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Brendan Nolan | Watching Myself Watch My Son

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Watching Myself Watch My Son

by Brendan Nolan

In 1939 a Jewish parent bravely, but with a heavy heart, sends her young son on a train journey from Germany to England, entrusting him to the kindness of strangers.
Genre: World: World Traditions
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1. Watching Myself Watch My Son
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Album Notes
"Watching Myself Watch My Son" is a poem by Holly Mandelkern from her book "Beneath White Stars (Holocaust Profiles in Poetry). It has been set to music by Irish singer/songwriter Brendan Nolan.
What follows are some reviews of Holly's book and some information on Brendan:

The human spirit is remarkable. The darkest episodes of history are balanced by some of humanity's most deeply profound expressions of kindness. Holly Mandelkern has captured the sways of humanity with her poetry and placed them in compelling historical context. Beneath White Stars is required reading for the student of the Holocaust as well as for anyone with an interest in the human experience.“ - Scott W. Loehr, President/CEO of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

" 'History and poetry … lean on each other.' This book is a powerful example of two genres, history and poetry, in conversation. As a mentor text, this book will inspire students to explore the process of 'writing around' history. These poems make the history of the Holocaust accessible, edifying, and deeply human for students. I can’t wait to see how educators, from middle school to college, utilize this hybrid text in the classroom to give students the courage and confidence to explore the Holocaust more extensively." — Jeff Byrd, Editorial Director at Heinemann, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"Having spoken to numerous audiences about the horrors of the Holocaust, I was uplifted by "Beneath White Stars" as it reminds us of the human side of those who suffered. Through this poetry we are able to sense the life and indomitable spirit of the persecuted" - Henry Birnbrey, survivor and Holocaust educator, Breman Museum, Atlanta, GA

"There are rare times when reading a book, particularly one on the Holocaust, one is simply blown away by it's content and beauty .... The combination of magnificent graphics, historical background, and personal reflections in her beautiful poetry makes this a very unusual treatment of the 'Shoah' - Rabbi Fred Guttman, Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, North Carolina.


Brendan Nolan has been a working musician and songwriter for nearly 40 years. He has released 8 albums. His song "Far From Their Home", a harrowing tale of a family sailing to Quebec during the Irish Famine, was published in 'Sing Out' magazine.
"Nolan has used his broad knowledge of traditional Irish songs, as well as other kinds of music, to develop into a very fine songwriter, whose work is steeped in the tradition that he's mastered"
-- Mike Regernstreif, Sing Out! Magazine
"Brendan Nolan, an Irish emigrant, can't be chastised for singing only well known songs. Nolan's original songs are a highlight of this album for me. A sweet and powerful voice."
-- Steve Winick, Dirty Linen, Baltimore, Maryland.



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