Gráinne Hambly – “Amhran na Leabhar (The Song of the Books)”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a harp piece, played by an Irish harpist whose music I’ve never shared on my blog until now, namely Gráinne Hambly from county Mayo. I first heard of her and got to listen to her music on BBC Radio Ulster a few years ago. This piece played by her that I want to share with you is a sad tune composed by Irish poet and musician from 19th century – Tomás Rua ó Súilleabháin, who was working for some time as a headmaster in Derrynane, co. Kerry. Once a permanent headmaster for the school was appointed, he was forced to move to Portmagee. He owned a huge library of books, which he decided to transport by boat that was going from Derrynane to Valentia Harbor and himself travelled by road. Sadly though, the boat carrying all his priceless books struck a rock, and his whole collection was lost! And that’s how this song came to life, he wrote it as a way of seeking solace after such a huge loss. I think every bibliophile’s heart must break just thinking about this tragedy, but even more so when listening to this tune and knowing about its origin. I can definitely understand how awful it is to lose a book irretrievably, and it must be so much worse losing like a huge library, especially back then when books were a lot more of a rare thing! This tune is also known as Valentia Lament and Cuan Bhéal Inse. 

   Gráinne Hambly – “Amhran na Leabhar (The Song of the Books)”. 

 

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