A Harper for a Queen

Queen hereafter_bookmark_crop Christmas holidays and music go together, and one of my favorite kinds of music – Christmasy and otherwise – is Celtic harp. And so it was a joy to incorporate my fondness and fascination for specifically Celtic (Irish and Scottish) harp music in the writing of Queen Hereafter, my newest release from Crown. The novel tells the story of Margaret of Scotland, Malcolm Canmore’s queen, in the 11th century—and it is also the story of a fictional bard, Eva of Moray, a young kinswoman of Lady Macbeth.

Brought to court by order of the king to serve as a court bard and act as a hostage for the good behavior of Lady Macbeth (who was otherwise disinclined to behave), Eva plays her harp for the court, and over time befriends Queen Margaret, both of them outcasts of a sort, the wild Celtic bard an unwilling royal captive, and the foreign queen restricted by her many obligations.

I am called Eva the Bard, daughter of a short-lived king. I have been a devoted student of Dermot, once chief bard in Macbeth’s court. He trained me in the ways of a seanchaidh: a thousand songs, a thousand tales, a thousand heroes keenly remembered through ancient ways of diligence, and more. Though I do not know my fate, I know my calling—to tell the old tales and coax melodies from the harp strings to soothe or excite the spirit. Some now accuse me of scheming, but my aim has ever been my craft, and honor. So say I.
   
Queen marys harp Along with the other research needed for this book, I had the very pleasant task of researching the history of Celtic harp in medieval Scotland. This wasn’t the first time I had written about a medieval harper (the heroine of an earlier novel, The Angel Knight, was a harper as well), so I had some prior research to go on. For the first book, I had the good fortune to meet and host in my home one of the world’s most talented Celtic harpers, who shared some of her wonderful knowledge with me. For the second novel about a harper—Queen Hereafter—I relied on what I had learned earlier, and went a step further. I took several lessons in playing Celtic harp. I wanted to know what my character Eva would know, and literal hands-on research was the best way for me to do that. And I can even pluck out a few elementary Celtic tunes myself now – though I have a long, long way to go.

Harp luttrell Celtic harp differs from the more traditional concert harp several ways, among them size and shape—the Celtic harp tends to be smaller, with a curved rather than a straight forepillar, a curved T-top or harmonic curve, and often a beautifully decorated soundboard. The size determines the number of strings, and the harps can be either brass or lighter material, most often nylon these days. In earlier centuries, strings would have been made of animal gut or, if metal, brass or even gold and silver. The two center strings, sometimes called The Lovers, were often of gold wire in a brass-stringed harp, and were tuned to an identical note, resonating together.

Regency harpist A truly traditional Irish or Celtic harp is played while resting it against the harper’s left shoulder, rather Harpomarx than the right shoulder position that is more normally seen with concert harpists. And that’s another interesting detail – Celtic harp musicians are more correctly termed harpers.

  Early Celtic harpers were bards, sometimes court bards attached to a royal or noble household, and often itinerant, traveling from one household to another. They had a lofty and privileged status even in a king’s household, given a high seat at the king’s table and even a seat on the king’s council, and in the earliest Celtic societies, often it was the bards and harpers who led the warriors into battle. They were the keepers of tradition, history and genealogy, their memories filled with the names, the lineages, the epic stories and entertaining tales of generations and centuries of their people–and they had secret methods of storing hundreds, even thousands of songs and tales in their heads. One trick they used was to rest in a dark room for hours with a heavy stone on the abdomen–the bards would lie there reviewing all the songs and melodies in their heads, and the weight and presence of the stone would keep them focused.

Their music, instrumental and vocal, and their skill, and their very harps were accorded legendary and even magical qualities. In Irish poetry, for example, harps are described as “harp-trees” –Celtic-harp-BW the various woods that made up sound boxes and pillars selected for their symbolic strengths as much as their resonant qualities – and, in a wonderful description by some ancient Celtic poet, “the magical knot-carved one.” Any listener of the time would know exactly what was meant by that: a beautiful harp decorated in Celtic knotwork designs, capable of producing a mystical, powerful sort of music.
  
