She Moved Through The Fair

Album: Elemental (1985)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Before performing "She Moved Through The Fair" at the harp for her live Alhambra recording, Loreena McKennitt explained: "This next piece is probably one of the earliest pieces I learned in the more overtly Irish Celtic repertoire; it is a piece that comes from the West Coast of Ireland. The lyrics were written by a man called Padraic Colum... although the melody is traditional. And, you can still hear some of the Eastern influences in this melody."

    Padraic Colum (1881-1972) was born Patrick Collumb; as well as a poet he was a dramatist, folklorist and children's writer. He was also the biographer of James Joyce, whom he knew personally.
  • This song has been fairly widely recorded, including by Sinead O'Connor and Charlotte Church, the former who performed it a cappella at the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Gala in Oslo where she dedicated it to Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed in the wake of the Paris car crash that claimed both their lives. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • Josh Groban covered this on his 2013 All That Echoes album. He first came across the haunting traditional Irish song while "having my late-night glass of wine and trawling YouTube" via a live solo version by English folk-rock legend Richard Thompson. "Having grown up on Irish music, I thought, 'Let's give it a try,'" he said.

    To give it the right tone, Groban brought in virtuoso on the Irish Uilleann pipes, Eric Rigler. "After writing sessions, trying to be clever, it's nice to be reminded by songs like this that just sit in a place that's right."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jello Biafra

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Justin Timberlake

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Black Sabbath

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.