We got chatting with one of our latest Irish language lessons members. Her name is Mary Murphy – an Irish singer and writer based in Canada. Here she shares one of her songs to listen to, along with an interview about her songs, writings, and learning the Irish language.
Click just below to play “Siúil a Rún” sung by Mary Murphy. It’s part in Irish, part in English.
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“Siúil a rún” means “Walk, my dear/my love”.
The song continues with “siúil go doras agus éalaigh liom” which means “walk to the door and escape with me”.
If you liked the song, please share your thoughts with us by leaving a reply below this post. Also watch out for more songs from Mary on this blog in the coming weeks. A link to Mary’s site with more music is below!
Mary, you sing some songs in Irish. Where are you based, and how did you get into singing in Irish?
Let me see how complicated an answer I can create when asked this lovely simple question. I am based on the west coast of Canada at present, Vancouver Island to be exact. I do however; return home every year for up to two months. Nearly all my family are in Wexford (where I was born), Wicklow and Dublin. I am not sure where I really reside, as my soul lives in these places while my body lives mostly across the pond in Canada. I have also lived in New York and California so I suppose gypsy feet are part and parcel of who I am.
I have always loved the Irish language. I grew up in a very lively and musical household where singing was ever present. Certainly not an a-typical story for my generation. I am the youngest of six, so I had many voices to look up to and learn from so to speak.
On Sunday evenings, after our meal, we would as a family, sing traditional songs, which of course included rebel songs.
As I became older and began singing professionally I had a keen desire to dip into the beautiful language that is Irish. I have had several great translators (Irish teachers) over the years that checked, and check, my pronunciation before I release anything on a CD.
Where abouts have you performed your songs?
Right now I tour primarily in Canada but we have toured in the US (we are going down there next month actually) and Europe, including the all-famous ‘Cobblestone’ in Dublin. I was on a German record label for a little while and they brought us to Germany which was a great experience.
Apart from singing, do you have other creative streaks? (you’re a writer, right?)
Please do not ask me to do math equations, dissect a frog, or figure out what is wrong with my car. I was born with a creative mind.
I have been a dancer since I was a little thing, and I love to write. I write the majority of my material. The novel I wrote a few years ago was picked up by a publisher which was wonderful. I am about to retreat to our recording studio to record seven original Faery tales. I play and love percussion and also play the tin whistle (s). My husband/musical partner is an amazing and accomplished guitarist/producer and there have been many pieces where he has written the music and I have written the lyrics.
We own and operate a professional recording studio, though he is the main man on all technical aspects. I am the assistant and sometimes we both are producers.
What would you say to people who are only considering learning to speak Irish?
I have to say that patience is a must. Gentleness with oneself is important as well as there will be many mistakes and assuredly embarrassing moments. This is true for learning anything new for that matter. Perseverance, and above all, allowing joy to rain down, as you conquer the smallest of steps.
I think I need to print that paragraph and place it on my desk to read every day! I have always been a goal-oriented person but it is easy as an artist to fall into despair when things seem unattainable.
I appreciate being asked this question as it forces me to reflect on my own journey into the beauty of Irish.
If people want to hear more, where can they get your music?
My web site has both a ‘Recordings’ page and a ‘Mary’s published novel’ page. http://www.marymurphy.ca/ I am a very approachable person and will answer whatever inquiries someone might have. My e-mail is on the “Contact’ page.
[Eoin’s note: I did not hold Mary at ransom to say the following! :)] I must say in closing, that Bitesize Irish is the best run Irish language site I have found to date. Eoin and Sasa have done a brilliant job making learning Irish a fun, organized and pleasant experience. The photo of them on the ‘about’ page shows two smiling, engaging individuals who are striving to create a professional home based business that betters the lives of others. I can relate to that philosophy and say to those reading this, ‘what have you got to lose? What have you got to gain?’ When you answer that question you will surely sign on.
All the best,
Thanks to Mary for her interview and for sharing her music. Make sure to visit Mary’s site where you can get more of her music.
There are several other blog posts you might be interested in:
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