Clannad – “The Last Rose of Summer”.

Hi hi people! 🙂

Since summer has just passed, I thought this would be a very appropriate song to share at this particular time of year. There are several versions that I like, but, at least for today, I chose Clannad. Perhaps some time later on I’ll also share others that I like.

The Last Rose of Summer is a poem written by the Irish poet Thomas Moore while he stayed in Jenkinstown Castle in Kilkenny, where he was said to be inspired by a flower of rosa old blush. It has later been set to a traditional Irish tune called a Young Man’s Dream in English and has been interpreted gazillions of times as it seems, classically and folkily.

This poem starkly reminds me of my little Misha and how he often is concerned about leaves being lonely, like when they fall from trees and one leaf is blown away from the other leaves or is blown on to the heap with leaves from other trees that it doesn’t know and doesn’t feel well with, or when all leaves have fallen except one who is still on the tree and is alone and cold. I think he has even written about that on here at least once back when he did regularly. This song has a very similar feel to that imo. I’m not sure if Misha has had similar thoughts about flowers during transitions between seasons, but he definitely has an affinity with them too and likes to nibble on them and smell themm.

Enya – “Dark Sky Island”.

And after sharing a song by Maire Brennan for yesterday, for today I chose a song from her younger sister’s most recent album, the opening title track from it. Dark Sky Island takes its title and inspiration from Sark, one of the Channel Islands, which was designated the first dark sky island in the world and where its entire small population has an interesting way of living, adjusted to the sky, for example cars are not allowed there. Enya’s lyricist, Roma Ryan, clearly has a keen interest in all things relating to astronomy, so it’s no wonder that it has become a huge source of inspiration for her, and for Enya as well.

Song of the day (20th September) – The Chieftains ft. Maire Brennan – “Lullaby for the Dead”.

Hey people! 🙂

I thought I’d share this beautiful, very sad, Irish lullaby with you. I like a lot of lullabies and I love how Irish Celtic folk music is so full of lullabies. This one is soulfully sung by, probably well-known by now to the readers of this blog, Maire/Moya Brennan from Clannad, Enya’s sister, who is accompanied by the very popular Celtic music band from Dublin – The Chieftains – who were formed in the 60’s during the Celtic music revival in Ireland and often collaborate with other well-known Irish folk musicians.

Maire Brennan – “Big Rock”.

Hiya people! 🙂

For today I chose to share with you a Christian song from Maire Brennan. A lot of her lyrics feature more or less strong Christian themes, because she herself is, if I remember correctly, a devout Evangelical Christian. This song’s chorus is in Irish Gaelic, and as you can find out on

this great website,

they translate to:

 

Christ, cover me

Christ, guard me

Christ, keep me

Christ the King

|Christ, deliver me

Christ, guide me

Christ, teach me

Christ the King

Morgan Elwy – “Bach o Hwne” (A Bit of That).

Hi hi hi people! 🙂

Today I have a song in Welsh for you, this year’s winner of Cân i Gymru (Song for Wales) which took place in early March. Since Cân i Gymru is very exciting, and also, as you may or may not recall, Morgan is the brother of Jacob Elwy, who’s one of my

faza peeps,

despite I wasn’t able to watch Cân i Gymru, I was following it at the time of it happening and keeping all my fingers, toes, and brain hemispheres crossed for him, ’cause I’m loyal to my faza peeps and that includes their families too. So he basically couldn’t have not won, physically impossible. But even putting this personal bias of mine aside as much as it’s possible, this tune was very much fit for winning. As I think I have written before, there’s not much reggae on the Welsh-language music scene, or at least I don’t know of many Welsh singers who have done it, only a few, but perhaps it’s just me being ignorant. So with this song and then later with his album he is filling what seems to me an important and quite a big gap in Welsh music, doing something maybe not entirely new (as it’s not like previously Welsh-language reggae was never a thing at all, there’s just not much of it) but still very fresh and exciting, and doing it well (as far as I can tell not being a huge reggae fanatic or anything) and it’s no wonder that people must have fallen in love with it. This song was also included on his album Teimlo’r Awen (Feeling the Muse) which was released in May.

Personally I don’t love this song, it doesn’t necessarily speak to me very strongly, but I still do like it and its very upbeat vibe which can instantly make you smile.

I definitely don’t understand the lyrics well enough to do a translation, or even tell you in detail of what it’s about, but from what I do gather, and from what I understood from Cân i Gymru’s website, this song is about the value of friends and having a lot of fun with them.

