Over on my facebook site I have been posting a song of the week – featuring music I have created and produced. So today I thought I would combine the song of the week with the odd audio blog.
As you may or may not know, my ancestry is Irish and my lineage hails from Cork. This would explain many things – my love of bland nutrient free food, occasionally drinking the odd burnt and bitter tasting black potion called Guinness, my starting fights for the most innocuous reasons and my appreciation of football (soccer) teams from other countries as Ireland are always shite!
Of course I jest, I don’t usually start the fights! Lol
We might not be good at football but we are a pretty creative bunch and today I would like to look at some great Irish acapella music that features mourning a loved one and a grave site.
First up is “ The wind that shakes the barley “ written as a poem by Robert Dwyer Joyce in the 1800’s.
The song is written from the perspective of a doomed young Wexford rebel who is about to sacrifice his relationship with his loved one and plunge into the cauldron of violence associated with the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. The references to barley in the song derive from the fact that the rebels often carried barley or oats in their pockets as provisions for when on the march. This gave rise to the post-rebellion phenomenon of barley growing and marking the “croppy-holes,” mass unmarked graves into which slain rebels were thrown, symbolizing the regenerative nature of Irish resistance to British rule. As the barley will grow every year in the Springtime of the year this is said to symbolize Irish resistance to British oppression and that Ireland will never yield and will always oppose British rule on the island.
A lovely song and this rendition comes from Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance and this is from their live cd “ Towards the Within “…
Beautiful and heartfelt delivery! Thank you Lisa.
Next up is an even older piece from the 17th century, “Táim sínte ar do thuama“that has not been credited to anyone but remains anonymous.
It is set to the tune of “Taim Sinte ar do Thuamba”, Hymn #47 in Danta De: Idir Sean agus Nuad (the Trinity Sunday hymn “Dia an t-Athair do shealbhaig flaitheas naomhtha”). The hymnal says the tune is from Munster.
Love how Sinead’s voice is so weak and exhausted sounding on this song and yet she keeps going and sings it from the heart.
And now a song inspired by the play, “ A Skull in Connemara “ by Martin McDonagh. As far as I know Martin is still alive and the play was written in 1997.
The brief synopsis from wiki…
“ A Connemara man is employed to exhume skeletons in an overcrowded graveyard and he encounters the wife whom he was once accused of killing. “
A number of years ago, Theatre Conspiracy, produced the play here in Vancouver and it was an excellent show. I was the sound designer and I wanted to take a few risks and push myself to try something new. So I created “ The Exhumation Song “ to be sung by the main character as he walked through the graveyard. Sadly the track never made it into the play but I’m quite pleased with the result. I sung it with heart and authenticity and didn’t try and make it perfect but it is real!