Triskele Music

Liner Notes for Triskele-Christmas is a Comin' (2021)

  1. Christmas in Killarney(John Redman) An Auld Irish favorite, Triskele's version is done more of a ‘gallop' than Bing Crosby's! But we hope you like our version. We have great memories of the jaunty rides through the national forest in Killarney.
  2. Sans Day Carol(Traditional) This 19th century Cornish Carol was a favorite one we sang in Madrigal dinners we performed in. Triskele does have their own irreverent parody outtakes on this carol.
  3. Christmas is a Comin'(Noeleen Druckenmiller) This original song was Noeleen's passion for Christmas traditions but also a reminder that we all need to get along!
  4. Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat(Traditional) An Irish traditional song sung at 1st communions and at Christmas welcoming baby Jesus. Noeleen sung this as a child and taught her Grandchildren as well and has become a Triskele tradition every Christmas. Two of Noeleen's granddaughters join us on the CD thankyou Fiona and Trinity Taylor!
  5. The Irish Night before Christmas(Sarah Kirwan Blazek) When Jenn purchased this book, we never know that it would become a Triskele traditional to read it in our Annual Christmas shows. Many thanks to the author and Pelican Publishing Company for allowing us to record this fun tale.
  6. Seoithín Seó(Brahms Lullaby) This lullaby was sung to Noeleen as a baby in Gaelic by her mother who did not speak Irish due to the troubled times. Noeleen never realized until late in life that is the Brahms lullaby.
  7. Dona Nobis Pacem(Traditional) "Grant us peace" traditionally sung in the Latin Mass; the melody was passed down orally; Triskele members grew up singing or playing this in church so we wanted to incorporate it in our traditions. And Jenn never got to sing this because she was always playing the flute!
  8. Christmas in the Trenches(John McCutcheon) Sharon was besmirched by this song after hearing John McCutcheon tell the story of how he was touring through Europe and a group of elderly gentlemen would come to his concerts then leave after he sang this song. He finally caught up with them to ask why and they responded that he sang about what many did not believe that this Christmas Truce occurred on the Christmas day on 1914 but they responded that they were there!
  9. The Peace Carol(Robert Beers) Sharon grew up singing this at her church every Christmas Eve service. Robert Beers was a local musician and organizer of The Fox Hollow Festival in Petersburgh, NY. Many may know this song from John Denver singing this on the Muppet Show.
  10. The Wexford Carol(Traditional) Also known as The Enniscorthy Carol one of the Oldest Carols sung in Ireland believed to be composed in the 15th century. Noeleen sings in first part in Gaelic as a nod to her heritage.
  11. In the Bleak Mid-Winter(Christina Rosetti) originally published in 1872 by English poet Christina Rosetti, it was put to a tune by Gustav Holst in 1906. This has become an popular carol for many performing groups.
  12. Bog Down in Christmas(Traditional) This parody is a fun nod to an Irish favorite drinking song Rattlin Bog crafted by The Brobdingnagian Bards, Andrew Mckee.
  13. Soul Cake(Peter, Paul and Mary) Inspired by Stings Christmas arrangement from the 1891 origin. This song refers to a round flat short-bread like cake usually served to beggars on Halloween/eve of All saints day to appease the dead. We perform the Christmas version.
  14. Silent Night(Traditional-Franz Gruber) Christmas is not the same without singing this traditional carol. Sharon grew up with singing this every Christmas Eve in The United Methodist Church in East Greenbush, NY whereby all the youth would circle around the outside of the pews with candles while all the other lights were extinguished. The composers wrote this after the organ broke on Christmas.

Liner Notes for Triskele Live (2015)

Recorded at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall-Troy, NY

MEMORIES TO COME (SIN A BHFUIL)-Noeleen wrote this song to introduce the Gaelic (Shin-a-Will) or ‘so it is’ to describe our group trips to Ireland and to reflect on the culture and the ‘craic’ or good times to be experienced with Triskele!

THE RARE AULD TIMES-Pete St John wrote (1970’s) when remembering how times have changed in Dublin from the 1940-50’s. A traditional Dublin song.

