Song of the day (24th February) – Loreena McKennitt – “The Old Ways”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I’d like to share with you another song from Loreena McKennitt, this time her original song rather than a rendition of a poem. It comes from her album The Visit, and was inspired by one of her journeys to Ireland, more exactly to county Clare. She was amazed at the wealth of the wealth of their local culture and traditions and fell in love with it, whilst realising that, due to constant progress, this state of things probably won’t be lasting long and all these rich traditions might extinct some day. I really love the atmosphere of this song. 

Loreena McKennitt – “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” (The Beautiful Lady Without Pity).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I’ve already shared with you several musical interpretations of various poems sung by Loreena McKennitt, and today I’d like to share with you another one, this time written by John Keats. It’s a ballad about a knight who meets a beautiful elfin lady and falls in love with her, really enjoying their time together, but then she abandons him, causing him great pain. The title for this peace was taken from another, earlier poem, written in French by Alain Chartier. 

Song of the day (29th January) – Cherish The Ladies – “The Ballad of the Foxhunter” & Loreena McKennitt – “The Ballad of the Foxhunter”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   This time, I thought I’d share withh you two musical arrangements of the same poem, one written by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. The first of these two arrangements is by the Irish-American Celtic music female group called Cherish the Ladies, which came to life thanks to Mick Moloney, as a way to counteract the fact that the American Celtic music scene was highly male-dominated at the time, and led by flautist Joanie Madden. I’ve been familiar with their music, and this song, for years. The second version is by the Canadian multi-talented musician Loreena McKennitt from her album Lost Souls, whose multiple songs I’ve already featured in this series. She has released a series  called In Her own Words, in which she explains the origins and inspiration of every song on the album that a given installment covers. Loreena quite clearly has a strong bond with nature, and, as she says herself, has always had pets, and wanted to be a vet at some point in her life. Therefore it’s not surprising that she’s felt drawn to this poem and how it shows the connection between humans and animals, specifically dogs. 

   My Misha’s not a dog, but he’s still an animal and we do have a very strong connection and can often sense each other’s state of mind to a varying degree or so it seems. I originally wanted to post this yesterday, on the eve of Misha’s birthday but was unable to in the end, but it’s even more fitting on this very day instead. 

   While I like both of these arrangements a lot and each has its own advantages, I think I slightly prefer the Cherish The Ladies version. As a bit of a fun fact, I donn’t know if the melody to which their version is set is something they came up with or sung it to this melody first or if more people have used the same melody, but the Irish traditional song 

Nead na lachan

is set to the same tune. 

   Cherish the Ladies: 

 

   Loreena McKennitt: 

 

Loreena McKennitt – “Marco Polo”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I’ve shared some Loreena McKennit music before, but all of it was very strongly inspired by Celtic folklore, by which a lot of her music is inspired as she herself has Scottish and Irish roots. However, she is the kind of artist who doesn’t limit herself, as it seems, in any way at all. This is also true when it comes to where she draws the inspiration from, as she inspired by world music in general, not just Celtic folk music. Loreena McKennit was, in fact, one of the first folk artists who made me gradually open up to the fact that there is a lot of folk music, not just Celtic, not even just Celtic and Nordic, and it can also be very interesting, worth listening to and digging a bit deeper in. This piece – “Marco Polo” – has a beautifully and evocatively oriental atmosphere to it.

Song of the day (14th August) – Loreena MCKennitt – “The Lady Of Shalott”.

This song from Loreena MCKennit, as you can probably guess, tells the story of Elaine of Astolat, from the Arthurian legend. Well, moreover, it’s the musical adaptation of the whole poem “The Lady Of Shalott” by Alfred Tennyson. That’s how I’ve first heard this poem – sung by Loreena MCKennitt. – And thanks to this song, I’ve become interested in Arthurian legends, as part of my fascination with everything Celtic. Until then, I didn’t really know much about Arthurian legends. But now I find them very interesting. And this one is my favourite. So here is this long song. I really love the way she adapted this poem and made a lovely piece of music out of it.

Song of the day (13th August) – Loreena MCKennitt – “Down By The Sally Gardens”.

Here is another song by Loreena MCKennitt that I love and want to share with you. Originally, it was a peoem written by William Butler Yeats – Irish 20th century poet and Nobel Prize winner (it was “Down By The Salley Gardens” in the original I believe). – Apparently, Yeats based some of it on a folk ballad “The Rambling Boys Of Pleasure”. It’s been recorded as a song by many artists though, and especially those making Celtic music. I think Loreena’s version is one of the best I know. b