Maire Brennan – “Where We Once Met”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I thought I’ll share with you something else from this Irish singer, I think this is a really nice piece. I like all the harp in it, and, as a gem stone lover and collector, all the gem stone references. 🙂 The word samhradh, which appears in this song regularly, means summer in Irish.

Song of the day (17th August) – Plu – “Geiriau Allweddol” (Keywords).

Hiya people! 🙂

I thought I’d share with you this very dynamic song from Plu. It comes from their self-titled debut album and it’s their original, with Elan’s and Marged’s lyrics, and Gwilym’s music.

Clannad – “Theme From Harry’s Game”.

I’ve shared quite a lot of Clannad’s music lately, but I guess this is one of their more recognisable pieces, probably the only ones that are better known are “Robin, The Hooded Man” and “In The Lifetime” with Bono.

I’ve never watched the Yorkshire Television series to which this theme was written and recorded, nor read the book on which the series was based, and have very little idea as for what is about, but I really like this song, it being one of the very first pieces of Celtic music that I’ve listened to.

Here are the English lyrics, which I’ve got from

this great site:

 

I will go east and go west

From whence came the moon and the sun

The moon and the sun will go

And the young man with his reputation behind him

 

I will go wherever he came from

The young man with his reputation behind him

Song of the day (4th August) – Child of Mind – “Hillingdon Hill”.

Hey people! 🙂

I decided to share with you another song from Declan Galbraith, a.k.a. Child Of Mind. By the way, I see a lot of people coming to me from Google with search phrases like “Declan Galbraith 2021” or even “Declan Galbraith death (people, how can you even Google such a thing?! 😱 ) and that makes me wonder more and more often as I see this what’s actually going on with him now and will he be doing anything more with this Child Of Mind project. Because no, even though he’s one of my

faza peeps,

I have no idea what he’s doing now, haha. I heard that there were some problems with his record label, making it impossible for him to release new music, but don’t know if it’s still an ongoing situation. He’s been in the music field for most of his life though, including childhood, of course, so perhaps he just needs a break or maybe decided to leave it altogether, which would be very sad, but understandable, because why not try something else.

Anyways, back to the actual topic of this post, I think this is one of my favourites song from his Child of Mind era, not counting Strange World which is definitely my most favourite one of all. Hillingdon Hill, as you may or may not know, is a place in the UK, I believe in London or nearby.

 

Enya – “Storms In Africa”.

Hey people! 🙂

The song I’d like to show you today, actually has two parts, which is why this song is also known as Storms in Africa pt. 1. This first part is in Irish Gaelic, and the second one is in English. The inspiration for it has come from Nicky Ryan – Enya’s manager and producer – who came up with the title. He got inspired with the arpeggiator in the Juno 60 synth which Enya uses for a lot of her music and which is one of her favourites. They were playing around with it and he told Enya to compose something that would use this arpeggiator sound. And the lyrics of course come from Roma Ryan. Here’s the translation:

 

How far is it from…

How far is it from…

Walk through the storms.

Go through the storms.

How far is it from

the start of the storm?

How far is it from

the beginning to the end?

Take heart!

Walk through the storms.

Take heart

going through the storms!

A great journey.

Come through the storms.

A long Journey.

Look through the storms.

Enya – “If I Could Be Where You Are”.

Hey people! 🙂

Apparently, this is one of Enya’s favourite songs from her album Amarantine. I think this is also one of her saddest songs ever. Which may be part of why it’s so beautiful and why it is also one of my favourites. I think it captures very well the feeling when you love and care about someone but don’t even know where they are, which must be an awful feeling to experience.

Song of the day (27th July) – Y Trwbz – “Tic Toc”.

Hey people! 🙂

We haven’t listened to anything from Y Trwbz in a while, so let’s do it today. This song was released in 2015, when Mared Williams was with the band as the vocalist. Sadly, I don’t really have much of a clear idea what the song is about, so can’t share that with you, but still I think it’s great musically.

Enya – “Boadicea”.

Hi people! 🙂

This song of Enya’s is one of my most favourites and one of her first songs that I grew to like. I always found it very soothing with all the humming, even though in fact its inspiration is anything but soothing. Boadicea, as you may or may not know, also spelled as Boudicca, was a Celtic queen of the Iceni tribe located in what’s currently known as East Anglia, who led a revolt against Ancient Romans. Despite the meaning of her name (“victorious) she was eventually defeated, but didn’t want to accept being humiliated by her enemies, so she decided to poison herself instead. This track was sampled an infinite amount of times by different artists, including once without her prior permission, so it sounds familiar to many people, even those who aren’t really into Enya as such.

