Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí (For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name)

Cathy Jordan and Dervish (one of my favorite singer/bands) performing For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name live. And farther below is the Irish form of the song, performed by the great Liam Clancy.

Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí (For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name)

There’s a home by the wide Avonmore
That would sweep o’er the broad open sea
And wide rivers where the waves wash ashore
Whilst bulrushes they wave to the breeze
Where the green ivy clings round the door
And the birds sweetly sing on each tree
O me darling they’re tuning they’re notes
Is ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí

Like a sick man that longs for the dawn
I do long for the light of her smile
And I pray for my own cailin ban
While I’m waiting for her by the stile
Oh I’d climb all the hills of this land
And I’d swim all the depths of the sea
To get one kiss from her lily-white hand
Is ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí

Continue reading

Emigrant’s Farewell (Farewell My Love and Remember Me)

A song I originally heard from Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh on her album Fáinne an Lae (Daybreak). Here is a lovely version from Rosie Carson & Kevin Dempsey.

Emigrant’s Farewell (Farewell My Love and Remember Me)

Our ship, she is ready to sail away
And it’s come, my sweet comrades, o’er the stormy sea
Her snow-white wings are all unfurled
And soon will swim in a watery world

Chorus (after each verse): 
Don’t forget, love, do not grieve
For my heart is true and cannot deceive
My hand and heart I will give to thee
So farewell, my love, and remember me

Farewell, sweet Dublin’s hills and braes
To Killiney Mountain’s silvery streams
Where many’s the fine long summer’s day
We loitered hours of joy away

It’s now I must bid a long adieu
To Wicklow and its beauties, too
Avoca’s vales where lovers meet
There to discourse in absence sweet

Farewell, sweet Delgany, likewise the glen
The Dargle waterfall and then
The lovely scenes surrounding Bray
Shall be my thoughts when far away

Back Home With Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

Following the release of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh‘s second commercial solo recording, Ar Uair Bhig an Lae: Small Hours, SOTI caught up with Muireann via Skype at her home in West Kerry.

What is the first song you learned?

I’ve been singing since I was a child. I suppose one of the first songs I probably learned is the same song that my little girl has now learned this year. She’s only 1 1/2 [years old]. It’s Éiníní, which is a lullaby. My mom used to sing it for me, and now I sing it for Sadhbh, and she started singing along. I was just thinking the other day that probably that was my first song, too, as it was probably the first song I heard.  It’s just a song about little birds going to sleep.

What’s the most recent song that you have learned?

Probably one of the songs off my new album, in the sense that I would have been very familiar with them all, bar one or two, but that there were quite a few that I didn’t perform regularly, so I needed to sit down and really learn them for the album and for my concerts since I released it.

What’s your method for learning new songs?

Oh, very old fashioned, just repeat, repeat, repeat. Just rote learning. I like to read the words and see them, and I can kind of later on see them in my head. What is really important is just to try and remember the story. I think that really, really helps with the lyrics. If you can keep focused on the story and what’s happening as well, you can generally get by okay, too, because you’ll be concentrating on it in a different way, rather than as a performance.

Continue reading