Celtic Woman - singing songs of Irish heritage

Lisa Lambe, Susan McFadden, newcomer Mairead Carlin, and Mairead Nesbitt
Lisa Lambe, Susan McFadden, newcomer Mairead Carlin, and Mairead Nesbitt | Source
 The original Celtic Woman. The girls come and go as singers as they pursue solo careers, other performing, and having babies.
The original Celtic Woman. The girls come and go as singers as they pursue solo careers, other performing, and having babies. | Source
Celtic Woman album.
Celtic Woman album. | Source
Chloe, my favorite, because of her angelic voice.
Chloe, my favorite, because of her angelic voice. | Source
The multi-talented Mairead Nesbit, who sings and plays the fiddle as she hops and dances around the stage.  What energy she has!
The multi-talented Mairead Nesbit, who sings and plays the fiddle as she hops and dances around the stage. What energy she has! | Source

March is the month of St. Patrick's Day and I have just recently discovered I'm a bit Irish. I did an ancestry.com DNA kit, and lo and behold I am 7% Irish. Well, that's enough for me.

I can now be Irish everyday and I love everything Irish - laughing leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold, Irish luck, four leaf clovers, Erin go Bragh, and best of all, my niece and nephews who ARE Irish.

One of the other things I love about Ireland is the singing ensemble, Celtic Woman, an all female Irish musical ensemble, originally founded and produced by Sharon Browne and David Downes, a former musical director of the Irish, Riverdance.

Celtic Woman is quite the Irish cultural experience that has exploded onto the international music scene with great success. Their singing repertoire ranges from traditional Celtic tunes sung in Gaelic and English to modern songs, and songs of their own composition.

The women that form the group or 'line', as they call it, has changed over the years as the women have gone on to pursue soloist careers, perform in other theatre, or to create families with the birth of babies.

The Irish Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, popular internationally, paved the way for Celtic Woman to become so popular outside of Ireland, the British Isles and the rest of Europe. They first appeared on PBS in the U.S. in March 2005 and have been a popular success in this country ever since then with sold out appearances here and in Australia too.

It was their taped concert appearance at the Helix in Dublin, Ireland in September 2004 in front of a sold out audience, that PBS showed in March or 2005. I was then enthralled with this singing ensemble and loved their lovely, lilting and talented Irish voices as they sang both in Gaelic and English.

They have taken the historical old Celtic songs from years gone by and made them popular again not only in Ireland but throughout the world. As they perfectly harmonize they add so much to the songs with their beautiful Irish/Gaelic accents. They are a joy to listen to.

The first group of Celtic Woman was comprised of: Chloe Agnew, Orla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, Meav Ni Mhaolchatha, (vocalists) and Mairead Nesbitt (vocalist and fiddler).

They appear here on PBS all over the United States when PBS has their membership drives, as this group always brings in money for PBS. Last night, I just watched their BELIEVE tour, taped at Notre Dame University in Indiana a year ago. They were as beautiful as always both to see and hear.

Source

Celtic Woman sing "Mo Ghile Mear"

Lisa Kelly of Celtic Woman.
Lisa Kelly of Celtic Woman. | Source
Lisa Lambe of Celtic Woman.
Lisa Lambe of Celtic Woman. | Source
The BELIEVE album.
The BELIEVE album. | Source
Meav Ni Mhaolcha of Celtic Woman.
Meav Ni Mhaolcha of Celtic Woman. | Source

Celtic Woman sing some of their songs 'acappela', without music; but, they also have a full orchestra behind them and most of their songs are sung with music accompaniment. They also have quite a percussion section, with steel drums among other unique percussion instruments. They also use wooden flutes from days gone by to produce their unique, Celtic sound.

The women are multi-talented and also play several musical instruments as well as sing. Orla Fallon sings and plays the harp when she sings with Celtic Woman.

They have various back-up singers, a position I would die for to sing, to add to their songs and melodies. They frequently use bagpipes especially needed for their beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace," one of their songs they usually sing during every performance.

These unique women never disappoint in their appearances as I have seen nearly everyone of their tours and performances on PBS. They are coming to Akron, Ohio in May, and I hope to see a live performance of Celtic Woman for the first time. They are on tour in the U.S from February to June 2014 with their Emerald Tour.

The Celtic Woman singers I heard last night on PBS were: Chloe Agnew, Mairead Nesbitt, Susan McFadden , and Lisa Lambe and they sang beautifully. They always sing in gorgeous full length gowns and make several costume changes during the show. Their shows are always elegant and endearing.

