About the Words and Melody


As mentioned above this melody draws from an 18th century traditional Irish Love song called Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó (The Pretty Maid Milking the Cow). The English version is attributed to Thomas Moore (1779-1852) and was made popular in the early part of the last century  when an updated swing version was sung by Irish-American singer and actress Judy Garland in the 1940 film Little Nellie Kelly.

 

The musical motifs of this song which are used in Calm the Soul capture the intensity of longing of the Lover for his Beloved. In the Catholic mystical tradition, made popular by many saints over the centuries, this is the most accurate metaphor to describe God’s intense love for the human soul and so the soul praying in Calm the Soul for healing, wholeness, forgiveness, mercy and peace is matched by the God who desires to raise us up and restore us in love to the royal dignity that is rightfully ours as beings made in the ‘image and likeness of God’.

 

St. Francis and St. Clare were enthralled by the fact of the Incarnation, that God became one of us in Jesus Christ and that in Him we are restored to our original splendour as daughters and sons of God. In Calm the Soul the praying soul knows, in spite of the darkness and blackness that life can bring, that he or she is cherished, known and loved by God.

 




Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis