Clannad – “Gathering Mushrooms”.

   Hi all you people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another song from Clannad’s album Crann Ull, just like the Irish Gaelic one I shared a couple days ago. This one also features Enya, but this time as supporting vocalist. 

   Fun fact, it’s thanks to this song that I learned that there is/was such a thing as mushroom ketchup. When I first heard it and the bit “I am gathering mushrooms to make my mommy ketchup” it made me laugh ‘cause, like, what’s one thing to do with the other? I even thought I must have misheard/misunderstood something. It actually interested me enough that I decided to find out and I was really surprised, because, well, at least here, mushroom ketchup is certainly not a thing. 

Clannad – “Ar a Ghabháil ‘n a ‘Chuain Damh” (I Walked Down by the Sea).

   Hey people! 🙂 

    Today I have for you a traditional Irish song performed by Clannad, from the earlier years of their career. In the Wikipedia article about this song it’s translated as As I Went Down to the Harbour, but I decided to go with the title translation provided in the lyrics of the Clannad song for the title of this post. It is very possible that the Wurlitzer is played by Enya, who was still with the band when they were recording Crann Ull – the album from which this song comes – as keyboardist and backing vocalist, although it’s not explicitly stated anywhere that it’s her. The lyrics below come from Celtic Lyrics Corner

   I walked down by the sea
Right wearily
My heart, it was tormented
From a northern sky the small clouds did fly
And sorely I lamented
 
 
I’m sorry now I swear
That I didn’t care
To heed my mother’s caution
She spoke to me fair saying don’t venture there
Don’t go the road to Ballyhaunis
 
 
Yet dearly did I love
My fair-haired girl
In the garden that morning early
Your lips as tender as the foam on the ocean’s rim
And cheeks like red haw-berries
 
 
I put my arm around your waist
But my mind knew no ease
Though the small birds sang so gaily
I wished we were going under white sails blowing
Be it fair or stormy weather
 
 
My own heart’s dear
If you’d come away
To that land of ships from Ireland
There’s no heartache nor there’s no pain
That wouldn’t find a cure for certain
 
 
You are the one I’ve always loved
So save me now from dying
For without God’s grace I’ll never survive
On this street in Ballyhaunis

Enya – “A Moment Lost”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   For today I decided to share with you a beautiful song from Enya’s album Amarantine. As Roma Ryan, Enya’s lyricist, wrote in the liner notes for this song, while most words said to us become very quickly erased and washed away from our minds, the angry, spiteful words from those we love are the ones that become etched in our hearts, burning and staying with us for a long time, echoing in our souls, and only go away when we hear words that are healing and comforting. And this song is about this, the hurtful words that people say and then really regret, and the hurtful words that they hear and then forgive. 

Enya – “Marble Halls”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Let’s listen to ENya today. This song is one of only two songs in her whole discography which aren’t her original songs. The other one is a hymn called How Can I Keep From Singing. This one is an operatic song actually, which is why Enya said in one radio interview that it was quite a challenge for her. It was written by Irish composer Michael William Balfe for his opera The Bohemian Girl. This song is also known as The Dream. It is both Enya’s and her mum’s favourite. 

Enya – “Long Long Journey”.

   Hi guys! 🙂 

   Let’s listen to Enya today. I really like this song and I think it really captures the topic of coming home after a long journey really well. As someone who really likes that feeling, perhaps the most of everything about travelling and journeying, I find it very relatable. It comes from Enya’s album Amarantine. 

Enya – “My! My! Time Flies!”

   Hi all you people! 🙂 

   For today, I want to share with you a really cool and I guess most people would say quite unusual song by Enya, from her 2009 album Amarantine. I say it could be deemed unusual because it doesn’t really sound exactly like what comes to most people’s minds when they think Enya, neither musically nor lyrically. But it’s still absolutely congruent with the rest of the music on the album from which it comes from in my opinion and I like its slightly different feel. This song was born out of a conversation that Enya, Roma Ryan (Enya’s lyricist) and Nicky Ryan (Enya’s producer and manager) had about the late Jimmy Faulkner, one of most renowned Irish guitarists. It inspired Roma to write a song that would be sort of reminiscent of the flow of a conversation, going from one thing to another, to end up on something totally different from what you were talking about in the beginning. And the song is also dedicated to the aforementioned Jimmy Faulkner. There’s also references to a lot of other musicians in it, including Elvis Presley or B.B. King. I really like the bluesy guitar in this song, which is courtesy of another Irish guitarist, Pat Farrell. 

 

Enya – “So I Could Find My Way”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   For today, I’d like to share with you yet another song by Enya, from her most recent album Dark Sky Island. This emotional song, as Enya herself said in an interview, is dedicated to Nicky Ryan’s (who is Enya’s manager and producer) late mother, Mona. 

