The Pryor Times

Local News

April 1, 2012

Not so far to Tipperary

Langley songwriter Sue Straw will travel to Tipperary, Ireland, in July to compete as one of 10 finalists in an international song competition.

She wrote the song, “Circle the World with Love,” 19 years ago as part of a children’s musical.  

The song competition is a part of the Tipperary Peace Convention.

A popular song during World War I was entitled “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.”  

The convention website states: “The Tipperary Peace Convention was established in 1983 to promote peace at home and abroad.”

Previous recipients of the award include Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton.

Straw has been a songwriter since she was in high school. She was writing poetry before she began to write songs.

A school teacher by profession, Straw did not have time to concentrate on song writing, she said, until three years ago.

Straw heard about the Tipperary song competition connected to the peace conference. She submitted her entry.

Finalists were to be announced March 1.

“March 1 came and I didn’t hear anything, and then the second day came and went and I didn’t hear anything,” she said. “Finally on March 7, I got an e-mail from them informing me that I was one of the 10 finalists.”

Straw has done musical theater, playing Ado Annie at Discoveryland from 1989 to 1991. “When I auditioned for the part, I dressed up as Ado Annie. I wore a dress like she would wear and a Minnie Pearl-style hat. And when I got to the audition, I was the only one in costume! I waited all day long and was the last one called to audition, but I got the part.”  

Straw has received three governor’s awards — two from David Walters, one from Frank Keating — for her musical efforts to teach children.

Straw created a character for children fashioned after McGruff the Crime Dog. Her character is a feline called McMeow the Crime Kitty. McMeow sings songs to teach children not to use drugs, drink alcohol or get involved in crime. McMeow is available on iTunes, Twitter and Facebook.

Before heading to Ireland, Straw will go to Woodward in April to do a show at an elementary school.

She will be accompanied by Terry Jordan, who will join Straw on the Tipperary trip.

Jordan and Straw have been friends since childhood in Nowata. They are distant cousins. Jordan is the pianist at Cherokee Yacht Club.

After Tipperary, Straw will be releasing a CD for children, “Books, Bugs, and Lots of Fun Stuff.” Straw is available for musical performances at local churches and events. www.suestrawmusic.


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