Kim Robertson – “Dance of the Lambs”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I chose to share with you this really pleasant harp piece played by Kim Robertson, who is a renowned American harpist and also people like Nadia Birkenstock for example learned to play the instrument from her. I’ve shared one piece by Kim Robertson on here in the past, called Glenlivet

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Rachel Hair ft. Ron Jappy – “Looking at a Rainbow Through a Dirty Window).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I have for you a really lovely folk tune, from the duo whom I’ve already presented before sharing this set from the same album, as well as I also shared a song by Rachel Hair Trio. I think the harp and guitar go together really well, and Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy are very competent with their respective instruments, so I really like this album. This particular tune was composed by Scottish multi-instrumentalist Calum Stewart. 

Lynn Saoirse – “Michael O’Connor”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to go back once again to the Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, which contains compositions of Turlough O’Carolan. As is clear from the title, this tune is also a plenty, although unfortunately I don’t have the slightest idea who Michael O’Connor was in O’Carolan’s life. But that’s the cool thing about planxties (similarly to Sámi joiks) that you can try to imagine the person for whom it was composed based on what it sounds like, at least that’s something I like to do. 

Inge Frimout-Hei – “Waning Gibbous”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   The last time I shared with you something from this Dutch harpist, it was a piece called Jupiter from her album Planetary Impressions. Today it’s a piece from a different album, but also a celestial-themed one, inspired by phases of the moon. 

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. 

Grainne Hambly – “Sir Arthur Shaen”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I chose another piece composed by the  Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. It’s played by the Irish Celtic harpist Grainne Hambly, by whom I’ve shared one other tune on here. As you may know and as I already wrote before when sharing Turlough O’Carolan’s tunes, he composed a lot of his songs for specific people, usually his patrons. And I guess sir Arthur Shaen must have been one of them. He seems to have been a baronet of Kilmore. 

   Grainne Hambly – “Sir Arthur Shaen”

Siân James – “Gwna Fi Fel Pren Planedig” (Make Me Like a Tree Planted).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today I have a Welsh Christian hymn for you. It is sung and played on the harp by Siân James whose music I’ve shared with you many times before. As far as I’m aware, this hymn was written by Welsh poet Ann Griffiths, who lived in the 18th century. It contains references to various Psalms. 

Ailie Robertson – “Brandy Wines”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   For today, I have another piece of Scottish folk music, this time from the harpist Ailie Robertson, a couple of whose songs I’ve shared on here in the past. This one comes from her album called Ailie’s Traditional Spirits where she is accompanied by other Scottish folk musicians. 

Delyth Jenkins – “Leaving Amroth”.

   Hi guys! 🙂 

   Today I thought we could listen to another lovely harp piece from Delyth Jenkins’ album Salt on Our Boots, created in collaboration with the poet Emily Hinshelwood. I’ve already shared one piece from that album earlier this year. This album is inspired by their walk along the coast of Pembrokeshire. And the title of this particular piece refers to a village in Pembrokeshire called Amroth. 

Lynn Saoirse – “The Cliffs of Moher/The Dusty Windowsill”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I also want to share with you a piece played by Lynn Saoirse. ‘Cause why not? 😀 It is a medley of two jigs, of which the first one is traditional and refers to the famous Irish cliffs of Moher in county Clare. The second originates in Chicago and was written by a man called John Harling, which is why this tune is also apparently known as Harling’s jig. I really like the story ow how it came to life and how it got its title. His muse happened to strike while he was in a basement, and he wanted to write the tune down before it disappeared so that he could come back later on and rewrite it on a piece of paper. And the only thing in that basement on which he could write was a dusty windowsill. 

Janet Harbison – “Suantrai” (Lullaby).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   I’m quite late with today’s song because got a migraine today which still hasn’t fully gone, but thought that I’d make use of it and share a beautiful lullaby with you. Not that I’e never shared lullabies in the morning or whenever, because I think any time is good for lullabies really, but obviously evenings are most fitting. This lullaby can be found on the compilation called Masters of the Irish Harp released by Rte Lyric FM. Janet Harbison is a great Celtic harper, and harp teacher as well, from Dublin. 

Rachel Newton – “A Phiuthrag’s a Phiuthar” (Little Sister, Sister).

Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a beautiful Scottish traditional song. I first heard it sung by Julie Fowlis and may share her version in the future as well because it’s great too and despite I really love Julie Fowlis and she’s been one of the first Scottish Gaelic singers I learned about when I started to explore Celtic music I’ve shared very little by her so far. 

