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.

Enya – “Less Than A Pearl”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to another song in Loxian. In case you don’t remember, Loxian is the language created by Roma Ryan – Enya’s lyricist – for some of her songs. It’s a visual language, so I don’t really get the idea, and it seems to have rather interesting phonetical system because it’s mostly vowels, but I like the way it sounds. Here is the English translation of the Loxian lyrics:

 

Out of night has come the day.

Out of night, our small earth.

Our words drift away.

Our words journey

to find those who will listen.

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

Less than a pearl in a sea of stars,

we are a lost island in the shadows.

It may be our words become lost.

It may be our words find nothing, find no-one.

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

Song of the day (4th June) – Maire Brennan – “Banrion” (Queen).

Hey people! 🙂

Hi people! 🙂

As much as I feel rather ambivalent about Maire/Moya/Mary Brennan/Ni Bhraonain’s vocal, whether with Clannad or solo, I think I’ve already mentioned that I always love her instrumental, harp-driven music and it really resonates withh me. Here’s one of such solo pieces, from her album “Canvas”. It really reminds me of her sister’s (Enya) Watermark.

Clannad – Liza”.

For today, I also have a happy love song for you, also in a Celtic language, but a bit older one and in Irish. It comes from Clannad’s eponymous debut album. I much prefer Clannad’s earlier music, which is more rooted in tradition, there’s more Irish and generally more genuine folk. Which absolutely isn’t to say that I don’t like their later music, I just like it a little less. This song is probably the most modern on their debut album, as it’s the only original song of theirs. I absolutely love it, it’s definitely one of my favourites from this album and maybe even in Clannad’s music in general. The vocalist in this particular song is not Maire Brennan as usual, but one of the male members (don’t know which). Below is the translation, which you can also find

here.

 

I’d been in love with a girl

For years and years

Liza was her name

But suddenly she came to me

With news that broke my heart

Liza

Liza baby

Liza

Stay with me

I searched high

I searched low

I searched again and again

Till one day my love returned

To stay with me forever

Liza was off wandering

She didn’t come looking for me

Liza was a little fool

But who cares?

We’re happy In a little hut by ourselves

Enya – “The Celts”.

Hi people! 🙂

Some time earlier this year, I shared with you a song by Enya called “March of the Celts” which she composed for the BBC 1986 documentary called The Celts. Today, I’m sharing with you the theme song from this documentary, and also the title song from her album The Celts, which is also the opening track of this album. The lyrics are entirely in Irish Gaelic, and here is their translation.

 

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.

Maire Brennan – “Nuair a Bhí Óg” (When We Were Young).

Hey guys! 🙂

After some Enya’s music, time for a song from her older sister – Maire, or Moya, who is most known for being a vocalist and harpist with Clannad but is also a solo artist which you may know already from my blog where I’ve shared some of her music before. – Here is the translation of this song:

 

We ran up in respect of the mountains

I have lost many days

Leaping over water stones

Playing with us outdoors |

Thinking of Tír na nÓg ‘s stories

When we were young

The sun shining through the tops of the trees

When we were young

Listening to the radio with fresh music | When we were young

the wind blowing through my family ‘s place

When we were young

Below stay a white beach in Summer

We laughed with fun and games

Fishing with a rod we did

Dance and music at the end of the day

Enya – “Sumiregusa” (Wild Violet).

Hi people! 🙂

Because I’ve been listening to Enya a lot again (typically Enya time for me is around winter, when I feel like listening to more of her music) I feel like sharing a lot of her music with you and today is yet another song from her.

Enya is known for singing in many languages, not just her native Irish Gaelic and English, and Loxian created by Roma Ryan. The song I want to share with you is in Japanese. According to Roma Ryan, it was inspired by hokku by the Japanese poet Basho, who in turn was inspired by a wild violet. This song was used by Panasonic in Japan for advertising Vera Television.

I had a time as a teen when this song was my go-to piece of music whenever I felt overwhelmed, especially in a sensory way, and I still find it helpful.

What I think is very funny about this song is that there’s no mention of violet, at least in the English translation of it. Instead, we have a wild iris. I don’t know if this is a translation issue, or maybe they’re both the same in Japanese, or something else like that. The line which is supposed to mean “A wild iris” is “Ayameghusa” in Japanese, so maybe it’s a completely different thing… It’s quite confusing, at least if you don’t know Japanese. But it’s weird how the whole thing is about a wild violet, which is even credited as the initial source of inspiration for Basho, yet there’s apparently no mention of it in the actual song. 😀

 

The poignancy of things

A purple flower

The blossoms of spring

And the light snow of winter

How they fall

The beauty of nature

A green leaf and

Autumn colors

The voice of the wind

The song of birds

A sad sea

A joyful sea

Mountains

Pebbles

A wild iris

Declan Galbraith – “Danny Boy”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a piece from another of my faza people – Declan Galbraith, these days also known as Child of Mind. – This song, however, was sung by him long before the Child of Mind project, as it’s from his very first, self-titled album from 2002, which he recorded at the age of 10. Some songs on it are original material, but mostly they’re covers of either pop classics or, as in this case, quite well-known Celtic folk songs. Declan definitely has a special relationship with Celtic music, even if it’s less apparent in his later music. This is because he is of both Irish and Scottish descent, and his grandfather – affectionately called Poppy Ben by Declan – with whom he had a very close relationship because he was looked after by his grandparents a lot as a child; played several instruments in a Celtic music bands, and would often take Declan along on rehearsals and concerts.

