There’s a song that’s been on my mind lately. I’d discovered it on a cd of Celtic music many years back. When I taught a group of rambunctious (that’s the kindest word I could think of) fourth graders one year, I found that this particular song calmed us all. The students asked for it again and again, and I’d play it over and over while they worked independently. So, why couldn’t I remember the title?
I figured the cd had been lost in one of our many moves, but still I combed through my entire collection in search of the one with That Song. I could hear the melody in my head, but no lyrics. Finally, I discovered it in a box labeled “Misc. Classroom Stuff,” and I did a happy dance.
The song, a haunting Irish tune called “On the Banks of the Lee” tells the tale of two lovers forever parted. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and there are so many versions out there that it was difficult for me to choose just one to share.
As you listen to Jesse Ferguson’s rendition, imagine a group of unruly ten-year-olds, mostly boys, some who just barely spoke English and were not happy being stuck in a classroom on a late summer day, sitting and working while under the spell of this song. I still credit it for our good test scores at the end of that year.