Friday, March 24, 2017

The Life of Riley: Loreena McKennitt and "Banks of Claudy"

Today's random tune, Banks of Claudy, is a Riley ballad performed by Loreena McKennitt, a Canadian known for her soprano voice. She is a composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. She released her first album in 1985, and since then has gone on to release nine studio albums and five live albums which have sold 14 million copies worldwide. Her songs have also been featured in television and movies. Banks of Claudy can be found on McKennitt's 1999 album Elemental. In Riley Ballads, a young man leaves his girl for a long time, often years. When he returns, he disguises himself and to test her faithfulness, tries to get her to marry him (he's disguised, so she doesn't know it is really her lover). Riley ballads usually end with her refusing marriage, whereupon the young man reveals himself, and all is forgotten and forgiven.