Eva, unwillingly brought from her home in northern Scotland to the king’s court, sits down to play for Malcolm and Margaret for the first time:

     Propping the base of her harp on the lower stool set there for the purpose, Eva tipped the instrument so that it rested in the hollow of her left shoulder, and lifted her hands to the strings. Earlier she had tuned the metal strings, and now she tested, hearing a slight dissonance which she then corrected, twisting the pegs that held the strings by using a tiny ivory key that she kept in a leather pouch slung from her belt.
    King Malcolm continued a low discussion with some of his men. The young Saxon queen waited, hands folded patiently. Eva paused, considering which song to play, then moved her fingers rapidly over the strings, brass and gold shimmering. She loved the moment when a melody began. A song might be ancient, its origins lost to memory, but a harper could spark the music to life again and join present and past. She plucked the strings: two together, one and two; three together, three and four. Her left hand repeated a rhythm in a lower register, while the fingers of her right hand flashed like quick fire along upper and lower strings, creating delicate traceries of sound.
    She chose the song deliberately for its charm—had she given the court a song of loss or bitterness first, they would think of that when they thought of her. Better a lighter song in this place where she needed friends.

 Later, Eva—who, like her kinswoman Lady Macbeth, cannot seem to keep her temper in check to stay out of trouble—uses her harp and its music for a little vengeance:

    Eva settled the harp against her shoulder anew, lifted her hands to the strings, then paused. A few moments earlier, King Malcolm had dealt her and hers a slight with his insult toward the memory of her father, deceased as a too-young king. Most there knew only that she was one of the queen’s women, with a talent for music and a face worth gazing upon. Few would understand the song she was about to play. But Malcolm would comprehend it—and that was what mattered to her.
    She plucked the path of strings. Had her harp been a weapon, it could not have fit the grip of her anger any better.

Eva gets into a heap of trouble for the song she plays, and suffers the consequences.

In medieval times, harpers could be punished for slights and transgressions by losing their harps, or even having their fingernails cut so that they were prevented from playing metal-stringed harps (gut-string harps, like nylon string today, are played with fingertips and with the twisting pressure of the sides of the fingers as well). 

“Then she went and ordered her harp to be fetched.” Anglo-Saxon, 10th century

Note that this old bardic reference says "she!" Women were also trained and employed as bards historically in Irish and Scottish households. Men, of course, were primarily the bards of their day–at least they are the ones appearing most often in the scant records, which may skew the statistics right there–but it was not so unusual for women to be bards and harpers. They are referenced in tales and songs and appear in occasional documents from the earliest centuries through the 18th century in Scotland, when traditional bardic schools were still in existence. By that time in England and Europe, the large concert harp was a perfectly acceptable instrument for an accomplished lady.

Celtic bards and harpers, male and female, thrive today — we buy their CDs, we watch their music videos, we listen to their songs. Next time you hear some Celtic harp music — Christmas or otherwise — think of what a proud and ancient tradition it is, and imagine yourself by a fireside in a medieval hall. Some of these wonderful songs are just that old, and have endured.

Queenhereafterjpg I hope you will look for Queen Hereafter the next time you're in a bookstore (or browsing online). I'm happy (and relieved!) to say that the reviews are wonderful, with lots of lovely superlatives. Currently I'm having fun with a busy blog tour of reviews, guest blogs and interviews, so watch for me around the web and on Read It Forward as well! You'll find a blog schedule on my website.

What sort of music do you like at holiday time? Celtic, Christmas rock, traditional? And had you ever thought about the bardic tradition behind all those Celtic harp songs played at this time of year?

Remember — this month there's a chance to win a very special Wench Prize! The Word Wenches will be giving away a fantastic prize on January 1, 2011 — a Word Wenches Library containing a book by each of the Wenches! For your chance to win, just comment on one or more of our December blog posts. We'll gather the list of names on January 1, 2011 and pick a winner! (If you've already posted in December, you're already entered — comment again and again for more chances to win!) Good luck to all and Happy Holidays!

Susan

130 thoughts on “A Harper for a Queen”

  1. Susan, what a lovely post. I adore the Celtic harp. Since most of my stories are either set in Ireland or feature and Irish hero or heroine, I often listen to Irish music – preferably instrumental, with no lyrics to distract me – while I write. And I have several Irish Christmas CD’s which are always on the player this time of year.
    I love the idea of the seanachoi, or storyteller. In one of my WIPs, I have a Victorian Irish American amnesiac seanachoi who, although he’s lost his memory, still remembers the stories of the “old days” of Ireland’s glory. (Oh, he’s also an Irish rebel who falls in love with a staunch Loyalist.)

