Song of the day (19th March) – Lxandra – “Solid Ground”.

   For Sunday’s overdue song of the day, I’ve chosen a pop piece, from a singer who has already had her debut here on My Inner Mishmash three years ago, with her song Swimming Pools. Lxandra, or Alexandra Leith, is a Finnish singer songwriter who lives in Germany. This song comes from her 2021 album Careful What I Dream Of. I like that album very much as a whole – well, I generally just like Lxandra’s music – but this is definitely my favourite song from it. Musically, but also lyrically. It just speaks to me on a lot of different levels and has plenty to like it for. 

Jonny Ash – “Rosies”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   It’s kind of strange how many great indie rock bands have been born not even in Wales as a whole, but specifically in North Wales. I have featured many of my favourites in this category on here in the past, but today I’d like to share with you a song from another North Welsh rock act. From what I’ve read, Jonny Ash seem to have been a thing since at least 2020, but I first came across their music last year, when they released their single “Disco” through Bryn Rock Records, a label that I like to keep an ye on, out of sheer curiosity if nothing else, as it is ran by Jacob and Morgan Elwy, and Jacob, as the regulars will know, has been one of my faza people.

   I’ve liked their music ever since, and it seems to enjoy very good reception in their homeland as well, so I thought it would be a good idea to share something by them. I think Rosies is my favourite. It is about a bad experience at the Rosies nightclub. 

   The group is based in Wrexham, and consists of Callum Gaughran (vocals), his brother Dan (bass), Peter Roberts (guitar) and Mike Jones (drums). 

Clannad – “Morning Dew”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I want to share with you a very interesting song by Clannad. It was written in the 1960’s by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson, after she talked about nuclear apocalypse with her friends. It is a dialogue between the last woman and man on Earth who have survived a nuclear holocaust. Clannad’s version was the first one of this song that I heard, and initially I didn’t know what was the background of tis song, yet I still found it kind of creepy because I assumed the man was some sort of psychopath gaslighting the woman. 😀 I like songs with unusual lyrics that aren’t all about love, so I found this one very interesting, but even more so when I actually found out what it is about. I like Bonnie Dobson’s original version as well, and as it happens, my brain considers some parts of the melody slightly sensorily creepy – not seriously creepy in a way that would actually make me freeze and creep me out like more sensorily creepy sounds/sequences of sounds/tunes/harmonies do, but just enough to contribute even more to the overall weird feel of the song. 

Declan Galbraith – “Nights in White Satin”.

   Hey guys! 🙂 

   For today, I decided to share with you a song from Declan Galbraith’s 2006 album Thank You, which he released when he was 14. This is his cover of The Moody Blues’ 1960’s classic Nights in White Satin, written by Justin Hayward after a breakup. Unlike back when Declan was my dominant faza peep when I was a teenager, these days I find that the original speaks to me more, but I still have a lot of sentiment for Declan’s version of this song. 

Song of the day (8th February) – Órla Fallon – “Two Sisters”.

   This is yet another version of Two Sisters, a folk song that is known in many different parts of the world, or at least Europe, with slightly different plot lines. You can also check out the ones I’ve posted previously on here, by Loreena McKennitt,  Clannad, and Emily Portman. 

Eithne ní Uallacháin – “Táim Cortha ó Bheith im’Aonar i Mo Luí” (I am Weary From Lying Alone).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Keeping my promise from yesterday, here’s the second song from Eithne ní Uallacháin’s  album Bilingua, my most exciting music discovery of the year so far. Like yesterday’s song, it’s in what’s called macaronic form – two languages mixed together – but it’s a traditional tune. As far as I know, the English version  came first and the Irish translation was written later. But regardless of which came first, they are of course poetic rather than literal translations of each other, so there are differences between them, though I don’t speak Irish (yet), so I can’t write a direct translation of the Irish lyrics and haven’t found such a direct translation anywhere. Google Translate claims that the Irish title means something like “I am Tired/Sick of Being Alone in My Bed”, but I’ve stuck with the poetic translation of that line in the post title in case Google was wrong. 

