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(no subject) [Aug. 9th, 2006|05:21 pm]
Celtic Links

elderwood
[music |The Most Requested by the Wicked Tinkers]

Greetings, all!

Sorry that I haven't made an update, but I've actually been out of town at a folk music camp known as Lark in the Morning. Lots of Irish music and Irish step dancing was involved on my part, and I had a wonderful time, but I'm sorry to have neglected our little corner of Livejournal here. I'll be gone for one more week, and after that I'll be back to weekly postings.

In the mean time, I've uploaded an mp3 by my bagpipe teacher's band the Wicked Tinkers. (You may know them from the Highland games that happen in the western United States.) The song I've uploaded, "The Most Requested", is a medley of Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave. Amazing Grace has now become a staple of pipe bands, and is played almost at every Highland games during the massed bands performance at the end of the day. Scotland the Brave is considered to be one of the most well-known unofficial Scottish national anthems, along with Scots Wha Hae and Flower of Scotland.

Click here to download the mp3.

That's it for now. Slainte!
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(no subject) [Aug. 5th, 2006|11:04 pm]
Celtic Links
jagvillkysser
[mood |anxiousanxious]

just saying hi and that i'm not actually celtic...well i'm Scottish, but anyway my boyfriend is from Ireland and moved here 4 years ago...he's been teaching me A LOT about celtic everything!!! i've become SO interested in everything celtic i'd like to learn more though
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(no subject) [Aug. 5th, 2006|11:04 pm]
Celtic Links
jagvillkysser
[mood |anxiousanxious]

just saying hi and that i'm not actually celtic...well i'm Scottish, but anyway my boyfriend is from Ireland and moved here 4 years ago...he's been teaching me A LOT about celtic everything!!! i've become SO interested in everything celtic i'd like to learn more though
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Just wanted to share. [Jul. 21st, 2006|03:11 pm]
Celtic Links

scisme
[mood |bouncybouncy]
[music |Flogging Molly]

This is my all time favorite Irish band. I've seen 'em live twice and plan on seeing them more. So, here's the link, have fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG3PogE-YdE
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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2006|12:27 pm]
Celtic Links

elderwood
[music |The Curragh of Kildare by Bert Jansch]

The mp3 for this week is done by a man named Bert Jansch, a folk musician from Glasgow, Scotland, who is best known for his work during the 60's and 70's and as a founding member of the folk band Pentangle. The song, the Curragh of Kildare, is a traditional tune about a man missing his lost love, which is often the subject of traditional songs. The lyrics for the song can be found here.

Click here to download the mp3.

This week's links are about Kildare, a town in County Kildare, Ireland. Kildare (Cill Dara in modern Irish, originally derived from Cill Dara in Old Irish, meaning "Church of the Oak") lies some 50 km west of Dublin. In pre-Christian times, Kildare was the place in which there was a shrine for the Celtic goddess Brigid. However, after the introduction of Christianity in the 5th and 6th centuries (it is disputed that it may have been as early as the 4th century), it became the site of a monastery for the Christian St. Brigid. To read more about Kildare, click here and here.

A curragh, sometimes spelled currach, is an Irish boat made by stretching animal skins and hides over a wooden frame. The way a curragh is constructed is unique to Ireland and Scotland (as well as the related islands such as the Aran islands off the coast of Galway, and the Hebrides of Scotland), and it is related to the Welsh corracle. In counties Kerry and Cork, it is known as a naomhog (pronounced roughly as "neeve-ogg"). Throughout history, the curragh was used as a fishing vessel as well as a means to transport goods. To read more extensively about the curragh, click here and here.
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Essay, And A Rant On Culture [Jul. 14th, 2006|06:09 pm]
Celtic Links
sabneraznik
[mood |mellowmellow]

This was typed earlier in lieu of posting.

Didn't go out volunteering today, as I am in a lot of pain today. So I got some rest, and caught up on some reading. I'll prolly soak in the bath tub following dinner. But that also gave me more time for a post of substance other than life. :)

Apparently, there is one last reading at the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre. One of the Out To lunch series hosted by Poetry Ireland. This last one features Maurice Harmon and takes place on July 28 @ 1:15 pm. To protest the closure of the BOI Centre go to www.ohargain.com and sign the online petition. (Hope you have better fortune at this than I did. I found there a link to the online petition to save Rattlebag, which I've already signed, but could not locate this particular petition on the website. If any of you have a clearer, workable link to this, please share it in the comments so all concerned about the degradation of art can find it. Thank you muchly.)

Also found in the most recent edition of PIN is this little gem of an essay by Gabriel Rosenstock, which I will post in its entirety for the benefit of my readers here:

"The Invisible Tribe?"

In Michael Cronin's fascinating, bilingual, upside-down book, "An Ghaeilge san Aois Nua/ Irish in the New Century" (Cois life 2005), there is passing mention of 'an treibh dhofheicthe', the thousands of speakers of Irish who roam the streets of our cities, invisible to all and sometimes to one another. Are we the new Tuatha De Danann then, outside of the world of men, letters and history? Not so, says Cronin. We are real. Our babble is not totally lost among 200 other languages spoken, sporadically or daily, in Ireland. Far from being a doomed tribe, Cronin believes that multiculturalism offers a new space for the indigenous language, the 'national' language of Ireland. Otherwise, the joke which is language revived can only become more painful and more embarrassing for us all.

