Celia Briar – “Her Mantle so Green”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have for you a traditional Irish ballad from County Armagh played by the harpist Celia Briar. This song was first collected from a man called Jim O’Neill, and it is a so-called broken token ballad, that is one where there are two lovers who divide something between themselves, like a ring, as a love token, but then they part as he goes off to fight somewhere far away. This particular song is from the point of view of a man who sees a woman (her name is Nancy) and is immediately so enamoured with her that he proposes to her straight away. She rejects his proposal, saying that she’s already engaged with another man who is currently in the army and had fought at Waterloo. The man asks her the name of her lover, because he had also fought at Waterloo, and she shows him his name (Willie O’Reilly) embroidered on her mantle. As it happened, Willie O’Reilly was a good friend of his who died in the battle, and mentioned Nancy to him, giving him the ring which was the token of his love for Nancy, which understandably really upsets the girl. And here’s where things get potentially a little bit confusing. Because then suddenly Willie speaks about the day when they parted, and then later the narration switches to third-person, which makes one realise that Willie hasn’t died, he just decided to test her fidelity a bit, and she must have not recognised him. 

   Like I said this is an instrumental harp version that I’m sharing with you, but the first version of this song that I’ve heard was that of Sinead O’Connor, which is also good and perhaps I’ll share it at some point in future as well. 

Celia Briar – “Elizabeth McDermot Roe”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   This is another plenty tune composed by the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. As its title says, it is dedicated to Miss Elizabeth McDermot Roe, and as I’ve already written previously, McDermots were O’Carolan’s strongest supporters and patrons. His father worked for them as a blacksmith, and after his death, it was Mrs. Anne McDermot Roe who gave Turlough education and essentially helped him become a harper, and they maintained a good relationship throughout his life, so no wonder that he has created numerous planxties for them, some of them I’ve shared before played by different people. Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne and Henry McDermot Roe. 

Celia Briar – “Farewell to Whisky”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Thought I’d share another song performed by Celia Briar today. This time, it’s a tune composed by 18th century Scottish fiddler called Niel Gow, who wrote it one year when harvest in highlands was very poor, and there was a major barley shortage. As a result, local people were prohibited from producing whiskey, which caused them great sadness. I like Celia’s harp arrangement of this tune. 

Celia Briar – “We Wish You A Merry Christmas/Auld Lang Syne”.

Hey people! 🙂

Christmas isn’t yet here, but it’s coming very soon, and so I thought I’d share something Christmassy today, the second Christmassy song this Advent. This set of two pieces comes from the Irish Celtic harpist Celia Briar whose music I’ve already shared on here a few times. As you can figure out from the titles, the first one is We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and the second is the Scottish Auld Lang Syne. It comes from her Christmas album Celtic Peace at Christmas.

Celia Briar – “We Wish You a Merry Christmas/Auld Lang Syne”.

Celia Briar – “Farewell To Music”.

Hi guys! 🙂

This beautiful solo harp piece with an oh so depressing title that I feel like sharing with you today comes from the Irish harpist whose music I’ve shared with you quite often before – that is Celia Briar. – I think it’s one of her more beautiful pieces so I hope you enjoy it too. 🙂

Celia Briar – “Eleanor Plunkett”.

Hey people! 🙂

Not long ago, I shared with you a harp piece performed by Sue Richards and composed by Irish national bard and composer who was also a harper – Turlough O’Carolan. – Today, I’m sharing another tune that was composed by him and that is one of his most popular compositions, very frequently played by harpers and harpists. The version I chose to share with you is by Celia Briar, whose music I’ve also shared with you quite a few times before. From what I’ve read, it used to be a song with Irish Gaelic lyrics, which are now unknown. O’Carolan wrote this song in praise of Eleanor Plunkett from Robertstown in co. Meath.

Song of the day (14th November) – Celia Briar – “Farewell To Craigie Dhu”.

Here’s another lovely harp-driven tune for you guys, from a harpist whose music I shared with you before. This composition sounds contemporary to me, and turns out that that’s what it is. It was composed by Scottish folk singer songwriter Dougie MacLean, and the Craigie Dhu in the title was a place (property) where he lived. I think moving houses, especially such that are dear enough to you that you feel like capturing them in music, is a very stressful and unsettling thing but this farewell doesn’t sound all that sad at all, it sounds very hopeful, don’t you think? So if you need a bit of hope for the future in your life, maybe you can find it in here.

Celia Briar – “Pretty Girl Milking A Cow”.

Today I have a beautiful Celtic harp piece for you, as I’ve been listening to a lot of Celtic harp lately. I mean, I always do, but recently it’s been more than I had done it in a long while.

Celia Briar is a harpist from New Zealand, plays Celtic harp. She used to tour a lot and have a lot of concerts in different countries, but I don’t know if she still does. She’s also collaborated with Irish flautist Bev Whelan. I’ve heard that she currently resides in the UK. This piece comes from her 1995 album which is all very beautiful, I couldn’t decide which piece to choose for this post, to the point that in the end I decided to choose at random. 😀 Hope you enjoy. 🙂