Enya – “Astra Et Lúna” (The Moon and the Stars).

   Hey people! 🙂 

 

   This Latin, celestial-themed song was playing in my brain when I woke up this morning, so I thought I’d share it with you today. It comes from Enya’s most recent album and I just love it overall. The lyrics below come from Enya Blues

   The night sky;
in the darkness the stars
and the stars and the moon,
no clouds, a clear sky,
the great song of the wind;
The beauty of the sea
the beauty of the earth
the beauty of the world around me
The open sea and summer and a distant journey.
A ship travelling by night.

Enya – “Tea-House Moon”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Perhaps I should have saved this piece for some more appropriate time, like around the autumn equinox, but it was just recently playing in my brain a lot, so I decided I’ll share it today. This piece comes from Enya’s album The Memory of Trees, and according to Roma Ryan, tea-house moon is supposed to mean the same as harvest moon. Of course there’s also an allusion to Japanese tea ceremonies. 

Enya – “Anywhere Is”.

Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this quite cheery song from Enya’s 1995 album The Memory of Trees. It originated as some staccato piece with a marching feel to it, only with backing vocals, and Nicky Ryan (Enya’s producer) and Enya herself rejected it from this album at some point, but then Rob Dickins from Warner Music had a listen to it and really liked it, seeing the possibility of commercial success in it, so they ended up including it on the album. As is often the case, Roma Ryan’s lyrics were inspired by the music and written later on, and are about finding your home. Which, as Enya said in an interview, resonates with her a lot, because she only feels like she can compose music in Donegal, where she’s from. 

Enya – “Athair Ar Neamh” (Father in Heaven).

Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another song by Enya, one that really resonates with me, mostly because of how it sounds. It’s just so extremely beautiful. It’s inn Irish Gaelic, and the English translation, which I’ve taken from the Enya Blues website but which I believe come from the album notes or something like that, is below: 

 

Father in Heaven, God help us.

Father in Heaven, God help me.

My soul, my heart, my voice

praise to you, oh God.
Long is the day, and peaceful,

long is the night without gloom,

happiness, joy, love,

praise to you, oh God.
I praise you from day to day.

I praise you night after night.
Father in Heaven, God help us.

Father in Heaven, God help me.

The moon, the sun, the wind,
praise be to you, oh God.

 

Enya – “Dan Y Dŵr” (Beneath The Waters_).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have a Welsh song for you, a Welsh song sung by Enya, and the only Welsh song that she’s ever released. This song commemorates the little village of Capel Celyn (which literally means Holly Chapel in Welsh) in the Tryweryn valley in Gwynedd in North Wales, which was drowned in 1965 and disappeared entirely, which was a carefully planned out thing. This song is featured on Enya’s album The Celts. I’ve already shared with you a song which deals with the submerging of Capel Celyn, by another of my faza people Jacob Elwy and his band Y Trŵbz, and the song is called

Annibyniaeth.

The lyrics, as always, are written by Roma Ryan.

And now I’m going to be a bit nitpicky, because this song actually sparks my curiosity a little and something about the Welsh feels off. While I’m almost 100% sure Enya doesn’t speak Welsh, because I’ve never heard of her being able to do that and her Welsh doesn’t sound convincing or particularly understandable to me at all even when I read the lyrics along with her singing (granted, I’m a learner myself, of course, and song lyrics online often have tons of weird errors in them, especially if they’re in minority languages), I wonder if Roma is able to fluently speak all the languages that she writes lyrics for Enya in. It’s very interesting. To me these lyrics look a bit odd and like things are phrased in a weird way, which could be just that it’s some more formal Welsh that I’m not really accustomed to, or it’s some older way of writing in it, and it’s clearly more South Welsh while I am more accustomed to North Welsh. Then there’s a translation, which I’ve found on

Enya Blues

, which I suppose originally comes from the album’s liner notes, and either the translation is not fully accurate, or the lyrics are a bit off to begin with, or the translation is not really literal. Like, in the original lyrics, there’s a line that goes: “Dan y dŵr, tawelwch sydd” which is translated as: ”

Beneath the waters, there is silence”. Again, I am still learning Welsh myself, and I don’t know LOADS of things, for example I don’t know a lot about formal or more poetic ways of expressing yourself in Welsh, but “tawelwch sydd” seems to me like a weird way to say “there is silence”. To my best knowledge, it literally means “silence which”. Then the next line is: “Dan y dŵr, galwaf i” which is translated as: “Beneath the waters, I call you”. Now here I’m absolutely sure that galwaf i does not mean I call you but only “I call”. And then she sings: “Nid yw’r swn gyda fi” which apparently translates to “There is no companyy withh me”, whereas I am sure that swn means sound, not company. Company is cwmni in Welsh. Later there is further reference to the sound, and then the word for it is translated properly.

