Granuaile (Grace O' Malley) - TARA 3017
Composed by Shaun Davey - Soloist Rita Connolly
Album Sleevenotes

 

Tracks

 
Audio Samples
(1) Dubhdarra
(2) Ripples in the Rockpools
(3) The Defence of Hen's Castle
(4) Free and Easy
(5) The Rescue of Hugh De lacy
(6) Hen's March
(7) Death of Richard-an-Iarainn (Intro)
(8) Death of Richard an-Iarainn
(9) Sir Richard Bingham
(10) The Spanish Armada
(11) The New Age

 
 
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Album
Format
Granuaile
The Brendan Voyage
Béal Tuinne - Live at St James Church Dingle
The Relief of Derry Symphony
The Pilgrim
May We Never Have To Say Goodbye
Voices From The Merry Cemetery

 

Sleevenotes & Audio Clips
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Sleeve Notes

Granuaile was recorded with a 22-piece chamber orchestra,
Leader Audrey Park *, Conducted by Gareth Hudson
Sung by: Rita Connolly.
Uilleann Pipes: Liam O'Flynn

The orchestra was augmented by:
Des Moore - acoustic guitar;
Helen Davies* - concert and Irish harps;
Noel Eccles* - percussion;
Carl Geraghty - saxes on Sir Richard Bingham;
Marian Doherty - harpsichord.

Special guest,
Donal Lunny, bouzouki on Hens Castle, Free and Easy, bodhran on Hens Castle .

Additional vocals by Rita Connolly and Shaun Davey; whistles on Dubhdarra, Liam O'Flynn.

(*By kind permission of R.T.E.)

The album was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin by Brian Masterson, assisted by John Grimes; vocal overdubs engineers: Pearse Dunne and Bill Somerville-Large; remixed at Landsdowne Studio, Dublin, and produced by Shaun Davey.

Track Notes

1. Dubhdarra
Dubhdarra he's a-sailing
Far out in the blue ocean
Far beyond the misty mountain
On the sun stream he's riding with the wind

Lost in a million dips and hollows
Swallowed in the racing horses
Dubhdarra will always return
To take me up in his arms

Angels hasten into the daylight
As the shadows fade away
And the rainclouds move among the islands
Far down in Clew Bay

I am waiting, waiting on the white shelled sand
In the sea garden drifting far out to sea
I'm sailing far out to sea

Dubhdarra he's a-sailing
Far out in the blue ocean
Flying canvas with the seagulls
In the freedom of a kind and gentle wind

Angels hasten into the daylight
As the shadows fade away
And the rainclouds move among the islands
Far down in Clew Bay

I am waiting, waiting on the white shelled sand
In the sea garden drifting far out to sea
I'm sailing far out to sea.

2. Ripples in the Rockpools,
Ripples in the water of the rockpool sun
Ripples in the water of the rockpool sun
Ripples in the water of the rockpool sun
And the boats are in for winter

Donal-an-Chogaidh will you marry me
Donal-an-Chogaidh will you marry me
Donal-an-Chogaidh will you marry me
Will I carry your three children?

Ripples in the rockpools, ripples in the sea
Ripples in the sand dunes rolling into Connemara
Ripples in the rockpools, ripples in the sea
Ripples in the sand dunes rolling into Connemara

Donal-an-Chogaidh will you sail with me
Donal-an-Chogaidh will you sail with me
Danal-an-Chogaidh will you sail with me
From here to far Conuna ?

Ripples in the rockpool etc.

I can feel the tide falling in the rain
I can feel the tide falling in the rain
I can feel the tide falling in the rain
But the wind is surely rising

Donal-an-Chogaidh you will come to no good
Donal-an-Chogaidh you will come to no good
Donal-an-Chogaidh you will come to no good
I shall leave you and take my dowry

Ripples in the rockpools etc.

3. The Defence of Hen's Castle
I had word of your coming
This is no surprise
To find oneself thus surrounded
Nor to feel such tears of anger

Now the cock crows no more
The hen shall slam the door
No raider, housebreaker
No bandits sheriffs men
No Galway blow-in
Shall here lay a claim

This poor widow-woman
Long before now
Has stood her ground
Amidst the white winter fury of the ocean
She has outfoxed
The running surge of the breaking wave
And thus humbled
She will bow before no man

Go kindle torches
High on the hill of Doon
The night's ablaze with flames on the hillside
In the morning ye shall find comfort

4. Free and Easy,
What can you see from the masthead?
Spanish ships a - fishing
What can you see from the masthead?
A Portugee from Newfoundland

Rising up on the breaking wave
Let it carry you over all the sea in the morning
Weigh, hey, and up she rises,
Sun is up, the bird's a-wing
And we're sailing free and easy

What can you see from the masthead ?
A trading ship for Galway
What does he pay for the passage?
A just reward for the pilot

Rising up on the breaking wave etc.

