Nina Nesbitt – “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

I have another song by Nina Nesbitt for you today, and another British pop song after Jack Vallier’s, that I like. It’s topic is something very trivial and obvious, but sometimes, especially when life gets a bit hectic, or perhaps boring, we tend to forget about it, that things in our lives are constantly changing, and next year on the same day, we may be in a completely different place and state of mind. I’m just re-reading a fabulously written biography of Bronte family, by a Polish writer, she has translated Bronte sisters’ books as well, and there’s the same motif. Anne and Emily Bronte have that tradition on writing birthday notes on Emily’s birthday every three years, and they write on what has changed in their life since the last note, and muse on how life is changing and where they will be in next three years’ time. For some reason, I found the way they do it quite hilarious. Okay, so here’s the song.

 

Nina Nesbitt – “Is It Really Me You’re Missing?”.

Nina Nesbitt is quite a well-known singer and songwriter from Scotland. I think it’s also cool and worth mentioning that she’s also part Swedish – her mum is from Sweden. – I really like her music, along with other similar British artists like Gabrielle Aplin or Lauren Aquilina or Birdy or the like. And I like this particular song for a good few reasons so I thought I’d share it.

 

Ray Fisher – “Willie’s Lady” & Martin Carthy – “Willies Lady”.

For today I have for you a song in two versions. Firstly because I like them both, and secondly, because they’re both in different languages.Ray Fisher was Scottish, so her version is in Scots, as all the songs she sang, and Martin Carthy is English and his version is in English. Also, I have no idea about what the perception of Scots language is like in people whose first language is English, I don’t know how much you can understand of it, in my case I was able to understand more than I thought I would listening to it for the first time, I suppose both thanks to English and Swedish, as there are Scandinavian influences at all, but there were still big patches of the lyrics that I wouldn’t understand, and even had trouble understanding various bits and pieces when reading the lyrics, so eventually had to just look up what it is about, and then understanding of the song has become much easier. So, if you’re gonna have the same dilemma, Martin Carthy’s version is very much the same in terms of lyrics, only with a few differences, like that in his version Willie is a king, and it’s his wife who comes up with a plan of how to get rid of the spell that Willie’s mother has cast on her, while in Fisher’s version it’s Billy Blind who gives Willie that idea.

“Willie’s Lady” is a Child ballad, and I think I have said it on my blog before that I really love the collection of Child ballads!

 

So, here are the two versions of this song. πŸ™‚

KT Tunstall – “Suddenly I See”.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

Practically it’s very recently that I’ve learned about this singer, but actually she’s not that unknown and soon after I learned about her I realised that I know one of her songs since many years, and I have really good associations with her. It’s also generally very cool and KT has an interesting voice, so this is my pick for today.

Song of the day (6th March) – King Creosote – “Bluebell, Cockleshell, 123”.

This is the first song by King Creosote that I’ve ever heard and something drawn me immediately to his music. I like that you can hear both folkish and more alternative influences in his music. But what I guess drew me to his music then was that this song, although so very cheerful and major and carefree in tone, especially with those children chiming in, is actually about a funeral… I like such unobvious combinations. But then I discovered the whole album from which this song comes, “From Scotland With Love”, and it absorbed me so much that I went through it all a few times almost in a row, it was so powerful and moving. The album is the soundtrack to the documentary, called also “From Scotland With Love” about scotland and Scottish people who had become forgotten with years, about their lives, often harrowing life stories and collective history of the Scottish people. Scotland is one of my favourite countries, I haven’t watched the documentary itself but just the album makes a huge impression, carries so many feelings in it, you can strongly feel it even if you’re not Scottish yourself. But still, because this song was the one I heard first, and it made me so surprised, I guess that’s why I love it the most. King Creosote is Kenny Anderson, and he is from Fife in Scotland. Actually, after I had a listen (or a few as I said) to “From Scotland With Love”, I noticed that he also enjoys some attention from the Polish radio which was quite a big discovery for me. One public radiostation seems to like his music. πŸ™‚

Song of the day (4th March) – Emma Thompson & Peigi Barker, Ashley Serena ft. Karliene – “A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal” – “Noble Maiden Fair”.

