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Song Story: Scarborough Fair

Scarborough Fair is a traditional English ballad about the Yorkshire town of Scarborough. Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. The “Scarborough Fair” was a popular gathering in Medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th. In the 1600s, Read More

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Behind the Song: Highland Cathedral

    Often when you hear the bagpipes one of the songs that is popular to be played is Highland Cathedral, although the song does have lyrics.   The song falls right behind Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave, as a request for the bagpipes. In honor of St. Andrews Day later this month, I thought Read More

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Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby)

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s take a look at another popular Irish song. “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby)” was made popular by Bing Crosby in the 1940s, however it’s origins date back much farther than that. In reality, “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby)” is not an Irish song, but an Irish-American song. “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral Read More

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Caledonia

Caledonia, the song, is an unofficial anthem for Scotland. Caledonia, the word, is a Latin word for Scotland. The Scottish folk ballad was written by Dougie MacLean in 1977. MacLean was visiting the beach in Brittany, France but feeling homesick for his beloved Scotland.   He said: “I was in my early 20s and had been Read More

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The Galway Girl

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day let’s take a look at a popular Irish song. The Galway Girl was written by Steve Earle.  Earle is actually an American, but wrote the song while living in Ireland. The story is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of the singer’s reaction as he meets a  “beautiful black haired Read More

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The Blue Bells of Scotland

In honor of Scotland’s St. Andrews Day at the end of the month, I wanted to explore the history of one of Scotland’s popular folk songs. The 19th Century actress, Dorothea Jordan, introduced the song in the early 1800s at the Drury Lane Theatre in Edinburgh.  She claimed to perform the song to an “original Read More

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Profile of a Performer: Celtic Thunder

Celtic Thunder is an Irish singing group that is known for their theatrical shows. The show was created and is produced by Sharon Browne, who was a creator and producer for Celtic Woman in 2004. The group made their debut in August 2007 at The Helix in Dublin, Ireland. Phil Coulter, was their musical director, Read More

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Molly Malone

The popular Irish song, Molly Malone tells the story of the fictional tale of a young girl whom is a fishmonger.  She pushes her cart throughout the streets of Dublin, plying her trade.  Sadly, she dies at a young age of a fever. No one knows for sure if this song is based on a Read More

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Behind the Song: Auld Lang Syne

Every year we sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Day, but where did it come from? Auld Lang Syne is a Scots poem that was written by Robert Burns in 1788.  His poem was set to a traditional folk song.  Music historians are unsure if the melody used today is the original melody Burns Read More

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When Irish Eyes Are Smiling: Is It Really An Irish Song?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! When I go to the nursing homes to do music this time of year the most requested song is When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. I was suprised to learn that it was not a song from the country of Ireland. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling is a tribute to Ireland. The Read More