We'll stay at sea when the wind is keen
and waves begin to billow
We'll keep to the sea when the wind it fails
And homeward bound we'll row

Where shall we go for a cargo?
We'll run right down to Vigo
And if the Bay shall make a storm
We'll take a look in at Bordeaux

What spy you now form the masthead?
An Algerine on the quarter
What shall we do to greet him?
Acquaint him with our ordnance

Rising up on the breaking wave etc.

5. The Rescue Of Hugh De Lacy
Hugh De Lacy
He is going down
He is going down

Hugh De Lacy
His race is run
His race is run

As the ship goes under
White peaks of foam
Go soaring up the cliffs of Achill
Many men roll away this night
Let no one say
The O'Malley's fear their own water
Nor did they
Ever loose a chance
For plundering shipwreck
Heave ho

Hugh De Lacy
He has won my heart He has won my heart
Hugh de Lacy
They have cut him down They have cut him down
Oh, I shall have
My vengeance sweet My vengeance sweet

6. Hen's March
There came to me a man
A man of wealth and iron
I with galleys and trade
We made alliance and marriage and all
Married for one year certain

Upon the passing of the year
I did command
Changing of the guard
And castle gates were bared and closed
Richard I dismiss you

There came to me a son
A son named Tobbot-na-Long
He shall be my pride and joy
And he shall have my love
More than any other

There came to me a Lord
Deputy to a Queen
Plumed and feathered and buckled and bowed
And with a thousand horse
A thousand more behind him

There came to me no luck
The day the dice were thrown
Down upon the Desmond land
And now I am a year alone
Alone in Dublin Castle

There came to me a judge
With whom I did converse
Galloping horse cost
The promise of good behaviour oh
The promise of good behaviour

7. The Death of Richard-an-Iarainn (intro)

8. The Death of Richard-an-Iarainn
It is a cold wind
That carries no forgiveness
It is a cold wind
That blows form sea
Richard-In-Iron I love you

You're so hurt
And wounded so
Lay you down to sleep
You're so hurt
Battles are lost
Battles are won
Richard-In-Iron
Rest your head

It is a cold wind
That carries no forgiveness
It is a cold wind
That blows form the sea
Richard-In-Iron I love you

You're so hurt
And wounded so
Lay you down to sleep
You're so hurt
Suffer alone
Close your eyes
Richard-In-Iron
I dismiss you

9. Sir Richard Bingham,
Bingham was wounded
When he fell in the cold waters of Lough Mask
He must have heard laughter
For to see his countenance he looks right ill
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

Inish Glora, Eagles in the darkening sky
Carrick Monagh, heaving over with a cursing eye
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

Sir Richard Bingham, I will not yield
To your lovely Lady Elizabeth
Whose duty you betray

Bingham who watches
He would beggar my kingdom by new laws
I wish him to America
There to die on a Spanish sword
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

Meet me off Erris
Meet me in four fathom close to shore
But burn no lantern
The Gallowglass go to Iar-Connaught
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

Sir Richard Bingham, I will not yield
To your lovely lady Queen Elizabeth
Whose duty you betray

I burned the houses
Spoiled the cattle of Murrough my son
For he went against me
When all my horse and beef were run
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

I've seen the gallows
and mourned Owen and prayed for the life
Of Tibbot held hostage
He shall have my ships he shall have my guns
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

Sir Richard Bingham I will not yield
To your lovely lady Queen Elizabeth
Whose duty you betray

Sir Richard Bingham I will not grieve
When the devil take you underneath the grass
And thorn grow upon your grave

Old Sandy Mullet,
Set all jib-sails to run free of
Duvills riptide
In the Bulls Mouth the channel fills
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

The willow tree bendeth
The willow gives in the strongest wind
But the oak tree tumbles
Rent asunder limb by limb
And it seems like thunder, looks like rain

I've been to Ulster
With O'Neill and O'Donnell I spake
Of seaman's rumour
Of an army sailing form Northern Spain

10. The Spanish Armada
The Spanish Armada
Was blown off its course
Far to the north west of Rockall

Medina Sidonia
He knew what would befall
Those who closed with a lee shore

Wounded in Calais
And pounded at Gravelines
Laid over in the Atlantic

Raised upon mountains
And sunken in valleys
Spanish galleons run for shelter

What say your pilots
On their high and lofty castles
Cast among uncharted soundings