 

Some time ago, I shared with you guys a couple songs by Scottish singer Julie Fowlis, who sings in Scottish Gaelic, and I wrote that Julie Fowlis became known to some wider audience because of the Disney film called “Brave” where she sang two songs in English. I didn’t show them as there is so much more great and far less known music from Julie Fowlis, but I’d like to share something from “Brave” now. This song “A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal” or “Noble Maiden Fair” in English, is sung in the film by queen Elinor (Emma Thompson, Merida’s mother) and Merida (Peigi Barker). They sing it when Merida is desperate to get her mother back as a human after she is transformed to a bear, and while the girl is having a memory of herself with her mother. It is a beautiful lullaby. I, being in love with all things Celtic, listened to the song before I even knew that this film exists and was quite surprised to hear it there, haha. I loved “Brave”, and still do, much enough to infect my sister, I started loving it because it seemed so very Celtic to me. While I still like it, I find that much of the Celticness in it is rather very stereotypical and artificial, which is sad, but I guess to be expected in a Disney film, however it’s good that they wanted to make Celtic culture more widely popular.

When it comes to this song, as I read somewhere it seems like it’s actually a direct translation from English, not a Gaelic song really, and also, Emma Thompson who plays Merida’s mother, is ENglish, and not a gaelic speaker, so even I, although I don’t speak Gaelic, only small bits and pieces, but managed to figure out its phonetics, wasΒ  able to say, or have a strong suspicion, that something is wrong with her Gaelic. Peigi on the other hand does it a bit better, because as I’ve been able to find out she had studied some Gaelic. While I loved Emma Thompson as Merida’s mum, and she sang it well, I wonder a bit why if they had someone like Julie Fowlis in the cast, they didn’t get her to sing it, she’d do it great, and it would be more authentic! Despite lacks in the linguistic sphere though, the song is very nice musically, and I love the harp in it.

But also, since I’ve been sharing some Karliene’s music with you, I thought I’d share her beautiful cover of this song, made in collaboration with Ashley Serena. While they both don’t speak Scottish Gaelic either, their version is also beautiful and with fabulous and much more present harp as well. I also have a feeling that despite linguistical lacks it’s somehow even more Celtic than the original for some reason, despite that part of it is actually in English. The English part is the translation (or original?) of the Gaelic version. Enjoy and let me know which one you like more. πŸ™‚

Julie Fowlis – “Go Your Way”.

Hi! πŸ™‚

Today I bring you a song from one of my most most favourite Scottish folk singers, and one of the most successful ones – Julie Fowlis. – Julie Fowlis is the one who sung the song “Touch The Sky” to the Disney movie “Brave”, I love that movie and my ZOfijka does too, and like that song as well, and it seems that it is what made Julie so popular. I knew her though already a couple years before I heard about “Brave”, when I started being interested with Celtic music. It was via her music that I had the first contact with Scottish language (Scottish Gaelic) and her music is what first made me love this language. I also considered it funny though, because it sounded so exotic, and i can remember listening to Julie’s music for hours, wondering what her lyrics are about. You can also “hear” quite weird things in her songs if you speak Polish, so it was quite amusing. But first and foremost, I considered both her music, and Scottish language, in which she primarily sings, stunningly beautiful.

I willl probably show you more of her music later on, but today I’m going to show you her song in ENglish, from her latest album that came out last year, in October, I guess. The song is called “Go Your Way” and was written by another folk singer whom I like, though not as very very much as julie – Anne Briggs from England. – I think it’s wonderful.

Callum Beattie – Some Heroes Don’t Wear Capes.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

I showed you one song by Callum Beattie on Easter, now it’s time for something more by him. I absolutely adore this song, it’s so moving and… well just have a listen. πŸ™‚

Callum Beattie – We Are Stars.

Happy Easter everyone! πŸ™‚

Yes, happy Easter, I’ve just come back from Holy Saturday celebrations so actually it’s Easter. We had Zofijka’s Easter muffins already. They’re so yummy. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about in this post. Wanted to share Saturday’s song of the day before the day finally ends.

It is brilliant. I like Callum Beattie. He is a new-ish artist, comes from Edinburgh and although he’s pretty young, his music is ambitious. Here’s the song “We Are Stars”.

Karine Polwart – Daisy.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Did I ever told you I always have some music turned quietly on while I’m sleeping? I do. Either some music on Spotify or just some radio in one of my favourite languages where they talk as much as possible in this language. It is because, although I’m kind of a loner, like having me time, love my peace and quiet etc. I also have some weird and creepy fear of silence which most often gets in the way at night. I guess that’s an equivalent of sighted people being afraid of the dark, although I don’t know any blind people who’d have it the same. So I need at least some friendly sounds around me. Not too loud, ’cause I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep at all obviously, but just enough to feel a bit safer. Plus I’ve heard years ago that if you listen to the language you’re learning while you sleep, it apparently helps your accent. I wouldn’t believe it, but I tried, and, although I generally pick up accents quickly, I suppose it is also a bit helpful.

