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Noirin Hand


An album full of true Celtic spirit and emotion, Stór Amhrán captures what it must feel like to be Irish!

Noirin Ni Riain's nightingale voice floats over the music like a vapor of pure pleasure. Each note so perfect it could live on its own ... needing nothing but an ear to share in its beauty.

1. Émann Mhagáine (Wandering Edmond)

This beautiful song originated in Country Kerry. Telling the tale of Éamann Mhagáine, an outlaw from County Mayo who falls in love but cannot marry because he now has to face the hangman. Instead of telling his love the true story he says he has "been engaged for a year and nine months to the daughter to Seán Davis" (who is the hangman ~ his "daughter" being a symbol of the hangman's rope).

Noirin's voice ebbs out alongside the haunting pipe organ as if she is calling to the lost spirit of Mhagáine himself.

Le Hais na Siúire (Beside the Siuir)

A lovely and lilting song written by Eoin Rua Ó Súilleabháin about a woman who first appears "one dewy morning" along the Siuir River, which flows through County Waterford. Ó Súilleabháin was a Kerry poet greatly renowned in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nóirin's beautiful Indian harmonica adds to the beauty of this piece.

Sliabh Geal gCua (The Geal gCua Mountain)

A haunting instrumental opening with feadóg played by Nóirin sets the mood for the brighter lyrical following. Padraig Ó Mileadha, who spent some time in prison in Wales, wrote this piece. This, just one piece he wrote while there, is a lament to his homeland in County Waterford.

A Bhúrceaigh Bhuí ón gCéim (O Young Yellow Burke from Ceim)

Maire Bhui Ní Laoghaire is one of the first known women poets in the Irish Tradition. Born in 1777 in County Cork, Maire writes a light and peppy song that allows NÛirin's voice to seem like it's dancing along the winds as the song blows across the green hills of Cork.

Seoladh na nGamhna (Hearding the Calves)

A song with mystical love, about a man that sees his lover as he drives cattle through the pasture. They spend a night together and he leaves her with this final blessing; "Here's a little kiss for you on the tip of my fingers, and O my Love, My five hundred blessings be with you!" Nóirin's voice brings the rush of emotion the two lovers must have felt to full.

A Rí an Domhnaigh (O King of Sunday)

Written in the 18th century by the poet, Thomás Ó Súilleabháin on his death bed. It is known as his "Repentance". Accompanied by the Benedictine Monks of Glenstal Abbey it has a sound that fits its "nickname".

'Dir Deighre is Breó (Between Deighre and Breó)

A song that "lies easily on the whistle" (as Nóirin says) is a little tune (which survived without words) about an incident between two hills in County Waterford ~ Deighre and Breó.

8. Cois Abha Móire na nDéise (Beside the Blackwater River)

This lovely song of Irish tradition is a tune and poem that captures the sounds of blackbird, thrush, linnet, and cuckoo along with scents of new-mown hay and "trees full of Fragrant fruit." Nóirin's voice would make the wild birds hush and listen as she sings!

9. Láirín an Ghearaltaigh (Fitzgerald's Horse)

This woman's song describes her lover as he passes by on horseback while riding to a race. Only thing, they've never met! The pipe organ of Michael Ó Súilleabháin Dearadh seems to lovingly embrace Nóirin as her voice seems to be singing to it.

10. Cré Bhaile Mhac Óda (Ballymacoda Creed)

A traditional setting of the Nicene Creed from Roman Catholic tradition, collected by Nóirin in County Cork in the late sixties.

Nóirin's voice is truly a religious experience!

11. Ar Bhruach na Laoi (Beside the Lee)

A beautiful, full bodied song about the banks of the Lee ~ the Cork river . Listen for the glorious bird fantasy in the third verse.

12. Cití na gCumann (King of a Thousand Loves)

Ah the charm, roguery, eloquence, and seductiveness of the Irish man! Hear it all in this lovely love song done as only Nóirin could do ... beautifully!

13. Ainnir Charraig na Siúire (The Young Girl from Carrick)

A happy and lively jig ... Nóirin's voice dances as fast as feet can fly! About a young man who is taken in by a woman from Carrick and Siuit, County Waterford. Robbed of all his money he runs away and vows never to return ... not even for a hundred pounds!

14. Réidhchnoc Mná Duibhe (The Hill of the Black Women)

A haunting love song played soulfully by Nóirin on her feadóg (tin whistle).

15. Gleanntán Araglain Aoibhinn (The Lovely Glen of Araglain)

Amhrán Tír Ghrá - a song of love for one's country. Nóirin dedicates this song to those of the Irish famine, who had to leave family and loved ones and go to foreign, distant lands as well as those of today that find themselves uprooted and away from home.

16. Bean Dubh a 'Ghleanna (The Black Woman of the Glen)

One of the best known sean-nós love songs from every Irish-speaking district. This one is from County Waterford. Nóirin's voice is full of the emotion that is needed for a love song ... showing a wide range of feelings.

17. Seacht nDólás na Maighdine Muire (The Seven Sorrows of Mary)

An song about Mary singing her grief and pain as she witnesses her son's death. Sung like a lullaby, as she probably sang Jesus to sleep many times when he was a baby. This song was taught to Nóirin by the only person who knew it. Now she brings it to the world in it's glorious glory!

18. Caoineadh Eoin rua (Lament for Eoin Rua)

Presumed to be a lament for Eoin Rua Ó Súilleabháin it is a beautiful and rich instrumental brought to us on Nóirin's tin whistle ... it has an almost unearthly beauty.

Ave Maria

A beautiful Gregorian chant of the classic Ave Maria ... A lovely farewell ending to a collection of beautiful songs sung by a beautiful voice.

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