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Dancer
Produced by Donal Lunny (1994)

1. Colour Me (6.8 MB)
2. Feeling Wings
3. Ereskay Love Lilt & An'Dro (medley)
4. Dancer
5. Waly Waly (6.6 MB)
6. Bringing It All The Way Home
7. I Believe In Love
8. Sally Gardens
9. Connamara Cradle Song
10. Time
11. She Moved Through the Fair (6.9 MB)


Colour Me:
Lyrics and music by Maireid Sullivan and Steve Wilson. Played by Steve Wilson on Rhythm Guitar and E'Bow, John Norton on Bouzouki, Matthew Arnold on Violin, Donal Lunny on Bouzouki & Keyboard, Peter Neville on Vibraphone and percussion, Kavisha Mazzella, vocal harmony. This song remembers sitting under a blue sky on a warm day where the river runs into Bantry Bay, as life in the present unfolds in the city, over layers of cultural experience gathered through osmosis and by conscious choice, bringing to consciousness our values and knowledge, and upholding our love and appreciation for the riches bestowed upon us.

Colour Me
By Mairéid Sullivan and Steve Wilson

Colour me
By the river and the water of the deep blue sea
It’s just me
Breaking down the walls upon the shifting sand

Chorus:
Something has begun
This dream won't come undone
Crumbling grey clad city walls
Hide our ancient lore
This treasure we have won

Colour me
Painting with a memory that used to be
It’s just me
Echoing the music of a distant land

Chorus:
Something has begun
This dream won't come undone
Crumbling grey clad city walls
Hide our ancient lor
This treasure we have won
MEMORY - MEMORY - MEMORY - MEMORY - COLOURS ME

Copyright  April 1992          
Maireid Sullivan & Steve Wilson

Feeling Wings:
Lyrics by Maireid Sullivan set to an Irish traditional Uilleann Pipe melody. Played by Andy Irvine on Mandola, Donal Lunny on Guitar, Keyboard and vocal harmony, John Norton on Bouzouki, Matthew Arnold on Violin and vocal harmony, Gary Costello on Double Bass, Peter Neville on percussion Kavisha Mazzella, vocal harmony. This song is an expression of my personal view of the world particularly as a woman who doesn't want to resort to any kind of war, but rather, believes that if we look from within we can find solutions to every problem.


Feeling Wings
By Mairéid Sullivan

Silent love says so much more
than fiery songs can ever sing
Deep thoughts reach out to explore
and find the hidden spring.

I look into my soul
and spread enfolding feeling wings
on high my woman's hear will soar
moving slowly with the winds.

And the world will roll along
with a spirit and a power
bringing words to love song
to bind our hearts in one.

Oh, love and freedom
you are ever lovely things
we live and die for freedom
to hear love's spirit sing.

Copyright 1992
Maireid Sullivan

Medley:
The Eriskay Love Lilt
, Traditional Scottish song, from the island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, and An'dro, (instrumental) originally a Scottish tune adapted by the Briton tradition. This beautiful song speaks eloquently about a distant love. I imagine singing this from high in the mountains of Scotland overlooking lowland winter mists; heartbeat and voice in concert with the distant drum and pipes and the slow rise of dance music to completely change the mood.

The Eriskay Love Lilt
Traditional, Scotland

Bheir meo a robhean o
Bheir meo a robean e
Bheir meo a roaho
sad am I without thee

Thou ar’t music of my heart
Harp of joy -- o cruit mo chruidh
Moon of guidance by night
Strength and light thou art to me

When I’m lonely dear white heart
Black the night or wild the sea
By loves light my foot finds
The old pathway to thee

Dancer:
By Maireid Sullivan
Arranged by John Norton and Steve Wilson. Played by Steve Wilson on Rhythm Guitar, John Norton on Bouzouki, Matthew Arnold on Violin, Donal Lunny on Bouzouki, Keyboard and Bodhran, Peter Neville on percussion, Dominic McAlinden on Bodhran. "Thought - Dancer in the air....We, with our thoughts, are like dancers. We are never alone when we think about, weave our thoughts around, the mysteries of life. Thought effects our feelings and our bodies believe our thoughts. The line which separates myth from reality is always moving, we move with it when we share music and dance and sing our thoughts."
The lyrics of this song were inspired by a performance of dance theatre where the dancers intertwined their bodies to dramatize their relationship to each other and the universe. Around the time of writing, I had been dancing to Greek and Arabic music. The ancient Celts were Indo-Europeans after all!

