The Bluffer's guide to Irish folk: 20 songs from the last 50-odd years of Irish traditional music.
folkinfo.org is a database of English-language folk songs. Each song is listed with its respective lyrics, sheet music, Roud Index number, midi file, and historical information. The database also provides song information in abc notation. Placed into an abc converter, one can generate sheet music in a variety of forms and scales.
After more than 15 years on hiatus, the punk-spawned, world-music-defining Dead Can Dance released their eighth album Anastasis one month ago. The reunited act are on a world tour. [more inside]
A girl upon the shore did ask a favour of the sea;For nearly 20 years, Newfoundland group Great Big Sea have been creating acoustic Celtic folk-rock covers and interpretations of traditional Newfoundland and Labrador sea shanties, folk, fishing and party songs, which draw from the island's rich 500-year-old multicultural (Irish, English, Scottish and French) heritage. [more inside]
"Return my blue eyed sailor boy safely back to me.
Forgive me if I ask too much, I will not ask for more,
but I shall weep until he sleeps safe upon the shore."
Toward the Within is the only official live album of the eclectic music group, Dead Can Dance. Recorded in one take in November of 1993, the performance was later released as an album and video. The latter includes short interviews with the heads of the group, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, interspersed with the songs.
Video track list: [more inside]
Video track list: [more inside]
Shane MacGowan is the face and name most often associated with The Pogues. Unraveling Shane's psyche would require a book-length study but the crux of his identity lies somewhere in that conflict between English experience and Irish heritage. The abbreviated story of his life starts with his birth in England, but he was raised in Ireland, and moved back to England some years later. He won a scholarship to the renowned Westminster School, where he was possibly enrolled alongside Thomas Dolby and other notable people. MacGowan was involved with drugs and publicized hooliganery before being in a band, the first of which was The Nipple Erectors in 1977. [more inside]
The Bothy Band - Ireland's finest traditional folk ensemble - rip it up in 1977. (SLYT) [more inside]
Casual fans of Irish folk-punk bands like The Pogues, Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys rarely take the time to investigate the sources of their inspiration. Those who do, cannot avoid coming across the The Dubliners. [more inside]
Everything you want to know about Irish traditional music played on flute, including a guide to the instrument, a guide to styles and a rather comprehensive collection of the best Irish traditional flute videos on the web. And if you like these, perhaps you'd like to learn how to play too. [more inside]
Joe Heaney told lots of stories, and sang pretty well too. His style of music, Sean-Nós out of Connemara is rare indeed nowadays, but there are songs like Úna Bhán that stand on their own poetic merit, and others like Cunnla that are altogether less stodgy than one might think. If it's too Irish for you, how about meeting the language halfway?
The Mystery of Danny Boy - Most everyone has heard the song "Danny Boy", and while the lyrics have a traceable history, where did the tune originate? It is known as "Londonderry Air" in some folks circles, and a lovely band arrangement was done with the title "Irish Tune from County Derry". Regardless of the facts, it is still a poignant tune covered by many.