This week, a quartet of lovely songs from the British Isles:
Above, Irish singer Mary Black joins Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and the Donegal band Altan for a stirring performance of the Irish Gelic song "Siúil A Rúin," filmed in concert in Glasgow. (The English translation of the chorus is: Go, go, go my love/Go quietly and peacefully/Go to the door and fly with me.)
Below, Scots Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes performs "Oran a Cloiche (The Song of the Stone)" by Donald MacIntyre at a TransAtlantic Session in 2011, accompanied by Sarah Jarosz, Mike McGoldrick, Russ Barenberg, Donald Shaw, and Nollaig Casey. The song recounts the dramatic (but temporary) return of the Stone of Scone to Scotland in 1950, boldly retrieved from Westminister Abbey by four students on Christmas Day. (You can read the song's lyrics in translation here, and the full story of the stone here.) MacInnes comes from the Outer Hebrides and is now based in Glasgow.
"Ye Banks and Braes," performed by Scottish singer/songwriter Holly Tomás, from Edinburgh. The lyrics, based on a Robert Burns poem, are written from the point of view of a love-lorn woman as she walks by the banks of the River Doon in Ayrshire.
The Poozies, a wonderful Anglo-Scots all-women trad band, with their gorgeous song, "We Build Fires." The song refers both to the ancient system of building beacon fires on high hills as communication and defense signals, and also to the pagan ceremonial fires lit at various sacred times during the lunar calendar.
The Poozies have had several line-ups over the twenty years that they've been performing, but in this video it's: Sally Barker (lead vocals and guitar), Jenny Gardner (fiddle), Mary Macmaster (harp), Pasty Seddon (harp), and Karen Tweed (accordion). If you'd like to hear more music from The Poozies this morning, go here and here, or try any of their seven CDs.