Today, I’d like to share with you this very popular Irish song, which is actually originally a poem written by William Butler Yeats. It was through this poem that I actually first learned about Yeats when I started taking an interest in the Celtic cultures. I have already shared one version of this song on here in the past, sung by Loreena McKennitt.
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
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