A Few Moments with Brian Hart (Brían Ó hAirt)

For this installment of the SOTI Singer Q&As, I’m happy to introduce an audio component. I think hearing the singers in their own voices adds a great deal.  Please forgive a bit of a digital sound that can result from recording from Skype, but it’s still a fair deal better than the sound over a phone.

Brian Hart (second from left) pictured here with members of his band Bua.

Brian Hart (second from left) pictured here with members of his band Bua.

In 2004, Brian Hart (Brían Ó hAirt) was the first American to win the ballad singing competition in the senior division at the All-Ireland Fleadh. Brian is a huge advocate for the Irish language, teaching the language throughout the U.S.A. and through his involvement with the Language Hunters. In fact, Brian came to Irish song through his interest in the language.  I first met Brian through his role as a teacher of Irish at the Indiana Celtic Communities’ first Celtic Culture Weekend in 2009, and I have been inspired by his love of the language, the music, and the culture ever since.

He has just completed another successful tour with the great singer from Northern Ireland, Len Graham, with whom he has been singing for some time.  The two have recorded a CD through the efforts of a kickstarter.com campaign in 2012. I’m very happy include to Brian through this series on SOTI.

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An Lacha Bacach

I just adore Nell Ní Chróiní‘s singing with it’s crystalline definition and simplicity. Here she is again on SOTI with a song about a lame duck.

An Lacha Bacach

A chréatúirín leointe is brón liom do dhreach
Im’ choinnibh sa phóirse is tú breoite tinn salach,
Do sciathán ba ró-dheas ag sileadh sa lóib leat,
Is do lapa beag gleoite dar ndóigh ina dhá leath.
Didery aighle dam dodle di am the dam dam…

An t-asal is dócha a thóg tú le speach
Is greadadh go deo air ba mhór é a theaspach
Cuirfead bata fuinseoige ag rince sa tóin air
Is ceangal naoi ló air cois teorann le staic.

Tar anseo im’ dhóid chun go dtomhaisead do chneá
Is ná bí chomh glórach ní ceol do bhác-bhác
Idir bhriseadh ‘gus leonadh tá ainnise mhór ort
‘S is céasadh san domhsa mo lacha bhacach

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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