Ruairí, Éanna, Síofra, Sadhbh
This year has tested us all in so many ways, and for creatives across all genres it has tested their creative mettle in a way not imagined less than 12 months ago.
For every restriction put in the way, many artists have still managed to continue to imagine, collaborate and create a wide variety of art and we’re all the better for it. For the artist there’s a release, a continued sense of achievement as always but with the added advantage with the added ingredient of time. For the audience it has been something to look forward to, to take us to another place, to take time to reflect, to smile and perhaps shed a tear, music being the main mover of these emotions.
So it has been for Gaeltacht Kilkenny and, latterly, Burnchurch. Lockdown was the cause of their being together more than usual and they used it to create a number of their own songs and videos in the lockdown. They have responded to their local environment by taking a tour of their five kilometre limit and earlier in the summer to Valentia in county Kerry, the home of their paternal grandmother, Noirín, who passed away in 2019. They reflected on her passing and her spirit and wrote and recorded “Deora Dé”
Although the words literally meaning God’s tears, it is the Irish for the fuchsia which grows abundantly in Valentia Island. The arrival of plant signifies the start of growth and of renewal. This song is a prayer or Christmas Carol to show that through the sadness there is hope, as represented by the Deora Dé.
In the song, they represent this renewal and the everlasting spirit of Noirin. The song describes an early Christmas morning in Valentia, at the dawn of her era (ré), which will always live on through her love and enduring influence on their lives.
As has happened to many people, Covid-19 brought its own difficulties to Burnchurch. It was a particular challenge to complete the song, as the family was split into two groups - the three with Covid-19 were confined to their rooms, and so the recording studio became the meeting place.
"It was with great affection that we remembered her in writing and singing the song and, as we were in strict quarantine with three of us with Covid, we could not help thinking of so many other families who were remembering loved ones as well.
"What started as a challenge and reflection on sadness of the loss of a beloved grandmother has become a song of hope and rebirth, the happy memories after the tears of passing," they said.
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