“These songs are out of this world; they are of exceptional beauty: they are magical, ethereal, spiritual, celestial! Their beauty resides in both the words and the music, and in the use of both Irish and English”
William Stoddart – author and philosopher on Songs of the Scribe
Pádraigín Ní Uallacháín has a been writing and composing airs in the traditional style for many years, which feature on her recordings and which have been recorded by other musicians, bands and singers.
Her work has received a number of national Oireachtas awards including the following four tracks of traditional lyrics set to new music on An Dara Craiceann CD (Gael LInn)
Ta Daoine ag Rá – air to traditional lyrics
A Chara Dhílis – air to traditional lyrics
A Ógánaigh ÓIg – air to traditional lyrics
Na Tar ach san Oíche – air to traditional lyrics
Melody of songs have been recorded by others – here An Leannán which was a song recorded by Radio na Gaeltachta on an album of new songs in Irish, is played here as an air by Helen Davies (harp) Palle Mikkelborg (trumpet) and Mikkel Nordso (guitar) from Áilleacht CD
An Leannán – air
Siúl na Sí – tune
Songs – lyrics and music
Padraigín was the first woman to record an album of new songs in Irish with Áilleacht CD. It was produced by Steve Cooney and featured musicians, Laoise Kelly, Ódhran Ó Casaide, Iarla Ó Lionáird.
Review Louis de Paor in Journal of Music in Ireland
New songs on Áilleacht CD include an erotic little number, An Phóg
and a song that has frequently been heard sung by her at funerals, Céad Slán, a Ghrá
Songs of the Scribe CD
In 2012 she delved into the canon of early medieval Gaelic monastic poetry to create a body of work with some translations by Ciaran Carson, Seamus Heaney to critical acclaim. Accompaniment on the album is by harpist Helen Davies. Cover calligraphy: Kevin Honan
‘Songs of the Scribe These songs are out –of-this-world; they are of exceptional beauty: they are magical, ethereal, spiritual, celestial! Their beauty resides in both the words and the music, and in the use of both Irish and English” [William Stoddart – author and philosopher],
Songs of the Scribe CD includes music and lyrics of the chant-like song The Hermit’s Wish
… and words and music of the doomed and tragic love of the beautiful Liadan of Corca Dhuibhne for Cuirithir in Liadán’s Lament
… and her adapted chant in words and music of longing for union and reflection of the divine in My Mind’s Desire
Sacred and religious song
In addition to the collection of mainly sacred texts and monastic poetry set to music on Songs of the Scribe, Pádraigín has composed sacred music and devotional songs, which are now sung in various communities, including Inisheer on the Aran Islands and the Armagh Pipers.
Current creative work includes setting early spiritual texts to music and rewriting of native prayers as chant and song.
An tAmhrán Geal is a creative rewriting of a prayer known as An Phaidir Gheal – The Bright Prayer set to music and sung here by Pádraigín with instrumental music by Dónal O’Connor and Macdara Ó’ Graham.
As well as her collaboration with poets Ciaran Carson and Seamus Heaney on Songs of the Scribe, she has collaborated with poets Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill on the theme song for the film BRANWEN and also has set two of her poems to music Leaba Shíoda and An Bád Sí which she recorded on An Dara Craiceann CD (Gael Linn)
An Bád Sí – Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
A collaboration with poet Biddy Jenkinson resulted in the recording of Cruit Dhubhrois on Áilleacht CD
Cruit Dhubhrois – Biddy Jenkinson
She has set to music, early Irish poetry, medieval Irish poetry, Bardic poetry, traditional lyrics in Irish and works by leading Irish contemporary poets, Ciarán Carson, Seamus Heaney, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Biddy Jenkinson, Michael Hartnett, and also earlier works by W. B Yeats, Olav Hauge, Fearghal Óg Mac an Bháird, Fear Flátha Ó Gnímh, Eoghan Rua Mac an Bháird among others.
Single compositions are featured on the following albums
Original song compositions and song airs by Ní Uallacháin have been recorded by other musicians including, Dolores Keane, The Black Family, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh & Danú, The Boys of the Lough, Skylark, Steve Vai, Helen Davies & Palle Mikkelberg, Gunnar Andreas Berg & Henning Sommerro, and others
An Colm A new lullaby in Irish on Mama’s Lullaby CD (Ellipsis Arts US)
Don’t Give me the Whole Truth (Ná Tar le hIomlán na Fírinne) – a translation to Irish of a OLav Hauge poem set to music on Helen Davies CD Open the Door Softly
An Leannán a new air recorded by Helen Davies and Palle Mikkelborg, on Masters of the Irish Harp CD
The Beloved (An Leannán) on Two We Go CD Gunnar Andreas Berg & Henning Sommerro
The Willow Tree sung by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh on Danú album BUAN
The Willow Tree sung by Michael Black and The Black Family
Fare the well, a Stór (lyrics only) recorded by Dolores Keane on Night Owl CD
and the air of the Helen Cruikshank poem, Innisvaddie Annie sung by Skylark, and regarded by Mike Harding BBC as ‘the best song ever’