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Review: James Galway & The Chieftains In Ireland
by Bridget Haggerty

Two of Ireland's most popular music ambassadors team up to produce an outstanding collection of ancient airs, lively jigs and reels, and lush, romantic melodies.This CD has been in our collection for more than ten years and we never tire of listening to it.

Sir James Galway - yes, he's a knight of the realm now - plays with total sincerity and warmth. He and Paddy Moloney created all of the arrangements except for Tristan & Isolde and the result is a magical blending of Galway's classical purity and Moloney's traditionally-inspired brilliance.

Right from the very beginning, with the opening tune - "Roches Favourite" - all the way to the end when hard-shoe dancers join the ensemble for "Up and About", the listener is treated to the very best of Irish music. There are tunes composed by the famous harpist O'Carolan, perennial favorites such as "Danny Boy" and "Carrickfergus", and there's also a superb flute solo by Galway of "She Moved Through The Fair."

When our daughter was planning her wedding, we played this collection many times and used two of the selections. A local Celtic group, Silver Arm, performed "Give Me Your Hand" during the wedding ceremony and we used the actual recording of "Up And About"to signal the end of the reception. All of our guests joined in a jig conga line to exit out of the hall - it was a perfect way to end a memorable day.

Here is the play-list; we checked on amazon and you can hear a sample of every cut except one, which is very unusual: 

1. Roches Favourite (Set Dance)
2. Fanny Power/Mabel Kelly/O'Carolan's Concerto
3. Carrickfergus (Air)
4. Down By The Sally Gardens (Air)
5. Give Me Your Hand (Composed in 1603 by the blind Derry harpist Rory Dall O'Cathan
6. She Moved Through The Fair (Flute Solo)
7. The Red Admiral Butterfly (Slip Jig)
8. Danny Boy (Air)
9. Crowley's Reel
10. Tristan And Isolde (Love Theme and March from the film, composed by Paddy Moloney)
11. Alleluia
12. When You And I Were Young, Maggie
13. The Humor Of Kilfenora/The Independent (Hornpipes)
14. Avondale (Air)
15. Up And About (Kerry Slides)

We don't use the word fantastic very often, but in this case, it's most appropriate to describe this entire recording. We just wish that Sir James and Paddy would give us a sequel! That said, don't take our word for it - click here to listen to samples and see if you don't agree: James Galway & The Chieftains in Ireland


Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Fungie, the Dolphin of Dingle Bay

The dolphin is one of Ireland’s most fascinating mammals and Fungie is the most famous. He is a fully- grown bottlenose who is 13 feet (4 meteres) long and weighs about 500 lbs or around one-quarter tonne.
Fungie was first noticed in 1984 when Paddy Ferriter, the Dingle Harbour lighthouse keeper, began watching a lone wild dolphin escort the town's fishing boats to and from port. 
Later that year, it became officially recorded that Fungie was a permanent resident of the entrance channel to Dingle and the self-appointed “pilot” of the fleet. 
Over the years Fungie has developed from a timid but inquisitive observer of the human visitors into a playful, though mischievous, companion.  From observation of marks on his body, it seems that he does 'interact' with other whales, dolphins or porpoises, proving perhaps he is neither hermit nor outcast from his own kind, but rather that he is simply content to spend most of his time in and around Dingle Bay.

Click for More Culture Corner.

Gardens of Ireland
Visit 30 of Ireland's most beautiful gardens. Includes a stunning collection of 200 full-color photos.


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