    Reply
  2. Susan, what a lovely post. I adore the Celtic harp. Since most of my stories are either set in Ireland or feature and Irish hero or heroine, I often listen to Irish music – preferably instrumental, with no lyrics to distract me – while I write. And I have several Irish Christmas CD’s which are always on the player this time of year.
    I love the idea of the seanachoi, or storyteller. In one of my WIPs, I have a Victorian Irish American amnesiac seanachoi who, although he’s lost his memory, still remembers the stories of the “old days” of Ireland’s glory. (Oh, he’s also an Irish rebel who falls in love with a staunch Loyalist.)

    Reply
  3. Susan, what a lovely post. I adore the Celtic harp. Since most of my stories are either set in Ireland or feature and Irish hero or heroine, I often listen to Irish music – preferably instrumental, with no lyrics to distract me – while I write. And I have several Irish Christmas CD’s which are always on the player this time of year.
    I love the idea of the seanachoi, or storyteller. In one of my WIPs, I have a Victorian Irish American amnesiac seanachoi who, although he’s lost his memory, still remembers the stories of the “old days” of Ireland’s glory. (Oh, he’s also an Irish rebel who falls in love with a staunch Loyalist.)

    Reply
  4. Susan, what a lovely post. I adore the Celtic harp. Since most of my stories are either set in Ireland or feature and Irish hero or heroine, I often listen to Irish music – preferably instrumental, with no lyrics to distract me – while I write. And I have several Irish Christmas CD’s which are always on the player this time of year.
    I love the idea of the seanachoi, or storyteller. In one of my WIPs, I have a Victorian Irish American amnesiac seanachoi who, although he’s lost his memory, still remembers the stories of the “old days” of Ireland’s glory. (Oh, he’s also an Irish rebel who falls in love with a staunch Loyalist.)

    Reply
  5. Susan, what a lovely post. I adore the Celtic harp. Since most of my stories are either set in Ireland or feature and Irish hero or heroine, I often listen to Irish music – preferably instrumental, with no lyrics to distract me – while I write. And I have several Irish Christmas CD’s which are always on the player this time of year.
    I love the idea of the seanachoi, or storyteller. In one of my WIPs, I have a Victorian Irish American amnesiac seanachoi who, although he’s lost his memory, still remembers the stories of the “old days” of Ireland’s glory. (Oh, he’s also an Irish rebel who falls in love with a staunch Loyalist.)

    Reply
  6. Cynthia, great to hear from another fan of Celtic harp! Irish or Scottish, Welsh or Breton or Cornish, it’s all lovely. I focused on the Scottish traditions for my novels, using “seanchaidh” or the plural “seanchaidhean,” one of the small points where the Irish and Scottish traditions differ. I should have added, too, that the word for harp is “clarsach” (“clairseach” in Irish). Seanchaidhs might play harp and sing, or tell stories, or do all of it – there were specialists within the bardic tradition – and if I could time travel for real, I’d want to sit in a medieval hall listening to a true Scottish bard!
    Susan

    Reply
  7. Cynthia, great to hear from another fan of Celtic harp! Irish or Scottish, Welsh or Breton or Cornish, it’s all lovely. I focused on the Scottish traditions for my novels, using “seanchaidh” or the plural “seanchaidhean,” one of the small points where the Irish and Scottish traditions differ. I should have added, too, that the word for harp is “clarsach” (“clairseach” in Irish). Seanchaidhs might play harp and sing, or tell stories, or do all of it – there were specialists within the bardic tradition – and if I could time travel for real, I’d want to sit in a medieval hall listening to a true Scottish bard!
    Susan

    Reply
  8. Cynthia, great to hear from another fan of Celtic harp! Irish or Scottish, Welsh or Breton or Cornish, it’s all lovely. I focused on the Scottish traditions for my novels, using “seanchaidh” or the plural “seanchaidhean,” one of the small points where the Irish and Scottish traditions differ. I should have added, too, that the word for harp is “clarsach” (“clairseach” in Irish). Seanchaidhs might play harp and sing, or tell stories, or do all of it – there were specialists within the bardic tradition – and if I could time travel for real, I’d want to sit in a medieval hall listening to a true Scottish bard!
    Susan

