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“Scorn Not His Simplicity.”

Nick loves to sing.  At an Irish sing song, if you are willing, people will ask you to sing your party piece.  Nick has two favorite songs that he loves to sing at the parties.  Both are written by Phil Coulter.  “The town I love so well,” was written about “The Troubles” in Phil’s home town Derry City, Northern Ireland and “Scorn Not His Simplicity,” was written about his oldest son, who was born with Down Syndrome.  Both songs are very popular, many many Irish musicians have recorded both of them.

Nick calls the song about Phil’s son, “The boys song,” and he says that it is about him too. The first time I heard a recording , it was Sinéad O’Connor singing the song. Her version is hauntingly beautiful.  It pierced my heart from the very first line.

See the child with the golden hair, yet eyes that show the emptiness inside
Do we know? Can we understand just how he feels, or have we really tried
See him now, as he stands alone and watches children play a children’s game
Simple child, he looks almost like the others, yet they know he’s not the same

Scorn not his simplicity, but rather try to love him all the more
Scorn not his simplicity, Oh no, Oh no

See him stare, not recognizing the kind face that only yesterday he loved.  

The loving face of a mother who can’t understand what she’s been guilty of
How she cried, tears of happiness the day the doctor told her it’s a boy
Now she cries tears of helplessness, and thinks of all the things he can’t enjoy

Scorn not his simplicity but rather try to love him all the more
Scorn not his simplicity, Oh no, Oh no

Only he knows how to face the future hopefully, surrounded by despair
He won’t ask for your pity or your sympathy, but surely you should care

Scorn not his simplicity, but rather try to love him all the more
Scorn not his simplicity, Oh no, Oh no, Oh no

Both of these songs by Coulter are evocative and stir up my emotions.  I believe that Nick does understand the deep meaning of the lyrics and when he requests that we sing them, it is his way of telling a story that is important to him.

I am grateful for incredible songwriters like Coulter. Through their artistry, they have created music that gives my son the ability to express ideas and concepts that are important to him.  These songs have given my son a voice.

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  1. It’s a tricky song that I used to love but now have mixed feelings about. Coulter regrets not dealing with his sons DS better now. He is clearly describing his own experience after a few months of his sons life.

    However, my daughter has Down Syndrome and I don’t recognise the portrayal here at all. No ’empty eyes’, no ‘not recognising the face’ and no ‘surrounded by despair’. She is the brightest, happiest girl surrounded by friends and joy.

    That’s what makes it problematic. as an individual experience, we cannot argue with it. But it does a disservice insofar as it perpetuates a very stereotypical view of people with DS and sets the expectancy that their birth is a source of great suffering for parents and children. when in reality many parents of children with DS will report that they become a source of great joy in our lives.

    1. I do understand your comments. One of my main goals in hosting my blog and writing my book is to help others recognize and feel the joy that we feel, and it is important to realize that Phil is being vulnerable about his initial feelings about his son. I have heard him speak concerning his love for his son and feelings of loss and grief at his passing. In addition, the care and kindness that he has shown my son demonstrates his feelings. Just as I don’t want people to hide their children with special needs away from society, as many parents did for generations, I also hope that parents and family members can feel that it is perfectly okay to share their emotions openly, even those that some might think are negative. I welcome the open discussion, thank you for commenting.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.