I met Gráinne last year before a performance and was immediately taken with her personality. She seemed to radiate kindness and good will from her core, and when I heard her sing later that evening I wasn’t the least bit surprised that her music sounded pure and unique. That night she sang several Gaelic songs, and while she also sang some English tunes I could tell that her passion was deeply rooted in her Irish music.
Gráinne is from West Belfast and her parents worked very hard to preserve and perpetuate the Irish language and culture. She continues their work through her music and her support of Irish cultural institutions and events such as Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, the Irish language center on the Falls Road, and her performance at the ‘Celebration of Irish Language, Heritage and Culture’ at City Hall earlier this year (please see post on Friday, February 17th). She has performed around Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and appeared a few weeks ago on the BBC Irish language chat and music show Imeall Geal.
She recently débuted an album entitled ‘Teanga na nGael’ (‘The Language of the Gael’) that covers songs from the many Gaelic speaking regions including Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. The album name is the title of one of her songs about protecting the language and its importance to the culture of the Gaelic people. Many people asked her why she chose to record Gaelic songs when the market for English songs in today’s society is much larger; she answered that ‘it was about recoding songs from the heart and songs that are very important to me.’ She explained that ‘there’s something really special about the Gaelic songs because they’re so old, they’re from years gone by, but I feel that when I sing the songs I’m connecting to that time and that place.’ She was kind enough to give me an interview and I posted some of her statements in the video above. The song playing in the background is ‘An tSeanbhean Bhocht,’ a song about the 1798 Irish rebellion from her album. Enjoy!
For more information about Gráinne and her music, please visit: http://grainneholland.com/