Clannad – “An Crúiscín Lán” (The Little Full Jug).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today let’s listen to a cheerful tune, a sort of drinking song I guess we could call it, from Clannad’s live album from Bremen. I’ve found a lot of crappy translations of this, and one that seems reliable which comes from here. 

   

When I die, don’t bury me, but take me to the alehouse. I’d rather listen to the beat of drinking mugs than to the sweet music of the cuckoo. So fill to us the little jug and keep it full.

There is a girl in this village as lovely as you’ll find anywhere … so fill the jug …

Will come and will you stay, Dónal, and have you drunk enough?. I’ll come, not stay, and I’ll have a lovely girl if she takes my advice, so fill the jug …

This is a great town … and wouldn’t it be a good place for a young woman to dwell in, even for just a quarter of a year, so fill the jug …

Clannad – “Two Sisters”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you a song by Clannad, one that has loads and loads of different versions in different European countries, with varying details of the story, but the core is always the same – there are two sisters and one man who is in love with the younger sister, but the older sister is very much in love with him and jealous of the younger, so she drowns her. – I have already shared one version of this song, sung by Emily Portman from England. If I had to choose between these two, I think I prefer Emily’s version, but they’re both great each in its own way, and I might be sharing more versions of this song in the future, because I think there are many great ones out there. 

Áine Minogue – “Griogal Cridhe” (Beloved Gregor).

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a Scottish Gaelic lament, or lullaby, sung by an Irish singer who lives in the US. I think I have shared three songs by Aine Minogue on my blog so far and surely must have mentioned how she was one of my most favourite Celtic folk singers and harpists when I was a teenager. I still like her a lot, and this has always been one of my favourite songs by her. Generally, this song has a very interesting melody in my opinion, and I like most versions of it that I’ve heard. 

   It was written in the 16th century by a woman called Mór Chaimbeull after the death of her husband,  the chief of the Clan Mac Gregor, Griogair Ruadh Mac Griogair, or Gregor the Red Mac Gregor in English who was executed at Taymouth Castle. 

   Here’s the translation of this song: 

   Many a night both wet and dry
Weather of the seven elements
Gregor would find for me a rocky shelter
Which I would take eagerly.
Obhan, Obhan, Obhan iri
Obhan iri O!
Obhan Obhan Obhan iri,
Great is my sorrow, great.
I climbed into the upper chamber
And lay upon the floor
And I would not find my dearest Gregor
At the table in his place.
Great darling of the World’s people
They spilt your blood yesterday
And they put your head on an oaken stake
Near where your body lay.
Though now I have no apples,
And others have them all,
My own apple, fragrant, handsome –
And the back of his head on the ground.
I would be glad to be with dear Gregor
Guarding cattle in the glen
Instead of with the great Baron of Dalach,
White silk around my head.
While the young wives of the town
Serenely sleep tonight
I will be at the edge of your gravestone
Beating my two hands.

Órla Fallon – “Mo Ghile Mear” (My Gallant Darling).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   For today I chose to share with you this Irish folk song, which is quite modern as we know it in its current form, but whose origins actually go back to the 18th century. It was composed in 1972-ish by Dónal Ó Liatháin with lyrics partially based on several Jacobite poems written by Seán “Clárach” MacDomhnaill and set to a tune collected by the composer Seán Ó Riada from a man called Domhnall Ó Buachalla from Cúil Aodha in Cork. One of the original poems on which this song is based (whose title translates to MY Heart is Sore With Sorrow Deep in English) is written in the voice of Éire – the personification and goddess of Ireland – lamenting the failure of the Jacobite rising of 1745 and the exile of Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie. The other one (known as Over the Hills and Far Away in English) was written during the Jacobite rising of 1715, with the lamented hero this time being James Francis Edward Stuart.Ó Liatháin decided to pick the least explicitly Jacobite-sounding verses from both poems, and because he composed it a year after Ó Riada’s – the aforementioned collector of the original tune – death, this new song was created as a lament for his death.

   I’ve already shared several songs by Órla Fallon so I guess she doesn’t need a special introduction on here, but for those who don’t know she’s an Irish singer and Celtic harpist who used to be a member of the Irish all-female group Celtic Woman (who also did their version of this song, by the way) and has released several great solo albums since leaving the group. 

