Clannad – “Vellum”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Recently I shared with you all a piece from Clannad’s debut album, and now I thought I would share a piece from their last album, which was released in 2013, after I believe a fifteen-year break since the release of Landmarks. I think comparing these two pieces and their style shows quite well how Clannad has evolved over all those years since its beginning.

Lynn Saoirse – “Isabella Burke/Planxty Burke”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you two harp pieces performed by Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse, and composed by the famous 18th-century Irish Celtic harpist Turlough O’Carolan. I wrote about him before when sharing some piece composed by him. He was travelling a lot and staying in the houses of rich people, playing for them. At the end of his stay, he would typically present his hosts with a piece that he wrote especially for them, as a way of expressing his gratitude. And these pieces that he composed specifically for his patrons are called planxty, just like the second piece in this set. I don’t know who the Burkes were, or maybe it was just one person, in his life, nor who was Isabella Burke to whom the first piece is specifically dedicated, beyond quite an obvious fact that they must have been his patrons. I really like both these pieces and I can’t even decide which one is more beautiful.

Clannad – “Nil Se Ina La” (It Is Not A Day).

Hey people! 🙂

I chose to share with you today this song by Clannad, which I believe is one of their more popular songs in their native tongue and comes back from the times when their music was a bit more folky than it became later. I think though the lyrics must be traditional. I found two different translations of this song,one vastly different than the other, and I had a feeling like neither really made sense, so no translation this time. I’m not even fully sure if I got exactly the right translatioon of the title literally, since I don’t speak Irish myself yet so can’t verify it, but even if it’s not fully accurate, it can’t be very far off in terms of meaning. Despite I know so little about this song, I like it, and that’s why I’m sharing it.

Pendevig – “Lliw Gwyn” (White Colour).

Hi hi hi people, and very happy Easter to you all! 🙂

I’m late with today’s song of the day, as it’s Easter so I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family.

For today, I chose a really hilarious Welsh folk tune, performed by Pendevig. Pendevig is a project evolving around traditional music, but also heavily infused with influences from lots of other genres. It is made up of a group of young talented folk musicians who are already well-known on the Welsh-language music scene, most of them from the band Calan. However, I first became interested in it because one of my faza people – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – is also part of it. It is also he – together with Bethan Rhiannon, the vocalist of Calann – who sings the song I’m about to share with you.

Its actual, full title is “Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn Yr Haf” which has been apparently translated to English in a lot of ways, but the most literal translation that makes sense is White Colour Of A Summer Rose. It’s basically a conversation between a mann and a woman, where the man tries to chat her up by comparing her to a white summer rose, and some other things as well, and she wittily rejects his advances, only to finally admit that she’s actually just as madly in love with him as he is with her. When I first heard this song, I had no idea what it was about, but as my Welsh kept developing and I was able to understand enough of it to figure out the context, I was snorting out with laughter.

While preparing to share this song with you, I’ve found this fantastic and very thoroughly researched post about it by

Ffion Mair from The Foxglove Trio

which I would highly recommend to read if you’re interested to find out more. – According to Ffion’s post, this song was written by Richard Williams – a 19th-century blind poet born in north Wales, also known as Dic Dywyll, or Dark Dick in English. – I just love how creative it’s original title was – “A new song, which is a conversation between a young boy and a girl about getting married”. 😀

In Pendevig’s version, at the end of the song, there is also a beautiful poem written by Iestyn Tyne – one of the members of the group – which, as Pendevig explain, is about the loss of a lover and healing from it.

Here is the translation of Lliw Gwyn from Ffion’s post, including one verse which Pendevig actually don’t sing, (the third one), but which does appear also on Pendevig’s website, plus it’s funny and I like it.

 

“Good day to you my final star,

As white as a summer’s rose,

You are the fine girl that I love,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“Well, shut your mouth you vain old man,

The nastiest ever on the face of the land!

I will hang myself before I come to court you,

In a word, that is the truth.”

