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Irish Songs for Funeral

19 Jun 06 - 08:22 PM (#1764148)
Subject: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Briagha

Although I do both Scottish and Irish songs, I'm much more heavily into the Scottish. I just got a call from a friend whose husband passed away, and she wants me to sing a couple of songs at the memorial service in 3 days. All she asked was that I choose a couple of appropriate Irish songs, but most of the ones I regularly perform are really wrong for the circumstances so I'm looking for some new ideas. Any suggestions?

Briagha


19 Jun 06 - 08:27 PM (#1764151)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: RobbieWilson

Carrickfergus


19 Jun 06 - 08:31 PM (#1764155)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Brían

I have sung A STÓR MO CHROÍ at funerals. It's a beautiful song and it can be sung unaccompanied over a grave or in the back of a church.

Brían


19 Jun 06 - 08:40 PM (#1764163)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Brían

If you sing CARRICKFERGUS, you might find that
The Singer's House goes very well with it.

Brían


19 Jun 06 - 08:45 PM (#1764165)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Leadfingers

I have this terrible urge to suggest 'Isn't It Grand To Be Bloody Well Dead' , but it might NOT be quite right for the funeral !


19 Jun 06 - 08:48 PM (#1764166)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Effsee

Oh yes it is!!


20 Jun 06 - 05:46 AM (#1764443)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Bonnie Shaljean

The Parting Glass


20 Jun 06 - 05:50 AM (#1764446)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Well, maybe only the 1st & 3rd verses, on second thought! This song is about leaving rather than dying, but the sentiments are apt.


20 Jun 06 - 05:59 AM (#1764450)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Grab

If it suits the character of the person in question, Roisin the Beau.

Graham.


20 Jun 06 - 06:11 AM (#1764459)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: derryman

If not everyone's into irish music Parting Glass is perfect. Lovely tune, simple lyrics, genuine feeling. 2nd verse is most poignant of all:

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure time to sit a while
There is a fair maid in this town
That surely has my heart beguiled
Her rosey cheeks, her ruby lips
In truth she has my has my in thrall
But fill to me the parting glass
Goodnight and joy be to you all.

(Corrections / alternatives welcome)

I'd forgotten about this song and I'm playing a wake tomorrow, cheers mate.


20 Jun 06 - 06:50 AM (#1764478)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Saro

I wrote this song basing the chorus on a Celtic blessing - it has been sung at funerals, christenings, confirmations, a leaving party and a 21st so far...send me a PM if you want to use it, and I'll send you the music, or you can hear it if you go to the Craig Morgan Robson website www.CMR-harmony.org.uk
Whatever you sing, I'm sure it will go well - anything sincerely meant is usually accepted as just that on such occasions I've found...
Best wishes
Sarah

KEEP YOU IN PEACE
© Sarah Morgan 1992

Chorus
Warm be the sun that shines upon you
Soft be the winds as they breathe on you
Smooth be the roads that rise before you
Keep you in peace till we meet again.

May you have shelter in storm to hide you,
May you have stars in the night to guide you
May you have ever a friend beside you,
Keep you in peace till we meet again.

Warm be the sun that shines upon you
Soft be the winds as they breathe on you
Smooth be the roads that rise before you
Keep you in peace till we meet again.

May you not lack for good bread to feed you,
May you not lack for good hope to speed you,
And for your singing, a heart to heed you,
Keep you in peace till we meet again.

Warm be the sun that shines upon you
Soft be the winds as they breathe on you
Smooth be the roads that rise before you
Keep you in peace till we meet again.
Keep you in peace till we meet again.


20 Jun 06 - 08:17 AM (#1764523)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,ChiTown Joe

Shall My Soul Pass Through Ireland


20 Jun 06 - 08:34 AM (#1764530)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST

If you are in the US, and the deceased was an older Irish American Catholics, you might want to consider Danny Boy. It's becoming more and more popular at funerals of the Irish American generation currently a-croakin'.

Personally, I prefer the pipes, fiddles, or flutes to Irish songs at funeral mass. There truly aren't any 'appropriate' Irish songs for funerals, they just get performed because people want 'something Irish'.