The translation i Found has “mo ghile mear” as “my dashing darling”, but it seems to be known more widely as “gallant” rather than “dashing” so that’s why I put “gallant” in the post title. 

   My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

I’m incessantly sorrowing each day,
Lamenting sorely and showing signs of tears
As the lively lad has been separated from me
And no news from him is told, my sadness.

My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

Let a story be sung on tuneful harps
and let lots of quarts be filled on the table
with high spirits faultless and unclouded
to find life and good health for my lion1

My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

Clannad – “Eleanor Plunkett”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I have already shared with you two versions of this Irish tune composed by Turlough O’Carolan, one played by Lynn Saoirse and the other by Celia Briar, and today I thought I’d share another one, this time played by Clannad. You can click the above links to learn a bit more about the song. 

Margie Butler – “Gaelic Lullaby”.

Hi people! 🙂 

   Recently when doing some decluttering in my room, I’ve come across a cassette with music by Margie Butler that I got from my Mum what feels like ages ago. My Celtic interests were just starting to develop at the time and someone was selling this cassette on Allegro (this is like a Polish equivalent of Ebay) and my Mum got it for me, and this was one of my first closer encounters with the Celtic harp. I remember really liking it and initially listened to it a lot, every night I came home from school, but cassettes were already starting to feel outdated so over time as technology kept progressing and my music listening habits have changed I’d almost forgotten about it. And even though I don’t even own a tape player anymore and the only one we have at home is my Mum’s old stereo, it felt so nice to be reminded of this cassette. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t all lullabies but there were some lullabies on it as well. And so I thought that today I’d share something from this Irish harpist with you, and even though it’s late morning here, I love lullabies, and I love Margie’s album Celtic Lullabies, so I decided on a piece from that album called Gaelic Lullaby which I think is really stunning despite being quite a short piece. 

Gráinne Hambly – “Amhran na Leabhar (The Song of the Books)”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a harp piece, played by an Irish harpist whose music I’ve never shared on my blog until now, namely Gráinne Hambly from county Mayo. I first heard of her and got to listen to her music on BBC Radio Ulster a few years ago. This piece played by her that I want to share with you is a sad tune composed by Irish poet and musician from 19th century – Tomás Rua ó Súilleabháin, who was working for some time as a headmaster in Derrynane, co. Kerry. Once a permanent headmaster for the school was appointed, he was forced to move to Portmagee. He owned a huge library of books, which he decided to transport by boat that was going from Derrynane to Valentia Harbor and himself travelled by road. Sadly though, the boat carrying all his priceless books struck a rock, and his whole collection was lost! And that’s how this song came to life, he wrote it as a way of seeking solace after such a huge loss. I think every bibliophile’s heart must break just thinking about this tragedy, but even more so when listening to this tune and knowing about its origin. I can definitely understand how awful it is to lose a book irretrievably, and it must be so much worse losing like a huge library, especially back then when books were a lot more of a rare thing! This tune is also known as Valentia Lament and Cuan Bhéal Inse. 

   Gráinne Hambly – “Amhran na Leabhar (The Song of the Books)”. 

 

Clannad – “Siúl a Rún” (Go, My Love).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   So I’ve shared two versions of this extremely popular Irish song with you this year so far, and I thought today I could share with you another one, from Clannad. I guess this version is also quite well-known and well-liked due to Clannad’s fame. I really like Maire Brennan’s vocals in this song, she usually tends to sing in the higher register, but I definitely prefer her when she sings a bit lower and that’s what she does here. I already wrote a bit on the song itself when sharing the version by Anuna so I recommend you see that post as well if you haven’t and if you’re interested in the origins of it, also their song is definitely worth listening to just as well. 

Song of the day (16th April) – Méav – “Ailein Dúinn” (Dark-Haired Alan).

   This Scottish piece is most known as the theme song for Rob Roy, in which it was sung by Scottish singer Karen Matheson, who is also known as the vocalist of Capercaillie whose music I’ve previously shared on here. I, however, at least for now, decided to share with you a cover of that Rob Roy version, sung by Méav ni Mhaolchatha, an Irish soprano who feels at home both with folk as well as classical music. She’s also known for being a former member of the Irish all-female group Celtic Woman. As for the song, it is a lament written by Annag Chaimbeul for her fiancée Ailean Moireasdan, who was a sea captain in the 18th century. He was going to be engaged to ANnag in Scalpay, and was sailing there from Stornoway, but was caught in a storm on his way, which ended up tragically as both him and the entire crew sank. After that, Annag no longer wanted to live and died a few months later. There was not enough soil on Scalpay to bury her there, so her father took her coffin to the near island of Harris. However, on his way there, the storm blew Annag’s coffin off his boat and it ended up on Scalpay near her fiancée anyway. 

