Irish Travellers by Dr. Frank O'Clark 2001
"This road is well travelled too! Irish Travellers are not Gypsies, yet they are often called so by Gadjo (non-Gypsies). Irish Travellers share many traits with Gypsies, but are not of Asian Indian origin. Irish Travellers are Celts, fair of skin, often blond, often blue eyed. Some claim they even predate the Celtic invasion of Ireland, and this may be so.
Travellers claim that they even predate the Celtic invasion of Ireland, and are the oldest inhabitants of that Island. The Travellers claim by oral tradition to be descended from the pre-Celts, Mab is an old pagan female goddess of the pre-Celts, who were known as the "fairies," "Fir Bolgs," and "Tuatha De Danann." There is pretty good coverage of this history, such as it is still known, (off site), although it does not discuss Travellers, per se, just a history of the Irish.
In other words, the history of the Irish Travellers goes back much further than the Gypsies. Gypsies came to Europe from India in the early Middle Ages. Traveller history predates the English legend of King Arthur by several centuries."
Perhaps an Anthem for Irish Travellers:
Oh yes, we are the Travellers of this land,
those who stride out to an older chant,
obeying our ancient spirit's command,
"mishlee the thoaber, thaari the Cant."
Not for us were the country man's ways,
nor for any other to be deemed our master,
we'd go where we wish, at our own pace,
fast as we wished and surely no faster.
Scant welcome had we on the byroads of Erin,
and of late even America forsakes our hand;
the lies now pursue us beyond toleration
and freedom for nomads is sought to be banned.
The Life can never be fettered and numbered,
nor lines and borders ever enslave our band;
our people will never by chains be encumbered.
Oh yes, we are the Travellers of this land.
Molly St. Georges
A poem for all the Roses who have gone before:
A Rose becomes when wandering seed takes root
and in trembling Winter, from the vine must fall.
Were this all of Rose's fate that nature knew,
then life is cruelty and nothing else at all.
Ah, but in the Spring when sunshine splashed and spun,
while her perfumed petals enchanted your hearts;
she held you all like golden bees in worship.
Think of her then, when Rose perfected her arts.
Molly St. Georges
A poem for the Travelling Life: Bypass
I'm headed down the road today,
just reading billboards and
watching signposts rush the other way.
There's young-love songs
that fill the air,
but I am otherwise, it's sad to say.
It's just that sometimes it seems to be,
that my trailer's pushing me!
God only knows what I hope to find,
passing truckers always leave behind.
There is naught back there but broken dreams
to rain upon my soul
and here sunbeams sing and wind-leaves sway
to airs so faint,
I can't quite hear.
Maybe I could further down the way.
The air of the open road is sweet,
free and clear of yesterday,
though traces linger from long ago,
just wisps of joy
that touch the heart
and call to mind how I loved her so.
by Miss Hamilton