Cronin suggests language reform or language simplification as one clear way towards greater access to the language, a way out of the morass. To the best of my knowledge, recent language reform of German orthography has been rejected by the majority. Complexity of language itself, any language, is surely one of the reasons why its survival is crucial. Are there too many rules governing the use of the 'seimhiu'? One might well ask are there too many species of butterfly. We cannot have enough. What use are they? 'Glory be to God for dappled things' is good enough for me, whether a Brazilian butterfly gives us a cure for cancer or not! As a letter writer to the Irish Times remarked, 'Bas teanga a simpliu'. Poets would agree.

Of course, Michael Cronin, Director of the Centre for Textual and Translation Studies in Dublin City University, acknowledges the need for diversity among various languages and, in a key quote from R. Bernard, he affirms that 'any reduction of language diversity dimishes the adaptational strength of our species because it lowers the pool of knowledge from which we can draw'. The pool is lowering- dramatically- as you read these words and I share Cronin's dismay at the world's indifference to this calamity. Alas, for hundreds of languages- and the poems that might yet be written in these languages- the game is already over. All the wealth and tools of Bill Gates could at best record them. Save them? Never. And yet, Irish survives. How do we persuade the people of Ireland to accept this treasure? How do we convince them that they will be infinitely adorned- not lumbered- by this unique gift? Build the highest statue in the world to honour Aogan O Rathaile?

What is interesting about Cronin's thesis is that he views the depletion of the Bernardian pool of precious knowledge not only in a cultural context but in relation to the uses of the marketplace. Today's economy, he argues, is a knowledge economy. But if our knowledge of Irish is limited, then 'large swathes of the cognitive, aesthetic, and affective experience of the people who have lived on the island become invisible...' Who can argue with that? Is the day about to dawn, then, when the plethora of business schools that have sprouted up all over the country wake up and set about incorporating sophisticated studies of the Irish language as well as multi-discipline courses in cultural repossession (including hundreds of poems and songs) as core elements os the curriculum? Fanciful, maybe, but if you read Cronin, not entirely impossible.

He is pessimistic, however, about our ability or willingness to draw upon the Bernardian 'pool of knowledge' (which is self-knowledge) and, so, selective amnesia in relation to a thousand years of our civilisation seems set to continue. Shall we blame the Government- again? No, blame yourself, he seems to say. Selective amnesia begins with you. It is your responsibility- your loss, if you like. Otherwise, let's breathe a deep sigh and settle on 2016 as a good year to celebrate Giving Up on Irish.

Cronin is, above all, a realist, a scholar, a creative intellectual. He quotes Ciaran Mac Murchaidh in the preface to "Who Needs Irish?" (a mixed bag of essays which includes a contribution from this writer): 'Irish is the storehouse of so much of our heritage, our traditions, our literature, our spirituality and our lived experience as a people'. Fine. But Cronin doesn't deliver much on the spiritual aspect of this mosaic. He has more to say on the notions of power, globalisation and the new society we live in. But what exactly is Celtic spirituality- pre-Christian, Christian and even post-Christian? Matter for another book, one hopes, worthy of Cronin's imaginative and intellectual breadth.

Meanwhile, Cronin concludes that the tribe, visible or invisible, is no longer the agency which will revive the language or allow it to perish. 'We must start with the individual citizen if there is to be any substance to collective action... What needs to be shown once again is that the end of carrying the language into the 21st century is a new beginning for all.' We shal be very grateful to Michael Cronin for mapping out some of the hurdles and some of the opportunities along the way. If there is light at the end of the tunnel it can be nothing more, or less, than a meeting with yourself.


This whole essay could apply just as aptly to Appalachia, and its indigenous (unnamed) language, which is a beautiful mix of English, King James English, German, Gaelic (both Scots and Irish), and no doubt a sprinkling of Native American languages. This language, this culture, is already almost dead. Killed from its native people being taught to shame and shun it as 'incorrect and ignorant'. Who will care enough to fight for it, as these ones are fighting for Irish? At present, it seems I am alone.
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Extra mp3 for this week. [Jul. 13th, 2006|02:37 pm]
Celtic Links

elderwood
[music |An Spailpin Fanach by the Boys of the Lough]

I've uploaded an extra mp3 for this week because I've been enjoying this tune, An Spailpin Fanach/The One-Horned Buck, by the Boys of the Lough very much. (They're the same band that recorded the song in this week's post from yesterday.) The song is sung in Gaelic, but can anyone discern if it is in Irish or Scottish Gaelic?

Click here to download the song. As usual, skip past the advertisements to where you see the blinking orange arrow and the light blue link, which is where you will click to download the song.