The audience enjoys them so and all eyes are on the lovely women as they sing. Small children to octogenarians make up the audience as their singing appeals to all ages and their concerts are wonderful for family night events as their appeal is universal.

Their musical compositions and direction comes from one of their founders, David Downes. He studied music and composition at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and also graduated from there.

He first was musical director of Riverdance for the U.S. and European Touring Companies and orchestrator of Riverdance on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre. As a producer he has worked with oboist David Agnew and recently produced the Gold debut album of young Irish singer Chloe Agnew.

It was in 2004, that Downs first recruited five Irish female musicians who had never performed together before. As I mentioned before, the group has changed over the years and new young women have been added when others have taken sabbaticals and leaves of absences.

David Downes has produced eight Celtic Woman albums and a number of their world tours. Celtic Woman has sold more than six million albums worldwide. They have also reached number one on Billboard's World Music Chart, even breaking Andrea Bocceli's long standing record.

Celtic Woman stayed number one for sixty-eight weeks and their original album held top position on Billboard's World Music chart for eighty-one weeks total.

The women singers have performed three tours in the U.S. and additional performances overseas. Celtic Woman appeared live in a dozen U.S. cities in 2005 for their original album debut.

Chloe Agnew is on leave of absence right now from Celtic Woman and Susan McFadden has stepped in for her and previously for Lisa Kelly, when she was in leave having babies.

Lisa Kelly has announced in January 2013 that she is planning to open "The Lisa Kelly Voice Academy" along with her husband, in Peachtree City, GA and has confirmed she would not be returning to Celtic Woman. Mairead Carlin, the first Celtic Woman from Northern Ireland, will take her place.

Right now as I am writing this,Celtic Woman has been tour in Australia bringing their BELIEVE tour to the land 'down under' since January 2014. They are now back in the U.S. for their 2014 Emerald Tour, a tour to highlight and celebrate the heritage of the Emerald Isles. (Ireland)

I am looking forward to this tour, full of traditional Gaelic songs and their lilting Irish accents and voices to sing them. What a treat one of their concerts would make for a true St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Celtic Woman sing "You Raise Me Up"

Source

Celtic Woman perform at Slane Castle, Ireland 2006

© 2014 Suzette Walker suzettetaos

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Comments 34 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, wow, Suzzette, I just love Celtic Women and you have done another excellent write here, so interesting. I learned a lot I had not known before reading your hub! I just love the song "YouRaise Me Up" ...just beautiful. Great images here too and videos. Up and more and sharing. Have a wonderful day, Faith Reaper


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Faith: I am so glad you read this and enjoyed it! I just love Celtic Woman - I think they are just sensational. Thanks so much for your visit and for your comments. Most appreciated.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Thank you for the concert this morning. Such beauty.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi suzette, I love them! I have a few CDs of theirs! my friend bought some and then taped them for me, they are amazing! what a great hub! and Happy St. Patricks Day!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I love these girls! I put them on every chance I get to watch them too cause they are really so entertaining. It is so relaxing too, something you can never get tired of! Great choice! ^


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

They sound good I will listen to more of their songs. Thank you for introducing this great group.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I love those girls! Thanks for a great suggestion!


VVanNess profile image

VVanNess 2 years ago from Prescott Valley

Very interesting article. Great job!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

mckbirdbks: You are welcome and thank you for another great story to read this morning!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Hi Nell: Happy St. Patrick's Day to you too. I have some of their albums from way back when they started singing. I love their voices and their music and songs. They are amazing. Thanks so much for reading and for you input. Most appreciated.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Jackie: I love them too. Their music is so relaxing and great to write by. Their songs are so uplifting and beautiful. Thanks so much for your visit and I am so pleased you enjoyed this hub.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Hi Vellur: I am so glad to introduce this singing group to you. I love their songs and their voices - so angelic. Thanks so much for your visit and I appreciate your comments.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

rebecca: I love them too! Are you Irish by any chance? Thanks so much for your visit and I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this. That makes me happy.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

VVanNess: Thanks so much for your visit and I am so happy you enjoyed reading this. I love their music and voices. Thanks again!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

What a wonderful creation Suzette ;I am also a great fan of Celtic woman and have included their songs in many of my hubs. Loved this one and thank you so much for sharing.

Eddy.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

The beauty, love and grace of these fine women is inspiring for any walk in life.

I am amazed at the lesson in life of these rising stars singing that someone/thing can lift them up higher. The tender humility is to be aspired for.

Your hub did these women justice, and that is hard to do indeed. Well done.


