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Away in the Manger Memories

When I was little our house was full of music and never more than in the holidays. Everyone in the family except my dad was in at least one church choir and us kids were in more than one, usually at least a bell choir and regular kid’s choir but Cam and I were also in a special kids choir that sang during the second service and was in Wylie Chapel. It was a miniature service just for the children from 4th to 6th grade.

The holidays meant lots of rehearsal and lots of singing at Church events and when we got to Junior Hi through High School we got to sing in the 1000 voice choir at Disneyland every year because our Minister of Music founded it. It was hard work but we thought a free night at Disneyland was worth it and we got to have adventures we probably shouldn’t have because we were back stage at Disneyland.

But my earliest memory of Christmas music was singing in the car with my mom. We were at the school my dad taught at. I can remember being in the backseat and my mom had moved to the passenger seat so dad could drive us home. Mom usually didn’t take time with me other than reading to my brother and I and that’s probably why it sticks in my mind. But I can remember sitting there in car and learning to sing “Away in the Manger” which is probably why it’s still my favourite holiday song.

It was probably because I could always sing and hold pitch and that was important to mom so it’s something I remember so clearly that I was alone with her and she was paying attention to just me.

It’s a rate good memory of my mom when I wasn’t disappointing her in some way,

Here is the pagan version I wrote so I could still sing it:

Away as I’m walking ( I prefer the Flow Gently Sweet Afton Tune)

Away as I’m walking upon the far moors

I look to your heavens and stand here in awe

I watch as the far stars all turn in sky

I’m small and a tiny part of the whole.

 

Be near me O Goddess

I ask thee to stay

Close by me forever

And bless those I love

I’m standing here silently under your stars

I can offer you humbly my hands and my heart

(2016 Kat)

 

 

Insomniac at Work

My Lullabye playlist because work may drive me bonkers

Another Lullaby – Art Garfunkel

Asleep in my Arms – Barbara Higbie

Castle of Dromore – Kate Power

Christina – Alsdair Fraser

Day is Done – Peter, Paul and Mary

Deep Peace – Bill Douglas featuring the Ars Nova Singers

Everything Possible – Fred Small

Gartan Mother’s Lullaby – Linda Arnold

Irish Lullaby – Bill Douglas

Lagan Love – William Coulter

Lullabye – Arcady

The MacKenzie Lullaby – Talitha MacKenzie

Mo Ghile Mear – Mark Waters, Tristan Rosenstock

A Nightingale’s Lullabye – Julie Last

The Skye Boat Song _ Bear McCreary

Seoithin Seo’ – Liz Madden

Skye Boat Song – John Boswell

Suantrai – Anuna

Sunatrai Ar Sianaitheora – Fionnulla gill

Suantraithe (Lullabyes) – Noirin Nu Riain

You’ll be in my heart – Kenny Loggins

Neil Gow’s Lament for the death of his second Wife – Alsdair Fraser, Paul Machlis

Women of Ireland –Joannie Madden

John O’ Dreams – Arcady

Connamara Cradle Song – Mairead Sullivan

Thied Mi Dhachaigh

Lullabye- Cris Williamson

Starlight – John McCutcheon

MoonBoat – Tom Chapin

Sa Brooke Lullaby – Gary Stadler

The Second Star on the Right – Disney

Suantrai (Brahm’s Lullabye) – Orla Fallon

Tender Shepherd – John McCutcheon

Carul Lich Garman – Mary McLaughkin

Bi Thusa Mo Shuile – Mary McLaughlin

 

 

 

 

 

Mo Ghile Mear

Because I have an earworm this morning
Lyrics

Lá na mara
Lá na mara nó rabharta
Guth na dtonnta a leanadh
Guth na dtonnta a leanfad ó
Lá na mara nó lom trá
Lá na mara nó rabharta
Lá an ghainimh, lom trá
Lá an ghainimh

