Causeway - TARA 3035
Nollaig Casey & Arty McGlynn
Album Sleevenotes

 

Tracks

 
Audio Samples
(1) Causeway
(2) Cabbage and Cale
(3) Seo Leo 'Thoil
(4) Jack Palance's Reel
(5) Trá an Phéarla (Strand of the Pearl)
(6) Rainy Summer
(7) A Stór mo Chroí
(8) Comanche Moon
(9) The Trip to Tokyo
(10) Dún Na Séad (Fort of the Jewels)
(11) Murals
(12) Lois Na Banríona ( Fort of the Fairy Queen)

 
 
SHOP BOX
Album
Format
Causeway

 

Sleeve Notes

Nollaig Casey - Vocals, Fiddles, Violas, Tin Whistles.
Arty McGlynn - Acoustic, Guitars, Fender Telecaster Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar.
Brendan Power - Harmonicas.
Rod McVey - Keyboards, Hammond Organ.
James Blennerhassett - Electric Bass, Double Bass.
Dave Early - Drums, Percussion.
Enda Walsh - Keyboards, (Tracks 3, 7, 10)
Tony Philips - Drums, (Tracks, 2, 4)

Produced by : Arty McGlynn and Shaun Wallace.
Recorded by : Shaun Wallace at Homestead Studios, Randalstown, Co Antrim.

Track Notes

Seo Leo'Thoil,
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 emigration.

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.

Instrumental Notes

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 century.

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.

Nollaig Casey

 

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 in shape.

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.

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