Been listening to this fabulous new CD ever since it arrived at my house a few days ago--right now I have it on 'repeat all'. Good way to listen to Loreena in general, but oh my heavens, I LOVE this type of Celtic music so much! Especially with that famous 'McKennitt eclectic Celtic' touch, which we all know that only Loreena can do so well!
Now then--I've been collecting, learning, playing, singing, and listening to Celtic (and early Appalachian, which comes straight from Ireland and Scotland in particular) folk music for the past 48 years, at least. But until the true Celtic wave hit the Midwest and South in the US, decades after I began my 'song hunt', it was hard to find much! Therefore most of my research back then had to do with gathering material out of reference books at the local library. (What a 'hobby', for a kid who grew up learning, playing and listening to nothing but classical music, eh?)
In the process of my 'collecting', I ran across lots of variants of songs' tunes plus their lyrics. But never had I found the lovely melody for the song which Loreena has recorded here, 'On A Bright May Morning'. There are a number of songs I've come across over the years using some of the exact same lyrics, but never quite in this version of putting them together, and this melody is truly exquisite!
Ditto, for 'The Death of Queen Jane', a Francis James Child ballad (don't ask me which number, as I can't remember and don't know where the notebook is any longer, in which I wrote down some of the tunes and all the words, for it). This version which Loreena has included on her album is NOT one of the variants I ever came across, and again, it is really wonderful, and 'works' well without being 15 or more verses long.
The other offerings here are not 'new' to me but they may as well be, they sound so fresh and for me are all simply spine-tingling. I'm very happy Loreena has finally recorded her 'Emigration Tunes'. The arrangement is exceptionally heart-tugging, and her arrangement of the other fine instrumental, 'Brian Boru's March', is also quite splendid.
I don't know which song here personally breaks my heart more, 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley', or 'The Parting Glass'. Loreena may have just recorded and released definitive versions of both of them!
Oh, Loreena, we know you just released this new album; we realize you will not be recording again for quite awhile, but may I please put in a HUGE request? You have got a real winner with this Celtic folk music album, and many of us would love for you to record more--a LOT more-- of this same sort of music. It's the wonderful arrangements you know how to bring to these old 'classic' Celtic songs which make them come alive, and somehow seem almost brand-new. That, coupled with your wonderfully inimitable singing voice which sounds like no one other, makes for a 'lethal' combination, lol. Meaning, that like one of the mythic Sirens, no one who hears you sing and play music like this can resist the inevitable 'pull' towards it!
I'm playing your new album for anyone I can get to listen! Therefore, you may soon be finding yourself saddled with a few new 'fanatical' enthusiasts who cannot get enough of your music.