“Danny Boy” was written at the beginning of 20th century by an English lawyer and lyricist, Frederic Weatherly. He was introduced to the song “Londonderry Air” by his sister, and set this new song of his to its melody. It is not known how exactly this song should be interpreted and what the author had in mind writing it, but what comes to mind for many people is that it’s from the perspective of a parent, whose son is leaving home for war or an uprising, which makes sense to me.

Enya – “I Could Never Say Goodbye”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Yes, another Enya’s song, and another about goodbyes! I couldn’t possibly say which one I like more. This one, as it’s easy to figure out, is about loss of a loved one. According to what Enya has said about this song it’s mostly about a loss due to death. I think she captured the essence of what it feels like very well in this song.

Enya – “Someone Said Goodbye”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you another Enya song, this time from her album Amarantine. According to her lyricist – Roma Ryan – this song is about that moment of the day, at the end of it, when we start to reflect on our lives and all the saddest times come up in our memory, bringing sad feelings. This is an awful feeling, but I think this is the best song to listen to when it happens to make you realise more clearly that everyone goes through things like this, in some way, and you’re not alone.

Órla Fallon – “Nead na lachan” (The Duck’s Nest) & Éilís Kennedy – “Nead na lachan”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have one song, but in two versions for you. Sometimes it’s just impossible to decide for only one, and why limit oneself so much when they’re both great. I came across both Órla Fallon’s and

Éilís Kennedy’s music quite early on during my Celtic music exploration journey, and so I’ve been familiar with this song for years. In fact, I now consider it a bit strange but, for some time, years ago, it almost felt like I had a slight faza on

Éilís Kennedy. She does have LOADS of great songs, and fulfills many criteria that my faza people should meet at least theoretically, but it’s weird, as talented as she is, I don’t really know what exactly pulled me so much specifically into her music. I do like it a lot still but now I wouldn’t say that it resonates with me in such a special way as it is with my major faza subjects.

This song of hers was one of my most favourites because I considered it quite funny back then. So did Sofi, especially the chorus. And it actually is a children’s song. I have really nice memories with it as well.

I heard Órla’s version a lot later on, but because her version is great too, as is she as a singer in general, and because she’s more recognisable among the Celtic music fans because of having been a member of the Irish all-female group Celtic Woman, I thought it would be good to include her version here as well. And also Órla is a harpist, and harpists are always welcome in this series on my blog.:D

As for

Éilís, she comes from county Dingle and, aside from being a solo singer and clarinettist, she also used to collaborate a lot with Pauline Scanlon, as part of a band called Lumiere.

Here’s the translation of the lyrics:

 

The duck’s nest in the moat

The duck’s nest in the moat

The duck’s nest in the moat

And I will send you out on the bay

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

And I’ll send you out on the bay

I will buy you a rod and line

I will buy you a rod and line

I will buy you a rod and line

And I will send you out on the bay

Órla Fallon:

Éilís Kennedy:

Enya – “Hope Has A Place”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you another song from Enya. Roma Ryan (Enya’s lyricist) wrote the lyrics to it in Silent Valley in the Mourne Mountains, , co. Down, for her daughter Ebony, about first love, but also love in general and how it’s not only and not always an amazing feeling like we would all like to believe, but it also often brings a lot of pain, or even loss. But the thing you still have left is hope.

Enya decided that, in order to write just the right melody for these lyrics, she’d also need to go to the same place (I really like that approach and I think it seriously makes sense because places  always have their own spirit). Not only did she write the melody there, but also her producer – Nicky Ryan – decided that they’d record the lead vocal there, outside, which I think gives this piece even more of a soul. I think it’s actually the melody that I love the most about this piece.

Clannad – “Vellum”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Recently I shared with you all a piece from Clannad’s debut album, and now I thought I would share a piece from their last album, which was released in 2013, after I believe a fifteen-year break since the release of Landmarks. I think comparing these two pieces and their style shows quite well how Clannad has evolved over all those years since its beginning.

Lynn Saoirse – “Isabella Burke/Planxty Burke”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you two harp pieces performed by Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse, and composed by the famous 18th-century Irish Celtic harpist Turlough O’Carolan. I wrote about him before when sharing some piece composed by him. He was travelling a lot and staying in the houses of rich people, playing for them. At the end of his stay, he would typically present his hosts with a piece that he wrote especially for them, as a way of expressing his gratitude. And these pieces that he composed specifically for his patrons are called planxty, just like the second piece in this set. I don’t know who the Burkes were, or maybe it was just one person, in his life, nor who was Isabella Burke to whom the first piece is specifically dedicated, beyond quite an obvious fact that they must have been his patrons. I really like both these pieces and I can’t even decide which one is more beautiful.

