Jerry Chamberlain

Iron Ranger Jerry Chamberlain will regale audiences at the Gathering of the Clans Banquet with Irish ballads and poetry including Wild Mountain Thyme and Stolen Child – a poem by William Butler Yeats set to music by Loreena McKennitt. Jerry proudly boasts that he is 3/8ths Irish ancestry “on me father’s mother’s side” (grandmother) and “on me father’s father mother’s side” (great grandmother). His father now resides in Clontarf, Minnesota, sister city of Clontarf, Dublin – most famous for the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, in which Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, defeated the Vikings of Dublin and their allies, the Irish of Leinster.

Jerry and his wife Pam have lived in New Ulm for 18 years and are the proprietors of Bookshelves & Coffeecups located in downtown New Ulm. Jerry has been playing a variety of music since he was a teenager and is an active member of the New Ulm Musicians Open Stage Society.

About “The Stolen Child” by William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, a dreamer and visionary who was fascinated by folk-lore, ballad and superstitions about the Irish peasantry. His poetry has Celtic flavor mixed with mysticism and melancholy. His aim in writing poetry was to make the world conscious about the beauties of Celtic literature. As he grew older, he deviated from pleasant lyrics to verses with sterner discipline and deeper thought.

Stolen Child by W.B Yeats was included in the volume of poems named Crossways which was published in the year 1889. It was written in 1886 and published in 1889. William Butler Yeats was 21 when he composed this poem. The poem celebrates the stories of Ireland which his mother loved. It revolves around a group of fairies who lure a child away from his home to a fairy world.

The poem, The Stolen Child, is composed of four stanzas. Nature and the land of fairies present images of freedom throughout the first three stanzas. The first three stanzas of the poem The Stolen Child has Celtic references that makes the reader realize that W.B Yeats wants to return to more innocent and less politicized world of the past. Celtic legend often offers a myth about fairies stealing a child and replacing it with a changeling. Yeats uses this myth in his poem, The Stolen Child. He uses this myth to show his desire to return of innocence to the society. The image of the island is used by the poet to symbolize the separation of the real world and the freedom that it creates for the fairies. “There lies a leafy island” refers to a place far away from the world of pain which is the real world in which we dwell in. The ‘wild’ represent the unrestricted life led by the fairies.

The refrain at the end of each stanza provides a musical tinge to the poem. A refrain is a repeated line or a number of lines in a poem or song, usually at the end of each verse. William Butler Yeats had used vivid imagery in his poem, The Stolen Child to describe the dwelling place of the fairies. The herons, the trout, the ferns, the grey sand paint a romantic color into the poem. The human world is full of joys and sorrows, and tears and laughter. The use of ‘water’ is symbolic of free flowing life.

The plot of the poem is a metaphor for the return to innocence, which is characterized by childhood. The fantasy world created by Yeats is a sharp contrast to the real world. The creation of such a world shows the poet’s dissatisfaction with the real world. Yeats had portrayed his disappointment with the modern society, probably because of the increased violence in the society. The child finally leaves his world which is full of sorrows and tears. He forgets his friends, he forgets his family. He is enchanted by the fairies and leaves with them to a world free of miseries and sorrows. Source

Jerry Chamberlain

Jerry Chamberlain

Folk Ballads and Irish Poetry

Gathering of the Clans Banquet
Veigel’s Kaiserhoff aka Don’s Pub
Wilhelmina Room

Address: 221 North Minnesota
New Ulm, Minnesota 56073
Hours: March 17 – 5:30 to 8 pm

The performance activities are funded by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council with an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund. Additional funding was received from Ground Zero Services and the Gislason & Hunter Law Firm.

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