Mared – “Over Again”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I decided that we’d listen to a really stunning piece from Mared Williams, also known just as Mared. This is definitely one of my most favourite of her songs. It deals with the topic of moving away from where you grew up and used to live, but coming back there and trying to keep in touch with friends. Mared is originally from Llannefydd in north Wales, although as far as I know she now lives at least some of the time in London. She is also the vocalist in the Welsh rock group Y Trwbz, as has been one of my faza people – Jacob Elwy. – She’s also in a relationship with Morgan Elwy, Jacob’s brother, with whom she sometimes collaborates also outside of Y Trwbz. This song was produced by the Drwm recording studio, and people like Osian Huw Williams from the well-known on the Welsh-language scene band Candelas, or Branwen Haf Williams from Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog were involved in the recording.

Plu – “Ar Garlam” (Galloping).

Hey people! 🙂

Today let’s listen to a song by Plu, from their album with children’s songs called Holl Anifeiliad y Goedwig (All Animals in the Forest). This is one of my favourite songs on this album musically, although my understanding of the lyrics is rather patchy so I can’t share any translation or anything like that with you.

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Somliga Går med Trasiga Skor” (Some People Walk in Tattered Shoes”.

Hiya people! 🙂

So as you may know, I’ve recently managed to translate a couple of songs by one of my faza people, Cornelis Vreeswijk, from Swedish, and I’m quite satisfied with the results, and I thought I should try translating this one, as it has fairly easy lyrics and also is one of his more popular and recognisable songs in Sweden, I guess only the one about Cecilia Lind whichh I also shared years ago is more popular. It comes from one of his earlier albums – “Tio Vackra Visor och Personliga Persson” (Ten Beautiful Songs and Personal Persson) from 1968. Even though, being a Christian myself, I don’t agree with a fair bit of stuff he sings about in this song, at the same time I think I do understand why someone would have this kind of perspective on things and even though I don’t agree with some things here, I feel similar about not getting attached to life too much, which is why I like it. Interestingly, the shoes problem seems to be very persistent and intergenerational, because Jack Vreeswijk (Cornelis’ son) also has an original song called “Mina Gamla Skor” (My Old Shoes). 😀

 

Some people walk in tattered shoes

Say why is it so?

God father who lives in heaven

Maybe wants to have it this way

God father who lives in heaven

Closes his eyes and sleeps sweetly

Who cares about a pair of tattered shoes

When one is tired and old?

Who cares about how the days go?

They wander as they want

Citizen, in one hundred years

You will no longer exist.

Then someone else will take your chair

You won’t know about it

You’ll feel neither rain nor sun

Down in your dark grave.

Who cares about how the nights pass_

I couldn’t care less

As long as I can keep my face

Hidden in my darling’s hair.

I am a shady character

Not enough for much

Death stands lurking behind the corner

He takes me when he wants.

Some people walk in tattered shoes

Until they stop walking

The devil who lives in hell

Gets a good laugh then

Lucy Lagoon – “Juicy”.

Hey guys! 🙂

About a month ago, I shared with you

a song from Morgan Elwy’s solo album,

and mentioned in that post about him also having been part of a Manchester-based band called Lucy Lagoon and that I’d like to share something from them with you in future. And that day has come now.

Lucy Lagoon is a four-piece band made up of four guys studying in Manchester, three of them at the BIMM (British and Irish Modern Music) Institute, and Morgan studying physics at Manchester uni. I was interested in this band since, as you probably know by now if you’re a regular here, my current

faza

peep is Jacob Elwy, Morgan’s brother, and when I have a faza on someone I’m also definitely interested in any music or other creative endeavours that their family members might be making.

And I ended up liking Lucy Lagoon pretty much instantly when I heard their music. They’re an indie band but their music is influenced by a lot of different genres, from reggae to rock to jazz to blues to funk. I just like how the result of this combination sounds.

The members have all quite diverse backgrounds, being from different parts of the UK or outside of it. There’s Morgan Elwy (bass, percussion, vocals) who as you probably know is from north Wales, Joss Barry (guitars and keys) is from Essex, Zak Walker (vocals and guitars) is from Nottinghamshire and Yuri Lindegger (drums and percussion) is from Switzerland, where the band has also toured.

