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Craobh Nan Ubhal

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Customer Reviews

Flora - Gem of Barra!

Flora Mac Neill is one of the few genuine articles in the modern world of Gaelic singing - a native-speaking Gael sprung direct from the ancient oral tradition.

Though bearing her own unique imprint, her music springs from the native Gaelic tradition, which she grew up in and understands deeply, and she brings this ancient music to the listener unadulterated by the "Tin Pan Alley" influences so often heard in so-called "world" music.

Most of her music is a capella, as it was composed and intended to be sung and heard, from the driving rhythm of the "orain luaidh, the "waulking songs" used in times gone by to full the cloth after looming, to the but where she is accompanied, it is by the harp, the ancient instrument of the Gael, not by the synthesizer or guitar.

What you will hear here and on her other recordings (such as "Orain Floraidh") are the ancient songs of the Gael, ranging from songs of love and work, to songs of war, such as the stirring (though encoded) "brosnachadh" (battle incitement) from the 1745 Rising, "An Fhideag Airgead" (The Silver Whistle), telling the Gaels the son of their king (Prince Charles Edward Stuart) has arrived, and asking "who will play the Silver Whistle?" (i.e. arise in the Jacobite cause), and the equally compelling "Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda" (Alasdair son of Gallant Coll), which, although in the form of a waulking song details some of the exploits of the famous Alexander "Colkitto" MacDonald, Montrose's Lieutenant-General in 1645, the famed "Year of Miracles" when they drove all their enemies before them.

Flora's recordings are a "must-have" not only for the serious student of Gaelic music, but for those who like beautiful and compelling music and diversity.

Top Albums and Songs by Flora Macneil

Craobh Nan Ubhal, Flora Macneil
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