“Your kiss, my darling one

As white as a summer’s rose,

Is like honeycomb every minute,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“And so is your kiss,

The nastiest ever on the face of the land,

Second only to being wronged,

You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“Tell me when we can marry,
As white as a summer’s rose,
I know you belong to me,
As white as a summer’s rose.”
“When you see the cat eating the pudding,
The nastiest ever on the face of the land!
And Siôn Puw’s cow making the butter,
You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“If you are going to refuse me,

As white as a summer’s rose,

Give me a kiss before we say farewell,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“Well… I might as well tell you the truth as not,

O kindest ever on the face of the land,

You had two before, you can have another fifteen,

In a word, that is the truth.”

Gwen Màiri – “Hwyr” (Late).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I felt like sharing with you something from this great Celtic harpist and also singer. She comes from a Welsh-speaking family but was raised in Scotland and I believe can also speak Scottish Gaelic. I first learned about her because of Gwilym Bowen Rhys, with whom she’s been collaborating as a harpist on all his albums as far as I’m aware. The piece I’m sharing with you comes from her album Mentro (Venture) on which, in turn, we can also hear Gwilym playing guitar, mandolin, fiddle and shruti. She’s also supported by Jordan Price Williams – who is also very active on the Welsh-language folk music scene – on cello.

This particular piece was inspired by Gwen Màiri’s memory of her grandfather and the passing of time from the perspective of old age.

Hector Zazou ft. Katie McMahon (?) – “Seacht NDólás Na Maighdine Muire” (The Seven Sorrows of The Virgin Mary).

Hi guys! 🙂

So it’s Good Friday, and today I am so extremely happy to finally be able to share with you a piece of music that I’ve always wanted to share on a Good Friday, ever since I’ve had this blog. But first I forgot, and then I couldn’t find the album from which it came anywhere online. I got an mp3 version of it from a friend ages ago and I loved it, even though back then I wasn’t close to God, I just loved it for its aesthetic value and a slightly Gothic feel, and the Irish Gaelic language. Then I lost it somewhere and this particular song stuck with me the most, and then later on when I re-converted to Christianity I could always hear it in my brain during Lent or on the feast of the Sorrowful Mother (15th September).

I’ve found other versions of it, but none spoke to me quite as much as the one I’m about to share with you today. And today, I finally found this piece! It comes from Hector Zazou’s 1996 album called Lights In The Dark, where there are a lot of Irish Catholic hymns, all in Gaelic I believe and all or almost all devoted to Our Lady. Because I haven’t been able to find the entire album, I can’t confirm it, but I believe the vocalist is called Katie MCMahon.

I haven’t ever listened to any other music by Hector Zazou, but I’ve heard that he is, or have been, actually involved in new age music circles as well. Like I said though, I have never heard it, and I don’t know if it’s from before his new age activity, or afterwards, or maybe some project he was involved in in-between, so I don’t feel like I’m the right person to judge it or whether his rendition of this piece is one that Christians can safely listen to, but, I dunno, it is really beautiful, I’d be really surprised to learn if the lyrics were any different than in the original, and even if it wasn’t exactly performed with the intent of glorifying God, I believe that if we’ll listen to it with the right mindset, it will make a difference and be pleasant to God. If there will ever be any Catholic, or even any other Christian people reading this, let me know what your stance is on this, I’d be curious to know.

The song is about the Seven Sorrows of The Virgin Mary which she suffered during Her life on Earth, which were:

  •    The Prophecy of Simeon (during the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, when he told Mary that a sword would pierce Her Soul due to Her Son’s Death),
  • The flight of the Sacred Family to Egypt (to avoid killing of the Child Jesus by Herod),
  • Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (during the pilgrimage to Jerusalem),
  • Meeting Jesus on His way to Calvary,
  • Crucifiction and Death of Jesus,
  • The Body of Jesus being takenn from the Cross,
  • The burial of Jesus.

Clannad – “Buachaill An Éirne” (Boy From Ireland).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing from you something from Clannad, which I’m fairly sure is a traditional Irish song. To me, it sounds a lot like some old school marriage ad. 😀 I’ve found a translation of it, and then another one, albeit incomplete, I believe. The other one seems to be more literal, because it makes more sense, and the first one is more poetic. I normally prefer sharing literal translations because while they’re less fancy, they actually show you better what a song is about. But here, we’re going with the poetic one, since the other one wasn’t full like I said.

