Saturday, February 20, 2010


The lyrics of the song tell us that these people emigrated to America for a better life. They passed through Ellis Island in 1892 when it opened. This is about Irish immigration but it really is about all the Europeans that immigrated in the 19th century.

My great-grandparents emigrated from Germany. In 1885, my great grandmother Magaret emmigrated from Koblentz. In 1887, my great grandfather Charles emigrated from Saxony. They left to escape the Kulturkampf (struggle for culture)led by Bismarck against Catholics. My great grandmother was sixteen. She lied about her age and said she was eighteen. My great grandfather was a cabinetmaker. He worked in a piano factory in Cincinnati, then Dayton. They sought out other Germans. My mother only spoke German until she went to school in the second grade. She still speaks it to this day. After Mass every Sunday, my brother and I say to our mother, Ich liebe dich. She knows what we mean.

These songs are about the Irish. Many Europeans had their stories. This is mine. Listen to the words of these songs. These people were proud to be Americans.

What's the problem today?

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