Rachel Newton – “The Bloody Gardener”.

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Today I have an English folk ballad for you, sung by a Scottish singer. It’s another one on this blog that is quite murky and tells the story of a murder, in this case we don’t know if it’s inspired by true events or not. This song is included in the Roud Folk Song Index and was first recorded by A.L. Lloyd. Lyrics in traditional songs like this tend to vary from one version to another, but Rachel Newton recorded her version with the same lyrics as A.L. Lloyd’s. It comes from her 2016 album “Here’s My Heart Come Take It”.

Rachel Newton – “Don’t Go Out Tonight My Darling”.

For today, I’d like to share with you yet another song from the Scottish harpist and singer Rachel Newton. It is included in the Roud Ballads index, and apparently can be traced back to Arkansas. As it’s easy to figure out from the song, it’s about a woman who is in a relationship with an alcoholic, and it’s quite heart-wrenching.

Rachel Newton – “The Maid of Neidpath”.

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A beautiful Scottish piece I have for you today! It’s actually a poem by sir Walter Scott, but played on the harp and sung by Rachel Newton. It tells the story of Jean Douglas – daughter of William Douglas – who lived in Neidpath castle in the 18th century. She fell in love with a man who, although he was of noble birth, was considered not a proper match for Jean, so, in an attempt to make his daughter forget about her love, her father sent him away. That totally destroyed poor Jean, who fell very ill as a result, and was only able to watch out the window for when her lover would come back. Eventually he did, but she was so poorly and sick-looking that he didn’t even recognise her and rode past the castle. That ultimately broke the girl’s heart and she died. Her memory still seems to be alive in that area because she’s still believed to haunt the castle.

Rachel Hair Trio – “My Darling Fair One”.

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Last month I already shared with you one tune, or actually a set of tunes, by this Scottish Celtic harpist – Rachel Hair – which she played together with the multi-instrumentalist Ron Jappy. – Rachel Hair is a very active, prolific and versatile artist who does all sorts of things with the harp and also has her own record label called March Hair Records. Among the things she does is she’s also a part of a trio, simply known as Rachel Hair Trio, and this song that I’m sharing today with you comes from their album Tri, released by the aforementioned label. I don’t know who else is in this trio and haven’t been able to find out, but the song is a traditional one and I really like this minimalistic arrangement.

Rachel Newton – “Hi Horo’s na Horo Eile”.

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Today, let’s listen to another piece from this great Scottish harpist and singer, in Scottish Gaelic. This is a really interesting traditional love song from a female perspective. I’ve found a translation of it, which I’ll share below as usual, but if you like this sort of thing or are intrigued by something in the lyrics, I highly recommend you go visit

the original source

and read the notes below the translation as there are plenty of little geeky linguistic bits explained about the lyrics.

 

You are my love and I’ll never deny it

When I was a green young girl

I fell in love with the young man

who had the handsome appearance;

and I will never love another

I went into the forest of trees and branches

and took an interest in a lovely sapling

it is in Glasgow of the shops

that I fell in love with the manly handsome lad.

The most capable fingers that could write with a pen

or tune the strings of a violin;

it is your music that would lift my spirits

when I was ] weary and melancholy

Your beautiful splendid curly locks,

the hair of your head is like the black-bird’s feather;

your two cheeks are the colour of roses

when the dew of the moring’s mist is on them

Your legs are strong and shapely

like a salmon in a crystal clear stream

and it’s absolutely true that I’ve given my love to you

amongst all the people that are in the world.

But I hope and expect

that the day will come when we will be together;

and if you are faithful to me

I shall love no other while I live.

Song of the day (15th August) – Rachel Hair ft. Ron Jappy – “Meras (Grainne Brady’s/The Namesake/Mera’s Delight)”.