 

I am a boy from Ireland and I’d coax a nice young girl,

I wouldn’t ask for a dowry with her, I’m rich enough myself,

I own Cork, big as it is both sides of the glen and Tyrone,

And if I don’t change my ways I’ll be the heir for County Mayo.

Cow herding, my Leo, I did not never practice,

But playing and drinking with new young women by the mountain.

If I lost my wealth and I don’t think I lost my sense,

And your kiss is no more to me than a show worn for a year.

My love and treasure, don’t marry the old grey man,

But marry a young man, my Leo, even though he lives but a year,

Or you’ll still be without a daughter or son above you,

Crying in the afternoon or in the morning hard.

Órla Fallon – “Citi Na gCumann” (Kitty Of Societies).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I chose to share with you a piece from Órla Fallon – a former member of Celtic Woman – this time an instrumental one, that I really like. This is a traditional piece, and I don’t really get what its title is supposed to mean, but, like I said in the title, Kitty Of Societies is apparently its literal translation. This song was also performed by Clannad but with lyrics.

Phamie Gow – “Beginning Sweetly”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a piece of music from a very talented Scottish multiinstrumentalist whom I’ve just recently discovered myself. I really like how versatile she is musically. And, since it’s still morning here right now, I thought I’d share this particular piece, because I think it’s really nice to listen to it at this time of the day.

Delyth Jenkins ft. Angharad Jenkins – “Glyn Tawe”.

Hi people! 🙂

Another piece today featuring Delyth Jenkins, this time with her daughter – Angharad – playing fiddle. They’re also known together as DNA. I really really love this beautiful peace. Its title comes from Glyn Tawe, a hamlet near the river Tawe in Powys in Wales.

Plu – “Fel Llwynog” (Like A Fox”.

Hey people! 🙂

I feel like I haven’t shared anything by Plu on here in quite some time, so let’s do it today. This is a song from their first, self-titled album. In case you don’t know or don’t remember, Plu is a Welsh alt-folk/psychedelic folk trio made up of Gwilym Bowen Rhys – one of my faza people – and his two sisters, Elan and Marged. I really like how Gwilym once described what they do on BBC Radio Wales where he was interviewed by Lynn Bowles two years ago after the release of his third solo album Arenig. He said that it started off because he wanted to make folk music, and he wasn’t doing anything solo yet, and he says that it’s his sisters “writing these lovely words and me trying to think of weird harmonies to go with them”. 😀 They’re really weird sometimes but I think that’s what I like most about Plu! 😂

Aberjaber – “The Rambling Pitchfork”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I came across this no longer existing band’s music while I was acquainting myself with the music of Welsh harpist Delythh Jenkins (known as Delyth Evans back when Aberjaber was a thing) as she was one of the members of this project. Like I said, Aberjaber is no longer an active group since a long time, and all of the members are focusing on other musical things now, but I think they had some really beautiful Celtic music, so here’s a piece for you. 🙂

Rachel Newton – “Proud Maisrie”.

Hey people! 🙂

A song I have for you today comes from Scottish singer and harpist Rachel Newton, whose music has already been featured on here a few times. This song is her rendition of a traditional ballad, which is also known under several other titles as far as I’m aware. I really like the way she did it. I believe Maisrie is a spelling variation of Maisery, as in Child’s ballad Lady Maisery and the folk group Lady Maisery who are named after that ballad.

Siân James – “Y Deryn Pur” (The Blue Bird).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you a traditional love song, performed by Welsh Celtic harpist and singer Siân James. As it happens, one of the songs by her that I’ve already shared with you previously is about a bird, and so is the case with this one. 🙂 The author of the lyrics is unknown, but I’ve found a translation for you, written by

Richard B. Gillion,

and here it is:

 

THE PURE BIRD

The pure bird with the blue wing

Will be a sincere servant to me

O speed with haste to the girl

To whom I offered my affection early

Go to her, say to her

That I am weeping salt water

That I am grieving to see her

And from her love failing to walk, O

God forgive the beauty of her vision

For hurting a man so severely!

When my spirits were so gleeful

On a day celebrating a holiday

I discried a girl more comely than ever

With lightsome feet strolling.

When I saw her

I immediately came to a standstill

In my heart I thought

Behold the most comely woman of the realm

And her smile beautifying all around her

I would not believe one man alive

That she was not some angel!