   This is a waulking song (one that was sung by Scottish women while walking (fulling) cloth to give a rhythm to it and make the activity more fun as well) and is also considered a funeral lament by some, as much because of its sad melody as the lyrics. It is from the perspective of a young girl who was abducted by fairies, and in this song she calls out to her sister for help asking her sister to find her and describing what the place where she’s in looks like and lamenting over her fate. The Celtic peoples (but not only them, of course, as other cultures also have similar beliefs from what I’m aware of) often explained death to themselves as someone having been kidnapped and imprisoned by  fairies, which surely made it easier for them to cope with the loss emotionally, I guess in particular with regards to death of young people, believing that they still are alive, just not where they’re supposed to be, although personally I guess I’d much rather prefer knowing that someone has died rather than if they were kidnapped and held somewhere against their will and wondering what on Earth could be happening to them right now and frustrating myself that I can’t really do anything. Also things like mental illness, or even more prominently disabilities In children (autism or intellectual disability in particular I think) were rationalised as someone having been taken away by fairies and replaced by a fairy in human form which is called a changeling. Changelings were a widespread thing and we even had them in Slavic countries as well and so did Scandinavians. Such changeling would then often be treated in some pretty nasty ways, all with the best of intentions of revealing the true identity of the child and thus getting the real child back, there were also loads of different rituals that were supposed to keep fairies away from young babies. 

   In the case of the girl from this song, it seems most likely that she must have actually died. You can read about this song and see its translation on Terre Celtiche

Rachel Newton – “One Hour More”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d really like to share with you this beautiful, melancholic piece from Scottish. Harpist and folk singer Rachel Newton. This is her original composition, from her 2016 album Here’s My heart, Come Take it. 

Gwen Màiri – “Y Dydd Drwy’r Ffenest” (The Day Through the Window”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a beautiful piece from Gwen Màiri’s album Mentro (Venture), an amazing album from which I’ve already shared several tracks in the past. In case you don’t know, Gwen Màiri Yorke is a harpist and folk singer of both Scottish and Welsh heritage, who is both a Scottish Gaelic as well as Welsh native speaker. On this album, she is accompanied by Jordan Price Williams on cello, as well as Gwilym Bowen Rhys on several instruments, but in this particular piece we can hear him playing the mandolin. As far as I’m aware, this tune is Gwen’s original composition. 

Sally Fletcher – “Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to introduce you to another interesting harpist, who as far as I’m aware belongs more to what I call «relaxing harpist» camp, rather than folk or classical or something like that. Sally is also an organist, pianist and teacher. Still, the tune played by her that I want to share with you today is definitely a contemporary folk one. It is an Irish-American song that was written by James Roys Shannon and first performed by Chauncey Olcott, and later popularised again by Bing Crosby. 

Aine Minogue – “Dark Island”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this pensive and relaxing piece by one of my favourite harpists – Aine Minogue – which she recorded together with other instrumentalists that she collaborates with. For those who are new to Aine’s music, she is an Irish Celtic harpist as well as singer and composer who was born in county Tipperary but currently resides in Boston. 

Diana Rowan – “The Celtic Sonata: “The Star of Munster/Cremonea/Glenlivet”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you this lovely harp piece called The Celtic Sonata, as it consists of three movements, each of them being a traditional Celtic tune. The first one is a reel called The Star of Munster. The second – Cremonea, also known as Cremonia, which is the anglicised spelling of its Irish title Croí Muimhneach (Munster Heart) – is a tune composed by the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. The third one is called Glenlivet, and I’ve already shared a different version of it in the past, played by Kim Robertson

   Diana Rowan is a Celtic harpist and pianist from Dublin, but currently lives in the US, although she also travels a lot as she does a lot of concerts and gives lectures. 

Paul Dooley – “Port an Deorai/An Phis Fluich”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you a medley of two traditional Irish tunes, both of which are slip jigs, played by Paul Dooley. Paul Dooley is a harpist and harp builder from county Clare, and he plays the harp like it used to be played historically, with the nice-sounding metal strings that make it sound less ethereal than what we are used to with the more modern Celtic harps and what most people associate with a harp, and they are plucked with long fingernails rather than fingers. 

   The first of those two slip jigs is called Port an Deorai, which seems to be more popularly known as The Exile’s, although like a lot of Celtic folk tunes it has been played and recorded under lots and lots of different names. Deora does mean exile (as in an exiled person) in Irish, and port means tune or jig so I guess it does literally mean something like The Exile’s Tune. But the second tune has even more titles under which it’s known, and its main title is quite odd. When I googled it, it says everywhere that while in English it is usually known as The Wife of Choice or O’Farrel’s Welcome to Limerick, the Irish name is said to be rather naughty and mean the Wet C**t. Indeed, the word fliuch (of which fluich is perhaps some regional variation or something) does mean wet according to my dictionary. But then it says that phis means pea, not c**t, and c**t is pit in Irish. Perhaps there are several words for that though, and maybe phis is a more colloquial, sort of idiomatic one? Whether it’s wet c**t or wet pea, it makes for a peculiar and eye-catching song title.