Lynn Saoirse – “Marches of the O’Neills”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another piece by Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse on here. Most of what I have shared by her are tunes composed by Turlough O’Carolan, as she has recorded a lot of his music, and so seems to be the case with this set of planxty tunes, but I don’t know anything more about them. 

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. 

Diana Rowan – “Your Soul is a Chosen Landscape”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share a harp piece by Diana Rowan with you. This is the second one featured on this blog. Diana is originally from Dublin, but is currently based in the US. I believe that the title of this track refers to a French poem called “Clair de Lune”, written by Paul Verlaine, which inspired Claude Debussy to compose his famous work of the same name. THis poem includes a line “Your soul is a chosen landscape”. 

Celia Briar – “Her Mantle so Green”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have for you a traditional Irish ballad from County Armagh played by the harpist Celia Briar. This song was first collected from a man called Jim O’Neill, and it is a so-called broken token ballad, that is one where there are two lovers who divide something between themselves, like a ring, as a love token, but then they part as he goes off to fight somewhere far away. This particular song is from the point of view of a man who sees a woman (her name is Nancy) and is immediately so enamoured with her that he proposes to her straight away. She rejects his proposal, saying that she’s already engaged with another man who is currently in the army and had fought at Waterloo. The man asks her the name of her lover, because he had also fought at Waterloo, and she shows him his name (Willie O’Reilly) embroidered on her mantle. As it happened, Willie O’Reilly was a good friend of his who died in the battle, and mentioned Nancy to him, giving him the ring which was the token of his love for Nancy, which understandably really upsets the girl. And here’s where things get potentially a little bit confusing. Because then suddenly Willie speaks about the day when they parted, and then later the narration switches to third-person, which makes one realise that Willie hasn’t died, he just decided to test her fidelity a bit, and she must have not recognised him. 

   Like I said this is an instrumental harp version that I’m sharing with you, but the first version of this song that I’ve heard was that of Sinead O’Connor, which is also good and perhaps I’ll share it at some point in future as well. 

Órla Fallon – “Nil ‘na la” (The Daybreak Has Not Yet Come).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I ant to share a really cheerful, happy Irish folk song with y’all, sung by a former Celtic Woman member, Órla Fallon, a singer and harpist whose music I’ve shared on here several times already and whom I really like. This is also my favourite version of this song of those that I’m familiar with, although it’s a really cool song in general. The translation below comes from this website

   The sheep are eating the corn


The calves are drinking the milk


The potatoes are unsold


You senseless man
Will you not go home!
Siobhan is a fine young girl
In her new dress down from the shop


I gaze at my golden guinea
Spinning on the table


And my temper rises
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s with us


She has spoken and I must leave here
Don’t send me out into the dark


The night is cold and I’ll be perished


Stay inside with me a while
And drink my fill until the morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s with us


She has spoken and I must leave here
Oh I go up and I go down


I try my luck with the tavern lady


I throw a guinea on the table
And drink my fill until the morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s with us


She has spoken and I must leave here
I left my shoes in the house of ale


I left my stockings there as well


The cocks have all begun to crow


And I am forced to leave for home
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s with us


She has spoken and I must leave here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s with us


She has spoken and I must leave here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s here
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s morning
Daybreak has not yet come – but now it’s with us


She has spoken and I must leave here

Celtic Woman – “Danny Boy”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this very popular and well-known Irish song sung by Celtic Woman. I have shared this song by Declan Galbraith from his debut album, and shared  more about the song and its origins in that post. Celtic Woman have sung this song many times, I guess the most famously with Méav Ní Mhaolchatha as the lead vocalist, but despite my sentiment for the original line-up, I think this more recent live performance  where they sing in harmony is really impressive. 

Lynn Saoirse – “Michael O’Connor”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to go back once again to the Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, which contains compositions of Turlough O’Carolan. As is clear from the title, this tune is also a plenty, although unfortunately I don’t have the slightest idea who Michael O’Connor was in O’Carolan’s life. But that’s the cool thing about planxties (similarly to Sámi joiks) that you can try to imagine the person for whom it was composed based on what it sounds like, at least that’s something I like to do. 

Clannad – “An Mhaighdean Mhara” (The Mermaid).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I have for you a beautiful and sad traditional Irish song, which I believe I first heard sung by Órla Fallon, whose version is also lovely. This song is about a mother of two children – Maire and Padraig, or Mary and Patrick in English – who was a mermaid or apparently in some versions she is a selkie, and who really longed for the sea, but her cloak that she put on to shapeshift into a mermaid was hidden somewhere. One day, her children discovered it near the sea, and then their mother swam away. I got the translation from here

   It seems that you have faded away and abandoned the love of life
The snow is spread about at the mouth of the sea
Your yellow flowing hair and little gentle mouth
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne
My dear mother, said blonde Mary
By the edge of the shore and the mouth of the sea
A mermaid is my noble mother
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne
I am tired and will be forever
My fair Mary and my blond Patrick
On top of the waves and by the mouth of the sea
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne
The night is dark and the wind is high
The Plough can be seen high in the sky
But on top of the waves and by the mouth of the sea
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne

Celia Briar – “Elizabeth McDermot Roe”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   This is another plenty tune composed by the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. As its title says, it is dedicated to Miss Elizabeth McDermot Roe, and as I’ve already written previously, McDermots were O’Carolan’s strongest supporters and patrons. His father worked for them as a blacksmith, and after his death, it was Mrs. Anne McDermot Roe who gave Turlough education and essentially helped him become a harper, and they maintained a good relationship throughout his life, so no wonder that he has created numerous planxties for them, some of them I’ve shared before played by different people. Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne and Henry McDermot Roe. 