Regardless whether this song is written in good Welsh or not, I’ve always felt that it’s so cool that Enya has released a song in this language that I love so much, and paid a tribute to Capel Celyn. And I’m going to include the translation anyway, because maybe it’s meant to be just as it is, and I’ve always found Enya Blues quite reliable for info about Enya and her music, and even if it isn’t exactly great, it always gives some idea about the song’s meaning.

 

Beneath the waters, there is silence.

Beneath the waters, I call you.

There is no company with me.

Beneath the waters, silent forever.

Beneath the waters, I call you.

The sound is no longer with me.

Song of the day (18th December) – Enya – “Last Time by Moonlight”.

Hey people! 🙂

With Christmas coming very soon, I thought I’d share with you a piece from Enya’s Christmassy/wintery album which I really love, namely And Winter Came. Just as it is for many people, Enya says that winter is a very reflective time of the year for her, with a lot of reminiscing and thinking about her life. And so this song also has such a reflective, and also as Enya says romantic, feel to it. It’s about a couple who once loved each other, their reflecting back on the time when they were still with each other before they parted. I really like the wintery feel of this song.

Enya – “Even in the Shadows”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have for you a single from Enya’s latest album Dark Sky Island, one of the most dynamic pieces on this album. Enya has said herself in interviews about the album that this is a very personal song for her, because it deals with her own experience of love of heartbreak, finding it difficult to move on after love is over. This song also features Eddie Lee from the Irish rock band Those Nervous Animals on double bass.

Enya – “Dark Sky Island”.

And after sharing a song by Maire Brennan for yesterday, for today I chose a song from her younger sister’s most recent album, the opening title track from it. Dark Sky Island takes its title and inspiration from Sark, one of the Channel Islands, which was designated the first dark sky island in the world and where its entire small population has an interesting way of living, adjusted to the sky, for example cars are not allowed there. Enya’s lyricist, Roma Ryan, clearly has a keen interest in all things relating to astronomy, so it’s no wonder that it has become a huge source of inspiration for her, and for Enya as well.

Question of the day.

What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

My answer:

Village School by Miss Read. I’d been wanting for the longest time to read something from this author, particularly Miss Clare Remembers and No Holly For Miss Quinn, which are two books in her Fairacre series which inspired Enya (one of my faza people) to compose two pieces of music with the same names. Just listening to those songs I always thought that if they have book equivalents, they must be great, and reading their synopses made me think they were right up my alley, but there was no Polish translation, or at least I couldn’t find any, and it’s fairly recently, some two years ago I guess, that I’ve seriously started reading English-language books of all sorts more regularly and casually, that is not solely for learning the language and new vocabulary. GoodReads must have also figured that it would be right up my alley, because recently I’ve found the first book from this series (the aforementioned Village School) in my recommendations on there, and since now I have access to different places where I can get English books and I read them regularly, I figured I really need to give this series a go now. It took me some time to get into it properly, but I really did enjoy this book and I felt really at home in it by the time I finished. It was really sweet and charming and I absolutely loved her way of describing characters, I love authors whose characters I can actually imagine and who seem life-like, her way of describing things in general is amazing, and I liked her sense of humour.

At more or less the same time I happened to learn that a guy I used to follow quite regularly some years ago, who teaches Swedish online and is a Swede himself and generally seems quite crazy about languages, has written a handbook for Swedish learners, called A Lagom Guide To Swedish. I figured I could really use some good Swedish offline resource that I wouldn’t need to scan or anything, so I bought the ebook right away. And while it’s a handbook, so generally not something you’d just read like from cover to cover, that was precisely what I ended up doing, in just a few sittings. 😀 I was quite curious how much of the things in this book I would have already known, so I started just skimming through it, but then got positively surprised that I actually know SO much of the stuff he covered in it, and even more surprised and happy whenever I came across something I didn’t know or realise, that I just didn’t want to put it aside. It really boosted my self-esteem in terms of Swedish, because ever since my English has leapt so much forward, I’ve been feeling less confident about my Swedish than I was before, even despite I managed with it quite well in Stockholm and I can get along with people just fine, I always have an impression that my Swedish, compared with my English, feels kind of clunky and it’s not as easy for me to express everything in it as it is in English, even though there was a time when my Swedish was waay better than my English. So I’m really glad I came across that book, even for this one reason. And it’ll definitely still be useful in different situations.

How about you? 🙂