Clannad – Liza”.

For today, I also have a happy love song for you, also in a Celtic language, but a bit older one and in Irish. It comes from Clannad’s eponymous debut album. I much prefer Clannad’s earlier music, which is more rooted in tradition, there’s more Irish and generally more genuine folk. Which absolutely isn’t to say that I don’t like their later music, I just like it a little less. This song is probably the most modern on their debut album, as it’s the only original song of theirs. I absolutely love it, it’s definitely one of my favourites from this album and maybe even in Clannad’s music in general. The vocalist in this particular song is not Maire Brennan as usual, but one of the male members (don’t know which). Below is the translation, which you can also find

here.

 

I’d been in love with a girl

For years and years

Liza was her name

But suddenly she came to me

With news that broke my heart

Liza

Liza baby

Liza

Stay with me

I searched high

I searched low

I searched again and again

Till one day my love returned

To stay with me forever

Liza was off wandering

She didn’t come looking for me

Liza was a little fool

But who cares?

We’re happy In a little hut by ourselves

Enya – “The Celts”.

Hi people! 🙂

Some time earlier this year, I shared with you a song by Enya called “March of the Celts” which she composed for the BBC 1986 documentary called The Celts. Today, I’m sharing with you the theme song from this documentary, and also the title song from her album The Celts, which is also the opening track of this album. The lyrics are entirely in Irish Gaelic, and here is their translation.

 

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.

Maire Brennan – “Nuair a Bhí Óg” (When We Were Young).

Hey guys! 🙂

After some Enya’s music, time for a song from her older sister – Maire, or Moya, who is most known for being a vocalist and harpist with Clannad but is also a solo artist which you may know already from my blog where I’ve shared some of her music before. – Here is the translation of this song:

 

We ran up in respect of the mountains

I have lost many days

Leaping over water stones

Playing with us outdoors |

Thinking of Tír na nÓg ‘s stories

When we were young

The sun shining through the tops of the trees

When we were young

Listening to the radio with fresh music | When we were young

the wind blowing through my family ‘s place

When we were young

Below stay a white beach in Summer

We laughed with fun and games

Fishing with a rod we did

Dance and music at the end of the day

Órla Fallon – “Nead na lachan” (The Duck’s Nest) & Éilís Kennedy – “Nead na lachan”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have one song, but in two versions for you. Sometimes it’s just impossible to decide for only one, and why limit oneself so much when they’re both great. I came across both Órla Fallon’s and

Éilís Kennedy’s music quite early on during my Celtic music exploration journey, and so I’ve been familiar with this song for years. In fact, I now consider it a bit strange but, for some time, years ago, it almost felt like I had a slight faza on

Éilís Kennedy. She does have LOADS of great songs, and fulfills many criteria that my faza people should meet at least theoretically, but it’s weird, as talented as she is, I don’t really know what exactly pulled me so much specifically into her music. I do like it a lot still but now I wouldn’t say that it resonates with me in such a special way as it is with my major faza subjects.

This song of hers was one of my most favourites because I considered it quite funny back then. So did Sofi, especially the chorus. And it actually is a children’s song. I have really nice memories with it as well.

I heard Órla’s version a lot later on, but because her version is great too, as is she as a singer in general, and because she’s more recognisable among the Celtic music fans because of having been a member of the Irish all-female group Celtic Woman, I thought it would be good to include her version here as well. And also Órla is a harpist, and harpists are always welcome in this series on my blog.:D

As for

Éilís, she comes from county Dingle and, aside from being a solo singer and clarinettist, she also used to collaborate a lot with Pauline Scanlon, as part of a band called Lumiere.

Here’s the translation of the lyrics:

 

The duck’s nest in the moat

The duck’s nest in the moat

The duck’s nest in the moat

And I will send you out on the bay

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

And I’ll send you out on the bay

I will buy you a rod and line

I will buy you a rod and line

I will buy you a rod and line

And I will send you out on the bay

Órla Fallon:

Éilís Kennedy:

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.

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.

Rachel Newton – “Gura Mise Tha Fo Mhulad” (I Am Full Of Sorrow).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I want to share with you a Scottish Gaelic song from a great harpist and singer Rachel Newton, who has already been featured on my blog a couple times. This is what’s called a waulking song. Waulking songs in Scottish folk music are songs which used to be sung by women while fulling the cloth, which in Scots is called waulking. Originally, they were accompanied by rhythmic beating of the cloth against the table or something which they did to soften it up, so that’s why these songs always have a strong beat. I don’t speak Scottish Gaelic, not yet at least, but this song was featured in The Rough Guide to Scottish Folk and there it is translated as I Am Full Of Sorrow.

