Enya – “Athair Ar Neamh” (Father in Heaven).

Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another song by Enya, one that really resonates with me, mostly because of how it sounds. It’s just so extremely beautiful. It’s inn Irish Gaelic, and the English translation, which I’ve taken from the Enya Blues website but which I believe come from the album notes or something like that, is below: 

 

Father in Heaven, God help us.

Father in Heaven, God help me.

My soul, my heart, my voice

praise to you, oh God.
Long is the day, and peaceful,

long is the night without gloom,

happiness, joy, love,

praise to you, oh God.
I praise you from day to day.

I praise you night after night.
Father in Heaven, God help us.

Father in Heaven, God help me.

The moon, the sun, the wind,
praise be to you, oh God.

 

Sinéad O’Connor – “He Moved Through The Fair”.

Hey people! 🙂

As much as I don’t really care too much for Sinéad O’Connor as an individual, and don’t even like all of her music, I really do like some of her songs a lot, and especially many of her renditions of Irish folk songs are absolutely great. I really like this one, too. I’ve already shared it in two versions, a harp instrumental by

Carol Thompson

and a capella by the stunning

Anne Briggs,

so this is yet another one, and totally different from the both previous ones, also in that it’s actually from a female perspective which I also really like.

Aine Minogue – “The Selkie” & Cecile Corbel – “The Great Selkie”.

Hey people! 🙂

I think I’ve shared that on my blog already that one of my favourite folk creatures are selkies. So today I thought I’d share with you two songs about them, which are practically variations of one song, both vastly differing arrangements. Both Aine Minogue’s and Cecile Corbel’s music has already been featured on my blog. They’re both harpists. Aine was born in country Tipperary in Ireland but currently resides in the Boston area, whereas Cecile is from Brittany.

Usually when I share two versions of the same or almost the same song it’s because I can’t choose between them, but here, I can say with no hesitation that Aine’s version speaks to me much more. Still, I really like Cecile’s version too, and I think it sounds very interesting, and even more so when you compare the two.

Aine Minogue:

Cecile Corbel:

Órla Fallon – “Wild Mountain Thyme”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you quite a popular folk song which is Scottish in origin. It was adapted by Francis McPeake from Belfast, from a poem called Braes of Balquhither by Scottish poet Robert Tannahill, with already existing music composed by Robert Archibald Smith. Ever since it was first recorded in 1950’s, it has been sung by loads of Anglophone folk musicians and it’s also alternately known as Will Ye Go, Lassie Go. Órla Fallon’s version is oone of my favourites.

Enya – “Dan Y Dŵr” (Beneath The Waters_).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have a Welsh song for you, a Welsh song sung by Enya, and the only Welsh song that she’s ever released. This song commemorates the little village of Capel Celyn (which literally means Holly Chapel in Welsh) in the Tryweryn valley in Gwynedd in North Wales, which was drowned in 1965 and disappeared entirely, which was a carefully planned out thing. This song is featured on Enya’s album The Celts. I’ve already shared with you a song which deals with the submerging of Capel Celyn, by another of my faza people Jacob Elwy and his band Y Trŵbz, and the song is called

Annibyniaeth.

The lyrics, as always, are written by Roma Ryan.

And now I’m going to be a bit nitpicky, because this song actually sparks my curiosity a little and something about the Welsh feels off. While I’m almost 100% sure Enya doesn’t speak Welsh, because I’ve never heard of her being able to do that and her Welsh doesn’t sound convincing or particularly understandable to me at all even when I read the lyrics along with her singing (granted, I’m a learner myself, of course, and song lyrics online often have tons of weird errors in them, especially if they’re in minority languages), I wonder if Roma is able to fluently speak all the languages that she writes lyrics for Enya in. It’s very interesting. To me these lyrics look a bit odd and like things are phrased in a weird way, which could be just that it’s some more formal Welsh that I’m not really accustomed to, or it’s some older way of writing in it, and it’s clearly more South Welsh while I am more accustomed to North Welsh. Then there’s a translation, which I’ve found on

Enya Blues

, which I suppose originally comes from the album’s liner notes, and either the translation is not fully accurate, or the lyrics are a bit off to begin with, or the translation is not really literal. Like, in the original lyrics, there’s a line that goes: “Dan y dŵr, tawelwch sydd” which is translated as: ”

Beneath the waters, there is silence”. Again, I am still learning Welsh myself, and I don’t know LOADS of things, for example I don’t know a lot about formal or more poetic ways of expressing yourself in Welsh, but “tawelwch sydd” seems to me like a weird way to say “there is silence”. To my best knowledge, it literally means “silence which”. Then the next line is: “Dan y dŵr, galwaf i” which is translated as: “Beneath the waters, I call you”. Now here I’m absolutely sure that galwaf i does not mean I call you but only “I call”. And then she sings: “Nid yw’r swn gyda fi” which apparently translates to “There is no companyy withh me”, whereas I am sure that swn means sound, not company. Company is cwmni in Welsh. Later there is further reference to the sound, and then the word for it is translated properly.