   I first heard a version of this song by The Unthanks, and I liked it, because I like The Unthanks in general, but it didn’t make a lasting impression on me or anything. But when I heard Eithne’s version for the first time last week, it really affected my brain (well, just like the whole album, but I think this is one of its highlights for me), and I immediately thought that this song is just meant to be sung exactly the way she does, and with an Irish accent, or better yet, in Irish! As you can hear for yourselves, it is very minimalistic in form – just Eithne’s fragile, yet as always, almost eerily expressive vocals with very spare and gentle instrumentation. – It is so beautiful in that bittersweet way that makes you feel like you want it to never end, while at the same time twisting your soul and making it fall apart into aching but ecstatic pieces. And since it’s really two songs in one, it’s over six minutes of this gentle, blissful torture. 

Declan Galbraith – “Sister Golden Hair”.

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a song from Declan Galbraith’s (currently also known as Child of Mind) third album, You and Me, released in 2007 when he was fifteen. Just like his previous two records, this one also includes a lot of covers of pop and rock classics, and as perhaps some of you may figure out from the title, so is the case with this one. Sister Golden Hair was a 70’s hit written by Gerry Beckley for his band, America. 

Penguin Cafe – “Solaris”.

   Hi guys! 🙂 

   Today I have another instrumental piece for you, but it’s quite different than yesterday’s. This one is performed by an English group called Penguin Cafe,  founded by the composer Arthur Jeffes as a way to continue  his father – Simon Jeffes’ – legacy and the music of his band Penguin Cafe Orchestra. However, Penguin Cafe is its own entity with a different line-up and they also play music composed by Arthur Jeffes himself (like this one) as well as other composers, but their primary focus is on the work of PCO. Their music can be described as a blend of chamber jazz, folk and classical genres. 

Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson – “The Rose and the Lily”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have a traditional English murder ballad for you. I am familiar with many different versions of it, but this one is the first that I have ever heard. Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy are mother and daughter from Yorkshire who are both very prominent English folk singers. This song comes from their first collaborative album called Gift.

   Norma started her career in a group called The Watersons that she formed together with her siblings. Later, she married folk singer and guitarist Martin Carthy who also became part of the band’s line-up. Over time, the Waterson-Carthy family have become such influential musicians that they earned themselves the title of the English folk dynasty, with Norma (who passed away last year)  considered its matriarch. Their daughter Eliza is also a great singer and a very skilled fiddle player.

   I was introduced to the music of both  women through this collaborative album, and I think this is my favourite track from it. Like this song alone, the whole album is also rather dark and sombre overall and the topic of death is quite prevalent throughout it. This ballad is also better known as the Cruel Brother. 

Lady Maisery ft. Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith – “The Old Churchyard”

   Hi guys! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share with you a tune from a group  about whom I was sure that I must have shared something from them in the past already, because I like them and have been familiar with their music since very early on in my English folk music exploration journey, but it looks like I’ve never talked about them on here so I figured I’d do so today. Lady Maisery are a vocal harmony trio from the north of England, consisting of Hannah James (who is also a clog dancer and plays piano accordion, and used to be part of another group called Kerfuffle), Hazel Askew (who plays melodeon, concertina, harp and bells, she also performs with various early music groups playing on medieval harp) and Rowan Rheingans (who plays fiddle, banjo and bansitar, she is also a part of The Rheingans Sisters). They sing both traditional as well as contemporary folk music, including their original songs. The name of the group comes from a ballad titled Lady Maisry. 

   This particular song comes from an album that they have recorded in collaboration with the English folk duo Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith, titled Awake Arise: A Winter Album. It is originally an American Christian hymn which has over time also been embraced as a folk song. It is a comforting tune about death, reminding Christians that it is not something to only weep about, but that we should rejoice together with those we knew who have passed, because they are now in heaven. The song was collected from Almeda Riddle from Arkansas. 

Siân James – “Ei Di’r Deryn Du?” (Will You Go, Black Bird?)

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I would like to share with you a traditional Welsh song, another one on here sung and played on the harp by Siân James. As you will notice, the song is in Welsh and English, and the languages switch with one another every line. The translation below was written by Richard B Gillion 


   Will you go, Black Bird

  To my dearest love?