There are so many beautiful tunes that can easily be used for the mass. Do you know during which part of the mass you will be singing? I think you should also take a look at that too. There are certain things that are fine for the gathering or going forth parts of the mass, but not so much for communion, for instance.

Good luck with it, anyway.


20 Jun 06 - 08:44 AM (#1764536)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Fair enough, Derryman! Here's the whole thing anyway:

Of all the money that e'er I spent
I've spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I did
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure to sit awhile
There is a fair maid in the town
That sorely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
I own she has my heart enthralled
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be with you all


20 Jun 06 - 08:55 AM (#1764545)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST

Ya know, I was at a funeral mass where 'Parting Glass' was sung a few years back. It really didn't work for me. The kids had decided mum would love to have Irish music at the funeral, so hired the only musicians they could find on short notice. The performed the song very well and were good musicians. But people were mumbling about the song choice, because it was so out of character to who their mother was.

When the secular songs used in a formal funeral setting like a Catholic mass or Protestant memorial service aren't in character with the deceased, it can be quite jarring.


20 Jun 06 - 09:52 AM (#1764610)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: JohnB

There's one which our choir does called a Gaelic?/Celtic? Blessing or May the Road Rise Up. Not sure where you could get it on short notice.
Words are something like this;
May the Road rise up to meet you
may the wind be always at your back
may the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall soft upon your fields
(There's a bit more, it is an SATB arrangement after all and it ends)
And untill we meet agagin
may you be held in the palm of God's hand.
JohnB


20 Jun 06 - 07:10 PM (#1765061)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Tattie Bogle

Much as I love Carrickfergus, it does have the line "I'm drunk today and seldom sober" - maybe not quite right for a funeral, even if it does mention death.
How about "John O' Dreams": even tho' the tune's "borrowed" from Tchaikovsky, a lot of the words are appropriate.
I also think the "Parting Glass" would be a good choice.


20 Jun 06 - 07:21 PM (#1765075)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Greg B

'Finnegan's Wake'

But seriously, folks...the air to 'Skye Boat Song' has
found its way into Irish 'tradition.'

From where was the deceased descended? You might look to
see if there's anything referring (reverently) to there.

There's a great aire "Ar Eireann Ni Neosainn Ce Hi" which
is so hauntingly beautiful (and easy to play) that it
will work handsomly. It's on the "Makem and Clancy Collection"
with Liam singing it in Gaelic. I don't understand Gaelic
and it makes me weep.


20 Jun 06 - 07:47 PM (#1765096)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: McGrath of Harlow

This song is about leaving rather than dying

I'm not at all sure about that. It always seems to me a very appropriate song to sing if you knew you were were being hanged in the morning, and I can quite imagine it originating in such a setting. Parties in such circumstances were quite common among highwaymen and such, I believe. (cf The Night before Larry was stretched - though I'm not suggesting that one.)

There's also the other version of the Parting Glass - Here's a Health to the Company.

It's worth remembering that a lot of Irish songs about parting originated in circumstances where parting was expected to be as final as death - hence the tradition of the American Wake.


20 Jun 06 - 08:16 PM (#1765124)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

"The Parting Glass" is a recent ripoff of the Scottish "Good night and joy be with you all", which (according to Walter Scott) is an eve-of-execution monologue.

The first song I can remember anybody singing was by my Glasgow-Irish grandma and it would be appropriate in a way... maybe I ought to specify it for my own funeral...

Oh, McTavish is dead and his brother don't know it,
His brother is dead and McTavish don't know it,
They're both of them dead in the very same bed,
And neither one knows that the other is dead.

(tune: The Irish Washerwoman)


20 Jun 06 - 09:30 PM (#1765167)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Julia

We had sung at Irish funerals, but if it is Catholic, the priests are often particular about secular versus religious music during the mass. Apparently one can sing secular pieces before the coffin enters the church and after it is turned around to leave.

We usually ask the family what the person liked. Danny Boy, Galway Bay and Fields of Athenry are often choices and I sing them although they would not necessarily be MY choice.
The L-derry Air does in fact have some religious lyrics ( I believe there is a mudcat thread on this)

The Slane melody has several appropriate sets of lyrics
Be thou my vision
Lord of All Hopefulness
Make us true servants

Although it is generally thought of as Scottish, the melody for Bonnie Doon is used for an adaptation of Ecclesiastes
A Time for all things

The melody for Star of the County Down has religious lyrics
I heard the voice of Jesus

Good luck- just DON'T sing the Unicorn Song!!!

