Well, we finally got around to giving Cantaria a facelift and a manicure. There MP3s play inline now on the song pages. Song pages are optimized for printing with sheet music optional -- use "print preview" in your browser to see what they will look like when printed. There's more to come... we have piles of songs/recordings to add, and lots of background info, too.
Singer Mairtin de Cogain has enthusiastically joined the roster of singers on Cantaria, contributing songs from three CDs: "The False Start" (his solo CD), "The Fuchsia Band" and "Gra da Raibh" by the The FuchsiaBand. Eoin Verling of The Fuchsia Band also sings on Colcannon. The songs:
The Auld Triangle | Barrack Street | Brian O'Lynn | Colcannon (The Skillet Pot) | Dick Darby | Gra da Raibh | Johnny Jump Up | Óró, 'Sé do Bheatha 'Bhaile | Peg Leg Jack | Poc ar Buile | Taglione | Taimse 'gus Maire | Ten Minutes Too Late |
Briege Murphy: singer/songwriter from County Down, Ireland, gives us four Irish traditional songs from her album "From Now On": The Creel | The Verdant Braes of Screen | In the Month of January | Slieve Gallion Braes. Previously, she contributed The Granemore Hare from her album "The Longest Road."
Bards in a Box have contributed a number of songs, such as Peace Round and the Battle of Otterburn, a period piece. The bards include Katrina of Coventry, Andrew Scarhart, Gerald of Leesville, and Alden Drake.
More updates from Andrew: upgraded sound clips and a full version of the 16th century song, I care not for these ladies; Windows Media (.wma) versions of quite a few classics, such as Rising of the Moon, Star of the County Down, and Whiskey in the Jar;
Andrew Scarhart has added full versions of the classics Wild Mountain Thyme and Wild Rover to our collection. And as a first for Cantaria, we have the Windows Media files (.wma) of the songs, as well as .mp3 versions.
Wild Thyme graciously offered four songs to our library from their "Gentle Rain" CD: Highland Harry | Maid in a Garret | Rose by the Door | Stitch in Time. You might recognize the lovely soprano lead singer, Ivory, from her earlier contributions as part of Pay the Dog. Welcome back, Ivory! "Gentle Rain" has more than 20 tracks, including marvelous instrumental pieces. Check it out!
Singer Jim Brannigan generously offered us many recordings of songs we didn't have in Cantaria yet. So far we've added these: Bold O'Donahue | Carrickfergus | Dick Darby the Cobbler | I'll Tell My Ma | Killkelly | Muirsheen Durkin | My Singing Bird | Rambles of Spring
Bernie and Barbara McDonald
The Trees They Grow High
Aidan Brennan is well known for his excellent work as a guitarist, regularly accompanying musicians such as Susan McKeowan, Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes, Johnny B Connolly and others. His lovely singing voice and song arrangements are a hidden talent! Thanks for the songs, Aidan!
Biddy Mulligan | The Boys of Mullaghbawn | The Hare's Lament | Spencer the Rover
From Paul and Win Grace, another Scottish song, but this one written by Ronnie Brown of the Corries, The Roses of Prince Charlie
Gallowglass has released their second album, by land or sea, and graciously offered several tracks for Cantaria. Check out the traditional song, Paddy's Lamentation, which highlights Jamie Verlander's haunting voice, excellent guitar work by Shawn Darling, and the delightful piping of Scott "Dracos" Hancock.
Mary Smith, who has recorded many songs for Cantaria over the past couple years now has two CDs full of traditional ballads. From these, we have: Mary and the Soldier | The Road to Dundee | The Boys of Mullaghbawn | Jock o' Hazeldean | The Lassie wi' the Yellow Coatie and if that's not enough, you can buy her two CDs, Mary and the Soldier and Two Strings on Every Bow for $12 each on the Chivalry Music Catalog.
From a video tape that Andy Irvine loaned me, on which he sang a few songs for a television special many years ago, we have Arthur McBride and Nancy's Whiskey. Great hurdy gurdy and harmonica playing on Nancy's Whiskey.
A new group has joined us this month, Gallowglass. Led by the exceptional vocals of Jaimie Verlander and the marvelous piping of Scott Hancock, this is a group not to be missed. This month, they've contributed two songs: the traditional Burning of Auchindoun and the original and quite haunting tune, Soul Bard. Check them out!