Maire Brennan – “I Láthair Dé (In God’s Presence)”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I have a Christian hamn for you, performed by Maire/Moya Brennan, known as the lead singer and harpist of Clannad, or as one of Enya’s many siblings, who has also had a very fruitful solo career, which most of you probably already know well since I’ve already shared a lot of her solo music in the past. Maire is very open about being a Christiann and a lot of her solo music revolves more or less closely around Christian themes. This as far as I know is not some traditional hymn but something she wrote herself/was written for her specifically. It was recorded together with the choir that has been directed for many years by her mother, known as “Baba” Brennan. The translation of the Irish lyrics comes from here. 

   

Now show me my way
Take care of me Lord
Every day and night
Listen to my prayer God

You gave me hope inside
You listened to me when I was down
You are faithful and merciful
Fill me with your Spirit forever
I will play for your glory
And the angels in the presence of God

Guide my life now in the
Fill up my heart with great love
You are the King
You made heaven and earth |
You put peace in my heart
You brighten my life with joy
I’ll play the harp for you
I will praise You for my life

Now show me my way
Take care of me Lord
Every day and night
Listen to my prayer God

Guide my life now in the
Fill up my heart with great love
You are the King
You made heaven and earth

Celia Briar – “Farewell to Whisky”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Thought I’d share another song performed by Celia Briar today. This time, it’s a tune composed by 18th century Scottish fiddler called Niel Gow, who wrote it one year when harvest in highlands was very poor, and there was a major barley shortage. As a result, local people were prohibited from producing whiskey, which caused them great sadness. I like Celia’s harp arrangement of this tune. 

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. 

 

Lynn Saoirse – “Eleanor Plunkett”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you yet another composition of Turlough O’Carolan played by Lynn Saoirse. THis is one of O’Carolan’s most famous tunes, which I’ve already shared in the past played by another Irish Celtic harpist Celia Briar. This is a planxty dedicated to Eleanor Plunkett of county Meath. 

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.

Clannad – “Robin, the Hooded Man”.

   Hi guys! 🙂 

   Recently I shared with you a piece called Lady Marian from Clannad’s album Legend, which was the soundtrack for the Robin of Sherwood series, and today I thought I’d share another one, the most famous song from this soundtrack, and the title theme. 

Clannad – “Lady Marian”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today, i thought we could listen to a piece by Clannad, from their album Legend, which I think is what they are most known for, as that was the soundtrack to the Robin of Sherwood series. This piece is my favourite from this whole soundtrack. 

Celtic Woman – “Siúil a Rúin” (Go, My Love”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Last month, I showed you the traditional and very frequently sung by all sorts of folk singers Irish tune called Siúil A Rúin by the famous Irish choral ensemble called Anúna. In that post I also explained a bit about the origins and background of the song. Today, I thought I’d share another version of this song, with a bit different lyrics, also from a probably even more popular Irish group that is Celtic Woman. Celtic Woman have actually recorded several different versions of this song, which is not uncommon for them since their line-up has changed a whole lot so they often re-make their old songs with new members. While it is undoubtedly the older version from their debut album, with Órla Fallon on vocals, that is more widely known and recognisable, today I chose to share with you the newer version, with Eabha McMahon as the vocalist. I can’t say which one I like more, but I chose this one because it has a more rootsy vibe and also I’ve already shared a lot of Órla’s music on here, while only one song with Eabha on vocals. As it happens, Eabha was also a member of Anúna as a young girl before she joined Celtic Woman. 

   Since this song is about a woman’s sorrow because of her lover departing to enlist in the army, listening to this song in this awful time gives me a really strange feeling and makes me see it from a different perspective, as I can’t help but think about all the Ukrainian women, also those many women who have fled here to Poland alone or with children while their men are fighting. Except I guess they have it a lot worse than this Irish lady from the song, because they not only must miss their men and wish to be with them but also worry about their lives, which she doesn’t seem to be concerned about so I guess he’s not actually fighting in a war, just simply chose a military career or something like that.