Cheers- Julia


20 Jun 06 - 10:04 PM (#1765185)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Julia

Here are the lyrics for the Star of the County Down Melody (called Kingsfold)

I HEARD THE VOICE OF JESUS SAY

I heard the voice of Jesus say come unto me and rest
Lay down thy weary one lay down, thy head upon my breast
I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad
I found in him a resting place and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say "Behold I freely give
The living water, thirsty one, stoop down and drink and live."
I came to Jesus and I drank of that life giving stream
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him

I heard the voice of Jesus say "I am this dark world's light
Look unto me, thy morn shall rise and all thy days be bright."
I looked to Jesus and I found in Him my star, my sun
and in the light of life I'll walk till travelling days are done

might work nicely

best
Julia


21 Jun 06 - 12:26 AM (#1765253)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Mickey191

Greg B.,
You are so right in your praise of "Ar Eireann Ni
Neosain Ce" It is truly one of the most beautiful melodys ever written. Liam Clancy is superlative .
I never tire of it. "She was the Sunday in every week." What a great line!

I wrote in to Mudcat 8 or 10 yrs. ago asking if anyone could translate it from the Gaelic and who wrote it.   There were no replies to my query. Maybe this time?

Thanks for any help.


21 Jun 06 - 01:10 AM (#1765277)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Genie

How about Richard Farrelly's (sp?) "My Isle Of Innisfree?"


21 Jun 06 - 03:22 AM (#1765315)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: mrsmac

"Ar Eireann Ni Neosain Ce" - in english is "for Ireland I won't tell her name". This might help in your search mickey!


21 Jun 06 - 03:46 AM (#1765324)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Bonnie Shaljean

I'm told by Scottish friends that the air to Ar Eireann is known there (at least in some places) as "Tweedside" - anyone know any more about this? (Jack?) I agree as to its haunting nature, and it makes a lovely harp air.

Re TPG being about "leaving", I meant the taking of leave in the broader sense (American Wakes popped into my mind too as I wrote that) which could and often did certainly include death or its likelihood (coffin-ships pop into my mind now as I write this). But it's an ending of one type or another that the singer clearly anticipates and is preparing himself for. Guest, I don't think it would be "jarring" at all in a memorial service (which does not necessarily have to be formal or even particularly religious); and if it IS out of character with the decesaed presumably Briagha would then simply not choose to sing it.


21 Jun 06 - 06:26 AM (#1765388)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

"Tweedside" is on my website, as one of the tunes from Joseph Mitchell's "The Highland Fair". I can only vaguely remember "For Ireland I Won't Tell Her Name", but maybe. Was it one of those mid-19th-century Irish nationalist songs where borrowing English and Scottish tunes wholesale was the usual procedure?

The oldest known lament in Gaelic tradition (probably predating the divide into Irish and Scottish Gaelic) is probably "Druimin dubh", but nobody sings it any more either side of the Irish Sea.


21 Jun 06 - 01:46 PM (#1765703)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Julia

I'm wondering about the caoine (keening) tradition- where can I find information and /or a recording of this? I have some attempts at notation in a few tune collections, but the details are not clear.

best- Julia


21 Jun 06 - 02:46 PM (#1765748)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,maire aine

About "For Ireland I'd Not Tell Her Name", I found these lyrics

There may be others out there. I did a yahoo search on the exact phrase 'For Ireland I'

Maryanne


21 Jun 06 - 09:53 PM (#1766128)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Brían

Keening women generally would not sing for collecters, but I believe Alan Lomax may have succeeded in recording some keening on a CD compilation of the music of Ireland.

Brían


22 Jun 06 - 01:21 AM (#1766208)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Briagha

Wow... thanks so much for the brilliant ideas! I actually think I'll take the printed lyrics of several songs with me to the memorial and let the family choose from among them. I'm now told that the service will be an informal one in a back yard, which will allow for a bit more secularism than one in a church.

