Mary Mc Laughlin | Daughter of Lir

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World: Celtic New Age: Celtic New Age Moods: Type: Vocal
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Daughter of Lir

by Mary Mc Laughlin

A journey which bridges the gap between mythical and modern Ireland on this beautiful, evocative album. The songs are original and provide a platform for her lush, multi layered vocals.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sealwoman/Yundah
4:18 album only
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2. Eyes Of Africa
5:31 album only
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3. Cool Waters
4:48 album only
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4. You Saw His Eyes
4:55 album only
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5. The Gift Of Freedom
3:26 album only
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6. Bring The Peace
4:50 album only
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7. Motherland
4:10 album only
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8. Fionnuala's Song
4:40 album only
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9. Daughter Of Lir
5:06 album only
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10. Silhouettes
4:30 album only
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11. Trying To Forget
3:59 album only
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12. I'll Be There
3:55 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Yundah (Trad. Hebridean) /Sealwoman (Mary Mc Laughlin)
© Nara Music, Inc. (BMI)/ Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)

There is a legend in the Scottish and Irish islands that tells of of "silkies" or "selkies." These "seal people" assume human form, come to the land to mix with humans and then return to the sea in seal form. This version of the sealwoman chant comes from the Outer Hebrides and I learned it from Joan Mills via Frankie Armstrong in a singers' workshop. I'll never forget the magic of standing in a candle-lit church and hearing 20 fine singers lift their voices in harmony to sing the "Yundah" chant. I wrote the sealwoman song to try to capture the ambivalence of the seal people-on the one hand, attracted to human life and, on the other, valuing their own free existence in the waves.

Eyes of Africa
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
As an Irish woman trying to comprehend my place in the world, I thought about the long history of oppression in Ireland and knew that this history had played a part in shaping my life. I asked two friends, one white, one black, if they understood what I meant. My white friend looked puzzled but my black friend silently nodded and looked in my eyes. For one second I saw a pain that was so ancient it looked like an old gnarled woman. I wrote "Eyes of Africa" for her to honor her wisdom, spirituality and strength.


Cool Waters (Ophelia's Dream)
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
In the National Gallery in London there is a superb painting by the pre-Raphelite John Millais entitled "Ophelia." It is inspired by the Shakespearean character who was in love with Hamlet and killed herself. The images, both in Shakespeare's play and in Millais' painting, moved me deeply and gave rise to the images in "Cool Waters." In order to move on, something or some part of us has to "die" or let go, just as nature "dies" in the winter in order to be reborn in the spring.

You Saw His Eyes
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Nara Music, Inc. (BMI)/ Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
Unfulfilled love is a theme often found in stories. The starting point for "You Saw His Eyes" was an Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton movie called The Sandpiper. As always, I drew on the parts with which I resonated. The unspoken communication in this movie gave me the idea for the song; i.e., how body language can often speak far more eloquently than words!

The Gift of Freedom
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
The endless dance between freedom and security often presents a dilemma when entering a relationship, yet the balance is necessary if we are to reach contentment with others. I looked from a different perspective and saw that freedom is a gift to bring to relationships rather than something that has to be wrestled out of them! It is not a threat but an embellishment.

Bring the Peace
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Nara Music, Inc. (BMI)/ Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
Having been raised in Northern Ireland, the longing for peace was always on my mind. I wrote this song after hearing a lecture on "Celtic Christianity" when I realized that true spirituality transcends religion-one has only to look at the horrendous deeds done in the name of religion both today and throughout history for confirmation of this. People who are truly connected to God or Spirit are found in every religion and they are the true peacemakers and lovers of humanity. This song is for them.

Motherland
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
Ireland is often personified in poetry as a woman, sometimes young, sometimes old, and this song follows in that tradition. Ireland speaks of her pain through emigration, famine, war, penal laws, and the spirit of the people who have survived these times. Yet all this has brought her to a point of wisdom and now she begs us to end the tears, assimilate what we've learned and move forward.

Fionnuala's Song
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
There is a story in Celtic mythology called "The Children of Lir" that tells the tragic tale of four children who were turned into swans for 900 years by their jealous stepmother. Their father was King Lir of the Tuatha De Danaan (a fairy folk) and, although god of the sea, he was unable to reverse the magic. Fionnuala was the eldest of his children, and throughout the period of enchantment she protected and cared for her three brothers. They spent 300 years each on Lake Dharvra, the Sea of Moyle (which runs between Ireland and Scotland) and the Great Western Sea (the Atlantic Ocean). At the end of the 900 years they did indeed turn back into human form. But then, however, they were 900 years old and they crumbled into dust. They were buried by the hermit who had given them their final shelter. This song is written from the point of view of Fionnuala who is suddenly put at the mercy of Fate.

The Daughter of Lir
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
Now we move from the mythical Daughter of Lir to the modern daughter of Ireland.
I was watching a television program that focused on four Irish women who had chosen very different lifestyles. I kept trying to see what it was they had in common. I thought of all the images of Irish women I have ever seen, from goddess to beatified (Róisín Dubh, or Dark Rosaleen, the subject of one of the classic Gaelic love ballads); from heroine to magical (beansí, or banshee, which literally means "fairy woman") from mother to warrior (Gráinne Mhaol, or Grace O'Malley, the famous 16th-century pirate queen). I saw a common spirit, strength, warmth, humor and sense of survival running through them all-defining the unique quality of Irish women.

Silhouettes
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
At the end of the 1980s there was little hope in sight for a resolution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. I was living in London at the time, and had friends from many different religious backgrounds. It had always seemed to me that the two communities in Northern Ireland shared at least as much culture as that which divided them and "Silhouettes" was my tribute to that. The only other musician on the track is the wonderful Sherry Robinson playing cello. Sherry was raised as a Protestant in Northern Ireland and I was raised as a Catholic. As we listened to the playback we held hands and cried for our common loss.

Trying to Forget
Mary Mc Laughlin
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
Sometimes a moment of pain can get frozen in time and you remember all the detail around it-what you were wearing, what the weather was like, etc. Then it seems the whole world is conspiring to remind you! Of course, that is only what you are choosing to see, and as you move through the pain things come back into balance again. "Trying to Forget" is about this kind of experience where a sense of loss colors your whole world.

I'll Be There
Words: Mary Mc Laughlin; Music:Mary Mc Laughlin and Jon Jacobs
© Mary T. Mc Laughlin Publishing (BMI)
Ireland, "the land of saints and scholars," has always produced visionaries and travelers. Unfortunately there is hardship in living with a dreamer who may have great vision but who doesn't put food on the table! Traditionally, Irish women took their commitment very seriously and stuck with it through thick and thin.

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Reviews


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Mike Shapiro

Poor mans Enya
I mean that in a good way...not as symphonically ultra-produced as Enya but equally appealing in it's own relaxing way, with meaningful lyrics beautifully sung.
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TIA KNIGHT-CD BABY

amazing!
This cd can transport you back to the days of magic...
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Nhamo

I was touched by the song "eyes of africa" it made me cry
Your voice is great and so touching
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