Rachel Newton – “The Maid of Neidpath”.

Hiya people! ๐Ÿ™‚

A beautiful Scottish piece I have for you today! It’s actually a poem by sir Walter Scott, but played on the harp and sung by Rachel Newton. It tells the story of Jean Douglas – daughter of William Douglas – who lived in Neidpath castle in the 18th century. She fell in love with a man who, although he was of noble birth, was considered not a proper match for Jean, so, in an attempt to make his daughter forget about her love, her father sent him away. That totally destroyed poor Jean, who fell very ill as a result, and was only able to watch out the window for when her lover would come back. Eventually he did, but she was so poorly and sick-looking that he didn’t even recognise her and rode past the castle. That ultimately broke the girl’s heart and she died. Her memory still seems to be alive in that area because she’s still believed to haunt the castle.

Gwenan Gibbard – “Dod Dy Law” (Place Your Hand).

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At the beginnings of my blog, one of the songs I shared with you was

Dod Dy Law

beautifully sung acapella by Gwilym Bowen Rhys, who’s of course one of my faza people. And then I think I also shared it sung by Siรขn James. I had very little idea about Welsh then, and didn’t know what the word “dod” was supposed to mean in this context, but now I know it means to put or place. Since then, I’ve also become familiar with Ffion from the Foxglove Trio, who has a blog where she writes about Welsh folk songs, and which I often find very useful. And she wrote

a post about this song.

It’s thanks to her that I finally learned what this song is about and I agree that it’s one of the saddest Welsh songs of those I’ve heard.

As it’s quite easy to figure out from the lyrics, the lyrical subject is addressing their former lover, by whom their heart has been broken.

The translated lyrics below are taken from Ffion’s website, who in turn got them from the website of Gwenan Gibbard, and they’ve been translated by Dafydd Ifan.

 

Place your hand, lest you believe,

On my breast, without hurting me,

If you listen, you may hear

The sound of my little heart breaking.

Oh my dearest, take a reed

And hold it at both ends,

Break it in half

Just as you broke my heart.

Heavy the lead, heavy the stones,

Heavy is the heart of all lonely people,

Heaviest of all, twixt sun and moon,

Is bidding farewell where there is love.

Kate Rusby – “Let The Cold Wind Blow”.

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Here’s another of my most favourite songs by Kate Rusby. I think it’s one of the most melancholic, at least musically, songs that I’ve ever heard, and the lyrics are also touching especially because of Kate’s expressiveness. The song is from the point of view of a ghost, who is witnessing that the love of his life no longer loves him and both she and the man she now loves live on his land. While I am not extremely fond of paranormal novels with ghosts or stuff like that, for some reason I find folk songs written from a ghost’s perspective very touching and interesting. I’ve shared another quite similar one in a way some time ago, it’s

“Nightvisitor” by Jim Moray.

I think they are both very evocative though in a bit different ways.