Funeral or not, there are some great suggestions here that ought to be added to my repertoire, so thanks, all!!!

Briagha


22 Jun 06 - 06:06 AM (#1766352)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: captainbirdseye

the coolin is a very popular tune for funerals there are lyrics translated into english by james n healy, amazing grace is also popular and ia areally moving song.


22 Jun 06 - 06:15 AM (#1766358)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Any idea where we can find the Healy translation, Captain?

I wonder if this is the same James N (for Nagle) Healy that lived & worked in Cork? If so, he was also an actor and I played in the pit orchestra for a few shows that he was in. I think he also did a book on Percy French's songs, and he was always rightly proud of his Nagle lineage. Sad to say, we lost him a few years ago -


22 Jun 06 - 07:56 AM (#1766407)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: captainbirdseye

well bonnie, i am incounty cork the same as yourself,i suppose you have guessed who i am,if you write to me at cooragurteen, ballydehob, co cork,iwill send it back to you return of post.dick miles.


22 Jun 06 - 08:45 AM (#1766442)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Bonnie Shaljean

WOW!! How great to hear from you - funnily enough I was just thinking about you earlier today. Have just this minute tried to PM you, but the screen keeps saying No Member Found By This Name, though I've tried three times (typing carefully). There are a whole rake of other captains, but no birdseye which is why I'm posting this publicly. (You might ask the clones to check it) Letter follows -

B xx


22 Jun 06 - 12:53 PM (#1766695)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Mickey191

Thanks to all who answered my question, especially Maire Aine for coming up with the lyrics. Have a good day!


23 Jun 06 - 11:19 AM (#1767577)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Briagha

Well, it went brilliantly, thanks to all your suggestions. When I got there, my friend said that all she cared about was Danny Boy, and I should just choose one other that I thought would be good. Thank goodness the eulogy came first... turns out that the deceased had been teetotal for the past 20 years. So as I listened, I mentally rejected both "The Parting Glass" and "Carrickfergus" for their references to drink, and instead at the last minute chose "Innisfree," which went over quite well.

Thanks for all the ideas... they're all gone into my mental "funeral file!"

Briagha


26 May 08 - 03:37 AM (#2349196)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Miriyam

No Doubt this is a bit late a righ, But I want "The parting Glass sung for me, wgen I decide to go."


26 May 08 - 04:01 AM (#2349206)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Jim Carroll

MacColl's 'Joy of Living' seems to be catching on as a favourite - wonderful song.
Jim Carroll


08 Dec 08 - 05:59 PM (#2510241)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Eirenna

What about Journey's End?


08 Dec 08 - 06:46 PM (#2510268)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Lighter

Finnegan's Wake?


08 Dec 08 - 06:50 PM (#2510271)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: olddude

RED is the Rose
change Lass to Lad


17 Jan 09 - 10:56 AM (#2541328)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,mama

Does anyone have the music to a song by the Irish Descendants called "I no more shall be passing this way? bmoores5@hotmail.com


25 Jul 10 - 11:06 PM (#2952204)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,BC Chicago

There's a woman here in Chicago who is remarkable at funerals (and weddings), she sings a song called "How Bright is the Day" softly during communion mediation and it's beautiful. It's sung to the tune of Rosin the Beau. She also sings Ave Maria in Latin which I think is gorgeous no matter what the occasion. She has a few other Irish/Funeral appropriate songs here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/coconnell2


26 Jul 10 - 07:15 AM (#2952353)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: Suegorgeous

There are now several versions of For Ireland I'd not tell her name on Youtube.


26 Jul 10 - 03:20 PM (#2952653)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: *#1 PEASANT*

A good comprehensive guide to songs as well as games and customs in my wake book

http://mysite.verizon.net/cbladey/bookie4a.html

The Wake That Knows No Sleeping

Conrad


14 Jun 13 - 07:06 PM (#3526548)
Subject: RE: Irish Songs for Funeral
From: GUEST,Elania

Saro, I do not know how to personal message you, but I have been asked to sing at a funeral and wish to do an Celtic blessing type song and yours looks perfect. May I get the music and possibly a recording for reference? my email is elaniaelcharoqen@gmail.com