Reflections on the Inishowen Singing Festival – Guest Post by Brían Ó hAirt


Inishowen Singing Weekend 2013 - BH1

This post is a special treat. To flesh out SOTI by including the experience of more singers, I’ve begun asking singers of note to share their experience of singing with others. Brían Ó hAirt agreed to be the guinea pig for this series, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with his reflection on the 2013 and 2014 Inishowen Singing Festivals, put on by the Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle. I hope you enjoy, and go raibh míle maith agat, a Bhrían!  Continue reading

Dark Inishowen (Dark Iniseoghain)

Another visit to the ITMA’s Inishowen Song Project came up with this appropriately named song. Here the singer pines for his true love as he is stationed far away in Co. Fermanagh.  Michael McGonigle sings in Co. Donegal at the Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle. 

Dark Inishowen

Ye lovers of Beauty so fair and forlorn
So fondless I wander so far from my home
I am off by the moonlight or the break of morning
I’ll be found in the mountains of dark Inishowen.

I strayed ’round a place and they call it Clonmany
In search of a fair maid that I might adore
But a fair maid to love me I could not find any
From the Meendoran bridge to the Gap of Mamore.

Adieu to the place where I once had a fair maid
No wonder when absent that I do make mourn
When I think of those green fields the haunts of that fair one
Sure I pine for my darling in dark Inishowen.

Continue reading

The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow

Another song made known by the singer Paddy Tunney. Thanks to Brian Hart for the suggestion. Here it is sung by, I believe, his son John.

The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow

With my dog and gun through the blooming heather
To seek for pastime I took my way,
Where I espied a charming fair one
Whose charms invited me a while to stay.
I said, “My darling, you will find I love you,
Tell me your dwelling and your name also.”
“Excuse my name and you’ll find my dwelling near
The mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.”

I said, “My darling, if you’ll wed a rover
My former raking I will leave aside.
Here is my hand and I pledge you my honour,
If you prove constant I’ll make you my bride.”
“If my parents knew that I loved a rover
Then a grave affliction I would undergo.
I will stop at home for another season near
The mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.”

Continue reading