Regardless whether this song is written in good Welsh or not, I’ve always felt that it’s so cool that Enya has released a song in this language that I love so much, and paid a tribute to Capel Celyn. And I’m going to include the translation anyway, because maybe it’s meant to be just as it is, and I’ve always found Enya Blues quite reliable for info about Enya and her music, and even if it isn’t exactly great, it always gives some idea about the song’s meaning.

 

Beneath the waters, there is silence.

Beneath the waters, I call you.

There is no company with me.

Beneath the waters, silent forever.

Beneath the waters, I call you.

The sound is no longer with me.

Margie Butler ft. Florrie Brown – “Beauty of the North/Glen of Copsewood”.

For today, I have a beautiful Celtic two-piece set. I don’t know any other music from Florrie Brown, but as for Margie Butler she’s one of the very first Celtic harpists I’ve heard, I got a cassette with her music from my Mum years ago, Margie is from Ireland. As far as I’m aware, this first piece was composed by Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, and the other is traditional.

Song of the day (18th December) – Enya – “Last Time by Moonlight”.

Hey people! 🙂

With Christmas coming very soon, I thought I’d share with you a piece from Enya’s Christmassy/wintery album which I really love, namely And Winter Came. Just as it is for many people, Enya says that winter is a very reflective time of the year for her, with a lot of reminiscing and thinking about her life. And so this song also has such a reflective, and also as Enya says romantic, feel to it. It’s about a couple who once loved each other, their reflecting back on the time when they were still with each other before they parted. I really like the wintery feel of this song.

Celia Briar – “We Wish You A Merry Christmas/Auld Lang Syne”.

Hey people! 🙂

Christmas isn’t yet here, but it’s coming very soon, and so I thought I’d share something Christmassy today, the second Christmassy song this Advent. This set of two pieces comes from the Irish Celtic harpist Celia Briar whose music I’ve already shared on here a few times. As you can figure out from the titles, the first one is We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and the second is the Scottish Auld Lang Syne. It comes from her Christmas album Celtic Peace at Christmas.

Celia Briar – “We Wish You a Merry Christmas/Auld Lang Syne”.

Anúna – “Fill, Fill a Rún” (Return, Return).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a piece performed by the very famous Irish choir ensemble called Anúna. Anúna are very versatile when it comes to the kinds of music they perform – from traditional Irish music to classical or medieval pieces to original works. – Over the years, Anúna has had lots of members, from Ireland and abroad. The ensemble has been founded by Michael McGlyn, who also composes original music for them. I really love Anúna for their diversity and the atmosphere of their music. In this particular piece, we can hear Eabha McMahon as the soloist. Eabha is a sean nós singer and currently one of the members of Celtic Woman, but she spent many years as part of Anúna and joined them when she was only 15, making her the youngest member of this choral ensemble. I really like her soulful vocals in this traditional song.

This song is said to be written by a mother of a former Catholic priest (Father O’Donnell, or O’Domhnaill in Irish) who became a Protestant minister. It expresses her deep sadness due to his apostasy and her desire to return to the Catholic faith. I’ve found a translation of it

here.

Return, return, my dear.

Return my dear, and don’t leave me

Return to me, my darling and my dear

And you will see the glory if you return

I walked near and far

I was born in Mota Ghrainn Oige

And I have seen no wonder yet to

compare with Father O’Donnell becoming a minister

Return, return, my dear,

Return my dear, and don’t leave me

Return to me, my darling and my dear

And you will see the glory if you return

You renounced Peter and Paul

For the sake of gold and silver;

You renounced the Queen of Glory

And you began wearing the coat of the minister

Return, return, my dear,

Return my dear, and don’t leave me

If you return today or ever

Return in the order that you were trained in

Song of the day (6th December) – Clannad – “Mrs. McDermot”.