(The day of the sea
The day of the sea or of the high tides
To follow the voice of the waves
I would follow the voice of the waves
The day of the sea or the ebb tide
The day of the sea or of the high tides
The day of the sands, the ebb tide
The day of the sands)

Can you feel the river run?
Waves are dancing to the sun
Take the tide and face the sea
And find a way to follow me

Leave the field and leave the fire
And find the flame of your desire
Set your heart on this far shore
And sing your dream to me once more

‘Sé mo laoch mo ghile mear
‘Sé mo Shéasar, gile mear
Suan gan séan ní bhfuair mé féin
Ó chuaigh I gcéin mo ghile mear

(He is my hero, my dashing darling
He is my Caesar, dashing darling
Rest or pleasure I did not get
Since he went far away, my darling)

Now the time has come to leave
Keep the flame and still believe
Know that love will shine through darkness
One bright star to light the wave

‘Sé mo laoch mo ghile mear
‘Sé mo Shéasar, gile mear
Suan gan séan ní bhfuair mé féin
Ó chuaigh I gcéin mo ghile mear

Amhrán na farraige
Ór are na seolta
Amhrán na farraige
Ag seoladh na bhfonnta…

(Song of the sea
Gold on the sails
Song of the sea
Sending the melodies…)

Lift your voice and raise the sail
Know that love will never fail
Know that I will sing to you
Each night as I dream of you

‘Sé mo laoch mo ghile mear
‘Sé mo Shéasar, gile mear
Suan gan séan ní bhfuair mé féin
Ó chuaigh I gcéin mo ghile mear

Ag seinm na farraige
Ag seinm na farraige
(Playing the sea
Playing the sea)

Seinn… Play…

‘Sé mo laoch mo ghile mear
‘Sé mo Shéasar, gile mear
Suan gan séan ní bhfuair mé féin
Ó chuaigh I gcéin mo ghile mear

Gile mear, the wind and sun
The sleep is over, dream is done
To the west where fire sets
To the gile mear, the day begun

‘Sé mo laoch mo ghile mear
‘Sé mo Shéasar, gile mear
Suan gan séan ní bhfuair mé féin
Ó chuaigh I gcéin mo ghile mear

‘Sé mo laoch mo ghile mear
‘Sé mo Shéasar, gile mear
Suan gan séan ní bhfuair mé féin
Ó chuaigh I gcéin mo ghile mear

Ó chuaigh I gcéin mo ghile mear
(Since he went far away, my darling)

Amhrán na farraige
Ór are na seolta
Ag seoladh na bhfonnta
(Song of the sea
Gold on the sails
Sending the melodies)

Written by Paddy Moloney, Sean Macreamoinn

It’s going to be a rough week.

July 30th is always a hard day for me, thank heavens it’s not a weekday this year because I tend to turn into a sieve while also turning into my own version of a pensieve, so many memories. July 30th is the 11th anniversary of my little brother’s death.

Today the pensieve is serving up music which is always hard since music was a bond our whole family has. I remember lying on the floor with him, playing 78s from mom and dad’s collection of records. Everything from the Mikado and Victor Herbert to Bozo and the Birds and Danny Kaye telling fairy tales and Hans Christian Anderson’s stories and a lot of Scottish folk songs and Harry Lauder.

He was a year and half younger than me, so I had a shadow whether I wanted one or not. We were in choir together, and in bell choir and in school choir but he took a left turn and took up the trumpet after torturing us for a semester on the violin, it was not his instrument. He joined band and orchestra and I stayed firmly in choir but played my guitar and recorders at home, you can hide in choir.
Mom and dad took us to concerts and musicals from the time we were little. Some of my earliest memories are sleeping in dad’s lap at the Hollywood Bowl under a starry sky and watching deer creep down the hillsides. I think our first musical was Brigadoon but it may have been Peter and the wolf too.

When we got to college we took voice class together and I was always more terrified for him than me even when we had to do recitals. He went on to do musicals and I was stage security and prompter. I did take piano but had to drop out because every time I had to play in front of the class I spent the hour before vomiting from stage fright. When Cam took piano the professor recognized him by his hands. He told Cam I had the best piano hands he’d ever seen. Wish he’d told me that but I just couldn’t do it.