Grainne Hambly – “Sir Arthur Shaen”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I chose another piece composed by the  Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. It’s played by the Irish Celtic harpist Grainne Hambly, by whom I’ve shared one other tune on here. As you may know and as I already wrote before when sharing Turlough O’Carolan’s tunes, he composed a lot of his songs for specific people, usually his patrons. And I guess sir Arthur Shaen must have been one of them. He seems to have been a baronet of Kilmore. 

   Grainne Hambly – “Sir Arthur Shaen”

The Chieftains ft. Lisa Hannigan – “My Lagan Love”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today I chose to share with you this Irish folk song by The Chieftains featuring Lisa Hannigan as vocalist. I really like My Lagan Love because of its beautiful and kind of unexpected melody, and I’ve already shared two instrumental Celtic harp versions of it on here, one by Lynn Saoirse and the other by Lisa Lynne. But I also really like this version in particular because I like Lisa Hannigan’s vocal and it fits this tune really well. The Chieftains are a popular Irish folk band that has been around since the. 60’s, and I’ve already shared one song by them with Maire Brennan on vocals. Lisa Hannigan is also a very popular and well-known artist in Ireland and abroad. 

Lynn Saoirse – “The Cliffs of Moher/The Dusty Windowsill”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I also want to share with you a piece played by Lynn Saoirse. ‘Cause why not? 😀 It is a medley of two jigs, of which the first one is traditional and refers to the famous Irish cliffs of Moher in county Clare. The second originates in Chicago and was written by a man called John Harling, which is why this tune is also apparently known as Harling’s jig. I really like the story ow how it came to life and how it got its title. His muse happened to strike while he was in a basement, and he wanted to write the tune down before it disappeared so that he could come back later on and rewrite it on a piece of paper. And the only thing in that basement on which he could write was a dusty windowsill. 

Janet Harbison – “Suantrai” (Lullaby).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   I’m quite late with today’s song because got a migraine today which still hasn’t fully gone, but thought that I’d make use of it and share a beautiful lullaby with you. Not that I’e never shared lullabies in the morning or whenever, because I think any time is good for lullabies really, but obviously evenings are most fitting. This lullaby can be found on the compilation called Masters of the Irish Harp released by Rte Lyric FM. Janet Harbison is a great Celtic harper, and harp teacher as well, from Dublin. 

Celtic Woman – “Ride on”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a contemporary Irish folk song written by Jimmy MacCarthy, singer songwriter from Cork. This song has been covered by a lot of people, but I guess most famously by Christy Moore, whose version I also really like and it’s the first one I heard. While this song is considered very complex lyrically, like many of McCarthy’s song, he himself has said that the topic of it is simple – the inevitability of death of people we love, or parting in general. – 

   I’ve already shared several songs by Celtic Woman and they’re widely popular anyway so I guess I don’t have to say much about them here. This particular song is sung by Mairead Carlin and Eabha McMahon, I shared Siúil a Rúin  sung by her as part of Celtic Woman as well as Fill, Fill a Rún that she sung as the soloist with Anna and you can read a bit more about her in those posts. They are accompanied by the great fiddler Mairead Nesbitt.  

Lucy Blue – “Pilot”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I heard this song about a week ago and it’s still stuck in my brain. I really like it for some reason, so I’m sharing. Lucy Blue is a 19-year-old Irish singer from Dublin, who is influenced by a lot of different music genres and styles. So far this is the only song by her that I know, but I plan on having a listen to her other music as well. 

Clannad – “Teidhir Abhaile Riú” (Go Home With You).

   And for today, I have this funny little traditional Irish tune for y’all which has been recorded multiple times by Clannad. In this song, the father is teasing a girl called Mary, who must have looked a few times too many at some piper, perhaps when they met at some sort of people gathering, and she tells her that she should marry him, which she isn’t keen on. The lyrics below come from my favourite Celtic music resource which is Celtic lyrics Corner

 

Go home with you, go home with you

Go home with you, Mary

Go home with you and stay at home
Because your match is made
 
 

It doesn’t matter who made it or who didn’t

It doesn’t matter who made it, Mary

It doesn’t matter who made it or who didn’t

Because your match is made
 
 

It doesn’t matter who made it or who didn’t
It doesn’t matter who made it, Mary

It doesn’t matter who made it or who didn’t

Because your match is made
 
 
Marry the piper, marry the piper
Marry the piper, Mary

Marry the piper early at night

And you’ll have him in the morning
 
 

Your match is, my match isn’t
Your match is made
My match isn’t, your match is
My match isn’t made
 
 
My match isn’t, your match is
My match isn’t made
Your match is, my match isn’t
Your match is made

Aine Minogue – “Dark Island”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this pensive and relaxing piece by one of my favourite harpists – Aine Minogue – which she recorded together with other instrumentalists that she collaborates with. For those who are new to Aine’s music, she is an Irish Celtic harpist as well as singer and composer who was born in county Tipperary but currently resides in Boston.