Little Dark Eye

Little Dark Eye August 6, 2012


His mother was sleeping, oh so briefly, as new moms do. I reached for the iPhone and clicked open Pandora.

My daughter told me later she thought I chose the song, but I didn’t. It came up randomly, the first song Sullivan would hear outside the womb.

It happened to be the hymn performed at his grandparents’s wedding.

The same Irish tune Sullivan’s parents had at their wedding.

And the very same song Sullivan’s aunt & uncle had at their wedding.

From here on out, he will hear this story repeated, how when I cradled him close as his mama rested quietly nearby, the hymn that has long been a prayer for generations of our people began playing — as if the angels themselves had leaned over the edge of heaven and were singing solely for Sullivan a prayer for his life.

We, generations of our people, will teach him to recognize such moments, not as randomness, but as God’s poetry.

O’Sullivan or simply Sullivan is an Irish surname, associated with the southwestern part of Ireland, originally found in County Tipperary before the Anglo-Norman Invasion, then in County Cork and County Kerry (yes, the very same County Kerry where generations of Karly Sheehan’s family have lived). 

In the Irish language the word Ó means ‘grandson’ and can be found in many Irish surnames. When placed before the genitive form of Súileabhán, which is Súileabháin, it can be translated as grandson of. The name Sullivan means “little dark eye” in Irish. 

And the song sung over Little Dark Eye?

Be Thou My Vision. 

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  • Cool. Very neat how this “coincidence” worked out this way.

    Congratulations, Karen.

    • KarenZach

      Thanks Y’all!

  • AFRoger

    Congratulations and best wishes to all!

    • KarenZach

      Thanks, Roger. We’ll need those best wishes given our daughter brought an official Sinner into the world.

  • Love that song! Congrats again to all on your little blessing!

    • KarenZach

      Thanks, buddy.

  • thanks for the HISstory lesson today.

    (and congrats on grandparenthood)


    • KarenZach

      Hey a new hood to hang out in…

  • Eddiedease

    Had I only checked your blog before I sent you an email today, I would have known your grandson had arrived. Congratulations to all.

    • KarenZach

      Safe and sound. The stork brought him.

  • Ddjrfd


    • KarenZach

      Ahh… thanks…

  • Misspete

    Thank you Karen. Beautiful story. I read it to Gavin and played him the song.