Irish Singing, Old School

by Mitch Hanley, senior producer

In production on next week’s homage to the late John O’Donohue, I have been researching Celtic music, attempting to not have a show full of jigs and reels, but to have a good cross-section of this genre. I came across this style of Gaelic singing, sean-nos, meaning “in the old style,” in a YouTube video of Iarla O’lionaird (fronts the band Afro Celt Sound System) singing in a pub.

Imagine yourself in a tucked away nook of Ireland, hearing this haunting, sad melody, carrying you back some thousands of years. It is just beautiful.

Also fun is trying to follow along with the words…

Curfá:
Bog braon, bog braon, bog braon don tseanduine,
bog braon, bog braon, bog braon don tseanduine.

Cuir a chodladh, cuir a chodladh, cuir a chodladh an seanduine,
cuir a chodladh is ní a chosa is bog deoch don tseanduine.

Curfá

Ubh chirce, ubh chirce, ubh chirce don tseanduine,
ubh chirce is blúire ime is a thabhairt don tseanduine.

Curfá

Feoil úr, feoil úr, feoil úr don tseanduine,
feoil úr is braon súp is a thabhairt don tseanduine.
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