Clannad – “Nil Se Ina La” (It Is Not A Day).

Hey people! 🙂

I chose to share with you today this song by Clannad, which I believe is one of their more popular songs in their native tongue and comes back from the times when their music was a bit more folky than it became later. I think though the lyrics must be traditional. I found two different translations of this song,one vastly different than the other, and I had a feeling like neither really made sense, so no translation this time. I’m not even fully sure if I got exactly the right translatioon of the title literally, since I don’t speak Irish myself yet so can’t verify it, but even if it’s not fully accurate, it can’t be very far off in terms of meaning. Despite I know so little about this song, I like it, and that’s why I’m sharing it.

Hector Zazou ft. Katie McMahon (?) – “Seacht NDólás Na Maighdine Muire” (The Seven Sorrows of The Virgin Mary).

Hi guys! 🙂

So it’s Good Friday, and today I am so extremely happy to finally be able to share with you a piece of music that I’ve always wanted to share on a Good Friday, ever since I’ve had this blog. But first I forgot, and then I couldn’t find the album from which it came anywhere online. I got an mp3 version of it from a friend ages ago and I loved it, even though back then I wasn’t close to God, I just loved it for its aesthetic value and a slightly Gothic feel, and the Irish Gaelic language. Then I lost it somewhere and this particular song stuck with me the most, and then later on when I re-converted to Christianity I could always hear it in my brain during Lent or on the feast of the Sorrowful Mother (15th September).

I’ve found other versions of it, but none spoke to me quite as much as the one I’m about to share with you today. And today, I finally found this piece! It comes from Hector Zazou’s 1996 album called Lights In The Dark, where there are a lot of Irish Catholic hymns, all in Gaelic I believe and all or almost all devoted to Our Lady. Because I haven’t been able to find the entire album, I can’t confirm it, but I believe the vocalist is called Katie MCMahon.

I haven’t ever listened to any other music by Hector Zazou, but I’ve heard that he is, or have been, actually involved in new age music circles as well. Like I said though, I have never heard it, and I don’t know if it’s from before his new age activity, or afterwards, or maybe some project he was involved in in-between, so I don’t feel like I’m the right person to judge it or whether his rendition of this piece is one that Christians can safely listen to, but, I dunno, it is really beautiful, I’d be really surprised to learn if the lyrics were any different than in the original, and even if it wasn’t exactly performed with the intent of glorifying God, I believe that if we’ll listen to it with the right mindset, it will make a difference and be pleasant to God. If there will ever be any Catholic, or even any other Christian people reading this, let me know what your stance is on this, I’d be curious to know.

The song is about the Seven Sorrows of The Virgin Mary which she suffered during Her life on Earth, which were:

  •    The Prophecy of Simeon (during the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, when he told Mary that a sword would pierce Her Soul due to Her Son’s Death),
  • The flight of the Sacred Family to Egypt (to avoid killing of the Child Jesus by Herod),
  • Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (during the pilgrimage to Jerusalem),
  • Meeting Jesus on His way to Calvary,
  • Crucifiction and Death of Jesus,
  • The Body of Jesus being takenn from the Cross,
  • The burial of Jesus.

Clannad – “Buachaill An Éirne” (Boy From Ireland).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing from you something from Clannad, which I’m fairly sure is a traditional Irish song. To me, it sounds a lot like some old school marriage ad. 😀 I’ve found a translation of it, and then another one, albeit incomplete, I believe. The other one seems to be more literal, because it makes more sense, and the first one is more poetic. I normally prefer sharing literal translations because while they’re less fancy, they actually show you better what a song is about. But here, we’re going with the poetic one, since the other one wasn’t full like I said.

 

I am a boy from Ireland and I’d coax a nice young girl,

I wouldn’t ask for a dowry with her, I’m rich enough myself,

I own Cork, big as it is both sides of the glen and Tyrone,

And if I don’t change my ways I’ll be the heir for County Mayo.

Cow herding, my Leo, I did not never practice,

But playing and drinking with new young women by the mountain.

If I lost my wealth and I don’t think I lost my sense,

And your kiss is no more to me than a show worn for a year.

My love and treasure, don’t marry the old grey man,

But marry a young man, my Leo, even though he lives but a year,

Or you’ll still be without a daughter or son above you,

Crying in the afternoon or in the morning hard.

Órla Fallon – “Citi Na gCumann” (Kitty Of Societies).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I chose to share with you a piece from Órla Fallon – a former member of Celtic Woman – this time an instrumental one, that I really like. This is a traditional piece, and I don’t really get what its title is supposed to mean, but, like I said in the title, Kitty Of Societies is apparently its literal translation. This song was also performed by Clannad but with lyrics.