FROM: WATERSTAR 2 years ago

FROM: WATERSTAR: IF ITS GOOD IT JUST GOOD, indeed you Fine wonderful Ladies are a blessing in these troubleous and hard end times you Ladies are Blessed of God at this time to bring a whole lot of Joy And Comfort to the hearts of people all over the Globe you music has a touch of Angelic flaviour that sooth the Soul keep of the fantastic worship and singing to the people of God for very soon Jesus will be Back in town to take his Believers up up and away to paradise so stay faithfull and true to Him and your songs of praise and joy to His people everywhere for we sure do need songs of cheer when we are down and having a ruff time your songs truly Lift US Up your song bring peace in the time of stormy whether so keep up the good work. BY: WATERSTAR


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 2 years ago from USA

These women are amazing singers. I would love to see them in concert someday. Great hub! Thanks for sharing it!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thanks, Eddy. I love Celtic Woman and their music and songs. I know you have included their songs as I have listened to many of them. I am so glad you enjoyed this and stopped by to visit.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

tipoague: Thanks so much for your visit and comments. Most appreciated. I am so glad you enjoyed this hub - that makes me happy. I love to spread their music around as it is so lovely


CarolynEmerick profile image

CarolynEmerick 2 years ago

Suzette, this is really more of something I would have sent in a private message if Hubpages had that option... But anyway after you commented on my Merlin article, I checked out your hubs and noticed a few on Irish subjects. Well I happen to write for a Celtic magazine called Celtic Guide. It started as a little independent project run by just one guy, our editor Jim, who just has a passion for his Celtic heritage and wanted to put out a magazine that's free to the world. It has grown by leaps and bounds. We're in our 3rd year, we've got writers and contributors from all around the world, and we've grown quite a following, we're almost at 13,000 fans on our FB page!

So the point of this is that if you are looking for exposure for your work, we would love to have you contribute. Because we're free, we don't make any money off it, so we can't pay. It's run entirely by unpaid volunteers. Some do it for the love of heritage and history, and many are burgeoning writers developing a portfolio and looking for exposure. All writers are able to get a free ad if you have something like a book or anything you want to promote. We also include a plug for whatever you want us to mention, like your website or even your hubpages profile.

Please have a look and if you're interested in submitting something, drop me a message on the Celtic Guide Facebook page (which I run, I'm the assistant to the editor and recruiter). Our website is www.celticguide.com and the FB page is www.facebook.com/celticguide.

One last thing... I really love your articles!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Carolyn: I love Celtic Woman and so many of their songs they sing in concert are of Irish heritage. The songs are just beautiful and the music has such a beautiful lyrical tune and music to it. I will look into your website and FB page. I appreciate your offer and would like to write for your publication. It sounds fascinating. I am relatively new to Celtic history, music, culture - but I find it fascinating and I checked out some of your hubs and they are wonderful - so interesting and informative. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

Wow! Thanks for sharing this hub. I love celtic music and I have some CD´s of this gorgeous Celtic Woman band. Awesome! I love those videos.


CarolynEmerick profile image

CarolynEmerick 2 years ago

great post, these ladies are so popular these days! Will give this a share on Celtic Guide FB :-)


brian toft 2 years ago

thank you ladies hope to see you in birmingham britain later this year


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thelma: Their music is so beautiful and melodic. I just love it. Aren't they wonderful? Thanks so much for your visit and comments. Most appreciated.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Hi Carolyn: I love their music, especially the songs of Irish heritage. Their Celtic music is beautiful. Thanks so much for the share and I am please you enjoyed this.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

brian: I am so pleased you enjoyed this. Their music is beautiful and I hope they stop by Birmingham for a concert soon! Thanks so much for reading this and for your comments.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

I fell in love with this group of talented and beautiful women when a friend of mine shared their link on youtube quite some time ago. I became a fan since then. They are like angels singing from heaven.

Now, I am passing your hub back to my friend.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

CrisSp; Thank you so much for your comments and I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this. I just happened to find them on PBS one dark, cold, winter night and they literally lit up the night for me with their singing. They do sound just like angels. Thank you so much for passing this article on to your friend - that is the ultimate compliment to me.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 11 months ago from New Delhi, India

Very nice and interesting hub! The beauty, love and grace of these talented women is inspiring for everyone.

You have done full justice to these women. Enjoyed reading your hub and happy to share it on HH!

Thank you!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 11 months ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you so much for reading this and I am glad your enjoyed it. I just love their music and their voices are incredible.


Anna Elmina profile image

Anna Elmina 7 months ago

I am a fan of Celtic woman I wished he would have a concert in west Virginia http://www.celticwomanconcerts.com/


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 7 months ago from Taos, NM Author

It is great to meet another fan of Celric Woman. Their music is terrific!

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