An Irish Immigrant & Her Boys


I wish there was another year, another time (Bee Gees Walking Back To Waterloo)

With great anticipation this month last year, I waited for my CD of The Titanic Requiem, arriving in all its classical glory! Familiar with its entirety, having been at the Listening Party offered on Facebook, at last, in hand! Awakened to the historical implication of this Robin Gibb and  RJ Gibb commemoration, I wanted to learn more about the immigrants traveling on board The RMS Titanic.

Eager to arrive in New York, with the promise of a new life in the New World. Inside the treasured TTR package, the composers note that 49 children perished from steerage. Within that number, defined by class, the five sons of Margaret Rice.4784511_f260 For me, she became the fluid figure in the enchanting Don’t Cry Alone video. This widowed mother in search of her boys. So, with the time and inclination to remember.

One far from a belief in Paradise, crying out for mercy and the hope for Margaret and her boys, In Paradisum, love and life everlasting. Some means to sweep away her pain and sorrow. Again, my utmost gratitude to Robin and RJ for honoring those who lost their lives that tragic day in April 1912.  This brave woman among them, believing in a dream that would change the circumstances that kept her sons in the hold.

Forever in our memory, she is not left to cry alone.


A Review


As storms off The Great Lakes approach, perhaps, to cloud an April sky, I am reminded of a critique we followers were asked to write around a year ago…..

A Gibb composition,Image taking me back, to honor my maternal grandparents. Like so many, immigrants to America, via New York, in the early years of the last century. My relation, luckier than those poor souls on board this grand ship, immortalized inThe Requiem.

My father’s Quaker ancestors proud to have arrived here from England, a few hundred years after the Mayflower. A puritanical, good-hearted bunch. In my mother’s case, her parents with memories of loneliness and fear, not inclined to speak of the dire circumstances that drove them here, not so long ago.

My grandfather from Dalmatia on the Adriatic Sea, the youngest son, sent to bring back  the gold he would find on the streets of New York. Arriving as an adolescent, still a boy, it is said he cried for a day, never to do so again. For he encountered, not riches, but poverty and discrimination. Michael would not see his Serbian family again.

My grandmother, even younger, traveling with her sister from the Region of Poznan, as nursemaid to her nieces. Sailing on board the Batavia, west from Hamburg, fleeing a twentieth century persecution of sorts.  Unsure of the perils which might lie ahead, separated forever from her mother and father. Leaving her beloved Poland.Image

(Anna (Milli) Radeka and her daughter Sophie, My Mom)

Listening to the introductory movements in this classical debut,  I am captivated by the excitement of the preparation. Embarking on a great luxury liner, the sensation of the ocean beneath me, navigating my way through the history. Bidding farewell, leaving my roots behind.

Enchanted, leading me to imagine my grandparents, Michael and Anna, brave and resilient, looking toward a brighter future.

Unlike those unfortunate third class passengers, destined to go down with The Titanic….Knowing their story, once landed; coal mining, the Great Depression, riding the rails and losing children. Within this struggle, my parents met as idealists. Involved in organizing a union for auto workers, heralding a more prosperous existence for those that followed.

Certainly, one cannot have knowledge of American history and ignore the consequences of the European influx. Overtaking the Native Americans and their way of honoring the earth. However, rumored to be somewhat Odawa through my father, musically, I have been given good cause to remember.

My predominantly Euro American side did not come for the spoils, instead, to share in the promise of a young nation. My Mom and Dad Imagefrom a generation with pride in Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their more democratic view of the world. Class, race and politics, complicated in the Americas

A complex dream, paid tribute

Expressed so magnificently, through the centuries, this Robin Gibb and RJ Gibb collaboration. Embraced from west of the Major City of New York!