Clannad – “The Last Rose of Summer”.

Hi hi people! 🙂

Since summer has just passed, I thought this would be a very appropriate song to share at this particular time of year. There are several versions that I like, but, at least for today, I chose Clannad. Perhaps some time later on I’ll also share others that I like.

The Last Rose of Summer is a poem written by the Irish poet Thomas Moore while he stayed in Jenkinstown Castle in Kilkenny, where he was said to be inspired by a flower of rosa old blush. It has later been set to a traditional Irish tune called a Young Man’s Dream in English and has been interpreted gazillions of times as it seems, classically and folkily.

This poem starkly reminds me of my little Misha and how he often is concerned about leaves being lonely, like when they fall from trees and one leaf is blown away from the other leaves or is blown on to the heap with leaves from other trees that it doesn’t know and doesn’t feel well with, or when all leaves have fallen except one who is still on the tree and is alone and cold. I think he has even written about that on here at least once back when he did regularly. This song has a very similar feel to that imo. I’m not sure if Misha has had similar thoughts about flowers during transitions between seasons, but he definitely has an affinity with them too and likes to nibble on them and smell themm.

Enya – “Dark Sky Island”.

And after sharing a song by Maire Brennan for yesterday, for today I chose a song from her younger sister’s most recent album, the opening title track from it. Dark Sky Island takes its title and inspiration from Sark, one of the Channel Islands, which was designated the first dark sky island in the world and where its entire small population has an interesting way of living, adjusted to the sky, for example cars are not allowed there. Enya’s lyricist, Roma Ryan, clearly has a keen interest in all things relating to astronomy, so it’s no wonder that it has become a huge source of inspiration for her, and for Enya as well.

Song of the day (20th September) – The Chieftains ft. Maire Brennan – “Lullaby for the Dead”.

Hey people! 🙂

I thought I’d share this beautiful, very sad, Irish lullaby with you. I like a lot of lullabies and I love how Irish Celtic folk music is so full of lullabies. This one is soulfully sung by, probably well-known by now to the readers of this blog, Maire/Moya Brennan from Clannad, Enya’s sister, who is accompanied by the very popular Celtic music band from Dublin – The Chieftains – who were formed in the 60’s during the Celtic music revival in Ireland and often collaborate with other well-known Irish folk musicians.

Maire Brennan – “Big Rock”.

Hiya people! 🙂

For today I chose to share with you a Christian song from Maire Brennan. A lot of her lyrics feature more or less strong Christian themes, because she herself is, if I remember correctly, a devout Evangelical Christian. This song’s chorus is in Irish Gaelic, and as you can find out on

this great website,

they translate to:

 

Christ, cover me

Christ, guard me

Christ, keep me

Christ the King

|Christ, deliver me

Christ, guide me

Christ, teach me

Christ the King

The Belfast Harp Orchestra – “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire”.

Hiya people! 🙂

The beautiful piece I’m sharing with you today comes from an act who’s relatively new to me, but ever since I’ve become aware of their existence I like their music a lot. I truly love long, complex pieces for harp, and this one perfectly meets my expectations. 😀 Hope you enjoy it too. 🙂

The Belfast Harp Orchestra – “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire”

Maire Brennan – “Where We Once Met”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I thought I’ll share with you something else from this Irish singer, I think this is a really nice piece. I like all the harp in it, and, as a gem stone lover and collector, all the gem stone references. 🙂 The word samhradh, which appears in this song regularly, means summer in Irish.

Clannad – “Theme From Harry’s Game”.

I’ve shared quite a lot of Clannad’s music lately, but I guess this is one of their more recognisable pieces, probably the only ones that are better known are “Robin, The Hooded Man” and “In The Lifetime” with Bono.

I’ve never watched the Yorkshire Television series to which this theme was written and recorded, nor read the book on which the series was based, and have very little idea as for what is about, but I really like this song, it being one of the very first pieces of Celtic music that I’ve listened to.

Here are the English lyrics, which I’ve got from

this great site:

 

I will go east and go west

From whence came the moon and the sun

The moon and the sun will go

And the young man with his reputation behind him

 

I will go wherever he came from

The young man with his reputation behind him

Enya – “Storms In Africa”.

Hey people! 🙂

The song I’d like to show you today, actually has two parts, which is why this song is also known as Storms in Africa pt. 1. This first part is in Irish Gaelic, and the second one is in English. The inspiration for it has come from Nicky Ryan – Enya’s manager and producer – who came up with the title. He got inspired with the arpeggiator in the Juno 60 synth which Enya uses for a lot of her music and which is one of her favourites. They were playing around with it and he told Enya to compose something that would use this arpeggiator sound. And the lyrics of course come from Roma Ryan. Here’s the translation:

 

How far is it from…

How far is it from…

Walk through the storms.

Go through the storms.

How far is it from

the start of the storm?

How far is it from

the beginning to the end?

Take heart!

Walk through the storms.

Take heart

going through the storms!

A great journey.

Come through the storms.

A long Journey.

Look through the storms.

Enya – “If I Could Be Where You Are”.

Hey people! 🙂

Apparently, this is one of Enya’s favourite songs from her album Amarantine. I think this is also one of her saddest songs ever. Which may be part of why it’s so beautiful and why it is also one of my favourites. I think it captures very well the feeling when you love and care about someone but don’t even know where they are, which must be an awful feeling to experience.

Enya – “Boadicea”.