I have a rather eclectic music collection and I put my Kindle on shuffle today, I shouldn’t have. It started to play Broadway musicals and the switch got flipped. I remember him singing in Fiddler as one of the sons, I remember him in the chorus of Hello Dolly but most of all I remember him in Babes in Toyland.

He played Barnaby and had a grand time twisting his moustache and trying to scare small children. That was the show I did security because some idiot had designed the stage door to open onto the main hall and not into the dressing rooms. Cam had to navigate the hall to get to his dressing room and the first time he got kicked all the way down the hall by small children with hard shoes since you used to get dressed up to go to the show and tennies are not dress shoes. His shins were black and blue. Cam was the bad guy in the black cape lined in bright red and with his top had and moustache he was easy to see especially since he was 6’4”. After that night I was his protection and since I was really good at the death stare, no kid dared kick him. Pretty funny 5’8” me staring down 5 year olds and sending them running. Cam was a big teddy bear, I am not! And I’d already been camp counseling for 5 years so I was good at the death stare. He hated scaring the kids in real life,on stage it was funny, I thought it was funny, period. I wish I had a picture of him in full makeup. I’m sure there probably is one back at school but I would have no idea how to get something from the mid 1970’s from them.

He ended up getting his BM in Music, in Opera, the one kind of music besides rap I’m not that fond of and one in computer science after his brain cancer went into remission the first time.

So this is going to be a hard week and Saturday was Mary’s birthday so the fun just keeps coming. Sigh…

A Monday Playlist

Monday Playlist

Distant Shore – Orla Fallon
Fields of Gold – Sting
This Piece of Earth – West of Eden
Appalachia Waltz – YoYo Ma
American Collection – YoYo Ma
Dona Nobis Pacem – YoYo Ma
Da Pacem – Libana
Dance ‘til the Rain Begins – Laura Powers
An Ron – Julie Fowlis
Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird A’Chuan
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Josh Groban
Nothing More – The Alternate Routes
Faerie Queen – Blackmore’s Night
I’ll be by your side – Kathy Heller
Lullabye – Cris Williamson
Ready for the storm – Deanta
From the Goddess – Desert Wind
Hills of America – Emerald Rose
Penny in the Well – Emerald Rose
Laura’s Hill – Gary Stadler and Singh Kaur
All that we let in – Indigo Girls
Follow the lIght – John McCutcheon
Streets of Sarajevo – John McCutcheon

Brighid Playlist

Bridget – Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith
Brighid – Damh the Bard
Brighid’s Flame – Kellianna
Don
Don Oiche UD im Beithil (feat Ruth Barrett)
Holy Water, Scared Flame – Anne Hill
Imbolc – Lisa Thiel
Invocation to Brigid – Ruth Barrett
Brighid’s Kiss – La Lugh
Oiche fa Fheill’ Bride – La Lugh
Brighid of the Sacred Flame – Angela Little
On St Brighid’s Day – Ha’Penny Bridge
Mary of the Gaels – Maire Brennan
Brighid’s Flame – Jon Richards

Pagan Carol – Silver Moon

SILVER MOON (to the tune of “Silver Bells”)

City witches, busy witches,
dressed in festival style
In the air there’s a feeling of ritual.

Women laughing, Chalice passing Sharing smile after smile,

And ’round every hearth fire you hear:
Silver moon, Mother moon,
It’s Goddess time in the city. Circling, hear them sing,
Soon it will be Solstice Day.

Strings of candles, held by handle With a flickering glow,
As the witches weave magickal treasures.
Touching changing, changing touching,
This is Diana’s scene,

And with all of the blessings you hear:
Silver moon, Mother moon,
It’s Goddess time in the city. Circling, hear them sing,
Soon it will be Solstice Day.

Another Comma special bastardization (Coven of the Mother Mountain Aerie)