And sometimes when I have Spotify on it happens that when I wake up I instantly discover something new and beautiful so that’s good as well.

But this night I didn’t discover anything new, instead I reminded myself about a song which I’ve loved for years and which I really do resonate with. I mean, maybe not now, but I used to. So I thought I’ll share it with you.

About a year ago or so, I was talking about different things with my Mum and then she asked me in context to what we talked about before, if I had an opportunity to meet my younger self, or just tell her something, what would it be. I wondered for quite a while and I said I didn’t know at all, but then after a few days I thought I know what I’d do. I’d show her this song, because it’s like especially for a very young me. πŸ˜€ During the years that passed I’ve changed quite a lot, well, radically, I was a rather talkative and very open kid, a little bit shy, especially with many people, but generally I loved meeting new people and quickly attached to them, although I preferred to talk to people older than me than my peers. And I loved to be the centre of attention, well, anyway I was the centre of attention in many situations. Many people who know me and who heard about me back then, or even look at my pictures or stuff, can’t believe I was this way. And although I haven’t associated this song with me before, as I thought about it for the first time, I just knew the lyrics are just about me from the very past and I still think so.

But they might also be about many more people, so maybe you’ll resonate with it too.

Karine Polwart is just so great and versatile. She is a Scottish singer and songwriter, she’s a folk singer. Her own lyrics are usually tough, or rather, they regard tough things. She writes about things like alcoholism, genocides, people dying in Auschwitz, among others. Or just simply, like “Daisy”, about some darker shades of the world.

She’s just brilliant and so is “Daisy”.

Capercaillie – “Fear a’ BhΓ ta” (The Boatman).

Hi all! πŸ™‚

Today will be something in Scottish, Scottish Gaelic. I think it’s not very difficult to guess if you’re around here for a while that Scottish Gaelic is also one of my favourite languages, the more that I’ve mentioned it a few times already. πŸ˜€ It’s such a beautiful language. My first contacts with this language took place when I was about 12, just exploring Celtic folk music, mainly Irish and Scottish then, and, as I never heard this language before, I was greatly astonished that people can talk/sing this way anywhere in Europe, it sounded very weird to me and me and my school friends were laughing at the lyrics, which of course we didn’t understand at all, but we heard lots of funny Polish words or phrases in them and we were wondering what they really sing about. πŸ˜€ Now I’m a little bit more conscious, otherwise I don’t think my love for Celtic folklore and languages would survive this long.

So Capercaillie is a Scottish band founded by Karen Matheson and her partner Donald Shaw in 1984 and it still exists. They make folk Celtic music, but in the way I like about folk – mixing traditional instruments with more modern like electric guitar, bass or synths, and generally mixing old and new. Their music is both in Scottish and Englis, also Karen Matheson did a few solo albums. The name Capercaillie comes from the name of a native Scottish bird which is western capercaillie.

The song I’m sharing is a typically traditional, very famous Gaelic song in Scotland, caled Fear a’ BhΓ ta, which means The boatman. It is a love song, written by SΓ¬ne NicFhionnlaigh, or in English Jean/Jane Finlayson (literally daughter of Finlay) in 18th century. She was in love with a guy who was a boatman and looks like the times when she wrote this a bit maudlin song I’d say, were hard for their relationship. Nevertheless, apparently, things got settled down not very long afterwards and the couple married happily.

Although I know a couple more or less common phrases in Gaelic, I definitely didn’t know what’s this song about, so here’s the translation from Wikipedia

:

O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
My farewell to you wherever you go
I often look from the highest hill
That I might see my boatman
Will you come tonight, or will you come tomorrow
Oh sorry will I be if you do not come at all
My heart is broken, bruised
Often tears are running down from my eyes
Will you come tonight, or will I wait up for you
Or close the door with a sad sigh?

I often ask of the boatmen
If they have seen you, if you are safe
But they all tell me
That I was foolish if I gave you love.

My darling promised me a gown of silk
That and a fine plait
A golden ring in which I’d see a likeness
But I fear that he shall forget.

Although they said you were flighty
That did not lessen my love for you
You are in my dreams at night
And in the morning I ask for you.

I gave you love and cannot deny
It’s not love that lasts a year or a season
But a love that began when I was a child
And that will not wither until death do take me.

My friends say often
That I must forget your image
But their counsel is as unfathomable to me
As is the returning tide.

I am all too sad and tearful
Like a white swan that has been torn
Sounding her death-call on a small grassy loch
Having been forsaken by all.

Here’s the song: