From the Library: Songs of the Gael

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by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 20 November, 2010

Today, we’re playing a selection of Celtic pieces, with the focus on songs in Gaelic.

Gaelic is a name for the Goidelic languages — Irish, Scottish and Manx — that make up one of the two distinct groups of Celtic languages, the other being Brythonic. In Ireland and the Isle of Man, the term is pronounced“gay-lik”, while in Scotland, it’s “gallik”.

In addition, we’ll hear some instrumental Celtic pieces from Scotland and Ireland — and occasionally beyond. Some of the artists we have lined up for you today include Julie Fowlis (with some of her latest recordings), Altan, Noirin Ni Riain, Mouth Music, Mary Jane Lamond and Karen Matheson.

There’s also a magnificent collection of songs from the Great Book of Gaelic, An Leabhar Mòr, an anthology of poetry in Irish and Scottish Gaelic — many of the poems being in the form of songs — from the 17th to the 20th century, combined with artwork and calligraphy by dozens of modern artists. It’s a kind of contemporary Book of Kells.

You’ll also hear the likes of Phil Coulter, Dougie MacLean and the music of Gordon Duncan — and many more.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin and produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with our friends at the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme in-world now at, or simply click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. Listeners in the United States are encouraged to tune in using this link:

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.


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