O quest for my dear lass,

  For I’m so deep in love.


I cannot see anywhere

  such a damsel in my sight

As the girl fair of colour –

  She is a beauty bright.


Her hair is golden yellow,

  Just like a ring of gold,

And her countenance like white snow –

  The truth it must be told.

Georgia Ruth – “When I Was Blue”.

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   To finish this year off here at My Inner Mishmash, today I’d like to share with you this melancholic song from Georgia Ruth’s album Fossil Scale, which, as is very typical for this artist, is quite interesting lyrically. 

Kate Rusby – “The Holly and the Ivy”.

   Hey dear people, and merry Christmas again to those who are only starting the celebrations today! 🙂 

   For this special occasion, I’d like to share with you a lovely arrangement of the popular British Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy sung by Kate Rusby. Generally, if you like folk like this and you want some nice music to listen to this Christmas, and you are not familiar with Kate Rusby for some reason yet, I highly recommend looking at her entire discography because she has released lots of Christmas music. Personally, I have previously shared one of her Christmas songs before, my all-time favourite Little Jack Frost,  as well as a couple of other, non-Christmassy tunes by her. Kate Rusby is generally one of my favourite female folk singers from England, right next to Jackie Oates (whose beautiful “The Worthy Wood Carol”I have also featured on here a few Christmases ago). Kate lives close to Barnsley in Yorkshire and is also often referred to as the “Barnsley nightingale. And besides, I had an opportunity to listen to her online performance at Folk on Foot Festival and have watched a bit of her YouTube channel, and she seems like a really nice person. 

   This “The Holly and the Ivy” song, featured on her first ever Christmas album “Sweet Bells” is not to be confused with her other song – “The Ivy and the Holly” – from her 2017 album Angels and Men, which sounds very similar but is her original song, a sort of humourous variation on the traditional carol. 

Mared – “Fade Away”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today’s main song of the day, I want to share a song by Mared, a talented young Welsh singer, a lot of whose music I’ve shared on here before, both solo as well as with the group Y Trŵbz. It’s from an EP called Something Worth Losing that she released earlier this year. The whole EP is in English and contains songs with very reflective lyrics.  I’m sharing  a live acoustic version of the song which I think is really good. 

Maire Brennan – “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Well, Christmas is coming very soon (and it feels even sooner  in some European countries like  Poland, where we practically celebrate Christmas Eve most festively of all the Christmas days), so, it feels like just  the right time to share a Christmas carol, even though I’ll traditionally be sharing something Christmassy on Christmas Eve as well. Of course, it HAS to be a Celtic Christmas carol. Well okay, technically, the carol itself is  English, but the singer is Irish – Maire Brennan, whose music I have shared many times on here, both solo and as part of Clannad. – I  like her version of it. 

Miranda Sex Garden – “Gush Forth My Tears”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a really old piece performed by the  eccentric English group with an equally eccentric name – Miranda Sex Garden. – Currently they are best known as a Gothic metal act, but they weren’t always that way. Initially, Miranda Sex Garden was a trio of madrigal singers who were studying vocal music together. The group consisted  of Katharine Blake (who later  founded mediæval Bæbes which band I also used to quite like as a teenager), Jocelyn Montgomery and Kelly McCusker. They released their debut album, Madra, in 1991. After that, their lineup changed frequently, and their style evolved  as a result. Only Katharine Blake has been with the band from the beginning until now.

   I was first introduced to Miranda Sex Garden thanks to, when I was really into Gothic stuff. So at the time, I was more drawn to their later music. Since my Gothic fascinations have faded, my tastes have changed a little and my values have become stronger and more stable, I hadn’t been listening to them until I re-discovered Madra a couple months ago, however I’m not even sure if we can talk about re-discoveries here because I don’t recall ever listening to it back in my Gothic era. I probably didn’t find it particularly fun back then. But when I listened to it this year, I found it very interesting and a LOT better than their later work, which no longer resonates with me at all. Although I still definitely respect their quirkiness and musical competence.  I guess you could say that just like Miranda Sex Garden have gone through quite an evolution over time, so have I as a listener, except in the opposite direction. People really do change, hehe. 

