Soundtrack of my Life: “The Unicorn” by the Irish Rovers


My Irish side is hidden by my very Danish name. It’s the side of melancholy, lamb stew, and whisky. It’s also the side of black humour, sarcasm, and avoidance. But the Irish side of me is what probably fuels my love of music, as the very first music I remember, aside form what I heard at church, was the Irish Rovers.

The fondness for the Irish Rovers is more than just a half-shared nationality. They were immigrants to Canada and were the house band at Depression, a Calgary folk club. Canadian pride aside, they are one of the great Celtic folk bands in the world.

“The Unicorn” is responsible for my undying love for the mythical creatures. The ever silly but beautiful creatures were not a myth, the song told us, but just irresponsible. Ignoring Noah’s plaintive pleas to get on the Ark before the rains fell, they drowned with the sinners. Written by Shel Silverstein, the genius he was, it’s a charming song. I played the Irish Rovers’ The Children of the Unicorn album until my cassette copy broke.  Now, as much as ever, I need the idea of a unicorn in my life. Magic matters. And as the drums of fascism march ever louder, I need to survive as best I know how.

I need unicorns.

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