Barry Douglas is a “classical” pianist from Ireland. I’ve put classical in quotes because although what he plays is classical in sound, the music actually comes from Celtic tradition rather than the classical canon.
“The Coolin” (An Chúileann) translates to “The Fair-Haired Girl” and dates to around 1641. His arrangement has a very baroque feel (he is actually a classical pianist, too), which gives the traditional song a more regal air.
He follows that lovely delicate song with “Planxty Dylan.” Planxty is an Irish dance. He says that harpists would travel around Ireland and people would look after them. The harpist would then thank the homeowner by writing a song named after the home where they stayed. This romp of a dance (at only about 1 minute long) was dedicated to the house of Dylan.
From playing a planxty to the band Planxty. Douglas has arranged the Planxty song “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” for solo piano. It has been around since the 18th century. Planxty made it more famous as a vocal song (which I know) but Douglas’ piano version has a lot of fun with the melody as well. The melody is also known as “Black Jack Davy.”
“My Lagan Love” is about the River Lagan in Donegal (there are actually four Lagan Rivers in Ireland). The melody and poem were written by unknown persons. Douglas arranged this without words in an attempt to make it more timeless. I know the original and this is a really lovely in this instrumental version.
I can say that I was pleasantly surprised to hear this was the kind of solo music that Douglas was going to play.
[READ: April 2, 2016] The Undertaking of Lily Chen
The whole premise behind this story is disturbing and apparently true.
Novgorodoff includes a section of an article from 2007 which says that parts of rural China have seen the rise of “ghost marriages.” In this situation, when an unmarried an dies, his parents procure the body of a woman, hold a wedding and then bury them together. This has led to a black market in corpse brides. EW!
This story explores that revolting concept. (more…)