Hi people! 🙂

This song of Enya’s is one of my most favourites and one of her first songs that I grew to like. I always found it very soothing with all the humming, even though in fact its inspiration is anything but soothing. Boadicea, as you may or may not know, also spelled as Boudicca, was a Celtic queen of the Iceni tribe located in what’s currently known as East Anglia, who led a revolt against Ancient Romans. Despite the meaning of her name (“victorious) she was eventually defeated, but didn’t want to accept being humiliated by her enemies, so she decided to poison herself instead. This track was sampled an infinite amount of times by different artists, including once without her prior permission, so it sounds familiar to many people, even those who aren’t really into Enya as such.

Lynn Saoirse – “The Seas Are Deep”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’ve shared with you quite a few track from the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse, specifically from her album called The Seas Are Deep, with music composed by Turlough O’Carolan. Today I thought we’d listen to the title track, which I absolutely love for its melancholic and slightly dark feel.

Lynn Saoirse – “The Princess Royal/Miss MacDermott”.

Hi people! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to another composition by the Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan, played by Lynn Saoirse. I recently shared one that was dedicated to Mrs. MacDermott, and I wrote there that the MacDermott family was very significant in O’Carolan’s life, as they were his patrons with whom he had a really good relationship. Even though there is a / in the title of this piece, which is common with Irish sets, this is only one piece, but simply known under two names. This is because the MacDermot Roe family also used the title of princes of Coolavin, and so naturally the daughter of a Prince of Coolavin was Princess of Coolavin. This is one of the most well-known compositions by O’Carolan.

Song of the day (21st June) – Eimear Quinn – “The Voice” & Celtic Woman – “The Voice”.

I couldn’t decide on just one version, as I really like both, so you can compare the two. This song was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1996 for Ireland, and was composed and written by Brendan Graham who already wrote some other song for Eurovision a few years earlier. Prior to taking part in Eurovision, Eimear Quinn was one of the members and soloists of the amazing choral ensemble Anuna.

Celtic Woman first released this song in 2007, with Lisa Kelly as the vocalist, and now this is one of the songs they perform quite frequently.

While, like I said I like both versions, I slightly gravitate towards the latter. Not sure why, perhaps just because that’s the one I heard first and I have a strong sentiment for Celtic Woman and Lisa Kelly as well.

Eimear Quinn:

Celtic Woman:

Song of the day (19th June) – Danú – “Molly Na gCuach Ní Chuilleanáin” (Molly Cullinane of the Ringlets).

And here’s yet another song by Danú that I want to share with you, my most favourite one of theirs. I fell in love with it the very first time I heard it, even though I had no idea what it was about. I love Muireann nic Amhlaoibh’s expressivity. I’ve found the translation of the lyrics on Song of the Isles, the website of David Wood.

I won’t go drinking anymore

I will not taste a drop of beer ever

Since I lost my little young girl

Who used to put money in my pockets

I miss her, I miss her

I miss her since she went away

I miss her in every way

Molly Cullinane of the ringlets.

I will build a house on the heights

And I will have four spotted milk cows

And I will allow nobody near them

Except for lovely fair Molly Cullinane.

If I were on my deathbed

And the people saying I would not recover

I would never make my will

Until fair Molly Cullinane would come.

One day I was in the wood

I caught a glimpse of a pretty girl

She would make a corpse live

Or turn an old man into a young fellow.

Song of the day (18th June) – Danú – “County Down”.

Danú is an Irish Celtic music band whose music I really like. In 2004, they won the Best Traditional Group award at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (for the second time, making them the only group who has ever won that award more than once). That same year, this song I want to share with you now, County Down, won in the Best Song category as well. This song was originally written and performed by Tommy Sands, whose other song – There Were Roses – is also on my blog in the interpretation of Cara Dillon. – Sands himself, by the way, is from County Down. The group’s vocalist at the time – Muireann nic Amhlaoibh – is also a solo singer and takes part in some other music projects. I first heard about her because of her collabs with the Scottish singer Julie Fowlis whom I really really love. Muireann nic Amhlaoibh also is a known radio and TV personality in Ireland, from what I’ve heard, and has appeared in BBC Alba (Scottish TV).

Danú is the name of an ancient Irish triple goddess, also known as Dana, Anu, Ana etc. or simply as the Great Mother of Ireland, being the mother of the Irish gods (called Tuatha Dé Danann (people of Danu)). She is a goddess of things like fertility, prosperity, the land, water, knowledge and wisdom.

Lynn Saoirse – “Mrs. Maxwell and Mrs. Nugent”.

And, for today, I picked for you guys a piece played by Lynn Saoirse, from her album The Seas Are Deep, which features compositions by Irish Celtic harper Turlough O’Carolan. As I’ve already written on here before, what was characteristic to Turlough O’Carolan’s music was that he composed a lot of tunes in honour of his patrons, as a way of showing his gratitude. That’s what we can find on this Lynn Saoirse’s album. This is a piece which, as you can figure out from the title, is dedicated to the two mentioned ladies. Unfortunately I don’t know who they were in his life, but he has composed multiple pieces for people with the surname Nugent, so I guess all we can assume is that they must have been some family he knew, whereas there is more than one piece dedicated to Mrs. Maxwell, so she must have been an important person in his life. Seeing all those people’s names though and hearing the music he composed for them, I’d really like to know a bit more about them to have a clearer picture of things.