Song of the day (21st January) – Clannad – “Coinleach Glas An Fhómhair” (Green Stubble-fields of Autumn).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a piece from Clannad that I really like. It’s traditional, and here are the English lyrics which are from

Celtic Lyrics’ Corner

On the green stubble-fields of autumn

I saw you, my sweetheart

Nice were your feet in shoes

And wonderful your nimble gait

Your hair the color of roses

And your ringlets tightly plaited

Alas that we’re not married

Or on board ship sailing away

 

The boys around here are

Complaining and getting fired up

And the ones with the high-piled hair

Are making homes for my brown-haired girl

If the King of Spain would

Go abroad with his assembled men

I would trample pasture and wilderness

And I would be with my brown-haired girl

 

If only my brown-haired girl and I

Were buying cows at the fair

Go and come first love

Until we go over to Gaoth-Bearra

Even if the tops of the branches were parted

And the swan were separated from the waves

That would not separate us

And those who go against us are foolish

Enya – “March of the Celts”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you this amazing piece from Enya. There is just something so majestic and stunning about it that I love, it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.

This piece is part of Enya’s album The Celts, which is the soundtrack of BBC TV series of the same title. Apparently the BBC people who stood behind the series had a lot of music to choose from as the soundtrack of the series, but they didn’t like anything of that, so finally they decided to ring Enya, or more exactly her manager Nicky Ryan, and ask if they’d be interested. The way I understand it from what I read, March of the Celts was the first piece that they – Enya and Nicky – sent to them, and ended up being commissioned to write the whole soundtrack. Just who wouldn’t like to have a soundtrack ike this to a series they were making?! 😀

This song is mostly created of mouth sounds, as a lot of Enya’s music, and apparently the only actual (Irish) lyrics that are in there say

Alive forever.

Dead forever.

Maire Brennan – “Oró” (Oh”.

Hi people. 🙂

Today, a song by Maire Brennan I want to share with you is a very lovely Gaelic lullaby. I love lullabies, I have a whole collection of them, and this one is among them. Not quite as brilliant and breathtaking as her sister’s “Song Of The Sandman” but very beautiful too. Here are the English lyrics.

 

Oh my little babe
Always stay by my side

Oh my darling
You give me hope, my darling

Sleep peacefully, sleep peacefully
Sleep peacefully, my sweet child…

Oh my little babe
Take my sure advice
My peaceful love

Oh my little babe
And a prayer from my heart
For the life in front of you

Sleep peacefully, sleep peacefully
Sleep peacefully, my sweet child…

Song of the day (4th March) – Emma Thompson & Peigi Barker, Ashley Serena ft. Karliene – “A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal” – “Noble Maiden Fair”.

 

Some time ago, I shared with you guys a couple songs by Scottish singer Julie Fowlis, who sings in Scottish Gaelic, and I wrote that Julie Fowlis became known to some wider audience because of the Disney film called “Brave” where she sang two songs in English. I didn’t show them as there is so much more great and far less known music from Julie Fowlis, but I’d like to share something from “Brave” now. This song “A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal” or “Noble Maiden Fair” in English, is sung in the film by queen Elinor (Emma Thompson, Merida’s mother) and Merida (Peigi Barker). They sing it when Merida is desperate to get her mother back as a human after she is transformed to a bear, and while the girl is having a memory of herself with her mother. It is a beautiful lullaby. I, being in love with all things Celtic, listened to the song before I even knew that this film exists and was quite surprised to hear it there, haha. I loved “Brave”, and still do, much enough to infect my sister, I started loving it because it seemed so very Celtic to me. While I still like it, I find that much of the Celticness in it is rather very stereotypical and artificial, which is sad, but I guess to be expected in a Disney film, however it’s good that they wanted to make Celtic culture more widely popular.

When it comes to this song, as I read somewhere it seems like it’s actually a direct translation from English, not a Gaelic song really, and also, Emma Thompson who plays Merida’s mother, is ENglish, and not a gaelic speaker, so even I, although I don’t speak Gaelic, only small bits and pieces, but managed to figure out its phonetics, was  able to say, or have a strong suspicion, that something is wrong with her Gaelic. Peigi on the other hand does it a bit better, because as I’ve been able to find out she had studied some Gaelic. While I loved Emma Thompson as Merida’s mum, and she sang it well, I wonder a bit why if they had someone like Julie Fowlis in the cast, they didn’t get her to sing it, she’d do it great, and it would be more authentic! Despite lacks in the linguistic sphere though, the song is very nice musically, and I love the harp in it.