Rachel Hair is another new harpist that I’d like to introduce to you, guys, except unlike Silke Aichhorn from the previous Song of the Day post, she is also new-ish to me. She is a Scottish Celtic harpist, and it’s quite clear from her involvement in all things clร rsach (Celtic harp in Scottish Gaelic) that she has much love for her instrument. This piece comes from her album on which she collaborates with guitarist Ron Jappy. I really like how her music feels different, yet it’s still very firmly rooted in the Scottish and Celtid tradition. I have no idea about the all the tunes in this set, what inspired them or anything like that, but looking at their credits on Spotify, they are her original compositions, along with Fraser Shaw, who was a Scottish pipe player who passed away in May 2015 due to MS.

Maeve Mackinnon – “Ho Ro Hรนg o Hรนg O”.

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Time for some Scottish Gaelic! This song comes from young Glasgow singer Maeve Mackinnon (apparently there are actually two Scottish singers called Maeve Mackinnon). Interestingly, she is not actually a Gaelic native speaker, she only learned it as an adult, but has had an interest in the language and music of her home country from an early age and was in contact with it a lot. I’ve also read that she has some Swedish heritage. I’m pretty sure that this song is traditional, although I have no idea what the title of it means and haven’t found any reliable translation of the lyrics.

Ailie Robertson – “Islay Dawn”.

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Today I have an instrumental folk piece from Scotland for you, from Ailie Robertson, one of the harpists whose music I’ve shared on here before several times. Islay is one of the southern Inner Hebrides on the West coast of Scotland, and it seems to be particularly well known for the Scotch whisky that is produced there.

Gwen Mร iri – “Cyn Gwawr” (Before Dawn).

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It’s late afternoon here, so maybe this piece is not the most timely, but I was listening to it today and thought this is what I’d like to share with you today, because it’s absolutely beautiful. As all Gwen Mร iri’s music. If you don’t know or don’t remember who Gwen Mร iri is, although I have shared one piece by her before, she’s a Welsh harpist and singer who was raised in Scotland and who can speak fluently both Welsh and Scottish Gaelic.

Rachel Sermanni – “Eggshells”.

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Today, I have for you a song from this really interesting Scottish singer. I’ve known this particular song for quite some time, but I’ve been listening to more of Rachel Sermanni’s music lately and exploring it. She is from the Scottish highlands and is of Italian descent, and what I find particularly interesting about her music is that I’ve read she’s often inspired by her dreams when creating it.

Phamie Gow – “Beginning Sweetly”.

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Today, I’d like to introduce you to a piece of music from a very talented Scottish multiinstrumentalist whom I’ve just recently discovered myself. I really like how versatile she is musically. And, since it’s still morning here right now, I thought I’d share this particular piece, because I think it’s really nice to listen to it at this time of the day.

Rachel Newton – “Proud Maisrie”.

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A song I have for you today comes from Scottish singer and harpist Rachel Newton, whose music has already been featured on here a few times. This song is her rendition of a traditional ballad, which is also known under several other titles as far as I’m aware. I really like the way she did it. I believe Maisrie is a spelling variation of Maisery, as in Child’s ballad Lady Maisery and the folk group Lady Maisery who are named after that ballad.

Rachel Newton – “Gura Mise Tha Fo Mhulad” (I Am Full Of Sorrow).

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Today I want to share with you a Scottish Gaelic song from a great harpist and singer Rachel Newton, who has already been featured on my blog a couple times. This is what’s called a waulking song. Waulking songs in Scottish folk music are songs which used to be sung by women while fulling the cloth, which in Scots is called waulking. Originally, they were accompanied by rhythmic beating of the cloth against the table or something which they did to soften it up, so that’s why these songs always have a strong beat. I don’t speak Scottish Gaelic, not yet at least, but this song was featured in The Rough Guide to Scottish Folk and there it is translated as I Am Full Of Sorrow.

Song of the day (29th December) – Ailie Robertson – “La Gueussinette”.

Here is another very lovely harp piece, a waltz, this time from Scottish harpist Ailie Robertson, accompanied by cello. It was was composed by Stephen Jones for his son, before he was even born, and apparently inspired by Gustav’s Klimt painting of a pregnant woman.