Dancer
By Maireid Sullivan 1993

Dancers bow to each other
hark to the musical strain
silent lips -- moist and tremulous

See the dancer
Move in silent cautious stretches
listening to the murmur of yearning
feeling pressure of a secret spring

See the dancer
Call to the silent sun
lingering last ebb of light
on latent bows in bud

See the dancer
Nature remains an anchor
thought -- dancer in the air -- the breeze
springs from the toe -- lights on the ground

See the dancer
Reach for the music of the spheres
listening to the murmur of yearning
feeling pressure of a secret spring

See the dancer

Copyright 1993
Maireid Sullivan


Waly Waly ("woe is me") aka The Water is Wide
A traditional English song, going back to the 1600, collected by Francis James Child in the late nineteenth century (Child Balads)
John Norton plays his Dobro (National Steel Guitar), Doug DeVries plays guitar and Donal Lunny plays keyboard. This song is very much an archetypal blues song and thus we have treated it.

Waly Waly
(traditional)

There is a ship, and she sails the sea
She's loaded deep, as deep can be.
But not as deep as the love I'm in.
I know not how I sink or swim.

The water is wide I cannot cross o'er.
And neither have I wings to fly.
Give me a boat that can carry two.
And both shall row my love and I.

I leaned my back up against an oak.
Thinking it was a trusty tree.
But first it swayed, and then it broke.
And so did my true love to me.

O, love is handsome, and love is fine.
Bright as a jewel when first it's new.
But love grows old and waxes cold.
And fades away like the morning dew.

Bringing It All the Way Home:
Lyrics and music by Maireid Sullivan and Steve Wilson. With Donal Lunny on Rhythm Guitar, Keyboard and Bodhran, Steve Wilson on Rhythm Guitar, Matthew Arnold on Violin, John Norton on Bouzouki, Gary Costello on Double Bass, Peter Neville on percussion, Kavisha Mazella, vocal harmony. This song is pretty self-evident: Walking down the street in a light-hearted mood and taking a fresh look at where the world is headed. It's about maintaining a cheerful disposition and staying free from anxiety while taking stock of our environmental situation: Using nature as our guide to a happy appreciation of life.

Bringing it All the Way Home
By Maireid Sullivan and Steve Wilson

Walking down the street
in a world of my own
thinking about a plan for tomorrow
rethinking all my plans
rethinking everything I know
here in this distant land
feel the changes come and the changes go

Chorus:
How can we change what may betide?
How can we shape our tomorrow?
Singing our song again --Bringing it all the way home.
Singing our song again --Bringing it all the way home.

There’s a bird flying high
fights the wind way above us
forgotten voice of nature
singing soft in the air
remember all your plans
remember everything you know
here in tomorrow’s land
let the seasons come and let the seasons go.

Copyright 1992
Maireid Sullivan and Steve Wilson


I Believe In Love:
By Maireid Sullivan; the verse melody is an original interpretation of a traditional melody and the chorus is by Maireid. Andy Irvine plays Mandola and Harmonica, John Norton plays Bouzouki, Donal Lunny plays Guitar, Keyboard and Bodhran. This song is meant to be an antidote to melancholy love and infatuation.

I Believe In Love
By Mairéid Sullivan

Tonight...
My soul yearns upward
My body seeks the ground
I am alone now, my heart is aching

I want to delve deep
Into the water
Into the air - into your arms

Did my quick heart
reach too soon for you
I sit and dream of you
beneath the rising moon

Under the shower
of silver moonlight
I am striving
my heart to free

Chorus:
But I believe in love
I love the tender love
the warm and joyous love
I found with you

This joyous glance of life
will hold no sorrow
when the tumbling waters
of love run free

Copyright 1993
Mairéid Sullivan

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Sally Gardens:
Lyrics/poem by W.B.Yeats (1889) based on a traditional song (Yeats's original title, "An Old Song Re-Sung") and set to music by Herbert Hughes to the air The Maids of the Mourne Shore in 1909. Played by Matthew Arnold on Viola, Andy Irvine on the Mandola, Donal Lunny on Bouzouki and Bodhran, Dominic McAlinden on Bodhran and Dicky Deegan on Whistle. The music is a combination of two traditional pieces: Sally Garden, the Reel and Sally Garden the song itself. I have never heard both the Reel and the song performed together before. The aim was to capture the dance feel and retain the poignancy of the song in the arrangement. I love singing the song in this setting, especially as the message of the song seem all the more meaningful when you think that the singer was asked to choose "the dance" as metaphor, and refused.