The first release under the name 3 Pints Gone is called The Shores of St. Valery and from that new CD we have these contributions: The Braes of Balquidder | Lancashire Lads | The Mary Ellen Carter | Barrett's Privateers | The Yew Tree
Wild Mountain Thyme, now called 3 Pints Gone, contributed these songs: Come Out Ye Black and Tans | Follow Me Up To Carlow | From Clare to Here | Twa Recruitin' Sergeants | Highland Paddy from their last album as Wild Mountain Thyme, called There Can Be Only One.
Matt Connolly, another singer from Cork sent us his CD called "A Baker's Dozen" from which we give you these songs: Song For Ireland | Eileen Arun | Quare Bungle Rye (Jack Was a Sailor...) | Castle of Dromore | Avondale | My Singing Bird
Oh dear, yes it's really been three months since I added more songs, but not because I've been neglecting the music. In fact, over the summer I've accumulated quite a pile of CDs and minidiscs with loads of songs to be added to Cantaria. Making the time to add them is the hard part.
Here are a few more from the Tionol in St. Louis in April from a fantastic young singer named Brian Hart, who I am sure we'll be hearing much more of in the years to come.
A Stor Mo Chroi | The Lambs on the Green Hills | Down the Moor and Among the Heather | Pleasant and Delightful
Jill Anderson is another lovely young singer who is carrying on the tradition. From Omaha, NB, she has put together a couple nice CDs that show off her range and vocal flexibility.
On the Banks of the Roses | No Man's Land | Sally Gardens | The Fisherman's Song | Easy and Slow | Fields of Athenry
You can get Jill's CDs through her web site: www.redchairrecords.com
Briege Murphy is a singer and songwriter from South Armagh in Northern Ireland, a region famous for its strong song tradition and the beautiful landscape of mountains that compose the Ring of Gullion. Most of her songs are original works, but The Granemore Hare is a traditional song from Armagh County, taking place near the town of Keady.
Songs from Andy Irvine (www.andyirvine.com), the great singer/songwriter and instrumentalist, well known for his solo work as well as his roles in the Irish traditional music bands Planxty, Sweeney's Men and Patrick Street. Two songs from him now, with more to come in the future: Over the Mountain | Prince Among Men
Tullamore, a group from Kansas City, MO contributes Step It Out Mary
Donal Hegarty, a treasure of a man from Cork City, Ireland led singing workshops at the St. Louis Tionol on April 21-22. He was delighted to hear about Cantaria and recorded several songs for us that day. Unfortunately the surroundings were a little noisy, so the recordings aren't the best, but good enough to learn the songs, for sure! Tramps and Hawkers | Courtin' In the Kitchen | Raglan Road | Gentleman Soldier | The Sick Note | Kerry Recruit.
I finally got around to adding Flower of Scotland, as sung by Wild Mountain Thyme
and from A Chorus of Two we have Leis A Lurighan | Sae Will We Yet | Three Ravens | The Devil and the Old Woman | Twa Corbies
We have some new songs from A Chorus of Two, that it's taken me way too long to post! These are from their album "Our Cups Runneth Over". Thank you, ladies!
The Keeper | Good People | Drive the Cold Winter Away
How about some new songs for Robert Burns Day?
Andy M. Stewart sings My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose (like no one else can sing it) and Rantin' Rovin' Robin'. Plus, here's The Valley of Strathmore, a Stewart original.
Have you visited out the Bard Board? Ask and answer all kinds of song-related questions!
October 30 -- fixed some functionality problems on the Bard Board. Tree view and Last Day/Last Week message lists are now working.
Mattie Lennon of Co. Wicklow, Ireland has sent us some original songs and three very informative articles to post. Enjoy! You can learn a bit more about Mattie here.
Bio and video review: The Songs of Sean McCarthy
Event report: The Bog isn't a place, it's a feeling
Band review: You're Welcome to the Rambling House
Songs: John Carthy | The Slopes of Sweet Cloonee | Browe's Puckan
We've long admired Andy M. Stewart, Scottish singer and song writer who was the voice of Silly Wizard from 1974-88. Now we have some of his songs to share here -- you know them, you love them, hear them from the source!
The Parish of Dunkeld | The Ramblin' Rover | The Queen of Argyll | Patrick Sheehan | The Broom of the Cowdenknowes
With the release of the Jolly Rogers' new 2-CD album "Loose Cannons," we have these new songs on Cantaria: A Hundred Years Ago | Little Beggarman | Down By the Glenside | Get Up Jack! John Sit Down | The Ould Triangle | Run Come See | Willie McBride (aka No Man's Land, Green Fields of France) | Shoals of Herring | Mingulay Boat Song | The Ballad of Captain Kidd
Sept 4 -- Introducing The Bard Board! We've been talking about it for ages, but now here it is... a place especially for bards and all lovers of traditional songs, music and "bardic arts" to gather and share knowledge. We hope you enjoy it!
