The Folk Music Thread


I voted for The Parting Glass even though it’s Scottish.
At least @TreatyStones said so when this subject was last raised (Saturday).

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Been watching TG4 /BBC Alba’s ‘Port’ on Youtube … cracking show - taking in different ‘Celtic’ regions and their food + music. North West Spain and Brittany feature as of course do Ireland and Scotland… this led me onto Uist music - or the music of the Hebrides - particularly Julie Fowlis and Linda NicLeoid … Julie is one of the presenters of Port.

Any way, here’s a video from Port with Julie, Linda and Ireland’s Niamh Farrell + Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (Danú)

I’ve also been listening to some Waulking songs – the Gaelic Highland Scots have a great way about them actually - they are badly let down by their Lowlands brethren.

Waulking - was the tradition working the wool/tweed by a group of women who’d gossip through song

A catchy Waulking song by Kathleen MacInnes - gaol ise gaol i (Taken from Trans-Atlantic Sessions)

Lovely bit of mouth music from Julie here - Hug Air a’ Bhonaid Mhoir

Last one for the day — This is a lovely Connemara lament … supposedly written by an old woman on her death bed who wanted to be buried with her people on Mweenish Island

Amhrán Mhuínse / The Song of Muínis


She can’t have been all that poorly if she was fit to prop herself up and write laments

Who’s the artist on the last one, and could you translate??
Lovely tune.

Líadan are the group …

It’s an old Sean nos song … and the one above is a more modern version

If I were three leagues out at sea or on mountains far from home,
Without any living thing near me but the green fern and the heather,
The snow being blown down on me, and the wind snatching it off again,
And I were to be talking to my fair Taimín and I would not find the night long.

Dear Virgin Mary, what will I do, this winter is coming on cold.
And, dear Virgin Mary, what will this house do and all that are in it?
Wasn’t it young, my darling, that you went, during a grand time,
At a time when the cuckoo was playing a tune and every green leaf was growing?

If I have my children home with me the night that I will die,
They will wake me in mighty style three nights and three days;
There will be fine clay pipes and kegs that are full,
And there will be three mountainy women to keen me when I’m laid out.

And cut my coffin out for me, from the choicest brightest boards;
And if Seán Hynes is in Muínis, let it be made by his hand.
Let my cap and my ribbon be inside in it, and be placed stylishly on my head,
And Big Paudeen will take me to Muínis for rough will be the day.

And as I go west by Inse Ghainimh, let the flag be on the mast.
Oh, do not bury me in Leitir Calaidh, for it’s not where my people are,
But bring me west to Muínis, to the place where I will be mourned aloud;
The lights will be on the dunes, and I will not be lonely there.


That’d bring a tear to your eye. It’s a beautiful song.
The last line is a beautiful thing.


If you’ve any interest in folk / traditional music/ song then you should check out that Program Port … good few of them up on Youtube - the musicianship and the quality of singing is immense… When you see some of the utter wank that passes for music in the charts and these fucks filling out stadiums it really puzzles you … shows the power of marketing and technology I suppose.

There’s two shows from Spain, in Asturias and Galicia, that are great. The Brittany one too is decent … while it’s great they highlight a lot of shared culture from the regions that were the last strongholds of the peoples described as Celtic, a common theme is the loss of language, song, music … great that a show like this is getting out documenting it.

Lovely bit of Breton / French tradition here

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I’ve listened to it a few times. The transatlantic sessions also. The folk hour on BBC radio 2 is always enjoyable also.

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Better known as a tune for violin but a great song from West Waterford. My father’s homeplace and was sung by a couple of uncles at every family gathering.


I love this tune - your boy there does a version.

As an aside - I believe the dialect of gaeilge spoken in Limerick would have been very similar to West Waterford / Rinn

Up Breton!

Could easily be the West of Ireland …

REM do folk.

I love Iris Dement’s voice

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