Saturday, April 07, 2012

music and contemplation: Lament of the Three Marys

A time for change and contemplation: both those things mark this season.

One of the songs that resonates with this time of year is Lament of the Three Marys, in Irish Coaineadh Na dTri Muire. It’s a story, sung in Irish, of Mary searching for her son.

Saint Peter tells her he;s on the road to Calvary. When she finds him, she says son, let me help you carry this, and he says, we each must carry our own cross. mother. When I hear this song, especially when I am present in the room with the singer, I see not only the Holy Week story, but the story of all the Irish who have sung this lament across the centuries.

The version I like best is from Cathie Ryan, who has recorded it on her album The Music of What Happens.

Iarla O’Lionaird has a slightly different version of it -- check out his backing musicians, too, in the video from Transatlantic Sessions

He has recorded it as well. on his album Seven Steps to Mercy

You may also wish to see
Music Road: Music of Ireland: Songs of the Scribe
Music Road: Hanneke Cassel: For Reasons Unseen
Music Road: Cathie Ryan: teaching tradition

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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