Music: Chauncey Olcott
Ernest R. Ball
Arr: Elizabeth Di Pietri
The principal composer of this music was Chauncy Olcott, an Irish tenor who had been giving stage performances for several years. He recruited a rather prominent poet and librettist, Rida
Johnson Young, as lyricist. The third member of the group was an unknown music arranger named Ernest R. Ball, a recent graduate of the Cleveland (Ohio)
Conservatory of Music, who, two years later wrote the popular song,
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. Both he and Olcott in later years were inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame.
As one of the earlier American-Irish music compositions, there was conjecture about the name "Machree". Later studies confirmed that the word was a derivative of a Celtic term,
"mo chroi," meaning "of the blood". Hence a title translation might be "Mother of My Heart".
With the onset of WWI in 1914, Mother Machree became a sentimental favorite of the Irish troops serving in battle during this war. Since then, the music has taken its place as part of the folk tradition of Ireland.
In selecting this song for an arrangement, Elizabeth thought of it as music appropriate for May,
to celebrate Mothers' Day!
It is one of those tunes that remain timeless in its appeal, thanks in large part to
the sentiments and beauty of the
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