OK, so I only have 25 percent Irish in me. That's still enough to make me enjoy those sweet, sentimental old Irish ballads on St. Patrick's Day, and, even more so, to make me love hearing them sung by John McCormack.
He was a superb vocal artist who left his mark on opera and, especially, lieder. But on St. Patrick's Day, it's fitting to remember his indelible delivery of good old Irish songs. Here are just two examples. The last, ethereal notes of "Macushla" -- recorded 100 years ago -- tell you everything you need to know about McCormack's artistry: