal rambler, didn't say he had ever witnessed the lunar setting. ( He did once claim that America was farther away than the moon; on the grounds that you can see the moon......)
So maybe the oppressor got the celestial bodies mixed up. Perhaps it was the MOON that didn't set on the Empire!