Today, I’d like to share with you a traditional tune played by the German harpist Nadia Birkenstock whose music I’ve already shared several times on here. This time, she is accompanied by Welsh drummer and percussionist Steve Hubback. In the past I’ve also shared a version of this song performed by Alan Stivel and in that post you can learn more about its origins and who Brian Boru was, more recently I also shared a version by Clannad.
Today I have an interesting tune from Sweden for you all. As its title says, it’s a bridal march from Älvdalen – a locality in Dalarna in central Sweden. – What’s so interesting about this song is the language that it’s sung in, because no, it’s not Swedish. This song is written in Elvdalian, a little language spoken in the area of Älvdalen, which from what I’ve heard is recognised as a dialect of Swedish, yet I, as a Swedish learner, can barely understand a word of this song, and the little bits I think I do understand I’m not even sure if they mean what I think they do, and I’ve heard Swedes say that they can understand Norwegian better than Elvdalian. Sadly it is not recognised officially as a minority language of Sweden, so it’s not protected as well as it could be, and so it’s in danger of death. It’s a peculiar little language ‘cause to me it doesn’t really sound much like Swedish. Some of the sounds remind me a lot more of Icelandic, and it’s kind of odd that it uses w where Swedish uses v, so it also sounds a little like English. Plus it’s curiously nasal and even has the letter ą in its alphabet like Polish.
Systerpolskan is a folk female group, consisting of folk artists from Uppland and Dalarna. It was established by Benny Andersson together with some group members, including Lena Willemark who I think is the most well-known out of these ladies. Benny Andersson is also their producer. Their name literally means the sister polska, but, unlike what Polish people are often inclined to think when they see the word polska in relation to Swedish folk, it has nothing to do with Poland. 😀 Polska is just a type of Swedish dance, which could have possibly been brought there from Poland.
The tune to this song is traditional, and the lyrics are written by Severin Solders.
Today I have an instrumental piece for you from Clannad, which is a traditional Irish tune. I have already posted it a few years ago in a different version, called Brian Boru by Breton singer and harpist Alan Stivel. That other version has lyrics which are mostly Breton but also a bit Irish. – For people who aren’t familiar with Brian Boru, he was the last High King of Ireland.
The piece I have for you today is a traditional Welsh tune which is quite important for Welsh history. I believe it’s more well-known as Rhyfelgyrch Gwŷr Harlech, but Gorhoffedd Gwŷr Harlech is the earlier version that originally had no lyrics. This is a military march that is associated with the siege of Harlech Castle which lasted seven years during the Wars of the Roses, when it was held by the Lancastrians.
Yesterday we listened to a tune about the king, and today, it’s about the queen. This is also a Welsh piece, played by the Welsh harpist Nansi Richards, also known as Telynores Maldwyn, whom you’re probably already familiar with given that she appears on my blog quite regularly.
No, don’t think I have any particular plans. Nothing spectacular going on at the moment for me. Oh, I will finally have to apply for my new devices, I was going to do it earlier this year or even in the end of last year, but finally I’ve decided I’ll try applying for another funding programme in which I’ll have probably a bit bigger chances of getting anything as it suits my needs more, and it is starting off in early April so I need to apply until then. But that would be it, other than that nothing too spectacular, well I guess that’s not spectacular either hahaha.