a brief description of the songs followed by lyrics or sources for lyrics
(note: this is preliminary write-up. Please check back for the completed version!)
1. Brian Boru's March II
An upbeat instrumental and a lesser known Brian Boru's March. It's origins are Irish.
An Irish song about shape-shifting. Think Roan Inish in song format. Read a Wikipedia article here about Silkies (sometimes referred to as Selkies.
There are many versions of lyrics. Here is one version).
3. The Fountain
An original instrumental by band member Jeff Belding. He was inspired by the fountains of Saratoga Springs, NY where the band first formed. There are a lot of ornate Victorian era fountains found throughout the city and on the outskirts. The Native Americans and Victorian felt that the spring water had natural healing abilities and at each fountain, the waters have different minerals and tastes.
4. Bonny Portmore
An Irish song about the trees in Ireland being cut down by the English. Click here to read more about the song and to obtain lyrics.
5. Skippin' Kiersten
This is an original up-beat hammered dulcimer instrumental by our member Jim Lestrange.
6. Saratoga Romance
This is an original waltz by member Jeff Belding which we used for the CD title. Jeff was inspired by the city of Saratoga Springs, NY and by the Dance Flurry Festival which takes place in the city every year. The Dance Flurry Festival features all kinds of participatory dances and the halls are loaded with "jamming" musicians. It often evokes joy to see all of these carefree dancers and talented musicians all in one place. We have been performers at the festival for years.
7. Wind in the Willows
This song sometimes has an alternate title called "Bread and Fishes". It was written by UK folk singer/songwriter, Alan Bell. It was made popular by Blackmores Night. We liked the spiritual message of the song and it's a great one for getting audiences to sing along. Click here for one version of the lyrics.
8. Far Away
This is an instrumental by Peter Jung of Hudson, NY.
9. Silver Dagger
This is an American traditional song probably dated to the 19th century about a woman who won't marry because she's been told by her mother that all men are wicked lying lovers. It doesn't help that her father is also a philanderer. We decided to give it a pseudo bluegrass treatment.. Three of our band members play bluegrass on a regular basis. Click here for a version of the lyrics.
10. Miss Noble
A Turlough O'Carolan instrumental. He was a blind Irish harper (1670 - 1738) who wrote pieces in honor of his patrons. Click here to read more about O'Carolan.
11. The Water is Wide
This song is sometimes referred to as "O Waly, Waly". It is a well known traditional Scottish or English song and has been recorded widely. Read more about the song and obtain lyrics from this Wikipedia article.
12. LaRue's Lament
This is an instrumental and was written by members Jim Lestrange and Lise Winne for the LaRue family commemorating Jim Lestrange's childhood friend who died in a tragic medical accident.
13. Living to Eternity
This piece was written by members Jeff Belding (music) and Lise Winne (lyrics) about shape-shifting, transformation and re-incarnation.
lyrics to Living to Eternity:
A former you, an antique look
Your gaze is far away
And patience tamed to liberty
That times eclipsed this way
So far from self to reminisce
And jest with memory
A revolution of the mind to be in other days
Bring your spirit,
bring your wine
Bring your antiquities! Sun and moon
Ground the stars rapt in linear time
That actually it’s a boundless sea
Not tethered to a term at all
O jollity, o grace to be
Living to eternity.
I fathom stars are
just like us
With brilliant memories
Dreams create the galaxies
To regenerate and tease
Butterflies surpass one life
And so should you and I
Time is born through the light
Emits a dragon’s sigh….
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by John Kribs at Blue Line Records in Luzerne, NY and produced by John Kribs and the members of Saratoga Faire. Guest artists include John Cromie on The Water is Wide and Rick Eckberg on Bonny Portmore and Far Away. Jim Lestrange produced the graphics for the album and Lise Winne drew the cover design.
In Lise's words: "The cover design features a border of Celtic knots, inspired by the fact that Celtic music dominates the album, and a horse, inspired by the fact that horses are a big part of Saratoga Springs where the city motto is 'health, history and horses'. I was also inspired to make the horse look content as it flew through the air. I thought it matched the songs Saratoga Romance and Living to Eternity in feeling."