Now that Morgan has graduated from uni and no longer lives in Manchester, he has left the band and I don’t know if someone has replaced him or not, I wonder actually whether this is just something they’re doing only as part of their student life or whether they want to continue with this afterwards as well, it doesn’t seem like they have a huge outreach beyond the local area, and they’ve only released one EP in 2018. Here’s one song from this EP:

Suvi Teräsniska ft. Arttu Wiskari – “Sininen Uni” (Blue Dream) & Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Den Blåa Drömmen” (The Blue Dream”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Let’s listen to yet another, beautiful and cute lullaby today. It was written by a Finn of many talents – Tapio Rautavaara (1915-1979) – who was a successful athlete (javelin thrower and archer) and then (also successful) singer and actor. Some of his songs, from what I know, were quite big hits at the time of his career. While I don’t really feel them musically all that much as they just don’t stand out to me I guess and are totally not my thing, I like the lyrics of some of them, which are often humourous, sometimes a bit ironical and often have a fair bit of wisdom in them, in which they remind me of Cornelis Vreeswijk. Their political views were also very similar from what I know. It is not surprising then, with that similarity, that Cornelis Vreeswijk actually did an album consisting of Rautavaara’s songs that he – Vreeswijk – translated to Swedish. The album is called “En Spjutkastares Visor” (Songs of a Javelin Thrower) and was released in 1980. Among these songs is “Sininen Uni” in Finnish, or “Den Blåa Drömmen” in the Swedish translation, or Blue Dream in English – a lovely lullaby about the Sandman, or Nukkumatti in Finnish, or John Blund in Swedish (blund means close your eyes and is the imperative form of the verb blunda).

Sandman is one of my most favourite folklore characters, next to Jack Frost, selkies, changelings and some others, because I love sleep and dreams and I just really like the concept of the Sandman, so I instantly fell in love with this lullaby when I heard it for the first time and understood well enough (in Vreeswijk’s version).

Thanks to Spotify, a couple months ago I also came across a cover version in Finnish sung by Suvi Teräsniska and Arttu Wiskari, which speaks to me more than the original. And I thought that, because Finnish is just as beautiful a language in my opinion as Swedish, and because it’s interesting to hear how the song sounds in its original language, I would share this Finnish version too, and also I just plain like it, unlike the original.

I don’t speak Finnish (yet), so I don’t understand any of the Finnish lyrics, but I tried my best at translating the Swedish translation into English for you. I got Google to translate the Finnish one for me out of curiosity and it doesn’t seem like there are any huge differences between the two language versions, perhaps except for that, according to Google, the Finnish Nukkumatti “devours ice cream” whereas John Blund is better and gives you a sleepy cookie.

 

Every evening when the lamp goes out

And the night is about to come

The Sandman knocks on the door

So quietly and so carefully.

He tiptoes in through the door

In his sleepy shoes

And sits down nicely by the bed

In the room where you live.

He has such a sleepy cap.

It is full of sleepy sand.

He gives you a sleepy cookie

With his sleepy little hand.

His car is blue, can you see it_

It’s going to drive away soon.

Vroom, vroom, says the car

In me you can ride.

Now he puts up the umbrella

And puts on his cap.

What does he carry under his arm_

Well, a dream book which is blue.

And the car drives to the dream land

With a sleepy speed

Vroom, vroom, says the car.

Now I guess we’ll fall asleep very soon.

And there you see the golden trees

That grow in the forest of dreams.

And the dream blue bird.

Well, I guess you know him.

Crawl now down under the bird’s wings

And sleep well and fine.

Hear the bird sing a song:

La la la la la la la.

   Suvi Teräsniska ft. Arttu Wiskari:

Cornelis Vreeswijk:

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Vaggvisa” (Lullaby) & Sarah Riedel ft. Nikolai Dunger – “Vaggvisa”.

Hey people! 🙂

So today I thought we’d listen to a lullaby. I love love listening to lullabies, and not just for sleep. They are very comforting and often have either a fair bit of folklore in them or hide something interesting in between the lines about the times when they were sung/written, kind of like this one although in this one I guess it’s not even hidden very deeply at all but rather straightforward.