The sea bed rises
Throws foam up to heaven
And cables they break asunder

There is no handhold
In thundering water
Nor any means of rescue

Now Spanish gold
Slips down through the fathoms
So deep to lie forever

And silk and treasure
Roll in a sandstorm
Into the shallows and bays of Mayo

A drowned Spanish army
Invades unhappy Connaught
And Fitzwilliam cries for reinforcements

The English horsemen
They ride in the distance
And the Irish pick for the salvage

I wish I had never
Been a witness
To such savage scenes amidst the spoils

They cut down flowers
That could have been planted
And blossomed on less barren soil

11. The New Age
Now the ships leave drawn upon the tide
Lost in the rise and fall of the waves
As near to heaven by sea as by land oh
They sail to seek their fortune in the new age

Gold and silver form Peru to Spain
Strange tales of savage bands amidst the ice
Beyond the banks of Newfoundland

A great wind blows across from Africa
Below Capo de Buona Esperanca tempests rage
As near to heaven by sea as by land oh
They sail to seek their fortune in the new age

Farewell the land we're leaving
Dark skies, the waves rise
The sea's a-heaving

Rolling along with the breeze on the quarter
Along the horizon the mother and daughter of storms
And the raindrops like musketballs holing the water
The air is full of salt but sun is sure to follow

Upon the flood many strangers
The Narrow Seas of England and sandshoals
Queen Elizabeth far up the Thames
Surrounded by music and rivers of pearls
We found good favour
And have returned home again to Rockfleet
That I defend
Til I die
As a haven
In the storm

I am waiting, waiting on the white shelled sand
In the sea garden far out to sea
I'm sailing far out to sea

The songs on this album are based on a mixture of legend and fact surrounding the life of Grace O'Malley. While legend states she was a 'pirate queen` the facts show she was an extremely courageous woman who stood up for her rights during the turbulent 16th century, a period of great social and political change in Ireland. Furthermore, she defended her rights not just as a woman but as chieftain and commander of a fleet of war and trading ships with which she dominated the waters off Western Ireland. By land she stormed and defended castles, engaged in the then favourite Irish practice of cattle-rustling, gave birth to four children and in general showed she was equal if not the better of any man.

Dubhdrarra was Grace's father, she was raised in the O'Malley family home on Clare Island at the mouth of Clew Bay, Co. Mayo. Her first husband, known variously as Donal-an-Cholgaidh, ('of the battles'), and Donal-an-Cullagh, (`the Cock'), was reputedly killed by the Joyce for seizing one of their castles. This became known as Caislean-an-Circa (`Hens Castle') following Grace's successful defence against English soldiers from Galway. The beacon on the Hill of Doon was one in a chain of signals erected by Grace throughout her territory.

Hugh de Lacy is said to be the name of a man she rescued from shipwreck during a storm off the coast of Achill. Grace avenged his death by slaying those responsible and taking their castle.

The 'Hen's March' includes a reference to Grace's liking for gambling and her imprisonment in Dublin.

Richard-an-Iarainn was her second husband whom she is said to have divorced under Brehon Law with the words `I dismiss you'. The marriage produced Grace's favourite son, Tibbot (later 1st Viscount Mayo) and she remained on good terms with her ex-husband, supporting him politically until his death in 1583.

At this time Irish tribal politics of feud and allegiance reached new extremes of confusion due to the gradual replacement of the old Gaelic system by English Law and custom. Sir Richard Bingham is generally reckoned to have been the most ruthless of Queen Elizabeth's governors in Connaught where he showed little sympathy towards those slow to adapt. In 1588 approximately half the Spanish Armada was wrecked down the length of Ireland's western coastline. Fearing an invasion the English authorities took steps to ensure that those who survived were either imprisoned or slaughtered. Three months later Bingham was able to report to Elizabeth `the men of these ships all perished save 1,100 or more which were put to the sword'.

In 1593 Grace O'Malley, then well into her sixties, sailed to London to appeal directly to Elizabeth against Bingham's continued harassment of both herself and members of her family. What these two formidable women said to each other is not recorded but it is known that Grace returned to Ireland with the concessions she sought granted, Capo da Buona Esperanca was the 16th Century name for the Cape of Good Hope; `as near to heaven by sea as by land` a contemporary seaman's proverb.

Additional thanks to:

Pearse Dunne, vocal overdubs engineer on 'Ripples', 'Hugh de Lacy', and 'Death of Richard'; Irene, Kim and Hillie at Windmill Lane; Andrew, Brian, Ronan and Clare at Lansdowne; Cormac O'Reilly and Ursula Connolly; Mike and Margaret at Colourscope; Mal Stevenson; extra special thanks to Brian Masterson and John Grimes for all the hard work, and to John Cook at Tara Music Company (Tara Records.)

Rita Connolly photographed with 'ASGARD 11' by kind permission of Coiste An Asgard.

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