Book Reviews, Literary News, and Thoughts on Life
This first Books that Rock post is brought to you in celebration of the lovely Maggie Stiefvater’s book, Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception. I ordered this book per recommendation of Leila from bookshelves of doom and I received it on Friday. Though I had a huge TBR pile awaiting me, I started this one first because of the stellar review Leila had given it. I was a bit put off at first because the book stunk. Literally. I don’t know how it happened, but the book smelled like fish and feet. I tried Febreezing it, spraying it with Lysol and even some apple flavored room spray, but the smell persisted.
The book was definitely worth suffering through the smell to read, I will say that much. The main character, Deirdre Monaghan, is an exceptional singer and harpist, and the songs that she mentions in the text reawakened my love for Irish/Gaelic music. I want to say more about this book, and maybe I will in another post dedicated to a review, but this post will be a playlist of sorts for some of the songs mentioned in the book and some songs that I think Deirdre might appreciate.
The title song, The Faerie Queen’s Lament, is either a made-up song or else Google and Youtube have conspired against me. It’s a shame, really, because the lyrics sounded wonderful and have a mournful quality to them.
However, one of my favorite songs, Fear a Bhata or The Lonesome Boatman, gave me many hits. I first heard this song years ago as sung by Connie Dover and I even danced to this tune for a ridiculous Dance Appreciation assignment my freshman year in college (don’t ask). Luke, Deirdre’s love interest, asks her to sing him “A real [song]. One that makes people cry.” and she chooses this one. This confused me initially, as the version C.D. sings is quite upbeat and jaunty, but courtesy of the Tube, I soon discovered some lovely, hauntingly beautiful versions. Karen Matheson of Capercaille gives us a polished version of the song:
Another one I quite enjoyed is a beautiful a capella version. It’s not quite so polished – the girl does make a few mistakes with the Gaelic pronunciation and she’s a bit breathy and rushed at times – but she does have a lovely tone quality. She sings in both Gaelic and English.
The next song, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, gives me an opportunity to share Solas with the world, because I love them and Karan Casey, the former lead singer, is a gem.
And just because everyone needs a little Irish trad/jazz/blues mix in their lives, here’s Karan with Beat of My Heart (Buile mo Chroi).
James, another one of the main characters, likes to be different, so I’m sure he would appreciate this last number (he might appreciate it more if it included a bagpipe/electric guitar combo, but you can’t have it all).
Well, that was long winded, but I do hope you all check out these videos (and especially Maggie’s book) and gain a new appreciation for a different type of music.