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.

Nansi Richards – “Faire Dance – Irish Reel”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Staying in the world of Welsh harp music, I’d like to share with you a piece played by the Welsh Celtic and triple harpist Nansi Richards, also known as Telynores Maldwyn. As its title says, this is a traditional Irish reel. 

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 …

Órla Fallon – “Mo Ghile Mear” (My Gallant Darling).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   For today I chose to share with you this Irish folk song, which is quite modern as we know it in its current form, but whose origins actually go back to the 18th century. It was composed in 1972-ish by Dónal Ó Liatháin with lyrics partially based on several Jacobite poems written by Seán “Clárach” MacDomhnaill and set to a tune collected by the composer Seán Ó Riada from a man called Domhnall Ó Buachalla from Cúil Aodha in Cork. One of the original poems on which this song is based (whose title translates to MY Heart is Sore With Sorrow Deep in English) is written in the voice of Éire – the personification and goddess of Ireland – lamenting the failure of the Jacobite rising of 1745 and the exile of Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie. The other one (known as Over the Hills and Far Away in English) was written during the Jacobite rising of 1715, with the lamented hero this time being James Francis Edward Stuart.Ó Liatháin decided to pick the least explicitly Jacobite-sounding verses from both poems, and because he composed it a year after Ó Riada’s – the aforementioned collector of the original tune – death, this new song was created as a lament for his death.

   I’ve already shared several songs by Órla Fallon so I guess she doesn’t need a special introduction on here, but for those who don’t know she’s an Irish singer and Celtic harpist who used to be a member of the Irish all-female group Celtic Woman (who also did their version of this song, by the way) and has released several great solo albums since leaving the group. 

The translation i Found has “mo ghile mear” as “my dashing darling”, but it seems to be known more widely as “gallant” rather than “dashing” so that’s why I put “gallant” in the post title. 

   My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

I’m incessantly sorrowing each day,
Lamenting sorely and showing signs of tears
As the lively lad has been separated from me
And no news from him is told, my sadness.

My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

Let a story be sung on tuneful harps
and let lots of quarts be filled on the table
with high spirits faultless and unclouded
to find life and good health for my lion1

My dashing darling is my hero
He’s my Caesar, a dashing darling,
I’ve got no rest and no pleasure
Since my dashing darling went to a distant land.

Clannad – “Siúl a Rún” (Go, My Love).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   So I’ve shared two versions of this extremely popular Irish song with you this year so far, and I thought today I could share with you another one, from Clannad. I guess this version is also quite well-known and well-liked due to Clannad’s fame. I really like Maire Brennan’s vocals in this song, she usually tends to sing in the higher register, but I definitely prefer her when she sings a bit lower and that’s what she does here. I already wrote a bit on the song itself when sharing the version by Anuna so I recommend you see that post as well if you haven’t and if you’re interested in the origins of it, also their song is definitely worth listening to just as well. 

Maire Brennan – “I Láthair Dé (In God’s Presence)”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I have a Christian hamn for you, performed by Maire/Moya Brennan, known as the lead singer and harpist of Clannad, or as one of Enya’s many siblings, who has also had a very fruitful solo career, which most of you probably already know well since I’ve already shared a lot of her solo music in the past. Maire is very open about being a Christiann and a lot of her solo music revolves more or less closely around Christian themes. This as far as I know is not some traditional hymn but something she wrote herself/was written for her specifically. It was recorded together with the choir that has been directed for many years by her mother, known as “Baba” Brennan. The translation of the Irish lyrics comes from here. 

   

Now show me my way
Take care of me Lord
Every day and night
Listen to my prayer God

You gave me hope inside
You listened to me when I was down
You are faithful and merciful
Fill me with your Spirit forever
I will play for your glory
And the angels in the presence of God

Guide my life now in the
Fill up my heart with great love
You are the King
You made heaven and earth |
You put peace in my heart
You brighten my life with joy
I’ll play the harp for you
I will praise You for my life

Now show me my way
Take care of me Lord
Every day and night
Listen to my prayer God

Guide my life now in the
Fill up my heart with great love
You are the King
You made heaven and earth

