- Vocals, Fiddles, Violas,
- Acoustic, Guitars, Fender Telecaster Guitar,
Pedal Steel Guitar.
- Keyboards, Hammond Organ.
- Electric Bass, Double Bass.
- Drums, Percussion.
- Keyboards, (Tracks 3, 7, 10)
- Drums, (Tracks, 2, 4)
Produced by : Arty McGlynn and Shaun Wallace.
Recorded by : Shaun Wallace at Homestead Studios, Randalstown,
There are three distinct types of song in the Irish Song tradition
; Goltraí - Sad Songs, Geantraí - Happy songs and
Suantraí - Lullabies. This song is a Suantraí. Certain
phrases were used in the choruses of these songs to help put children
to sleep, such as ''Seoithin Seó'' and ''Seo Leo'Thoil''.
These phrases roughly translate into English as ''Hushabye''.
The song was composed by Eoin Ruadh O' Suilleabháin, one
of the best known travelling poets of the eighteenth century in
Ireland . Known as ''The Silver Tongue of Munster'' - he was learned
in Greek and Latin as well as some European languages - he was
also notorious philanderer . The story goes that one night he
visited a house in which a woman was nursing a crying child. The
woman apparently said to him '' Now it's your turn - Mind your
child!'' The poet began to rock the baby to sleep, and composed
this beautiful lullaby.
A Stór MO Chroí (Darling of my Heart)
This is a West Cork version of the song which I learned from my
mother, who in turn learned it from her mother. It is a song of
Dún na Séad (Fort of the Jewels)
Dún NA Séad is a picturesque village in West Cork,
now known as Baltimore, which was once principal stronghold of
the O'Driscolls, Lords of Corca Laighe. In the song, the poet
describes the beauty of Dún NA Séad and remembers
with sorrow a past love. I learned this version of the song from
my father. Sean O' Cathasaigh.
Trá an Phéarla (Strand of the Pearl)
I've called this tune after a little strand near Allihies in West
Cork known as Trá an Phéarla, or the Strand of the
Pearl. '' The Pearl'' was the name of a ship, which was en route
from the East Indies and which sank there in the early seventeenth
Lios Na Banríona (Fort of the Fairy Queen)
This tune I've named after '' Lios NA Banríona'' a small
townland near Bandon in Co. Cork where I grew up. The word Lios
means fairy fort, and the countryside in Ireland is dotted with
them . They are in fact , prehistoric ring forts. They were thought
to be inhabited by the fairies and people were afraid to interfere
with them. As a result a great many of them remain intact and
unploughed by farmers to this day.
The Giant's Causeway
The stunning beauty of the Giant's Causeway on the north coast
of Co. Antrim, not far from Homestead studios where this album
was recorded, provided much of the inspiration for Arty McGlynn
to compose his music for this album. The causeway itself is a
formation of honeycombed hexagonal columns of basalt rock stretching
for several miles along the coast from Portrush to Bushmills,
and its origins are believed to date back some 55 million years.
Legend has it that the Irish giant Finn MacCool, who lived in
Antrim , built a causeway over to nearby Scotland, so that his
great rival Scottish giant Benandonner, could travel on dry land
to accept a challenge to battle from Finn. When Finn saw Benandonner
arriving, he realised that he stood no chance against such a large
and fearsome giant, so he went home and disguised himself as a
baby in a cradle. When Bennandonner arrived at Finn's house and
saw what he believed to be a massive baby of Finn he fled back
to Scotland, saying ''if this is the child then I have no wish
to meet the father''. As he fled he ripped up the causeway in
case Finn might come after him!
A more scientific explanation of how the Causeway was formed is
that, some 60 million years ago, as the Atlantic ocean was forming
and the continents of America and Europe were moving further apart,
there was an intense period volcanic activity in the area creating
large areas of basalt, as the lava cooled to solid rock. The conditions
at the time were near perfect for the lava to cool at a very even
rate which in turn tended to produce rocks which mainly hexagonal
Whichever explanation you accept for the formation of the causeway,
it is without doubt one of mother nature's most beautiful creations.
Nollaig Casey hails from a strong
traditional background in West Cork. By the time she reached her
teens she already excelled on a number of instruments including
piano, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, fiddle, as well as singing.
At an early age of nineteen she graduated from University College
Cork with a Bachelor of Music degree, after which she embarked
on a career in music, firstly with the RTE Symphony Orchestra
where she spent five years and later as a freelance player.
Arty McGlynn from Omagh, Co. Tyrone also comes from a strong traditional
background, but his early influences were the great jazz masters.
He started to play professionally at fifteen touring Ireland with
numerous bands. After several years playing with Van Morrison,
he revived his interests in traditional Irish music and soon became
one of the most sought after musicians in Ireland.
Nollaig and Arty first met back in 1979, and the following years
their musical paths continually crossed as they both worked with
some of Irelands top artists. In 1984 they were married after
which , as well as pursuing their respective solo careers, they
spent much of their time performing as a duet.
Special Thanks: Very special thanks
to Sean & Una Casey for all the songs on the album.