    Reply
  9. Cynthia, great to hear from another fan of Celtic harp! Irish or Scottish, Welsh or Breton or Cornish, it’s all lovely. I focused on the Scottish traditions for my novels, using “seanchaidh” or the plural “seanchaidhean,” one of the small points where the Irish and Scottish traditions differ. I should have added, too, that the word for harp is “clarsach” (“clairseach” in Irish). Seanchaidhs might play harp and sing, or tell stories, or do all of it – there were specialists within the bardic tradition – and if I could time travel for real, I’d want to sit in a medieval hall listening to a true Scottish bard!
    Susan

    Reply
  10. Cynthia, great to hear from another fan of Celtic harp! Irish or Scottish, Welsh or Breton or Cornish, it’s all lovely. I focused on the Scottish traditions for my novels, using “seanchaidh” or the plural “seanchaidhean,” one of the small points where the Irish and Scottish traditions differ. I should have added, too, that the word for harp is “clarsach” (“clairseach” in Irish). Seanchaidhs might play harp and sing, or tell stories, or do all of it – there were specialists within the bardic tradition – and if I could time travel for real, I’d want to sit in a medieval hall listening to a true Scottish bard!
    Susan

    Reply
  11. I just started your book Queen Hereafter and now logically I must blame you for all the holiday “must do’s” that I have fallen behind on. The book is a page-turner thanks for the all the enjoyment. BTW, I must admit I’m a cheesy traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music.

    Reply
  12. I just started your book Queen Hereafter and now logically I must blame you for all the holiday “must do’s” that I have fallen behind on. The book is a page-turner thanks for the all the enjoyment. BTW, I must admit I’m a cheesy traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music.

    Reply
  13. I just started your book Queen Hereafter and now logically I must blame you for all the holiday “must do’s” that I have fallen behind on. The book is a page-turner thanks for the all the enjoyment. BTW, I must admit I’m a cheesy traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music.

    Reply
  14. I just started your book Queen Hereafter and now logically I must blame you for all the holiday “must do’s” that I have fallen behind on. The book is a page-turner thanks for the all the enjoyment. BTW, I must admit I’m a cheesy traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music.

    Reply
  15. I just started your book Queen Hereafter and now logically I must blame you for all the holiday “must do’s” that I have fallen behind on. The book is a page-turner thanks for the all the enjoyment. BTW, I must admit I’m a cheesy traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music.

    Reply
  16. What a lovely and very informative post! I am fortunate in that my brother is a HUGE fan of Celtic music and is constantly sending me CD’s with a note “You have to listen to this!” He is an accomplished musician in his own right, but has never learned to read music. He plays completely “by ear” and has managed to teach himself to play a number of stringed instruments. He hasn’t tried the harp yet, but I wish he would.
    I am tempted to try it myself after reading your lovely post.
    The storytelling tradition of the Celtic bards is very dear to my heart. My Welsh and English ancestry on one side and my Native American ancestry on the other is rich in storytellers.
    I shudder to think of the history that might have been lost if not for these magical, dedicated seanachoi. Not to mention the fabulous music we might have missed!

    Reply
  17. What a lovely and very informative post! I am fortunate in that my brother is a HUGE fan of Celtic music and is constantly sending me CD’s with a note “You have to listen to this!” He is an accomplished musician in his own right, but has never learned to read music. He plays completely “by ear” and has managed to teach himself to play a number of stringed instruments. He hasn’t tried the harp yet, but I wish he would.
    I am tempted to try it myself after reading your lovely post.
    The storytelling tradition of the Celtic bards is very dear to my heart. My Welsh and English ancestry on one side and my Native American ancestry on the other is rich in storytellers.
    I shudder to think of the history that might have been lost if not for these magical, dedicated seanachoi. Not to mention the fabulous music we might have missed!

