Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, New Age
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Celtic songs of pain
M. J. Smith | Seattle, WA USA | 10/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an interesting album - often more new age than traditional. The laments are based on a variety of sources for the pain. The first piece, Lament of the Sea, was written by William Coulter as a lament for the fishing practices devasting the sea. The second, Darling of my heart, is a lament and parting song for those emigrating to America. The third, The herring boats, is a lament for those lost at sea. ... the traditional religious pieces which include Media Vita, the Keening of the Three Marys, Seven Sorrows of Mary and a piece of Dies Ires, are all excellent. The lament for the repression / exile of Catholic "Return, return my dear" reminds us of some of the causes of the current problems in Northern Ireland. Mary McLaughlin exhibits wonderful control and expressiveness in all the material. An excellent album despite my preference for truly traditional without the new age touch."
I love this!
M. J. Smith | 04/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A friend of mine lent me this cd, and I fell in absolute love with it. My personal favorite is the "Keening of Three Marys," for its haunting flute and bagpipe solos, and the voices are absolutely haunting. A must for any fan of Celtic music!"
Haunting and Emotional
amethyst raven | 07/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mary McLaughlin is an extremely talented singer. The fact that she's woven so much emotion into these songs without losing her touch halfway through the album (as some artists are wont to do) is wonderful. The vocals and melodies are very soul stirring. Truthfully, it made me feel rather depressed after I heard it for the first time.
My personal favorites from this album are Caoineadh na Mara, A Stor mo Chroi, Media Vita, Seacht Ndolas na Muire Maighdine, Requiem, and The Women Weeping in the Slaughter. Below I will provide a brief discussion of each.
The first song, Caoineadh na Mara, is, as the title says, a lament for the sea, and is one of the best on the CD. While listening to the first part, you can almost sea a gray sky over the ocean, while the waves roll in and out. Also, the vocals here are awesome. The second half is gentler, like water lapping softly against a shore. It's no less melancholy, though; Mary singing 'Amen, Requiem' gives it a tragic feel, as though the sea is accepting its gradual demise.
A Stor mo Chroi is from the point of view of a woman whose loved one is leaving her and immigrating to America. You can feel the woman's sense of loss as she mourns for the Irish immigrants and the dangerous journey ahead of them. The listener can mourn for the ones left behind in Ireland, also.. in the lyrics "where jewels adorn the great and the grand, while our faces with hunger are paling" I detect some bitterness...
This is the only song sung in English, and Mary's voice is a real treat here.
Media Vita is a Latin chant against danger and darkness. (Interestingly enough, it was banned from the Catholic Church because some thought it actually attracted death instead of repelling it.) It is multi-layered and very haunting... I love how the voices seem to gradually fade away at the end.
Seacht Ndolas na Muire Maighdine translates to Seven Sorrows of Mary. Mary's pain at seeing her Son suffer and die on the Cross is evident throughout, though the melody facades a gentle sweetness.
Requiem... personally, I think this is the best. The vocals are so superbly haunting and tragic (words that I've used far too often in this review) that you can't help but feel sorrowful. A traditional Latin chant, it laments a lost loved one, and allows the ones left behind to pour forth all their heartbreak and emotions before they can move on with their lives. Mary's 'keen' ( a sort of wordless air) at the very end represents crying, and I couldn't keep myself from choking up here. I love how she dares to sing with such emotion in songs like these. Some will scoff, but the keen will freeze others' hearts.
The album ends gently with a lament for an old battle. As Mary puts it in the album booklet, it represents unanswered questions and women weeping softly.
The only problem with the album is that sometimes you just don't want to listen to all of it at one time. It songs are rather long, and there really has to be a certain mood to listen to Celtic Requiem with full appreciation. As I have said before, it leaves you in a somewhat depressing atmosphere. However, I highly recommend it to those who enjoy Celtic, New Age, or religious music. I promise you, it's worth the buy.