Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until next weekend. But with parades and parties and food specials already beginning we’re going to get into the mood as well with some traditional Irish, authentic Irish music. And we’ll toss in some beautiful photos of Ireland.
Before we get rolling, this classic movie was filmed entirely in Ireland.
Throughout the film you’ll hear a catchy bouncy refrain that’ll have you humming along. A traditional Irish song and polka, “The Rakes of Mallow” is about womanizing hellraisers (rakes) from Mallow in County Cork, Ireland.
Rarely do you hear the words, so here are two verses:
Beauing, belling, dancing, drinking,
Breaking windows, cursing, sinking
Every raking, never thinking,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Living short but merry lives,
Going where the devil drives,
Having sweethearts, but no wives,
Live the rakes of Mallow.
The arrangement from 1947 is by the great composer Leroy Anderson of the Boston Pops. This concert took place in 2016.
Next, an all-star combination. The album was released in 1998 as the movie “Titanic” was building an audience for Irish and Celtic music. Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra:
“My third album with the Pops, The Celtic Album, which I’m proud to say was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Classical Crossover category, best represents what we want to do with albums today. BMG approached us to do a Celtic album because of the big revival in world music in general and Celtic music in particular. We thought long and hard about this idea, because what we really didn’t want was to record an album of music that the Chieftains could have done better!”
The album spent 62 weeks on the Classical Albums chart, peaking at #4.
Enjoy this medley.
Regular readers know I’m an Elvis fan, and I’ve dug into the King’s vault many times in the past. Is it possible to do so again this week? You better believe it.
This is a rarity.
You’ll hear Elvis in concert, just over a year before he died. Someone in the audience yells out a request and Elvis obliges. Normally Elvis like most other artists stuck to a planned order of material.
Elvis recorded in studio our next selection for this album.
The song has become controversial in recent years because there are doubts if it’s truly Irish and was even written by someone of Irish descent.
What does the song mean?
Take your pick.
A parent wishing their son to return to them before they die.
A parent sending a message to a son at war or immigrating.
A parent sending a son off to war.
A mother/father saying goodbye to a son.
A girl saying goodbye to her sweetheart.
Young men immigrating and leaving their mother behind in their homeland.
Elvis used to make fun of himself not knowing the words to certain songs. You almost sense he’s going to do that onstage here. Instead, he nails it in a poignant performance.
There are reports this is the ONLY time Elvis sang it in concert.
Time to change the atmosphere with some lighthearted humor.
From Dublin, Celtic Thunder is a multiple platinum award-winning band.
Celtic Thunder has become one of public television’s largest draws. Their shows have aired over 22,500 times across 50 states on PBS. The group is among the top five audience-generating acts on the network.
The group has sold over 3.4 million albums in the US, toured the U.S. and Canada, coast to coast, 12 times, and Australia 4 times performing almost 1,000 shows to date, selling well over 1 million tickets. Celtic Thunder has been hailed as Billboard’s “Top World Music Artist.” On St. Patrick’s Day they will announce the dates and locations for their 2018 North American tour.
That’s it for this segment.
Have a great weekend.
Not every Irish tune is a drinking song.
One of the works of Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779-1852) was set to music. The last rose of summer refers to an aging woman whose friends are all gone and who welcomes death.
‘Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone
All her lovely companions are faded and gone
No flower of her kindred, no rosebud is nigh
To reflect back her blushes and give sigh for sigh
I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one, to pine on the stem
Since the lovely are sleeping, go sleep thou with them
Thus kindly I scatter thy leaves o’er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden lie scentless and dead
So soon may I follow when friendships decay
And from love’s shining circle the gems drop away
When true hearts lie withered and fond ones are flown
Oh who would inhabit this bleak world alone?
This bleak world alone
Andre Rieu and his orchestra perform this hauntingly beautiful Irish classic.