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. 

Diana Rowan – “The Celtic Sonata: “The Star of Munster/Cremonea/Glenlivet”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you this lovely harp piece called The Celtic Sonata, as it consists of three movements, each of them being a traditional Celtic tune. The first one is a reel called The Star of Munster. The second – Cremonea, also known as Cremonia, which is the anglicised spelling of its Irish title Croí Muimhneach (Munster Heart) – is a tune composed by the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. The third one is called Glenlivet, and I’ve already shared a different version of it in the past, played by Kim Robertson

   Diana Rowan is a Celtic harpist and pianist from Dublin, but currently lives in the US, although she also travels a lot as she does a lot of concerts and gives lectures. 

Celtic Woman – “Wild Mountain Thyme”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you a song by the amazing supergroup Celtic Woman, which is an all-female folk band created and led by David Downes. I really like their music, and listened to them particularly much as a teenager when I was still rather new to the world of Celtic and folk music in general. This song comes from their latest album from last year called Postcards From Ireland, and the soloist here is Chloe Agnew, who is I believe one of the more recognisable and liked members of this group of all time, as she has been with Celtic Woman on and off since her teenage years. You can learn more about the song reading my earlier post where I shared a version of it sung by Órla Fallon, who, as it happens, was also part of Celtic Woman in the past. 

Paul Dooley – “Port an Deorai/An Phis Fluich”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you a medley of two traditional Irish tunes, both of which are slip jigs, played by Paul Dooley. Paul Dooley is a harpist and harp builder from county Clare, and he plays the harp like it used to be played historically, with the nice-sounding metal strings that make it sound less ethereal than what we are used to with the more modern Celtic harps and what most people associate with a harp, and they are plucked with long fingernails rather than fingers. 

   The first of those two slip jigs is called Port an Deorai, which seems to be more popularly known as The Exile’s, although like a lot of Celtic folk tunes it has been played and recorded under lots and lots of different names. Deora does mean exile (as in an exiled person) in Irish, and port means tune or jig so I guess it does literally mean something like The Exile’s Tune. But the second tune has even more titles under which it’s known, and its main title is quite odd. When I googled it, it says everywhere that while in English it is usually known as The Wife of Choice or O’Farrel’s Welcome to Limerick, the Irish name is said to be rather naughty and mean the Wet C**t. Indeed, the word fliuch (of which fluich is perhaps some regional variation or something) does mean wet according to my dictionary. But then it says that phis means pea, not c**t, and c**t is pit in Irish. Perhaps there are several words for that though, and maybe phis is a more colloquial, sort of idiomatic one? Whether it’s wet c**t or wet pea, it makes for a peculiar and eye-catching song title. 

Aine Minogue – “Arran Boat Song”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this traditional air from the Scottish Highlands, in the beautiful harp arrangement by Aine Minogue. I’ve shared a few pieces by her already and mentioned how I really love her music and how it has helped me through some difficult times. Aine is originally from Ireland but lives in New England and is also a singer. 

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

Órla Fallon – “Báidín Fheilimí” (Felimi’s Little Boat).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have a little  nursery rhyme for you from the Irish singer and harpist Órla Fallon whom I really like. Órla is a soloist who is also known for previously being part of the very popular Irish group Celtic WOman. This little Irish Gaelic song is apparently frequently taught to children and it originates in Donegal. The translation below comes from Wikipedia

   Felimi’s little boat went to Gola,
Felimi’s little boat and Felimi in it.
Felimi’s little boat went to Gola,
Felimi’s little boat and Felimi in it.
A tiny boat, a lively boat,
A charming boat, Felimi’s little boat.
A straight boat, a willing boat,
Felimi’s little boat and Felimi in it.

Felimi’s little boat went to Tory,
Felimi’s little boat and Felimi in it.
Felimi’s little boat went to Tory
Felimi’s little boat and Felimi in it.

Felimi’s little boat broke on Tory,
Felimi’s little boat and Felimi in it.
Felimi’s little boat broke on Tory,
Felimi’s little boat and Felimi in it.

Felimi’s little boat broke on Tory,
Fish on board and Felimi in it.
Felimi’s little boat broke on Tory,
Fish on board and Felimi in it.

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. 

Lynn Saoirse – “Loftus Jones”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another tune composed by Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan and performed by Lynn Saoirse, from her album The Seas Are Deep. This one is a planxty honouring a man called Loftus Jones. 

Clannad – “A Celtic Dream”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a fairly recent song by Clannad. This single was released only two years ago, preceding their In a Lifetime anthology which marks the end of their career. The lyrics, as it’s easy to figure out, refer to myths and legends of the Celts, as well as to the group members’ youth spent in Donegal. 

Clannad – “Brian Boru’s March”.

   Hi all you people! 🙂 

   Today I have an instrumental piece for you from Clannad, which is a traditional Irish tune. I have already posted it a few years ago in a different version, called Brian Boru by Breton singer and harpist Alan Stivel. That other version has lyrics which are mostly   Breton but also a bit  Irish. – For people who aren’t familiar with Brian Boru, he was the last High King of Ireland. 

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. 

Emma Langford – “The Winding Way Down to Kells Bay”.

   Hey all you people! 🙂 

   I have a really lovely tune for you today that I’ve discovered fairly recently, and pretty much ever since I’ve discovered it, it’s been stuck in my brain. I don’t really mind it at all, and it has also prompted me to familiarise myself with more of Emma Langford’s music, which I really like as well. But this song is so idyllic and I think very easily likeable that I thought this one would be the best to share. It comes from her 2019 album Sowing Acorns. Each song on this album is dedicated to someone, and this one is in memory of Emma’s late grand-uncle Eamonn, who lived in Kells Bay, and who died of a heart attack while Emma and her family were visiting him one summer. Kells Bay is a fishing village in county Kerry, and the vivid picture of it that we get from listening to this song gives an impression that it must be a really nice place. 

Song of the day (14th July) – Órla Fallon – “Eleanor Plunkett”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Thought I’d share with you another rendition of this popular tune by Irish blind harper Turlough O’Carolan, this time played by Irish harpist and singer Órla Fallon. 

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.