Hey people!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to share the song for yesterday on time as I had a migraine so I’m doing it today. I thought I’d share with you another song composed by the Irish 19th century harper Turlough O’Carolan, whose compositions, played by different artists, I’ve already shared many times on here. He dedicated a lot of his tunes to people that were important in his life, particularly his patrons who supported his career and development as a musician, and it’s no different with this piece. Mrs. MacDermot Roe was actually someone of key importance in O’Carolan’s life because it was thanks to her and her family that he became a harper. It is in her house that he seems to have found a second family home and that’s also where he died. She was the wife of his father employer, who took care of young Turlough’s education when he lost his sight at eighteen due to smallpox. She paid for his training, and then gave him money, a guide, and a horse, so that he could travel round the country and compose his music and earn a living this way. Most often I’ve shared with you O’Carolan’s pieces played by the Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared his music played by Clannad before. Specifically, it’s Maire/Moya Brennan (who’s also the vocalist) who plays the harp in their family band.

Lynn Saoirse – “Mr. O’Connor With Jig”.

Hey people! 🙂

Time for another piece from the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, with music composed by the 18th century Irish blind harpist Turlough O’Carolan. As I mentioned when talking about several other pieces from this album, O’Carolan often dedicated his music to his various patrons who supported him throughout his career, that’s why many of his tunes have different people’s names in their titles. I’m not sure who Mr. O’Connor was for him exactly though. As you’ll be able to hear, this piece consists of two parts. The first, longer one is a waltz, and the second, as is easy to figure out from the title, is a jig, although usually this piece is simply called Mr. O’Connor/O’Conner unlike on Lynn Saoirse’s album. While this piece is delightful in its entirety, I really really love this first, floaty waltz part.

Enya – “Even in the Shadows”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have for you a single from Enya’s latest album Dark Sky Island, one of the most dynamic pieces on this album. Enya has said herself in interviews about the album that this is a very personal song for her, because it deals with her own experience of love of heartbreak, finding it difficult to move on after love is over. This song also features Eddie Lee from the Irish rock band Those Nervous Animals on double bass.

Lynn Saoirse – “Carolan’s Dream”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I have for you yet another piece composed by Turlough O’Carolan played by the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse, and at the same time yet another rendition of “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” on this blog. You might wonder why I’m talking about “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” when the song title that’s in the post title is “Carolan’s Dream”. The explanation is as simple as could be – this song is known under these two titles. – Actually more than two titles, as originally it was called “Molly McAlpin”. I was wondering for a long time how come “Carolan’s Dream” and “Farewell to Music” are essentially the same tune. A while ago I finally did some research and it turns out that the “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” name seems to be incorrect, but still in use nevertheless. Also, it’s apparently not O’Carolann himself who wrote the tune, but William Connellan. O’Carolan really liked it though and might have modified it. I’ve read that he is claimed to have said that he’d like it much more if he composed “Molly McAlpin” alone than all the other tunes he did compose himself. That would make the story of him composing “Farewell to Music” on his deathbed, that I mentioned when sharing

Nadia Birkenstock’s interpretation of this piece,

not true. Perhaps he just played it before his death and people assumed it was original? Another version of it that I’ve shared on here is by

Celia Briar.

Órla Fallon – “Galway Bay”.

Hey guys! 🙂

The song I want to share with you today comes from Órla Fallon’s 2020 album called Lore. Órla is known in the Irish and Celtic music world not only for her solo career, but also for being a former Celtic Woman member, and Celtic Woman have also recorded this same song, with Chloe Agnew as the vocalist if I remember correcttly, I might share that one at some point in the future as well. This is an Irish emigrant song, apparently very popular among Irish emigrants in America and certainly covered by a lot of artists. The lyrics have been written by Dr Arthur Colahan, and the song, with slightly changed lyrics, was popularised by Bing Crosby.

Song of the day (9th October) Maire Brennan – “Against The Wind”.

Hey people! 🙂

Since I had a yucky migraine yesterday, I’m only sharing yesterday’s song of the day today. I chose it to be a song from Maire Brennan’s first solo album, which is a real fight song. Apparently its original video has something to do with helping children, which is in line with Maire’s passion for helping them. I like the vibe of this piece

Órla Fallon – “Remember Me”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Since it’s already evening here, for today I decided to share a lullaby with you. It comes from the Irish singer, songwriter and Celtic harpist Órla Fallon, formerly a member of Celtic Woman, from her solo album Sweet By and By. Órla has recorded quite a few lullabies and I feel that her voice, combined with her harp – although this piece is not harp-driven – and even with her Irish accent, make her really fit for this very kind of song, she just sounds very mummy-like in my opinion. This encouraging piece was originally written by late Irish singer songwriter Christie Hennessy.

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.