   The whole Madra album consists almost entirely of madrigals and other traditional material from 18th century or earlier. The only non a capella track on the album is the remix of Gush Forth My Tears, which is described as a “madrigal with a beat”. While I absolutely LOVE quirky music, I have to say that to me, the combination sounded quite disgusting and not intriguingly eccentric. The beat gave it a trashy, Enigma-like feel, in my opinion. But, perhaps I’m just weird because apparently it became quite popular in clubs or something. So no, it’s not that dreadful remix of this song that I’m sharing, but the a Capella version which is absolutely stunning and chill-inducing. 

Hirundo Maris – “Wayfaring Stranger”.

   As we approach the last week of Advent, a time for us Christians to reflect more on the Last Things and where we are headed, among other things, I’d like to share this classic, religious American folk song with you. I’ve chosen to share with you a  recently released version of this song, by Hirundo Maris, a quintet led by Arianna Savall and Petter Udland Johansen. – Arianna is a Catalan soprano, harpist, and composer who is also fluent in multiple languages and the daughter of composer Jordi Savall and soprano Montserrat Figueras. Petter is a Norwegian singer and composer. Both artists are equally comfortable performing early music, folk, and even more contemporary material. As Hirundo Maris, which means “sea swallow” in Latin, they blend Scandinavian and Mediterranean sounds, and the results are very intriguing. 

Song of the day (15th December) – Celtic Woman – “Scarborough Fair”.

    Hey people! 🙂 

   For yesterday’s  song of the day, I chose the well-known folk song Scarborough Fair, which was popularised by Simon and Garfunkel in the 60’s. This song seems to be a variant of a Child Ballad no. 2, a Scottish song called The Elfin Knight. The theme of this song, which involves tasking a lover with things impossible to perform or asking them unanswerable riddles – is common in British folk music. There are many versions of this song, with one of the first that I  became familiar with being Sweet Lover o’ Mine by the Scottish singer Emily Smith (btw, why is there still nothing on here by Emily Smith? :O bad Bibielz!) 

   However,  when I think of Scarborough Fair, the version that first comes to mind is the one by Celtic Woman, with Hayley Westenra from New Zealand as the vocalist. 

Song of the day (7th December) – The Harriet Earis Trio – “Finbar Finnegan’s”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I decided to share with you all another piece from The Harriet Ears Trio’s album From The Crooked Tree as our overdue song for yesterday. I’ve shared a few pieces from this album already on here, but in case any of you are unfamiliar, it’s a bit of a quirky album blending traditional Celtic music with jazz in a way that sounds really interesting. The trio consists of Harriet Earis on   harp, Sam Christie on drums and Andy COughlan on bass. 

Rachel Newton – “To the Awe”.

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   The song I have for you today is the title track from the Scottish singer and harpist Rachel Newton’s last year’s album To The Awe. It was recorded during the Covid lockdown, and, interestingly, as Rachel writes on her Bandcamp, her vocals were recorded in her bedroom wardrobe. Recording this album in such circumstances must have been difficult, but I like albums that were recorded in some unusual way or setting etc. and how people can be creative and resourceful about it. It is all about women, from a historical angle, because all of the lyrics here are old ballads or poems. On the contrary, the arrangements feel more contemporary, more than was the case with her previous albums, and with quite rich instrumentation. 

   As for this particular song, it was inspired by a poem called The Rock of Cader Idris, written by the English poet Felicia Hemmans. The poem, in turn, is inspired by the mysterious Welsh mountain Cadaer Idris, whose name translates to Idris’ Chair into English. Its name comes from Idris, the medieval king of Meirionnydd, who, according to Welsh folklore, was a giant, so huge that he could view his entire kingdom from the mountain, sitting on it as if in an armchair. There’s also a rock on top of the mountain that resembles a chair. According to the legend associated with Cadaer Idris, when you spend a night on the mountain, you’re going to wake up either dead, or frenzied, or possess the gift of poetic inspiration. And that’s what both Felicia Hemmans’ poem and Rachel Newton’s song are about. I have actually already shared one other musical piece about Cadaer Idris on here, recorded by The Harriet Earis Trio