This lullaby was written by Cornelis Vreeswijk (one of my faza people, if you don’t know yet) for his son, Jack, and recorded on his debut album in 1964, so exactly the year when Jack was born. It reminds me of very old Polish lullabies, which often go something like this in a nutshell: sleep, my little baby, while you have the time for such luxuries, and while you sleep, grow very big and strong and grow very quickly, so you can start working right away, preferably tomorrow, and help your poor old mother or father because that’s how life works and once you’re big and strong you’ll only get to sleep after you die. I suppose it may not be just a Polish phenomenon but simply something I happened to notice with Polish lullabies specifically.

This lullaby is kind of similar to that pattern, and, given that Cornelis had a lot of knowledge of European folklore and various motives in it and used them a lot, I wonder if he knew about that lullabies actually used to be very much like that in the past and whether this similarity was intended. Here, little Jack, who can’t have more than half a year, is already being made aware of how life generally sucks and is all about making money, so he should take his time to sleep now when he has it. I’m not sure how good a strategy that seriously is to convincing your child to sleep, I’d be afraid I’m going to raise a neurotic and a ruminator who won’t sleep at night because of thinking about all the shitty stuff that is awaiting him in the future, but perhaps that’s just me as I’m a neurotic ruminator myself.

Whether this similarity to old lullabies was or was not intended, surely his main inspiration behind it, just like a lot of his other music, were his strongly socialist views, which shows clearly and I guess especially when you know about his leanings in this direction, but also, since it’s a lullaby, here I feel it isn’t as much in-your-face with the socialism as some of his other songs are. I – being anything but socialist – really love it, which I can’t say about all of his works because I simply do not agree with a lot of stuff in them. Whether you are a socialist or not, I guess most of us agree that adulting is shitty and the idea of being a carefree baby who can sleep the time away, be taken care of, have everything he wants and be free (because for Cornelis, from what we can assume from his other lullaby, one is only free when one is asleep) is more appealing, at least to us escapists for sure.

I also really love this song musically. Vreeswijk, while highly regarded in Sweden for his lyricism, language skills, expression and guitar style, is not considered the greatest composer and I totally agree, usually those of his songs who were composed by other people sound better. Yet there are some absolutely mind-blowing exceptions (I’m thinking “Grimasch om Morgonen” for example, which I’ve shared on my blog before) and “Vaggvisa” is one of them, at least to me. It’s just a simple tune and there’s just Cornelis and the guitar, but there’s something very grand about it.

For comparison, I also want to share with you a cover version from the album Cornelis vs Riedel, where there are Cornelis’ poems in Georg Riedel’s jazz arrangements, sung by his daughter Sarah Riedel and Nikolai Dunger, and a few of his already published songs but with new melodies composed by Riedel. Even though I’m not a huge fan of jazz, I really love this album because there’s just so much real feeling in it, so much care put into it and it’s very friendly for a jazz layman like myself. Their version does not have the same lyrics as the one Cornelis originally wrote for Jack, but they are from the film Rännstensungar (Guttersnipes), where Cornelis played Johan Fahlen and sang this lullaby in this shortened and more neutral, less personalised version to Ninni – the main character. – One day I may also share this song sung by Jack himself.

Below is my attempt at translating the lyrics (the original ones), very literally of course, just to give you an idea what this is about. I’ve always found that metaphor here about working hard as the cat very amusing, ’cause since which time do cats work hard. 😀 I don’t think this is a legit Swedish idiom, never heard of it, and I doubt it especially that it’s “the cat”, so it looks like he means some specific cat. I wonder why is that, perhaps just for the sake of rhyming? As for the factory thing in the lyrics, among quite a few things that Cornelis did before becoming a singer and poet, he did work in a factory for a while.

 

  Sleep now, my little prince

When I turn the light off

Father is going to his machine

Mother shall guard the house

Sleep now, prince, you who can

Father he goes to the factory

Working hard like the cat

All night long.

The moon shines yellow and full

Up on the sky

Life is a money game

Nobody gets away

Complaining doesn’t help, comrade

Banners and placards

You can’t eat

The prince should know it.

Relax now, little prince

You have plenty of time

Use it when there is a chance

Then there will be hurry

Then there will be trouble and battle

For piece work and overtime

Don’t worry for now

Just take it easy.

Sleep now, my little prince

When I turn the light of

Father is going to his machine

Mother shall guard the house

Here at mother’s you are fine

Mother has everything you want to have

For I can promise it

Now the prince shall sleep

   Cornelis Vreeswijk:

Sarah Riedel ft. Nikolai Dunger: