Sunday, 16 November 2014

Irish Songs in a Woman's Key: The Connemara Cradle Song

All the guitar books that I've come across, for folk or particularly for Irish songs, annotate the songs in keys that are suitable for men.   Women who are starting to play guitar and who haven't mastered the art of transposing yet ( a subject for another post) try to play the songs and give up really quickly because either the song is way too low or way too high.  This song is part of a series here with particular focus on Irish songs, both traditional and contemporary.  These keys are the keys in which I play and sing the songs.   


The Connemara Cradle Song is a beautiful lullaby first recorded by Delia Murphy in the 1930s. The chords are simple and can be made more simple by leaving out the Am/B move and just playing C on the word 'wind' and G on the word 'deep' and so on which makes it a 2 chord song - always useful to have.   I did a picture post about it here during the A to Z challenge - it includes my recording of the song.

The Connemara Cradle Song 

                             C     Am/B    Am                G
On wings of the wind o’er the dark rolling deep
                                                            C
Angels are coming to watch o’er thy sleep
                          Am/B   Am              G
Angels are com-ing to watch over thee
                                                            C
So list to the wind coming over the sea
G                       C     Am/B    Am                  G        
Hear the wind blow dear,       hear the wind blow
                                                            C
Lean your head and hear the wind blow

Oh wings of the night may your fury be crossed
May no-one that’s dear to our island be lost
Blow the wind gently calm be the foam
Shine the light brightly and guide them to home
Hear the wind blow dear, hear the wind blow
Lean your head and hear the wind blow

The currachs are sailing way out in the blue
Laden with herring of silvery hue
Silver the herring and silver the sea
And soon there’ll be silver for baby and me
Hear the wind blow dear, hear the wind blow
Lean your head and hear the wind blow

The currachs tomorrow will stand on the shore
And Daddy goes sailing, a sailing no more
The nets will be drying the nets heaven blessed
And safe in my arms dear contented he’ll rest
Hear the wind blow dear, hear the wind blow

Lean your head and hear the wind blow



This image isn't great - I will have to find a better way of picturing the sheet music.

All the best till next week.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Fil - I'd love to be able to play ... and I still have to listen to your CD - pretty hopeless with that and books ... still things are a-changing and I might catch up somewhere along the line ...

    Have a good week .. cheers Hilary

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  2. What a lovely lullaby. And what a powerful sense of what life must have been like - all that silver and heaven blessed nets AND all the worry about the dangers of being out at sea.

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