Sally Gardens

Down by the salley gardens
my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley garden
with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy,
as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish,
with her did not agree.

In a field by the river
my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder
she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy,
as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish
and now am full of tears.


Connamara Cradle Song:
Traditional Irish Lullaby played by Doug De Vries on Guitar and Cavaquinho (miniature Portuguese guitar), Gary Costello on bowed and plucked Double Bass, Dicky Deegan on Uilleann Pipes and Donal Lunny on Keyboard. The melody and chorus of this song have been taken into the American tradition in the song "Down in the Valley." This is the original version and the loveliest Irish lullaby. The song captures the feeling one would imagine a mother would experience in any sea-faring culture of the world.

Connamara Cradle Song
(Irish Traditional)

On the wings of the wind, o'er the dark rolling deep
Angels are coming to watch o'er thy sleep
Angels are coming to watch over thee
So li'st to the wind coming over the sea
Hear the winds blow - hear the winds blow
Lean your head over, hear the wind blow

Oh winds of the night, may your fury be crossed
May no one that's dear to our island be lost
Blow the winds lightly, calm be the foam.
Shine the light brightly to guide them back home.

The currachs are sailing way out on the blue
Laden with herring of silvery hue
Silver the herring, silver the sea
Soon they'll be herring for baby and me

The currachs tomorrow will stand on the shore
And he'll go sailing, a-sailing no more.
The nets will be drying, nets heaven blessed
Safe in my arms, contented he'll rest.

Time:
Lyrics and music by Maireid Sullivan and Steve Wilson.
Played by Donal Lunny on Bouzouki, Keyboard and Bodhran, Steve Wilson and Rhythm Guitar, Matthew Arnold on violin, Gary Costello on Double Bass, Peter Neville on percussion and Kavisha Mazzella, vocal harmony. This song was inspired by, Californian author, Robert A Johnson's series of books on the relationship of ancient mythology to modern psychology. His view is that we share the same biology with ancient humans, therefore, it is most likely that we share the same capacity for love, fear, hate and all other nuances of feeling experienced in relationship and survival. The myths of old relate to our experience today, e.g., people experience the same sun setting through all time!

Time
By Mairéid Sullivan and Steve Wilson

Time beseeching time
sleepers deep within the mind
old music calling to race memory
alive down deep inside.
So unto Brid, Queen of song,
from race memory we pass through you.

We play on ancient ground
scatter leaves on wisdom’s mound
Thee roots of history and memory
are buried deep in song
How can we reach…
how can we reach the source of tunes?

Chorus:
Yesterday, yesteryear
Live-on, live-on
Yesterday, yesteryear
live on- live on

Feel the tunes of yore
through Bardic tales and Bardic lore
Old music calling to race memory
alive down deep inside.
So unto Brid, Queen of song,
from race memory we pass through you.

Copyright 1992
Maireid Sullivan and Steve Wilson


She Moved Through The Fair:
Irish traditional song, collected in Donegal by poet Padraic Colum and musicologist Herbert Hughes and first published in 1909. Played by Donal Lunny on keyboard. I believe the McPeak Family were the first to record this song. The modal nature (Mixolydian mode / diatonic scale) of the melody harks back to Medieval and ancient Celtic, Greek and eastern European origins. Only one word in the original poem has been altered in this version of the songs evolution - my 'dead' love replaces my 'dear' love. This is the full version I learned from my mother. This song was recorded after midnight at the end of our recording session. Nearly everyone else had gone home and Donal and Doug and I didn't feel like stopping just yet.

She Moved Through the Fair
(Irish traditional)

My young love said to me, my parents won't mind
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kind.
Then she stepped away from me, and this she did say,
It will not be long love, till our wedding day.

She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her move here and move there.
Then she went her way homeward with one star awake,
as the swan in the evening moved over the lake.

The people were saying, no two were e're wed
But one had a sorrow that never was said.
She went her way home ward with her goods and her gear.
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

Last night she came to me, my dead love came in
So softly she came that her feet made no din.
Then she put her hand on me and this, she did say
It will not be long love till our wedding day.

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