The Bay of Biscay

Sean Cannon sings the gentle ghost song, The Bay of Biscay. There is also a delightful version on Karan Casey and John Doyle’s album Exiles Return.

The Bay of Biscay

“My William sails on board the tender
And where he is I do not know.
For seven long years I’ve been constantly waiting
Since he crossed the Bay of Biscay-o.”

One night as Mary lay a-sleeping,
A knock came to her bedroom door,
Saying, “Arise, arise, my dearest Mary,
For to gain one glance of your William-o.”

Young Mary rose, put on her clothing,
Unto her bedroom door did go
And there she spied her William standing,
His two pale cheeks as white as snow.

“Oh Willy dear, where are those blushes,
Those blushes I knew long years ago?”
“Oh Mary dear, the cold clay has them
I am only the ghost of your William-o.”

“Oh Mary dear, the dawn is breaking.
The time has come for me to go
I am leaving you quite broken-hearted
For to cross the Bay of Biscay-o.”

“If I had all the gold and silver
And all the money in Mexico,
I would grant it all to the King of Erin
To bring me back my William-o.”

Blockbuster Concert At 2013 Temple Bar TradFest

Check out this awesome concert on January 22, 2013 as part of the Dublin’s Temple Bar TradFest!  Can someone hook a man up with free tickets, flight, and accommodations?

A Stór Mo Chroí- A Musical Gathering

This collective of Singers and Musicians is made up of members of the most progressive and influential traditional groups of the past fifteen years. Combined they represent, Solas, Lunasa, Danu, At First Light,Lumiere, Nomos, Tamalin, Béal Tuinne and The Sharon Shannon Band.

They have performed all over the world and taken part in the award winning series ‘The Transatlantic Sessions’. They have come together to perform a shared repertoire that celebrates their love of storytelling. Through a collection of beautiful love songs, which cover the range from heartfelt loss to unbridled joy, these performers illustrate their importance in the tradition. Each voice and accompaniment captures the essence of the song.

To have a supergroup of both musicians and vocalists performing together will prove a rare treat for fans of both Traditional and Folk music.

Willy O’ Winsbury

A great 18th century Scottish tune. It’s performed here by the band Pentangle with singer Jacqui McShee.

Willy O’ Winsbury

The king had been a prisoner
And a prisoner long in Spain
And Willie of the Winsbury
Has lain long with his daughter at home

“What ails you, what ails you, my daughter Janet
Why you look so pale and wan
Have you had any sore sickness
Or yet been sleeping with a man?”

“I have not had any sore sickness
Nor yet been sleeping with a man
It is for you, my father dear,
For biding so long in Spain”

“Cast off, cast off your berry-brown gown
Stand naked on the stane
That I may know you by your shape
If you be a maiden or nane”

So she cast off her berry-brown gown
Stood naked on the stone
Her apron was low, her haunches round
Her face was pale and wan

“Was it with a lord or a duke or a knight
Or a man of birth and fame
Or was it with one of my serving men
That’s lately come out of Spain?”

“It wasn’t with a lord or a duke or a knight
Nor a man of birth and fame
But it was with Willie of Winsbury
I could bide no longer alain”

The king has called on his merry men all
By thirty and by three
Saying “Fetch me this Willie of Winsbury
For hanged he shall be”

But when he came before the king
He was clad all in the red silk
His hair was like the strands of gold
His skin was as white as the milk

“It is no wonder,” said the king
“That my daughter’s love you did win
For if I was a woman, as I am a man
My bedfellow you would have been”

“Now will you marry my daughter Janet
By the truth of your right hand?
Will you marry my daughter Janet
I’ll make you lord of all my land”

“Oh yes, I’ll marry your daughter Janet
By the truth of my right hand
Oh yes I’ll marry your daughter Janet
But I’ll not be the lord of your land”

He’s mounted her on a milk-white steed
Himself on a dapple grey
He has made her the lady of as much land
As she will ride in a long summer’s day