Traditional Celtic Music

Track 1. An Dro/The Highwayman (Breton/Irish)
The An Dro is a circle dance from the Pays Vannetais in Brittany, France. It leads easily into this ballad of eighteenth century street crime come to a sorry end.

Track 2. Ar Hyd y Nos (Welsh)
Although well known in its English form as the lullaby All Through the Night, the Welsh words are actually a tribute to the stars as they brighten the darkness of the night. Our thanks to Chuck Vaughan for his help with pronunciation.

Track 3. Real Old Mountain Dew (Irish)
It only sounds like a drinking song! In reality it is a thoughtful appreciation of the social implications of natural fermentation followed by distillation...

Track 4. An Hwyseth/Plethen Newlyn (Cornish)
We intersperse verses of The Lark, a bucolic song of the joys of country life, with the Newlyn reel from a tiny fishing village just outside Penzance. The song is dedicated to Jack Libby, the Cornish Bard from Polperro, for his help with pronunciation and the reel is dedicated to the late Brenda Wootton - the queen of Cornish folk music.

Track 5. The Shearing (Scottish)
This song tells how a young shearer's fancy turns to thoughts of love. We had performed this for several years before we realized that it referred to the shearing of corn (not sheep)!

Track 6. I Was a Young Man (Irish)
A sad tale of a young man cut down in his prime by marriage to a shrew (or a reasonable woman who is unwilling to work her fingers to the bone while her husband is off playing with his sheep... depending on your viewpoint).

Track 7. Mairi Bhan Og (Scottish)
Fair Young Mary a lovely old air.

Track 8. Mile Marbh'Aisg Air A'Ghaol/Tha Mi Sgith (Scottish)
A combination of a wauking song (A Thousand Death Shrouds Upon Love) and a slow air (I am Weary) which is guaranteed to douse the spirits of the happiest soul!

Track 9. Raggle Taggle Gypsies (Scottish)
This is the oft sung tale of how a lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots falls in love with Mary's favorite spy, a gypsy in real life, and leaves her comfortable life and rich husband for the freedom of gypsydom.

Track 10. Cul Tiubh na bPerlai (Irish)
This haunting love song was collected by the Irish scholar Éinrí ÓMuirgheasa and included in his 1934 book, Dhá Chéad de Cheoltaibh Uladh (Two Huundred songs of Ulster). Barbara learned it from the singing of Daithi Sproule. The rich poetry of the lyrics invites speculation that the beloved woman being serenaded might be a metaphor for Ireland.

Track 11. Travar y Gott Krisht/Ev Chistr'Ta, Laou (Manx/ Breton)
We play When Christ was born, a carol from the Isle of Man which traditionally had many verses, as a mercifully short instrumental. It leads into the well known Breton drinking song, literally Have Another Cider, Billy Boy - hard cider, of course! We dedicate our Breton music to Sioux Baker who often leads the audience in Breton dances at our concerts.

Track 12. Hebridean Carol (Scottish)
This Hymn to the Christ Child from the Western Isles is a poignant expression of a mother's love for her child.

Track 13. Bean a Tí/Boys of the Town (Irish)
Lady of the House - a drinking song from the 1798 uprising, encouraging Irishmen to support the French who were expected to assist in the struggle against England. It is coupled here with one of our favorite jigs.

Barbara Ryan: Vocals, Guitar, Bodhran.
Bernard Argent: Wooden Flute, Whistles, Vocals, Doumbeck.
Diana McFadden: Cello, Bouzouki, Mandolin.
Engineered & digitally mastered by: Micah Solomon
Recorded at: Oasis Recording Inc.
Digitization of the original cassette by: National Media Services, Inc.
Cover Art: Barbara Ryan
Layout: Bernard Argent
Special Thanks: Matt and Beni Jaro.
All titles traditional, arranged by IONA.
For information on IONA's recordings: (202)258-7602
© 1992 IONA

Page updated August 13, 2015 - Bernard Argent