The Grenadier and the Lady
Songs from the British Isles
Black is the Colour
‘Black is the Colour (of My True Love’s Hair)’ is a folk song of Scottish origin collected in the Appalachian Mountains by Cecil J.Sharp and Maud Karpeles during the years 1916 to 1918.
The song exists in different versions and is set to different melodies. Some of them are traditional and one of the versions was written by John J. Niles, an Americam composer.
It is a magically beautiful and melodic love song and on our site we have two totally different interpretations of it – a modern guitar version and a psychedelic one on ‘Mystique Boulevard’ album.
The Grenadier and the Lady
‘The Grenadier and the Lady’ is a 17th century folk song of English origin. The song exists in many versions with variable lyrics and appears under different titles, including ‘The Bold Grenadier’, ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘One Morning in May’. It is one of the most beautiful sad songs.
This song is an unofficial anthem for Dublin city and is also known as ‘Cockles and Mussels’ and ‘In Dublin’s Fair City’.
‘Molly Malone’ was first published in London in 1884 by Francis Brothers and Day. It was written and composed by a Scottish songwriter James Yorkston and arranged by Edmund Forman. It is also believed that the song has much earlier roots and might have originated from another very old ballad.
The ballad tells the story of a sweet fishmonger girl called Molly who spends her life pushing her wheelbarrow through ‘streets broad and narrow’ and ‘crying ‘Cockles and mussels alive, alive oh…’. When sweet Molly dies of a fever, the story goes on: ‘…Now her ghost wheels her barrow through streets broad and narrow, crying ‘Cockles and mussels alive, alive oh…’
Oft in the Stilly Night
The words for this beautiful and poignant Irish folk song were written by Thomas Moore.
It was published in the first issue of his National Airs in 1819. The song is also known as “The Light of Other Days”. The song brings happy and sad memories of ‘the smiles, the tears of boyhood’s years…’, memories of friends who fell like ‘leaves in wintry weather’… The song was a great favourite in the days when families would meet for an evening and sing around the piano together.
Wild Mountain Thyme
‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is an Irish folk song with Scottish roots. It is also known as ‘Purple Heather’ and ‘Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?’
The song was written by William and Francis McPeake, Irish composers, in the 1950s and is believed to be a variant of the song ‘The Braes of Balquidder’ by Scottish poet Robert Tannahill (1774–1810), who also may have based his song on even earlier traditional air ‘The Braes o’ Bowhether’.
The Mist Covered Mountains of Home
‘The Mist Covered Mountains of Home’ is an English version of an old Scottish song ‘Chì mi namòrbheanna’. The words were written in 1856 by Highlander John Cameron, a native of Ballachulish. The melody was first known as ‘Duil ri Baile Chaolais fhaicinn’ (‘Hoping to See Ballachulish’) and might have been based on ‘Johnny stays long at the Fair’. The lyrics were translated from the Gaelic by Malvolm MacFarlane.
The song is very melodic, nostalgic and powerful and is a deep cry from the heart for the mountains of home.
The Irish Rover
‘The Irish Rover’ is an 19th-century Irish Folk song which tells a story of a huge twenty-seven masted mythical ship that sets out on a long journey and after the seven-year voyage loses its way in the fog, strikes a rock and finally sinks with all of the crew members except the storyteller, who turns out to be the only survivor and now calls himself ‘the last of the Irish Rover…’
The song is attributed to J. M. Crofts in Walton’s New Treasury of Irish Songs and Ballads (1966).
The song’s lyrics and its charming melody has made it another world famous Irish song.