Celtic Woman – “Siúil a Rúin” (Go, My Love”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Last month, I showed you the traditional and very frequently sung by all sorts of folk singers Irish tune called Siúil A Rúin by the famous Irish choral ensemble called Anúna. In that post I also explained a bit about the origins and background of the song. Today, I thought I’d share another version of this song, with a bit different lyrics, also from a probably even more popular Irish group that is Celtic Woman. Celtic Woman have actually recorded several different versions of this song, which is not uncommon for them since their line-up has changed a whole lot so they often re-make their old songs with new members. While it is undoubtedly the older version from their debut album, with Órla Fallon on vocals, that is more widely known and recognisable, today I chose to share with you the newer version, with Eabha McMahon as the vocalist. I can’t say which one I like more, but I chose this one because it has a more rootsy vibe and also I’ve already shared a lot of Órla’s music on here, while only one song with Eabha on vocals. As it happens, Eabha was also a member of Anúna as a young girl before she joined Celtic Woman. 

   Since this song is about a woman’s sorrow because of her lover departing to enlist in the army, listening to this song in this awful time gives me a really strange feeling and makes me see it from a different perspective, as I can’t help but think about all the Ukrainian women, also those many women who have fled here to Poland alone or with children while their men are fighting. Except I guess they have it a lot worse than this Irish lady from the song, because they not only must miss their men and wish to be with them but also worry about their lives, which she doesn’t seem to be concerned about so I guess he’s not actually fighting in a war, just simply chose a military career or something like that. 

Órla Fallon – “Bean Pháidín / Drops of Brandy (Medley) (Páidín’s Wife…).

      Hiya people! 🙂 

   For today, I have a medley of Irish traditional tunes for you, by Órla Fallon, Irish singer and harpist who is well-known in the Celtic music world both for her solo music and being a member of Celtic Woman, and whose music I’ve shared on here many times before. Speaking of Celtic Woman, they have also recorded their version of the first song in this medley, Bean Pháidín, and their version was the first one I heard. As you’ll be able to figure out from the translation of the lyrics, it is a song of a woman who is in love with a guy called Páidín and is very jealous of his wife, wishing that it could have been her – the lyrical subject of the song – who could be his wife. The second piece is a slip jig, apparently of Scottish origin. 

   

It’s a pity that I am not, that I am not
It’s a pity that I am not Páidín’s wife
It’s a pity that I am not, that I am not
And the woman he has is dead
 
 
I would go to Galway, to Galway
I would go to Galway with Páidín
I would go to Galway, to Galway
would return home with him in the boat
 
 
I would go to the Clifden market
And into Bal th in the Bay
I would look in through the windows
Hoping to see Páidín’s wife
 
 

May you break your legs, your legs
May you break your legs, Páidín’s wife
May you break your legs, your legs
May you break your legs and your bones
 
 
I wore out my shoes, my shoes
I wore out my shoes chasing Páidín
I wore out my shoes, my shoes
wore out the soles and the heels

AnúNa – “SiúIl A RúIn” (Go, My Love).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a very famous Irish folk song, which is performed by lots of folk musicians, not necessarily just Irish. I think there are many great arrangements of it, with those by artists like Clannad and Celtic Woman being particularly well-known, but I decided, at least for now, to share this song with you sung by Anúna. As is the case with all their music, this song was arranged by twin brothers Michael and John McGlynn, who are directors of this Irish choir. I really like their interpretation of it. 

   Siúil A Rúin is a song with very unclear origins, which was probably initially in Irish in its entirety. It isn’t even clear whether the Irish chorus that is part of it now is actually the only bit of the original that has survived to this day, or whether it has been added later. The song is from the perspective of a woman, lamenting her lover who decided to join the military, whose desire is to follow him so that she could be by his side. In the past, I shared with you a similarly-themed American song called Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier by Kronos Quartet with Natalie Merchant, and that one is actually directly derived  from Siúil A Rúin. 

   Here is what the Irish chorus means:

  Go, go, go my love
Go quietly and go peacefully
Go to the door and fly with me.

Song of the day (11th February) – Maire Brennan – “Slan Go Foill” (Goodbye For Now).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For yesterday, here’s a song in Irish by Maire Brennan. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a translation of it, but I know that its title means Goodbye For Now. 

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.

 

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

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

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.

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.

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