Celtic Airs (2010)
Album Liner Notes
1. Carrickfergus (trad. Ireland) An 18th-Century Ulstermen’s melody. This oldest town in Antrim is on the Belfast Loch, not far from C.S. Lewis’s childhood home. From the playing of the Chieftains. Bass: Henry Smith.
2. Auld Lang Syne (trad. Scotland) Popular tune for the poem by Robert Burns./This Shall Be the Year (Timothy Seaman, 2005 Pine Wind Music, Inc.) Looking ahead to new times with great aspirations! Keyboard: Henry Smith.
3. Bonnie Dundee (trad. Scotland) Harp: Ardie Boggs; Bowed dulcimer: Ann Robinson. A tune in honor of John Graham, a leader of the first Jacobite Rising, who died victorious at Killiekrankie in 1688./Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms (trad. Ireland) Highland pipes: Peter Budnikas; Harp: Ann Robinson. Tune for a poem by Thomas Moore, 1846.
4. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (Cwm Rhondda) (Wales: John Hughes, 1907) Piano: Robin Jester. Tune for the hymn by William Williams, 1745.
5. She Moved Through the Fair (trad. Ireland) Harp, bowed dulcimer: Ann Robinson. Donegal tune collected by Padraic Colum and published in 1909. /The Mermaid (An mhaighdean mhara) (trad. Scotland) From the playing of Alasdair Fraser. Fiddle, guitar, high-strung guitar: Bill Gurley.
6. Bonnie Bessie Logan (trad. Scotland) From the singing of Dougie MacLean./Loch Lomond (By Yon Bonnie Banks) (trad. Scotland, published 1841).
7. Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch (trad. Scotland) Harp: Ardie Boggs. A tune in honor of a hero of the Jacobite Rising of 1715./Ye Banks & Braes (Bonnie Doon) (trad. Scotland) The tune for a Robert Burns poem set beside his local river.
8. Be Thou My Vision (Banks of the Bann) (trad. Ireland) Title from an 8th-Century Irish hymn translated by Mary Byrne, 1905 and versified by Eleanor Hull, 1912./O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus (Ebenezer, Ton-Y-Botel) (Wales: Thomas Williams, 1890) Title from the 19th-Century hymn by Samuel Trevor Francis. Keyboard, bass, electric violin: Henry Smith.
9. Jesus, Lover of My Soul (Aberystwyth) (Wales: Joseph Parry, 1879) Piano: Robin Jester. Tune for the hymn by Charles Wesley, 1740.
10. Blind Mary (Ireland: Turlough O’Carolan, 18th Century)/The Southwind (Ireland: Freckled Donal Macnamara, 18th Century) Harp: Ann Robinson.
11. I'll Bid My Heart Be Still (trad. Scotland)/My Sweet Rowena in the Glen (Timothy Seaman, 2008 Pine Wind Music, Inc.) Accordion: Howard Nilsen.
12. Pulling Bracken (Alle Bain) (trad. Scotland) Harp: Ardie Boggs, Ann Robinson./Comin' Thro’ the Rye (trad. Scotland)
13. Wild Mountain Thyme (trad. Scotland) From the playing of the Tannahill Weavers./The Lassie with Golden Hair (trad. Scotland) From the playing of Alasdair Fraser. Harp: Ann Robinson.
14. The Rowan Tree (trad. Scotland, early 19th Century) Tune for Lady Nairn’s nostalgic poem “o’ hame and infancy.”
15. Our Hero (Mo Ghile Mear) (trad. Ireland, 17th Century) Eire’s lament for the exile of their cousin Bonnie Prince Charlie. From the playing of Phil Cunningham and Micheal O’Domhnaill of Relativity./The Broom o' the Cowdenknowes (trad. Scotland, published 1651) A shepherdess’s love ballad later adapted into a poem by Sir Walter Scott. From the version by Andrew Stewart and Phil Cunningham of Silly Wizard. I’m reminded of the great Irishman C.S. Lewis’ concept of “inconsolable longing” which he first experienced in viewing the Castlereagh Hills from his nursery window. This yearning, built into the human soul, for Joy, beckons us to regard Heaven and God as our true and needed home.