This collection of hymns and traditional airs is arranged as a meditation on an Irish day. We start before first light with Lagan Love, an air that suggests the long cold misty nights of Ireland. It is followed by Éamon an Chnoic, a traditional tune about a man driven into exile, reminiscent of the darkness before the dawn. At dawn we pray Pilot Me, from the Lorica of St.Patrick. Be Thou My Vision is another traditional prayer of protection. Hymn to the Heart of Jesus is a very intimate prayer by Tim O’Sullivan (1715-1795) which states “your heart is the light of my heart O Savior”. In the air “Céad Míle Fáilte, a Íosa” (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes, Jesus) we welcome the stranger as if he were Christ himself. The ancient Irish monasteries were centers of hospitality. St.Patrick’s Breastplate is another version of the Lorica of St.Patrick, a reminder of Christ’s unbroken presence during the day. The next air, Isabella Burke is a tune by Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) and speaks of love’s devotion. The 11th century prayer Deus Meus Adiuva Me , which means “Help Me My God” concludes with “my soul will be full of the love of God”. Jesus, Be in My Heart, from the Irish prayer “Bí a Íosa” is a chant for the continuing presence of God by Sean O’Riada (1931-1971). As we face the evening, we sing To Christ the Seed, in Irish “Ag Chríost an Síol “, also by O’Riada and it celebrates, “your hands O Lord, around us”. The gifts of God are usually the Simple Gifts like this air borrowed from the American Shakers. Ireland, I’ll Not Say Her Name is a traditional “aisling poem” in which a beautiful fairy woman reveals a vision of Ireland strong and free. Our version of the Irish Blessing by Millie Rieth bids you farewell: “may the road rise up to meet you”. Our closing pieces start with Night Prayer, from a collection of prayers from Scotland by Alexander Carmichael, followed by A Night in Bethlehem, an old Irish hymn. With the Parting Glass another day has passed.
Dennis Doyle is a modern day bard from Southern California. He's brought his harp music, stories and songs in Gaelic and in English to feasts and festivals, wakes and weddings all over North America, Japan and even back in the mother country. His family originally hails from County Wicklow, Ireland. He's been on several television shows, including "Murder, She Wrote" and a History Channel program on St.Patrick's Day. Many have enjoyed his workshops on the Irish harp, Celtic spirituality, the Irish-Gaelic language and Turlough O'Carolan. He also plays keyboards, mandolin, and is a liturgical composer and musician.
Paula Doyle is a writer, musician, and retreat facilitator. She writes for the Los Angeles Archdiocesan newspaper, “The Tidings” and has helped present many workshops on Celtic Spirituality. A co-producer of this recording, she sings on several Celtic albums, including “Songs of Celtic Christianity” (Cathedral Press/Mel Bay), “Songs of St.Patrick”, and “Abbess: Songs of St.Brigid “ (Incarnation Music). Together, Paula and Dennis live in Southern California with their children: Evan, Michael, Austin, Grace, and Sarah.
Dennis Doyle: Celtic harp, keyboards, bodhrán and vocals
Paula Doyle: vocals
Steve Brenigar: grand piano
Mark Romano: guitar
Dirk Morrison: guitar, mandolin
Paulette Gershen: whistle
Cait Reed: fiddle
Aubyn Miller: fiddle
Bill Dick: fiddle
Karen Sperry: oboe
Terri McGrath: vocals, flute
The choir is: Margaret O’Carroll, Richard Gee, Terri McGrath, Evan McGrath, Paula Doyle and Dennis Doyle