Lone Shanakyle

Old Shanakyle Cemetery

This is one of my very favorite recordings by Mary Dillon and Déanta. It is a masterful example of how a traditional song can be set in a “modern” arrangement and still retain all the feeling of an unaccompanied air.   The song was written by Thomas Madigan (c. 1860) and references Old Shanakyle (Shankill) Cemetery in Kilrush, Co. Clare.

Far, far from the isle of the holy and grand
Where wild oxen fatten and brave men are banned
All lonely and lone in a far distant land
Do I wander and pine for poor Éireann

Lonely and sad I roam far from my native home
Where the wild waves surging foam, headlands appearing
Clouded in silver spray, flashing through heaven’s bright ray
For thy glory and pride, lovely Éireann

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The Return of Mary Dillon

Mary Dillon

Let me just put this out there: Mary Dillon is one of my very favorite singers. So when I learned last year she was performing live again and that her new CD North was on its way, I was ecstatic.

Mary is a two-time All Ireland singing champion and former member of one of the greatest Irish traditional groups of the ’90s, Déanta.  For the past fifteen years, however, Mary has put her focus on her family life, appearing only occasionally as a background singer on a few recordings.

Mary was kind enough to give SOTI a few minutes of her time and to talk about the new CD, her new group, and singing in general.

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