Thursday, June 23, 2011

Outlander Meets....(wouldn't you like to know)

Outlander: with Bonus ContentOutlander by Diana Gabaldon is, quite honestly, one of the hardest books I've ever tried to get my hands on. I first heard about the book on a blog that I love and was intrigued enough to go hunt it down (and hunt and hunt and hunt).

I can't decide whether I liked the book or not. Truly, there were points that absolutely enthralled me--like when Claire, the main character, finds herself swept 200 years into the past with a group of scruffy, kilt wearing Highlanders... I was definitely down with that--and if I'm completely honest with you I couldn't put the book down.

Yet, about half way through the story I started wondering if someone had swapped my copy of Outlander out for a copy of this:

Now, I'm not averse to a story line that includes a good roll in the hay. I can even handle three of four such encounters, but when the plot line screeches to a halt and I spend chapters reading about those haystacks I start to get a little annoyed.

Nevertheless! I did catch myself, one bright sunny day, humming the only line I knew of "Danny Boy." In fact it got so implanted in my head that I had to go look up the version I liked and listen to it... over and over again, as loud as possible (which is really not that loud because I live with four children and a mother-in-law).

Then--because I only knew the first line--I had to go find the actual lyrics to the haunting song that pounded through my brain.
O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.
The summer's gone and all the roses falling;
It's you, it's you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow.
Yes, I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow;
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so!

But when ye come, and all the flow'rs are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be.
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me.

And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me;
And oh my grave will warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me;
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!

I really have to admit that the sung made me throw myself all the harder into the book. After reading the lyrics I could imagine Jamie Fraser coming home from an imagined battle the pipes had called him off to. I could imagine Claire waiting by the door of their home. I could imagine that one day, when Claire and he were getting older, he would heed the call of those pipes and come home to her grave just as in the song.

It was very lovely to imagine and, in my most humble opinion, made the book all that more wonderful to read... even if I had to sift through some more of that hay rolling.

PS. Here's the version I like:

In this post:

Music: Danny Boy (specifically the version sung by Méav of Celtic Woman)

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