    Reply
  18. What a lovely and very informative post! I am fortunate in that my brother is a HUGE fan of Celtic music and is constantly sending me CD’s with a note “You have to listen to this!” He is an accomplished musician in his own right, but has never learned to read music. He plays completely “by ear” and has managed to teach himself to play a number of stringed instruments. He hasn’t tried the harp yet, but I wish he would.
    I am tempted to try it myself after reading your lovely post.
    The storytelling tradition of the Celtic bards is very dear to my heart. My Welsh and English ancestry on one side and my Native American ancestry on the other is rich in storytellers.
    I shudder to think of the history that might have been lost if not for these magical, dedicated seanachoi. Not to mention the fabulous music we might have missed!

    Reply
  19. What a lovely and very informative post! I am fortunate in that my brother is a HUGE fan of Celtic music and is constantly sending me CD’s with a note “You have to listen to this!” He is an accomplished musician in his own right, but has never learned to read music. He plays completely “by ear” and has managed to teach himself to play a number of stringed instruments. He hasn’t tried the harp yet, but I wish he would.
    I am tempted to try it myself after reading your lovely post.
    The storytelling tradition of the Celtic bards is very dear to my heart. My Welsh and English ancestry on one side and my Native American ancestry on the other is rich in storytellers.
    I shudder to think of the history that might have been lost if not for these magical, dedicated seanachoi. Not to mention the fabulous music we might have missed!

    Reply
  20. What a lovely and very informative post! I am fortunate in that my brother is a HUGE fan of Celtic music and is constantly sending me CD’s with a note “You have to listen to this!” He is an accomplished musician in his own right, but has never learned to read music. He plays completely “by ear” and has managed to teach himself to play a number of stringed instruments. He hasn’t tried the harp yet, but I wish he would.
    I am tempted to try it myself after reading your lovely post.
    The storytelling tradition of the Celtic bards is very dear to my heart. My Welsh and English ancestry on one side and my Native American ancestry on the other is rich in storytellers.
    I shudder to think of the history that might have been lost if not for these magical, dedicated seanachoi. Not to mention the fabulous music we might have missed!

    Reply
  21. I love pretty much all christmas music. although I am partial to the music created during the “big band era” and the stars of the 40’s-50’s. There’s nothing like Sleigh Ride preformed live by the symphany pops to get one in the holiday mood. 🙂

    Reply
  22. I love pretty much all christmas music. although I am partial to the music created during the “big band era” and the stars of the 40’s-50’s. There’s nothing like Sleigh Ride preformed live by the symphany pops to get one in the holiday mood. 🙂

    Reply
  23. I love pretty much all christmas music. although I am partial to the music created during the “big band era” and the stars of the 40’s-50’s. There’s nothing like Sleigh Ride preformed live by the symphany pops to get one in the holiday mood. 🙂

    Reply
  24. I love pretty much all christmas music. although I am partial to the music created during the “big band era” and the stars of the 40’s-50’s. There’s nothing like Sleigh Ride preformed live by the symphany pops to get one in the holiday mood. 🙂

    Reply
  25. I love pretty much all christmas music. although I am partial to the music created during the “big band era” and the stars of the 40’s-50’s. There’s nothing like Sleigh Ride preformed live by the symphany pops to get one in the holiday mood. 🙂

    Reply
  26. I am very fond of the traditional Christmas songs but love all the music around at Christmas time.
    Great post really enjoyed reading it
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  27. I am very fond of the traditional Christmas songs but love all the music around at Christmas time.
    Great post really enjoyed reading it
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  28. I am very fond of the traditional Christmas songs but love all the music around at Christmas time.
    Great post really enjoyed reading it
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  29. I am very fond of the traditional Christmas songs but love all the music around at Christmas time.
    Great post really enjoyed reading it
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  30. I am very fond of the traditional Christmas songs but love all the music around at Christmas time.
    Great post really enjoyed reading it
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  31. What a marvelous blog post — fascinating! (Now I’m going to have to dig around for my harp music!) I know absolutely nothing about the harp or harpers, so this was really wonderful — I esp enjoyed the tidbit about The Lovers. It makes me wish I could see a harp in person!

    Reply
  32. What a marvelous blog post — fascinating! (Now I’m going to have to dig around for my harp music!) I know absolutely nothing about the harp or harpers, so this was really wonderful — I esp enjoyed the tidbit about The Lovers. It makes me wish I could see a harp in person!

    Reply
  33. What a marvelous blog post — fascinating! (Now I’m going to have to dig around for my harp music!) I know absolutely nothing about the harp or harpers, so this was really wonderful — I esp enjoyed the tidbit about The Lovers. It makes me wish I could see a harp in person!

    Reply
  34. What a marvelous blog post — fascinating! (Now I’m going to have to dig around for my harp music!) I know absolutely nothing about the harp or harpers, so this was really wonderful — I esp enjoyed the tidbit about The Lovers. It makes me wish I could see a harp in person!

    Reply
  35. What a marvelous blog post — fascinating! (Now I’m going to have to dig around for my harp music!) I know absolutely nothing about the harp or harpers, so this was really wonderful — I esp enjoyed the tidbit about The Lovers. It makes me wish I could see a harp in person!

    Reply
  36. I find the usual Christmas music too sad &/or sappy for my liking (to say nothing of holy overplay on the radio stations these days!!), so I tend more towards the Celtic/world music … more instrumentals than vocals.

    Reply
  37. I find the usual Christmas music too sad &/or sappy for my liking (to say nothing of holy overplay on the radio stations these days!!), so I tend more towards the Celtic/world music … more instrumentals than vocals.

    Reply
  38. I find the usual Christmas music too sad &/or sappy for my liking (to say nothing of holy overplay on the radio stations these days!!), so I tend more towards the Celtic/world music … more instrumentals than vocals.

    Reply
  39. I find the usual Christmas music too sad &/or sappy for my liking (to say nothing of holy overplay on the radio stations these days!!), so I tend more towards the Celtic/world music … more instrumentals than vocals.

    Reply
  40. I find the usual Christmas music too sad &/or sappy for my liking (to say nothing of holy overplay on the radio stations these days!!), so I tend more towards the Celtic/world music … more instrumentals than vocals.

    Reply
  41. Can there be any Christmas music without the beautiful stringed instruments? Love to turn down the lights & put on Manheim Steamrolller, celtic harp, Trans Siberian & London Philharmonic orchestras. Just love all of them. I play the piano & have some little grandkiddos who have a good time raising their sweet voices be it the old carols or a rousing jingle bells. I think our ancestors felt lucky if they had a harpist in their midst, & when they didn’t, they just sang along anyway!

    Reply
  42. Can there be any Christmas music without the beautiful stringed instruments? Love to turn down the lights & put on Manheim Steamrolller, celtic harp, Trans Siberian & London Philharmonic orchestras. Just love all of them. I play the piano & have some little grandkiddos who have a good time raising their sweet voices be it the old carols or a rousing jingle bells. I think our ancestors felt lucky if they had a harpist in their midst, & when they didn’t, they just sang along anyway!

    Reply
  43. Can there be any Christmas music without the beautiful stringed instruments? Love to turn down the lights & put on Manheim Steamrolller, celtic harp, Trans Siberian & London Philharmonic orchestras. Just love all of them. I play the piano & have some little grandkiddos who have a good time raising their sweet voices be it the old carols or a rousing jingle bells. I think our ancestors felt lucky if they had a harpist in their midst, & when they didn’t, they just sang along anyway!

    Reply
  44. Can there be any Christmas music without the beautiful stringed instruments? Love to turn down the lights & put on Manheim Steamrolller, celtic harp, Trans Siberian & London Philharmonic orchestras. Just love all of them. I play the piano & have some little grandkiddos who have a good time raising their sweet voices be it the old carols or a rousing jingle bells. I think our ancestors felt lucky if they had a harpist in their midst, & when they didn’t, they just sang along anyway!

    Reply
  45. Can there be any Christmas music without the beautiful stringed instruments? Love to turn down the lights & put on Manheim Steamrolller, celtic harp, Trans Siberian & London Philharmonic orchestras. Just love all of them. I play the piano & have some little grandkiddos who have a good time raising their sweet voices be it the old carols or a rousing jingle bells. I think our ancestors felt lucky if they had a harpist in their midst, & when they didn’t, they just sang along anyway!

    Reply
  46. thanks for all the harp stories…we are listening to a lot of celtic music now since my husband’s voice teacher wants him to learn a celtic song for the march recital.
    Any suggestions for a bass?

    Reply
  47. thanks for all the harp stories…we are listening to a lot of celtic music now since my husband’s voice teacher wants him to learn a celtic song for the march recital.
    Any suggestions for a bass?

    Reply
  48. thanks for all the harp stories…we are listening to a lot of celtic music now since my husband’s voice teacher wants him to learn a celtic song for the march recital.
    Any suggestions for a bass?

    Reply
  49. thanks for all the harp stories…we are listening to a lot of celtic music now since my husband’s voice teacher wants him to learn a celtic song for the march recital.
    Any suggestions for a bass?

    Reply
  50. thanks for all the harp stories…we are listening to a lot of celtic music now since my husband’s voice teacher wants him to learn a celtic song for the march recital.
    Any suggestions for a bass?

    Reply
  51. I enjoy the old standards, but have to say that Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and the parody of Blue Christmas sung by Porky Pig just make me laugh and perks me right up.

    Reply
  52. I enjoy the old standards, but have to say that Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and the parody of Blue Christmas sung by Porky Pig just make me laugh and perks me right up.

    Reply
  53. I enjoy the old standards, but have to say that Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and the parody of Blue Christmas sung by Porky Pig just make me laugh and perks me right up.

    Reply
  54. I enjoy the old standards, but have to say that Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and the parody of Blue Christmas sung by Porky Pig just make me laugh and perks me right up.

    Reply
  55. I enjoy the old standards, but have to say that Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and the parody of Blue Christmas sung by Porky Pig just make me laugh and perks me right up.

    Reply
  56. Great post! I’m a pretty big fan of traditional Christmas music but one of my friends from college is really into Celtic music and I found it really interesting. I’ll have to ask her if she has any Celtic Christmas music I can listen to. I can’t wait to read Queen Hereafter!

    Reply
  57. Great post! I’m a pretty big fan of traditional Christmas music but one of my friends from college is really into Celtic music and I found it really interesting. I’ll have to ask her if she has any Celtic Christmas music I can listen to. I can’t wait to read Queen Hereafter!

    Reply
  58. Great post! I’m a pretty big fan of traditional Christmas music but one of my friends from college is really into Celtic music and I found it really interesting. I’ll have to ask her if she has any Celtic Christmas music I can listen to. I can’t wait to read Queen Hereafter!

    Reply
  59. Great post! I’m a pretty big fan of traditional Christmas music but one of my friends from college is really into Celtic music and I found it really interesting. I’ll have to ask her if she has any Celtic Christmas music I can listen to. I can’t wait to read Queen Hereafter!

    Reply
  60. Great post! I’m a pretty big fan of traditional Christmas music but one of my friends from college is really into Celtic music and I found it really interesting. I’ll have to ask her if she has any Celtic Christmas music I can listen to. I can’t wait to read Queen Hereafter!

    Reply
  61. At my workplace we had a harpist and a singer come in and perform for us recently and it was a lovely experience. The harp is such a mellow instrument. I don’t think I have ever heard the Celtic harp played except possibly as part of a band playing Celtic music.
    In the weeks before Christmas I first listen to the pop and rock Christmas songs, but when it gets closer to Christmas I start listening to traditional Christmas music, carols and choral Christmas music, and classical music.

    Reply
  62. At my workplace we had a harpist and a singer come in and perform for us recently and it was a lovely experience. The harp is such a mellow instrument. I don’t think I have ever heard the Celtic harp played except possibly as part of a band playing Celtic music.
    In the weeks before Christmas I first listen to the pop and rock Christmas songs, but when it gets closer to Christmas I start listening to traditional Christmas music, carols and choral Christmas music, and classical music.

    Reply
  63. At my workplace we had a harpist and a singer come in and perform for us recently and it was a lovely experience. The harp is such a mellow instrument. I don’t think I have ever heard the Celtic harp played except possibly as part of a band playing Celtic music.
    In the weeks before Christmas I first listen to the pop and rock Christmas songs, but when it gets closer to Christmas I start listening to traditional Christmas music, carols and choral Christmas music, and classical music.

    Reply
  64. At my workplace we had a harpist and a singer come in and perform for us recently and it was a lovely experience. The harp is such a mellow instrument. I don’t think I have ever heard the Celtic harp played except possibly as part of a band playing Celtic music.
    In the weeks before Christmas I first listen to the pop and rock Christmas songs, but when it gets closer to Christmas I start listening to traditional Christmas music, carols and choral Christmas music, and classical music.

