Carol Thompson – “She Moves Through the Fair”.

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For today I chose to share with you an instrumental, harp arrangement of an extremely popular and frequently performed Irish traditional folk song. It’s typically known as “She Moved Through the Fair”, but several versions, including this one by Carol Thompson, are called “She Moves Through the Fair” and I’ve also heard several versions of this song from a female perspective. Putting it shortly, this is a song about a man who loses his fiancee, whom he loves very much. She initially tells him that “It will not be long, love, ’til our wedding day” but then unfortunately doesn’t keep her word. The only other time he sees her afterwards is in a dream, where he finds out that she’s died and she visits him as a ghost and repeats the same words, so it seems like she’s waiting for him so that they can be together in the afterlife. Ever since I first heard this song (and I think the first time I heard it it was either sung by Anuna or Celtic Woman) I felt really intrigued by its melody and I still really love it, it doesn’t really feel very typical of Irish music. I also really like Carol Thompson’s way of playing it, it gives it a yet different feel. Carol Thompson is from America, of Anglo-Welsh-Irish descent, and plays the Celtic harp.

ร“rla Fallon – “Galway Bay”.

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The song I want to share with you today comes from ร“rla Fallon’s 2020 album called Lore. ร“rla is known in the Irish and Celtic music world not only for her solo career, but also for being a former Celtic Woman member, and Celtic Woman have also recorded this same song, with Chloe Agnew as the vocalist if I remember correcttly, I might share that one at some point in the future as well. This is an Irish emigrant song, apparently very popular among Irish emigrants in America and certainly covered by a lot of artists. The lyrics have been written by Dr Arthur Colahan, and the song, with slightly changed lyrics, was popularised by Bing Crosby.

Rachel Newton – “Don’t Go Out Tonight My Darling”.

For today, I’d like to share with you yet another song from the Scottish harpist and singer Rachel Newton. It is included in the Roud Ballads index, and apparently can be traced back to Arkansas. As it’s easy to figure out from the song, it’s about a woman who is in a relationship with an alcoholic, and it’s quite heart-wrenching.

The Harriet Earis Trio – “Take 5/The Unsquare Dance”.

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For today, I chose a set of two pieces from an album from which I’ve already shared some music with you and which I really like for its creativeness. The album is called From The Crooked Tree and comes from the Wales-based group The Harriet Earis Trio, with the very Celtic harpist Harriet Earis at the centre of things.

Rachel Hair Trio – “My Darling Fair One”.

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Last month I already shared with you one tune, or actually a set of tunes, by this Scottish Celtic harpist – Rachel Hair – which she played together with the multi-instrumentalist Ron Jappy. – Rachel Hair is a very active, prolific and versatile artist who does all sorts of things with the harp and also has her own record label called March Hair Records. Among the things she does is she’s also a part of a trio, simply known as Rachel Hair Trio, and this song that I’m sharing today with you comes from their album Tri, released by the aforementioned label. I don’t know who else is in this trio and haven’t been able to find out, but the song is a traditional one and I really like this minimalistic arrangement.

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

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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.

The Belfast Harp Orchestra – “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire”.

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The beautiful piece I’m sharing with you today comes from an act who’s relatively new to me, but ever since I’ve become aware of their existence I like their music a lot. I truly love long, complex pieces for harp, and this one perfectly meets my expectations. ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you enjoy it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Belfast Harp Orchestra – “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire”

Gwenan Gibbard – “Paid รข Deud” (Don’t Say).

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Today I’m sharing with you a song from Welsh harpist and singer Gwenan Gibbard, already featured on this blog multiple times. I don’t really know much about this song, not eve whether it’s her original composition, or a traditional tune, or maybe someone else wrote and composed it in modern times, but I think it’s beautiful.

Rachel Newton – “Hi Horo’s na Horo Eile”.

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Today, let’s listen to another piece from this great Scottish harpist and singer, in Scottish Gaelic. This is a really interesting traditional love song from a female perspective. I’ve found a translation of it, which I’ll share below as usual, but if you like this sort of thing or are intrigued by something in the lyrics, I highly recommend you go visit

the original source

and read the notes below the translation as there are plenty of little geeky linguistic bits explained about the lyrics.

 

You are my love and I’ll never deny it

When I was a green young girl

I fell in love with the young man

who had the handsome appearance;

and I will never love another

I went into the forest of trees and branches

and took an interest in a lovely sapling

it is in Glasgow of the shops

that I fell in love with the manly handsome lad.

The most capable fingers that could write with a pen

or tune the strings of a violin;

it is your music that would lift my spirits

when I was ] weary and melancholy

Your beautiful splendid curly locks,

the hair of your head is like the black-bird’s feather;

your two cheeks are the colour of roses

when the dew of the moring’s mist is on them

Your legs are strong and shapely

like a salmon in a crystal clear stream

and it’s absolutely true that I’ve given my love to you

amongst all the people that are in the world.

But I hope and expect

that the day will come when we will be together;

and if you are faithful to me

I shall love no other while I live.

Gwen Mร iri – “Y Feillionen” (The Clover).

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Today, I decided to share with you another piece from this Welsh-Scottish harpist, whose music I’ve already shared with you on here before. This piece is her original composition and comes from her beautiful album Mentro (Venture, on which she is accompanied by two other great Welsh folk musicians, Jordan Price Williams on cello and Gwilym Bowen Rhys on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and shruti box. I think if I had to pick my most favourite piece from this album, I’d pick this one.

Song of the day (15th August) – Rachel Hair ft. Ron Jappy – “Meras (Grainne Brady’s/The Namesake/Mera’s Delight)”.

Rachel Hair is another new harpist that I’d like to introduce to you, guys, except unlike Silke Aichhorn from the previous Song of the Day post, she is also new-ish to me. She is a Scottish Celtic harpist, and it’s quite clear from her involvement in all things clร rsach (Celtic harp in Scottish Gaelic) that she has much love for her instrument. This piece comes from her album on which she collaborates with guitarist Ron Jappy. I really like how her music feels different, yet it’s still very firmly rooted in the Scottish and Celtid tradition. I have no idea about the all the tunes in this set, what inspired them or anything like that, but looking at their credits on Spotify, they are her original compositions, along with Fraser Shaw, who was a Scottish pipe player who passed away in May 2015 due to MS.

Nadia Birkenstock – “Tece Voda (Slovaquie) (The Water Flows (Slovakia).

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Today I come to you with a traditional piece of music from Slovakia, performed by the German harpist Nadia Birkenstock, whose music I’ve shared on here a couple times before already.

Nadia Birkenstock – “Tece Voda (Slovaquie)”

Sian James – “Cysga Di Fy Mhlentyn Tlws” (Sleep My Pretty Child).

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Since it’s already early evening here, I thought I’d share a lullaby with you, and I picked this beautiful Welsh one performed by Celtic harpist and singer Sian James, whose music I’ve already shared on my blog before. Here is the lyrics translation that I’ve found:

 

Sleep you now, my pretty child,

Sleep you now, my pretty child,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

The door is closed, and safely locked,

Lullaby, my pretty child,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

All the birds are sleeping too,

Lullaby, my little one,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

The wooden horse is by your side,

Lullaby, oh darling mine,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

Alan Stivell – “Plijadur Ha Displijadur”.

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Today I chose to share with you this short, solo harp piece played by the Breton Celtic harpist Alan Stivell, which I think is a traditional tune. I only know that it originates from Brittany, but since I can’t speak Breton, I don’t even know what its title means, and don’t know anything else about it. Still, it sounds really nice to me.