The Beauty of Gaelic

The Beauty of Gaelic March 28, 2014

One of the things I love about Irish music are the songs sung in Gaelic. The language has a flowing, lyrical quality that I find quite beautiful, even though I’ve no idea what’s being said. Today I want to present a sampling of pieces by different artists that I think are particularly fine.

First, here’s the Bothy Band with “Fionnghuala”, which gives me chills. Do listen to this one; it’s short, and utterly amazing.

In a lighter vein, here’s Orla Fallon with “Ni Na La”, which I suspect counts more as Irish pop music than folk. It’s in Gaelic and English, and it’s happy and bouncy and fun to listen to in the car:

Clannad is one of the first Irish bands I became acquainted with, back in the long long ago; I bought their album Macalla, which is almost more New Age than Irish Trad. But their early material was solidly in the traditional vein; one of my favorites is “Teir Abhaile Riú”, seen here in a TV performance. Note the tin whistle—I’d love to be able to play like that.

Finally, just for contrast, here’s a piece by Gaelic Storm. I like Gaelic Storm a whole lot; and I gather that lead singer Patrick Murphy truly was born in Ireland. But he sings Gaelic like no one else I’ve ever heard, and that’s probably a good thing.

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