Our Song of the Day is from FRUK favourite Lorcán Mac Mathúna as he performs Filleadh thar claddach live with Raphael De Cock and Rémi Decker, a song which featured on the Northern Lights album Dubh agus Geal.
Dubh agus Geal is an album that drew on the historic affiliations of Gaeldom and Scandanavia, celebrating the cultural traditions of folklore and music, unearthing both harmonious and contrasting associations. Neil reviewed the album back in 2012 (read it here) so it was a pleasant surprise to see this video recently appear which, in keeping with the water theme, includes some lovely footage of Galway hookers, a traditional fishing boat used in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland.
The liner notes accompanying the album explains more about this track:
About: Filleadh thar claddach
In sea-faring communities the return to shore is viewed as a cause to celebrate. Not only because the separation from home and family is ended, but because in every journey to sea there is always the risk that you will never return. The sea gives and it takes, and when the sailor or fisherman returns he has cheated this balance in a way. Mo Cheallaichín Fionn was penned by two old women of Connemara who talk proudly of the seamanship of their respective grandchildren who are masters of their vessels and who never fail to return to shore.
Echoing the theme of Orpheus and Eurydice, Runarvisa talks of a return from a different shore. The water sprite takes Mågnhild as she passed the river on her bridal march. The water sprite has already taken nine of her sisters to his otherworldly prison and she was the final one of the sisters to be captured. However, her lover plays a golden magic harp and by plucking rune music he casts a spell over the water sprite and changes the course of the river. Mågnhild and her nine sisters are freed from their prison and appear above the shore, living and free.