As mentioned above this melody draws from an 18th century traditional Irish Love song called Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó (The Pretty Maid Milking the Cow). The English version is attributed to Thomas Moore (1779-1852) and was made popular in the early part of the last century when an updated swing version was sung by Irish-American singer and actress Judy Garland in the 1940 film Little Nellie Kelly.
The musical motifs of this song which are used in Calm the Soul capture the intensity of longing of the Lover for his Beloved. In the Catholic mystical tradition, made popular by many saints over the centuries, this is the most accurate metaphor to describe God’s intense love for the human soul and so the soul praying in Calm the Soul for healing, wholeness, forgiveness, mercy and peace is matched by the God who desires to raise us up and restore us in love to the royal dignity that is rightfully ours as beings made in the ‘image and likeness of God’.
St. Francis and St. Clare were enthralled by the fact of the Incarnation, that God became one of us in Jesus Christ and that in Him we are restored to our original splendour as daughters and sons of God. In Calm the Soul the praying soul knows, in spite of the darkness and blackness that life can bring, that he or she is cherished, known and loved by God.
The value of contemplation on the mystery of the Incarnation remains unchanged. And despite the changed conditions of the time, for the majority of people there remain unaltered the characteristic periods of the day - morning, noon and evening - which mark the periods of their activity and constitute an invitation to pause in prayer.