But also, since I’ve been sharing some Karliene’s music with you, I thought I’d share her beautiful cover of this song, made in collaboration with Ashley Serena. While they both don’t speak Scottish Gaelic either, their version is also beautiful and with fabulous and much more present harp as well. I also have a feeling that despite linguistical lacks it’s somehow even more Celtic than the original for some reason, despite that part of it is actually in English. The English part is the translation (or original?) of the Gaelic version. Enjoy and let me know which one you like more. 🙂

Song of the day (31st December) – Enya – “Oíche Chiúin” (Silent Night).

I have a niggling feeling that despite my love for Irish language there hasn’t been much Irish language music that I posted here actually. So here’s the Irish version of “Silent Night” in ENya’s exquisite performance. I just love it so, so much!

Altan – “Dúlamán” (Channelled wrack).

Hi guys!

Today’s song of the day is one of my most favourite Irish folk songs, and I guess one of the most popular. Dúlamán is the Irish name for an edible seaweed called channelled wreck in English. This song was made popular by Clannad in ’70s, and since then was very often performed by artists like Anuna, Celtic Woman, etc. THe version I want to show you is from 1993 and made by an Irish folk band called Altan.

Altan were formed by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and her ex-husband Frankie Kennedy in the ’80s. Mairéad is from Gweedore in Donegal, so the same place from where Clannad and Enya are.

The lyrics, in both English and Irish, you can find

here

and here’s the song:

Capercaillie – “Fear a’ Bhàta” (The Boatman).

Hi all! 🙂

Today will be something in Scottish, Scottish Gaelic. I think it’s not very difficult to guess if you’re around here for a while that Scottish Gaelic is also one of my favourite languages, the more that I’ve mentioned it a few times already. 😀 It’s such a beautiful language. My first contacts with this language took place when I was about 12, just exploring Celtic folk music, mainly Irish and Scottish then, and, as I never heard this language before, I was greatly astonished that people can talk/sing this way anywhere in Europe, it sounded very weird to me and me and my school friends were laughing at the lyrics, which of course we didn’t understand at all, but we heard lots of funny Polish words or phrases in them and we were wondering what they really sing about. 😀 Now I’m a little bit more conscious, otherwise I don’t think my love for Celtic folklore and languages would survive this long.

So Capercaillie is a Scottish band founded by Karen Matheson and her partner Donald Shaw in 1984 and it still exists. They make folk Celtic music, but in the way I like about folk – mixing traditional instruments with more modern like electric guitar, bass or synths, and generally mixing old and new. Their music is both in Scottish and Englis, also Karen Matheson did a few solo albums. The name Capercaillie comes from the name of a native Scottish bird which is western capercaillie.

The song I’m sharing is a typically traditional, very famous Gaelic song in Scotland, caled Fear a’ Bhàta, which means The boatman. It is a love song, written by Sìne NicFhionnlaigh, or in English Jean/Jane Finlayson (literally daughter of Finlay) in 18th century. She was in love with a guy who was a boatman and looks like the times when she wrote this a bit maudlin song I’d say, were hard for their relationship. Nevertheless, apparently, things got settled down not very long afterwards and the couple married happily.

Although I know a couple more or less common phrases in Gaelic, I definitely didn’t know what’s this song about, so here’s the translation from Wikipedia

:

O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
My farewell to you wherever you go
I often look from the highest hill
That I might see my boatman
Will you come tonight, or will you come tomorrow
Oh sorry will I be if you do not come at all
My heart is broken, bruised
Often tears are running down from my eyes
Will you come tonight, or will I wait up for you
Or close the door with a sad sigh?

I often ask of the boatmen
If they have seen you, if you are safe
But they all tell me
That I was foolish if I gave you love.

My darling promised me a gown of silk
That and a fine plait
A golden ring in which I’d see a likeness
But I fear that he shall forget.

Although they said you were flighty
That did not lessen my love for you
You are in my dreams at night
And in the morning I ask for you.

I gave you love and cannot deny
It’s not love that lasts a year or a season
But a love that began when I was a child
And that will not wither until death do take me.

My friends say often
That I must forget your image
But their counsel is as unfathomable to me
As is the returning tide.

I am all too sad and tearful
Like a white swan that has been torn
Sounding her death-call on a small grassy loch
Having been forsaken by all.

Here’s the song: