Unless you are Irish, you probably won’t have heard about ‘Tír na nÓg’. Meaning ‘land of the young’ ‘Tír na nÓg’ is a Celtic otherworld and in our primary school history lessons we learn about this beautiful land in the western sea. People who lived here never grew old and there is a particular love story about a boy called Oisín and a girl called Niamh.
In July 2015, I went to an album launch by a Irish band called ‘Na Fianna’. It was one of the most enjoyable gigs I have ever been to. Four excellent musicians performing re-vamped and original arrangements of Irish songs and tunes and they absolutely blew the crowd away. I for one came away from that gig with a re-ignited love for songs I hadn’t thought of for a while. I also had my ears caressed by a beautiful new song ‘Ballad of Oisín’ and it very quickly became one of my new favourite songs. I did a bit of digging and discovered it was written by Irish singer/songwriter Don Mescall. I shared it with everyone I met and most of them also became fans. So, here I am on the 14th August 2019 at Jam Studios in Kells with my good friends Brendan Duignan, Roisin Crawley and Eibhlin Dowdall recording our version of the song!
The three girls of the band formed ‘Skylark’ in March this year. While we all know each other really well and have played at many events together over the years, we had never formally played as a group with a name. We believe there is a space in the market for what we do which is ultimately a fusion of different genres with a trad/folk sound given the nature of the instruments; fiddle x2, flute, whistles of all keys, shapes and sizes and then myself on piano tradding it out or rocking it up!! We have a lot of fun and hopefully that will come across to our audiences in our gigs.
Everyone of us, including Brendan who joined us in studio this week, knows the power of music to heal and to energise. We’ve all faced major personal challenges over the past few years and the one force that really supports us through everything is music. Ultimately this is why we play, why we sing, why we do this.. Hopefully through our recordings, gigs and collaborations over the coming years, ‘Skylark’ will help you find your ‘Tír na nÓg’ even if it’s only just for a couple of hours!
For more info contact Sinéad: firstname.lastname@example.org