Your Letters

Over the years we have learned that listeners to NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock are neither shy nor retiring, if the sheer volume of mail is anything to go by. Sharing a little about themselves and giving us insight into the role music plays in their lives, they have created a real listening community. The importance of radio to individuals everywhere resonates through these selected excerpts, and this obviously endures even in our downloadable, podcastable, multi-channel age. Thanks to everyone who has ever taken the time to write to us.

We'll excerpt one special e-mail or letter each month and send a CD of an artist heard on our radio program to say thanks for every one we feature. We're always pleased to hear from you at: The Thistle & Shamrock, PO Box 518, Matthews, NC 28106 USA or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

J. Hill, Daytona Beach, FL
“I’ve been listening to your show for several years now, and I enjoy it thoroughly. I have learned a great deal from listening to your show, recognizing and identifying artists and taking that knowledge with me when I seek recorded music for purchase…..Please accept my thanks for producing a great program that’s a wonderful ‘break’ from the noise alleged to be ‘music’ that is carried on many of today’s airwaves.”

M. Irvin, email
“I wanted you to know how much we appreciate the thistle. In the age of fast food, fast cars, and fast pace, it is nice to hear a piece of the past and remember.”
S. Rowland, email
“This is the best program in all of the electronic universe - please, please - play more music and expand the length of the show.”
D. Chingwa, email
“I am native American and I do beadwork…..I love your program. As far as it goes you’re the best, your music is in my beadwork. Play on, the music it lifts me, it makes by beadwork come to life.”
N. Riley, Lake Wylie, SC
“Congratulations to Fiona, and all involved, for your 1,000th show…There are very few, if any, shows in which the host knows the history of their music as completely as Fiona. Her intros into each music set are not only interesting, but often cause to appreciate what I’m hearing more completely. I’m not sure how best to describe it, but the music, and Fiona’s presentation are both very claming. A very important quality in this day. Thank all of you involved. You are greatly appreciated.”
G. Bobula, Huntsville, AL
“Thank you for your program. Although my ancestry is 100% Polish, I find your program with happy, sad, fast, slow, dancing, listening music a weekly nugget. I look forward to it each Sunday afternoon.”
B. Fodor, Charlotte, MI
“The program on November 10, 2002: Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye was full of emotion and sensitivity. Airing on this USA’s Veterans Day eve and with the backdrop of war in the Middle East, the program had a special impact on me. As a Vietnam-era veteran, and a person who is also loyal to our democracy, the mood today for war is most disconcerting. The Thistle & Shamrock gave me and many other listeners, no doubt, a reason to reflect, hope, cry, and dream of a better world. I can’t think of a radio show that I’ve listened to that has had a stronger impact on me. The power of radio!! Thanks you for your show, for your effort to bring the message of music into our lives.”
M. McCarthy, email
“Although we’ve been devoted listeners since the 1980s, I’ve never written you before. Last night we listened to Program 1015 Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye, and my husband and I were very moved by the music and by your low-key introduction of the anti-war songs you played. Thank you for all the years of programs, but most of all, thanks for this one.”
“Thank you. After a discussion last evening with a friend about our seemingly irreversible upcoming war with Iraq and the lack of grassroots protests of opposition to it, or lack of media coverage of opposition, your show was very timely and moving. We all talk of driveway moments with Public Radio - this was an hour moment of stirring thoughts which I had to settle finally by writing before I could get to the work at hand. It also inspired a more thoughtful consideration of Veteran’s Day than I have done in the past. I enjoy your show regularly.”
J. Schwalenberg, email
“I am writing to you on behalf of my daughter. She discovered your show about a month ago while surfing one Sunday evening. Ever since, she has a standing date with her radio. No matter what is going on in the house, at 6pm on Sundays, she is hooked to her radio. My daughter is 13 and loves your Celtic music program. We just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful show. Its great that there are so many diverse cultures being shared thru radio programs like yours.”
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