    Reply
  65. At my workplace we had a harpist and a singer come in and perform for us recently and it was a lovely experience. The harp is such a mellow instrument. I don’t think I have ever heard the Celtic harp played except possibly as part of a band playing Celtic music.
    In the weeks before Christmas I first listen to the pop and rock Christmas songs, but when it gets closer to Christmas I start listening to traditional Christmas music, carols and choral Christmas music, and classical music.

    Reply
  66. I haven’t listened to much Celtic music but after your post I will be looking for it. I do like traditional Christmas hymms and heard some this morning on our publice radio station.

    Reply
  67. I haven’t listened to much Celtic music but after your post I will be looking for it. I do like traditional Christmas hymms and heard some this morning on our publice radio station.

    Reply
  68. I haven’t listened to much Celtic music but after your post I will be looking for it. I do like traditional Christmas hymms and heard some this morning on our publice radio station.

    Reply
  69. I haven’t listened to much Celtic music but after your post I will be looking for it. I do like traditional Christmas hymms and heard some this morning on our publice radio station.

    Reply
  70. I haven’t listened to much Celtic music but after your post I will be looking for it. I do like traditional Christmas hymms and heard some this morning on our publice radio station.

    Reply
  71. One of my favorite books is Rosemary Sutcliffe’s “Song for a Dark Queen”, the story of Boudicca and her daughters told by her bard. I discovered it when my oldest son read it years ago. I’ve reread it several times since and cry at the end every time. It’s just a gorgeous story, beautifully written. (Of course my middle son, the Latin scholar, sniffed at Boudicca and said she was a fool to even try to fight the Romans, but I’ll forgive him on account of his youth at the time.)
    “Queen Hereafter” sounds like another lovely story, and any excuse to listen to Celtic music is worthwhile, in my opinion.

    Reply
  72. One of my favorite books is Rosemary Sutcliffe’s “Song for a Dark Queen”, the story of Boudicca and her daughters told by her bard. I discovered it when my oldest son read it years ago. I’ve reread it several times since and cry at the end every time. It’s just a gorgeous story, beautifully written. (Of course my middle son, the Latin scholar, sniffed at Boudicca and said she was a fool to even try to fight the Romans, but I’ll forgive him on account of his youth at the time.)
    “Queen Hereafter” sounds like another lovely story, and any excuse to listen to Celtic music is worthwhile, in my opinion.

    Reply
  73. One of my favorite books is Rosemary Sutcliffe’s “Song for a Dark Queen”, the story of Boudicca and her daughters told by her bard. I discovered it when my oldest son read it years ago. I’ve reread it several times since and cry at the end every time. It’s just a gorgeous story, beautifully written. (Of course my middle son, the Latin scholar, sniffed at Boudicca and said she was a fool to even try to fight the Romans, but I’ll forgive him on account of his youth at the time.)
    “Queen Hereafter” sounds like another lovely story, and any excuse to listen to Celtic music is worthwhile, in my opinion.

    Reply
  74. One of my favorite books is Rosemary Sutcliffe’s “Song for a Dark Queen”, the story of Boudicca and her daughters told by her bard. I discovered it when my oldest son read it years ago. I’ve reread it several times since and cry at the end every time. It’s just a gorgeous story, beautifully written. (Of course my middle son, the Latin scholar, sniffed at Boudicca and said she was a fool to even try to fight the Romans, but I’ll forgive him on account of his youth at the time.)
    “Queen Hereafter” sounds like another lovely story, and any excuse to listen to Celtic music is worthwhile, in my opinion.

    Reply
  75. One of my favorite books is Rosemary Sutcliffe’s “Song for a Dark Queen”, the story of Boudicca and her daughters told by her bard. I discovered it when my oldest son read it years ago. I’ve reread it several times since and cry at the end every time. It’s just a gorgeous story, beautifully written. (Of course my middle son, the Latin scholar, sniffed at Boudicca and said she was a fool to even try to fight the Romans, but I’ll forgive him on account of his youth at the time.)
    “Queen Hereafter” sounds like another lovely story, and any excuse to listen to Celtic music is worthwhile, in my opinion.

    Reply

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