The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin who has just released their first album, entitled "Invisible Stars," recently recorded the 1904 song The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby.
The song comes from a collection of folksongs entitled Songs of Uladh, a collaborative gathering of ballads from the north of Ireland by the Belfast-born poet, Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil (1879-1944) and Belfast-born musician Herbert Hughes (1882-1937). Mac Cathmhaoil and Hughes’s is the source, often overlooked, of many universally-admired songs such as My Lagan Love and The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby. According to the harper Mary O’Mara in her book A Song for Ireland, Gartan is “famous as the birthplace of Columcille (c.521 AD) who gave the city of Derry its name and who is better known as the founder of a Christian outpost on the Island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland.”
Collected by Mac Cathmhaoil from a Donegal woman called Cáit Ní Dubhthaigh, The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby exhibits characters and images from Gaelic mythology throughout the narrative of this gentle song. Aoibheall from the Grey Rock – also known as ‘Aoibhinn the Beautiful’ – is Queen of the northern fairies, the Aos Sí, a supernatural race said to live underground in Irish and Scottish mythology are featured. Siabhra, mentioned in the second verse of the song, is the generic word for a fairy of any kind, but refers here to the atmospheric ghost creature that frequents bogs and marshes.
The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin have just released their debut album, entitled "Invisible Stars." The recording includes traditional and contemporary choral music from Ireland and Scotland and features arrangements and new compositions by some of Ireland’s most celebrated composers for choirs. The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin is Ireland’s leading collegiate choral ensemble and their repertoire ranges from pop music to medieval. The choir gives many concerts throughout the academic year, both in Ireland and abroad.
This wonderful showcase of Irish choral music is available to pre-order on Amazon and iTunes now. For more information visit www.ucdchoralscholars.ie, follow them on Facebook or on Twitter @UCDChoral.