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And Winter Came - Eyna
by Bridget Haggerty

There are more than 500 reviews of this album on amazon and just about all of them are either four or five stars. It's no surprise to this reviewer as this is an absolutely beautiful CD which has become one of my all-time favorite Christmas recordings. From the opening title tune to the last carol sung in Irish, i can play it over and over without tiring of listening to each and every single track. That said, one song in particular never fails to put me in the Christmas spirit: White is in the Winter Night. Masterfully arranged, it's easy to imagine being in a horse-drawn sled, the sound of the horses' hooves beating in time to the chorus:

"Green is in the mistletoe
And red is in the holly
Silver in the stars above
That shine on everybody
Gold is in the candlelight
And crimson in the embers
White is in the winter night
That everyone remembers."

Most of the cuts are original pieces with just two tracks devoted to traditional Christmas material - O Come, O Come Emanuel and Oiche Chuin (Silent Night in Irish). Both are exceptional and capture perfectly the spiritual beauty of the season. All in all, if you're an Enya fan, I would encourage you to add this CD to your collection - you won't be disappointed. I bought it when it was first released 2008 and as one amazon reviewer pouted out, "there is a reason why it reached #1 on Amazon's best seller list! Every track is outstanding in its own way, there isn't a bad song on it." I couldn't agree more.

Photo Credit: Star Singers


Wed, Mar 22, 2017

The Galway Hooker

This unique vessel, with its distinctive curved lines and bright red sails, originated in the village of Claddagh. During the 19th century, hookers supported a significant fishing industry and also carried goods, livestock and fuel. Seán Rainey is remembered for building the last of the original boats, the Truelight, for Martin Oliver who was to become the last king of the Claddagh; as king, he was entitled to white sails on his boat. Since the mid seventies, many of the old sailing craft which were on the verge of extinction have been lovingly restored and new ones have been built. During the summer months they can be seen at festivals such a Cruinniú na mBád - the Gathering of the Boats - in Kinvara.

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