GREEN WHITE AND ORANGE-Sharon was inspired by the history of the Irish flag-Green for the Nationalists/Catholics, Orange for the Protestants and White for the peace/harmony in between. It speaks of England’s attempt to control Ireland’s people.

THE AULD TRIANGLE-Written by Brendan Behan and reference in the Quare Fellow, (1954) is song about the Prison at The Mount Joy jail where the “screw” refers to the prison guard yelling. Behan spent many a day there for his drunken escapades. The triangle was used to wake the prisoners.

BOLD FENIAN MEN-This song references the Original Sein Fein an Irish rebel song written by Peadar Kearney, an Irish Republican and composer of numerous rebel songs, including: The Irish National Anthem. He wrote this song around the 1916 uprising and references the previous generation of freedom fighters.

GOLDEN KATIE-Sharon’s original, inspired by Irish boxer and Gold Medal winner in the London Olympics 2012, Katie Taylor. Macushla or mo chuisle refers to ‘my darling/sweetheart’ and chuisle mo chroí-‘the pulse of my heart’ was used in the 2004 film Million Dollar Baby about a female boxer.

ISLE OF HOPE- Written by Brendan Graham, tells the story of a young lady arriving at Ellis Island after emigrating from Ireland. Annie Moore brought her two brothers on the transatlantic trip to start a new life in America; there is discrepancy on her actual age whether she was 13 or 15 however, a brave journey for any person starting a new life responsible for two other children.

SE MO LAOCH MO GHILE MEAR-Scotch-Irish song from 1700’s which refers to ‘my gallant darling/hero’ in reference to Bonny Prince Charlie.

MO RUIN GEAL DILEAS-(My Faithful Fair One) by Iain MacGHILLEATHAIN (John MacLean) a well-known bard from Scotland wrote this and immigrated to Nova Scotia in the early1800’s. It is no wonder that the song was revived by The Rankin family of Nova Scotia. We learned this song at the request of a longtime fan on a long van ride to a gig! Jenn sings the English while Noeleen sings the Gaelic.

WHAUR DAE YE LIE(WHERE DO YOU LIE)-I first heard this performed by Malinky a Scottish group. Karine Polwert superimposed lyrics onto an old tune. We have heard two interpretations one about the battles in Scotland and the other about The Bosnian Genocide. Either way, it is about the tremendous lose and of the longing and wanting of closure when a loved one has passed during senseless war.

BACK HOME IN DERRY-Written by Bobby Sands during his 61 day hunger strike in 1981. About the English prison ships sending the Irish off to Australia for punishment for trivia crimes such as stealing bread to feed the family. There is often controversy on the tune as to if it was from Gordon Lightfoot’s Wrek of the Edmunds Fitzgerald or an old Irish dirge based on Dorian mode.

WILLIE MCBRIDE/GREEENFIELDS OF FRANCE/NO MAN’S LAND-Eric Bogel graciously gives us permission to perform this tribute to the young lives lost in WWI after visiting the Military cemeteries in Flanders and France; in particular 19 year old Willie McBride. The song references two military songs-“The Last Post” and “Flowers of The Forest”

GREEN AND RED OF MAYO-A Saw Doctors original with Triskele’s arrangement. This song speaks of Clew Bay and Clare Island in County Mayo which was the home of Granuaile or Grace the famous Pirate Queen. It is also the place of The annual pilgrimage which takes place every June whereby Sinner’s climb St Patrick’s peak and come down Saints!

SUMMERTIME MEDLEY-Inspired by The Clancy Brothers arrangement of traditional songs Wild Mountain time(Francis McPeake) and The Dutchman(Michael P Smith). Both songs reflect enduring love.

THE PARTING GLASS-Traced back to the 1700’s this Scotch-Irish song has been a part of Triskele’s tradition at the end of a performance to send everyone off with a blessing.

*As is true with songs that have been handed down aurally, some words or versions have changed over the years. Also, old tunes are borrowed and new words written for them. Triskele strives to keep to tradition in addition to using Gaelic whenever possible, which includes the original genders imbued in the songs. We also believe in giving credit to the writers as we know it. If there is any oversight or error we ask that you bring this to our attention. ~Slainte~