Haunting songs with lyrics

Haunting songs with lyrics

I’m working on my first year at college and have been pulled into the Madrigal dinner theater that the school does every year. It’s quite an event and they keep everything as authentic as possible. I play the harp, so of course they want me. The director wants me to open the show with another girl who will sing. I am supposed to find music for this. It needs to be a haunting melody with lyrics appropriate to the show, if at all possible.

I looked through my books and didn’t find much and I just found out my favorite website for this sort of stuff doesn’t seem to exist anymore! Needless to say, I need some help.

In the storyline, a bunch of elves (myself included as the fairy musician) have decided to convince a court jester that they really do exist; they are curious to know what makes humans work. Of course, no one believes the jester. The jester actually manages to catch an elf and then the question is what to do next.

Any ideas? Websites that might have something? Thanks all!

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Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

Here’s a strange haunting song from Ruth Tongue’s book "The Chime Child" - The Green Lady. Might be a good choice for Halloween.
http:www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16806

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

"My Love’s an Arbutus" is not a bad tune, although the words aren’t terrific. (An Arbutus being a Strawberry Tree, if you didn’t know.)
….The Jester catches an elf and what happens next?
What, you’ve been outside human culture your entire life?
THEY FALL IN LOVE of course!
Blinking flip, you have to tell them everything these days…

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

Check out some of the songs by Loreena McKennitt. Might be of some help to you.

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

Sean Tyrrell does a version of W.B. Yeat’s poem "The Stolen Child" set to his own composition. The poem deals with fairies which might suit you somewhat. It is a beautiful version and very haunting.

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

You could do "Monday Tuesday". It is found recorded in Gaelic and with harp accompaniment by Mary O’Hara. I have the sheet music and wrote an English lyric version to it if you are interested.
It is the story of how hunchback Donal sits on a hill and hears the fairies singing in their fairy fort. They can’t finish the lines of the chorus, trailing off with Monday, Tuesday, Monday, Tuesday… Donal joins in singing and finishes it with Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. The fairy king brings Donal a large bag of treasure, takes away his hump, and places the bag on Donal’s shoulder instead, and sends him off home.

Send me a message if you want the lyrics and music.
It’s a beautiful tune.

Alice Flynn

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

Thanks for all the input folks! Two things I forgot to mention is that the Madrigal will be performed around Christmas and that the more traditional the better. The director doesn’t want to have to deal with copyright stuffs.

If anyone is still reading this discussion, I’ll gladly take more suggestions. I’m supposed to have three selections to play for him by Tuesday and I’m not real happy with what I’ve found so far.

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Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

So they want haunting tunes with lyrics to fit the plot; and traditional to avoid copyright issues. You don’t have to fly across the stage as well, do you ?
Have you tried Ned O’ the Hill ? It’s not on this site, at least with the title in english.

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

Depending on how happy you are with Scots dialect you could do one of the versions of ca’ the ewes.

CA’ THE EWES TAE THE KNOWES

Ca’ the ewes tae the knowes
Ca’ them where the heather grows
Ca’ them where the burnie rowes
My bonnie dearie

Hark a mavis evening song
Soundin’ Cluden’s woods amang
Then a foldin’ let us gang
My bonnie dearie

We’ll gae doon by Cludenside
Through the hazels spreading wide
All the ways that sweetly glide
To the moon sae clearly

Doon the Cluden silent hours
All in moonshine midnight hours
All the dewy buddin’ flowers
The fairies dance so cheery

Ghaist nor boggle shall thou fear
Thou art to love Heaven so dear
Naught of ill shall come you near
My bonnie dearie

Fair and lovely as thou art
Thou hast stolen my very heart
I can die but canna part
Wi’ my bonnie dearie


Its a beautiful haunting tune - all I must admit I don’t sing the version above as there is an equally beautiful if silightly less fairy oriented version.

J

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

No, I don’t have to fly across the stage… LOL Thanks for the laugh, I needed it. I know I’m asking for a lot, but I figure with so much music out there, there has to be something that will work, right? However, it is feeling more and more like searching for fairy gold at the end of the rainbow. We may be writing lyrics of our own…

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Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

*coughs nervously coming in late*

TJ, if you’re still looking, Sue Richards of Ceoltoiri put Yeats’ poem "The Song of Wandering Aengus" to a haunting minor melody. It’s on Ceoltoiri’s cd "Silver Apples of the Moon" (title taken from a line in the poem/song). The poem is about a fellow who catches a faerie fish, which turns into a beautiful young woman who runs away from him, and he spends his life hunting for her. It might work for you…

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

I would also recommend Loreena McKennett. The Old Ways, or the Lady of Shalott (in a shortened version), perhaps?

I can’t really think of any others…sorry.

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

TJ, are you looking for songs with supernatural themes or something that sounds "ethereal" and "other-worldly"? Is there any reason you can’ t use real renaissance music?

Here’s an ethereal sounding song with supernatural elements that sounds good on the harp: I Am Tired/Pulling Bracken/Tha Mi Sgith. There are a lot of good recordings of it, both in English and Gaelic. (Everything sounds more ethereal in Gaelic.)

Ethereal sounding, good on the harp, appropriate to Christmastime, and some are period for the renaissance:
Taladh Chriosta/Christ Child’s Lullaby (there are multiple recordings and published arrangement of this for harp and voice)
One (or That) Night in Bethlehem/Don Oiche ud i mBeithil
Suo Gan (a traditional Welsh lullaby)
Balulalow (the Anonymous 4 recording has harp accompaniment)
Baloo Lammy
Lullay, Lullay: As I Lay On Yoolis Night

Not ethereal or supernatural at all, but appropriate for a madrigal dinner or other festive winter occasions: All Hail to the Days/Drive the Cold Winter Away.

If you can’t find appropriate recordings or arrangements to learn these from, I can send them to you. They may be copies of chicken scratchings, but they’re guaranteed playable on the harp.

BTW, where are you going to school? I went to Michigan State, lo these many years ago.

Re: Haunting songs with lyrics

..just in relation to Sean Tyrrell and haunting lyrics..


I’m trying to find out on which CD Sean Tyrrell recorded a version of the Bee’s Wing by Richard Thompson - it’s a birthday present for my mum who loves the song and Sean Tyrrell - any help would be much appreciated..

Thanks in advance,
Jody Moran