I was trying to think of a good Irish tune to play today. Last time round I played Danny Boy, She Moved Through The Fair, Carrickfergus, plus a few other Irish-linked songs from Riverdance etc. I decided to play this lovely, simply tune for St Patrick’s Day and I hope you enjoy it. I’ve discovered that the Sally gardens (from the Gaelic saillaeach) were gardens of willows kept for medicinal purposes, and were traditionally a place for lovers’ trysts. You learn something new every day!
Made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra, Strangers in the Night was originally written by Bert Kaempfert … or not! There are claims that the song was actually called Stranci u Noći and was written by Croatian singer Ivo Robić. And in 1967 French composer Michel Philippe-Gérard claimed that the song was strikingly similar to his piece Magic Tango, and the royalties to Kaempfert were frozen until a Paris court in ruled against plagiarism in 1971. I hope you enjoy my version!
This is my version of Tango in D by Isaac Albéniz. It’s a beautiful piece of music which was originally written as part of the España suite for piano, and then later transcribed for guitar. I’m dedicating this song today to my mum as it’s Mother’s Day and I know she loves this piece of music!
Like An Angel Passing Through My Room is a fascinating Abba song. It went through a variety of styles and lyrics from nursery rhyme, through piano ballad to disco anthem, before it ended up as the haunting version on The Visitors album. Benny apparently feels it is one of the best songs he and Björn wrote in their Abba years. You can hear a special remix of these different versions on the remaster of The Visitors album. It’s interesting to note just how produced all of these demos versions were, and how much experimentation went into finding the right sound. It’s also another example of how a good melody can work in many different styles. Anyway, here’s my version which is more in the style of the version we know.
I adore this piece! Back in February I played the Love Theme from the film Cinema Paradiso, but today I’ve recorded the main theme which is a stunning piece of music. Written by Ennio and Andrea Morricone, it won the 1991 BAFTA for best soundtrack. I hope you enjoy this today – sit down, turn up the volume and close your eyes!
I was trying to come up with something appropriate for me to play on International Women’s Day. I turned to a Spotify playlist for inspiration and found Kacey Musgrave’s Follow Your Arrow. It’s a great song and hope it’s right for today!
I’ve just returned from spending a week in Strasbourg with a fantastic group of enthusiastic and talented young people from all over Scotland. We spent Thursday at the European Parliament and afterwards we celebrated with a ceilidh for which we were joined by French students. Instead of posting a piano song today I’ve asked the students involved if it’s ok to post a collection of songs and performances from our ceilidh. I hope you enjoy a Highland Fling by Lucy R with Daniel on the pipes, Leaving Lerwick Harbour by Fraser on the fiddle, and three beautiful songs: My Love is Like a Red Red Rose by Lucy M, Wild Mountain Thyme by Ava, and Caledonia by Anna accompanied by Lauren on the fiddle.
Today I’m playing Islands in the Stream, a classic 1983 song written by the Bee Gees and performed by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. It actually knocked Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart off the number #1 position in the US charts (mental note, I’ve not yet played that one!)
Here in the UK we probably know this song best in the Westlife version, and in the US it’s most likely to be Josh Groban’s version with which most people are familiar. However, You Raise Me Up was actually first recorded by Norwegian/Irish group Secret Garden and was written by Rolf Løvland and Brendan Graham. It has since been covered over 125 times, and I’ll add my version to the collection!