Sept. 1 -- I've completed lots of clean-up work on the site in the last couple days. All but a very few songs are now MP3 and low-res WAV formats only. The remaining songs have to be resampled from tapes.
New songs added today -- two more from Mary Smith: House Carpenter and The Riddle Song. A few songs from Wild Mountain Thyme that should have been added long ago: Star of the County Down | Skye Boat Song | Fiddler's Green | Whiskey in the Jar | Farewell to Nova Scotia | The Foggy Dew
Chris Caldwell, a musician in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, has contributed these new songs. In addition to being a singer, Chris is also a fantastic bodhran player. Farewell to Whisky | General Guinness | The Maid of Culmore | The Roaring Baby
A scrapbook of narratives and photos from the Tommy Makem Festival of Song
Several things are happening with Cantaria just now. First of all, we have converted all the sound files to MP3 format and are in the process of linking those new files up to all the song pages. From this point forward we will just offer .WAV and .MP3 format files rather than RealAudio. The MP3 files are much better quality and smaller file size than the RealAudio files. The drawback is that they do not stream (play as you download). Weighing the options, we have decided that MP3 is a better choice. If you have any comments about this, we'd like to hear them..
ABC files: Kate is working on notating music for as many songs as possible and compiling the tunes into ABC format files. This will allow visitors to use ABC software to display and print the tunes for the songs. In the past we have resisted adding sheet music/notation to Cantaria because we have felt -- and still feel -- that folk songs inherently do not have a definitively "right" tune. The folk tradition allows for interpretation and bardic license, each song becoming uniquely styled by individual singers. Over the years though, we've gotten so many requests for sheet music that we're bending. The philosophy still remains -- we are not saying these are the "RIGHT" tunes, just a common version we've collected. Keep an eye out for these to start appearing by the end of the summer.
Having spent the last 4 months living and working in Ireland, Kate has been immersed in music. She capped off her Irish experience by attending the Tommy Makem School of Song in South Armagh, Northern Ireland. The event was hosted by it's legendary namesake, Tommy Makem, and featured well-known musicians the Makem Brothers, Tommy Sands, The Sands Family, Eugene Byrne, John Campbell, Len Graham, David Hammond and poet Peter Makem. It was an absolutely out-of-this-world week of songs, singing, sharing, learning and celebrating! And this was only the first year of the event! Kate's working on a scrapbook of photos, narratives and sound clips... all in the interest of enticing YOU to attend next year!
The folks who attended the school were a GREAT bunch of people! Many are singers and poets but even those who are not contributed to a wonderful experience by sharing stories, experience, humor, laughter and encouragement.
A fun pair of minstrels - the Brobdingnagian Bards - have just joined us and added four new songs to Cantaria's growing library. From their "Marked by Great Size" CD, we have A-Beggin' I Will Go and The Dragon's Retort. From "Gullible's Travels," we've added A Fairy Story and Johnny at the Door. Take a listen!
We've added a new group of minstrels - Pay the Dog! These lovely ladies with lilting voices have agreed to share some of their songs with us. Off their "Ice Cream for Abbie" recording, we've added several new songs to Cantaria's archives: Dumbarton's Drums, Bonnie Glen Shee, The Finest of Them All, It's So Big, and The Unquiet Grave!
HUZZAH! We've broken the 100 song mark!!
Would you like to help us make it to 200?? If you have recordings of traditional or favorite contemporary songs to contribute to Cantaria, talk to us!
Kate Akers, our own web hostess, screwed up her courage and recorded her first song, The Humours of Whiskey. Be gentle, it took three years to get this far.
Wild Mountain Thyme has released a new album -- Scotland's Depraved and from that we have these new songs: Galway Shawl, Are Ye Sleepin Maggie, Finnegan's Wake, Drummer Girl, Banks of the Lee, Mountain Dew, Highland Paddy and Scotland's Depraved.
Another song from the Jolly Rogers: Mrs. McGraw (McGrath)
A new bard! Monalee Kendall has contributed a bunch of songs for the archive. Here are a few to begin with. More are forthcoming.
August -- more sea chanties from The Jolly Rogers