Hope you enjoy!
Slainte,
The Moderator
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This week's links and mp3 [Jul. 12th, 2006|05:52 am]
Celtic Links

elderwood
[music |The Holly Bush... by the Boys of the Lough]

This week's tune is played by a band known as the Boys of the Lough. I first found out about them while listening to the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, on which they were guests around last Christmas time. The song of the week, titled "The Holly Bush / The New Ships Are Sailing", is played on the instrument which is the subject of this week's links, the uilleann pipes.

The mp3 for this week can be downloaded by clicking here. Scroll past the advertisements to where the flashing orange arrow is, and there you will see the downloadble file.

The uilleann pipes, a traditional instrument from the Emerald Isle, are often confused by sound for the Great Highland Bagpipe, but they are in fact very different. The bag of the uilleann pipes is inflated by means of a small set of bellows strapped around the waist and operated by the right arm. The uilleann pipes are distinguishable from other forms of bagpipes by their relatively "sweet" sound, as well as by the wide range of notes that they can play (two full octaves). Uilleann pipes, unlike the GHB, are mostly played indoors, and are always played when sitting down. The uilleann pipes, which were first known as the union pipes, were created around the beginning of the 18th century. However, the name "union pipes" eventually fell into obscurity, and this is sometimes attributed to the fact that it can be remindful of the Act of Union of 1800 (more can be read about said act here). The word "uilleann" is thought to be a form of the Irish word "uillin", meaning "of or by the elbow".
More can be read about the uilleann pipes by clicking here and here.

To see last week's links, mp3, and post, click here.

Did anyone find the past two weeks' entries enjoyable? How did you like the music? Were the entries informative? Did you learn something new? I haven't gotten much of a response to either of them, so I was just curious to know if people have been enjoying celtlink so far.
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This week's links and mp3 [Jul. 5th, 2006|01:08 pm]
Celtic Links

elderwood
[music |The Snowy Path by Altan]

The downloadable mp3 for this week is by a band from County Donegal, Ireland known the world over as Altan. Loved by many, Altan is one of the premier bands exposing traditional Irish music to the world. Much of the traditional Donegal fiddling style can be heard in Altan's music, and much of it is complimented by the lead singer's, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh's, beautiful voice. The song, titled the Snowy Path, is a slip jig without vocals, but is a wonderful display of Altan's talent.

The song can be downloaded by clicking here. Scroll past the advertisements to where you see the light blue text and orange arrow, which is where the file is.

This week's links are about Donegal's distinct fiddling style, and County Donegal itself.

-- Donegal (Dhún na nGall in Irish Gaelic), which can be found in northwestern Ireland, is a partly-Irish Gaelic speaking county in the Ulster province, though it is still a part of the Republic of Ireland. The name Donegal means "fort of the foreigners", and is most likely a reference to the Vikings. Donegal was first known as County Tyrconnel (Tír Chonaill in Irish), and this was because of the Tyrconnel earldom that it had succeeded. The dialect of Gaelic that is spoken in Donegal is distinctive, and has traces of Scottish Gaelic. The Irish Gaelic that is spoken in the Gaeltacht of Donegal is of the West Ulster dialect. More information on Donegal can be found here. Once you've reached the site, click on the picture with the Failte sign to enter the main part of the site.

-- The fiddling style of Donegal has received much more attention in recent years, as an interest in Irish music has begun to be picked up by the outside world. There are many variants of styles within the style itself and no two fiddlers play exactly alike, but it is generally characterized by its rapid pace, aggresive bowing, the use of bowed triplets (as opposed to fingered ones as can be found in styles from other counties), the use of double stops, as well as droning, and the playing of two octaves when a tune is done by more than one person with one person playing the melody and the other playing the same melody an octave lower. Tune types that are relatively rare in other counties, but that can be readily found in County Donegal, inlcude the 4/4 Scottish strathspey, and mazurkas.
As said before, there has been no single Donegal style but several different styles. These styles traditionally come from the geographical isolated regions of Donegal including Inishowen, East Donegal, The Rosses, Gweedore, Croaghs, Teelin, Kilcar, Glencolmcille, Ballyshannon and Bundoran. Even with improved communications and transport, these regions still have recognizably different ways of fiddle playing. To read more about the Donegal fiddling tradition, click and here.

To see last week's post, links, and mp3, click here.

Don't forget to promote, folks (but of course, only do so if you would like to). We'd like to spread our knowledge and share it with as many people as possible.
Copy and paste the text from the boxes below to promote celtlink:




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Ello There [Jul. 4th, 2006|12:04 am]
Celtic Links

scisme
My name is Rachel and I'm new, of course. I was inspired by Tom Hayden to retrace my roots, which I'm still working on. So far, no Celtic blood has been discovered. That doesn't matter much. Since I read "Irish on the Inside", I've been hooked on the culture and struggle of the Celts. I'm planning to go to Loyola Marymount University, enrolling in Celtic Studies. This is after I get my degree in Commercial Music. I'm excited to learn and share in this community. It's great to see that there are people that recognize how Ireland, Scottland, and surrounding areas are all linked by a very similar culture, and are proud to be apart of it.
Slainte
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