Llio Rhydderch – “Enaid Enlli” (The Soul Of Enlli).

Hey people! 🙂

I’m just posting this before going to sleep, and thought that I would share with you another beautiful and long harp piece from Llio Rhydderch, especially for those who are also going to go to sleep soon, to get you off to Dreamland faster. 🙂 This one comes from Llio’s album simply called Enlli, which, like a lot of her music, has also been inspired by the area where she lives, that is north Wales, in this case Bardsey Island or Ynys Enlli in Welsh, which is close to the Llyn Peninsula. This island is called the island of 20000 saints, and so it was an important place of pilgrimages. Enlli is also used as a Welsh feminine name since the 20th century.

The Harriet Earis Trio – “From The Crooked Tree”.

Hi people! 🙂

I shared two pieces from this very interesting, experimental music band featuring harpist Harriet Earis last year, namely “Cadair Idris” and “Kitchen Devils” from their album From The Crooked Tree. I thought that today, I’d share the title track from this album. For me, their music is definitely that kind of thing that grows on you the more you listen to it. When I first came across their music I was interested but not overly impressed, but as I keep listening to it, I like it more and more.

Delyth Evans – “A L’Entree De L’Este”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I have another short and sweet harp piece for you today, only this time it’s from Delyth Jenkins (nee Evans) who plays Celtic harp, unlike Llio Rhydderch who plays Welsh triple harp. I’ve already shared with you at least one piece by her from what I remember, in collaboration with her daughter Angharad, they work as a duo called DNA.

Since this piece has a French title, and I don’t know this language beyond some little words and phrases or what I can figure out thanks to other languages that I know, I have no clue what the title means exactly.

Llio Rhydderch – “Malltraeth”.

Hey people! 🙂

I decided that today we’ll also listen to Llio Rhydderch, ’cause why not? She’s created so much beautiful music. To keep things diverse though, unlike Gwenllian that I shared with you yesterday, this is a short and sweet piece. Its name comes from a village in Anglesey (Anglesey is where Llio Rhydderch lives if I remember well) which is called Malltraeth. The name of this village means something like a desolate beach.

Llio Rhydderch – “Gwenllian”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’ve shared a few tracks from this amazing Welsh triple harpist with you already, and I thought that, finally, I’d love to share with you one of my favourite pieces by her, the title track from her album Gwenllian, especially that I’ve already shared one piece from this album with you.

You know that I generally love harp, be it the “normal” Celtic harp or Welsh triple harp or almost any kind of harp, and you also know that I love Llio Rhydderch’s music ever since I’ve first heard it. But this album is really special to me for some reason. I learned about Llio quite late considering how long I’d already been into both harp music and Welsh music in general, through one of my faza people – Gwilym Bowen Rhys. – I love exploring new harp music and, as it happened, Gwenllian was the first album of Llio that I started listening to and this was my first contact with her music. I was having a shitty time emotionally and I found her music so extremely soothing. Not just relaxing – although you could most certainly say that her music is relaxing, but it’s not only relaxing and it’s surely not the primary intend behind it – heartening and replenishing are the words that come to my mind in relation to her music.

I don’t have very many albums to which I’d always listen as a whole, in the right order, but Gwenllian is one of them. Alongside my faza subjects and some other music, it’s my go-to listen when I feel emotionally overwhelmed or just need to go inside my own Brainworld for a while. Llio’s music is great for that because while she creates some kind of a realm of her own with it, you can go with the flow and follow it, or it can help you find the way to go inside yourself.

The title track of this album is by far my favourite (even just because it’s so long, like it’s never going to end and leave you alone, and as you already know I love as long solo harp pieces as possible because I always crave more harp music 😀 ).

In my last Weekend Coffee Share that I did on here, I mentioned that I was reading The Brothers of Gwynedd quartet by Edith Pargeter, which my penfriend recommended to me – about the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Last. – The Gwenllian here, she was his daughter. I loved listening to this album in the background when reading that series. Apparently, Llio Rhydderch has quite a close connectioon to princess Gwenllian, as from what I’ve read Llio lives close to where Gwenllian lives. It’s also interesting that Llio is originally a diminutive of Gwenllian. 😀