Jacquelyn Brown - Troubadour Harpist

Earth Air Fire Water

Thoughts on the Music

One Last Cold Kiss
Gail Collins / Felix Pappalardi
(voice/harp/fiddles/bodhran/tin whistle 4:02)

JB: 'This song about the love of a male swan for his wife haunted me for days as I kept playing it over and over again. I was intrigued by the depth of love he felt for his mate. An arrow pierced her chest and her husband stayed at her side while she lay dying. This image often comes to me when I play harp at the bedside of palliative care (dying) patients now.

Winds of Love
Music & lyrics by Jacquelyn Brown
(voice/harp/fiddles 5:13)

JB: 'I wrote this song for a wedding couple in the days when I wrote every couple a song for their ceremony. The words "Here with the children we play. Listen and feel what the winds say ..." were added later. The original words were "Here at the altar we bow, sealing our love with a vow." Depending on the setting, I rewrite it as needed.'

Star of the County Down

Music: traditional Irish / Lyrics: Cathal MacGarvey
(voice/harp/fiddles/bodhran 4:23)

JB: 'I love this piece. I have heard it in so many settings and I feel it belongs on the harp. I often open my concerts with it. I feel it pulls me closer to my roots when I sing it, especially with the bodhran added. Haven't we all fallen in love with someone at a county fair or two?'

As The Deer / In My Life, Lord
Martin Nystrom / Robert Kilpatrick
(harp 3:06)

JB: 'This arrangement has been a favourite of wedding couples. I arranged these selections for a bride who said these two songs were her favourite. Many a London bride has walked down the aisle with this as her processional.'

Water Spirit
Music by Kim Robertson;
Lyrics by Jacquelyn Brown
(voice/piano/fiddles/sound design 5:21)

JB: 'This is my all time favourite tune of harpist Kim Robertson. I remember our first meeting in Toronto, I asked her to play it when she took audience requests. When I wrote the words, I was sitting alone on a beach in Leamington, Ontario, Canada, with the moonlight dancing on Lake Erie and a fire warming the early morning hours. It is a wonderful, mysterious memory.'

Lauda / March of King Laois
Traditional Italian / traditional Irish
(harp/bodhran/tin whistle/sound design 3:07)

JB: 'These traditional pieces make me feel like I'm in a time warp. I can envision harpers playing these tunes in camp. It also brings back to mind my old baton twirling days when I marched as head majorette in miles of parades till our feet bled.'

Earth, Air, Fire & Water
Music & lyrics by Jacquelyn Brown
(voice/harp/fiddles/bodhran/tin whistle 3:09)
Lyrics: text/faster version or graphic/slower version

JB: 'This is the title track to a song lamenting humanity's destruction to mother earth. I wrote it after a beautiful experience at Grand Bend, Ontario watching a marvelous sunset on the beach and on the trip home the coming up of a huge full moon. The cover painting captures all the elements of the wonder of creation. I love the full band sound of this arrangement.'

(S)he Moved Through The Fair
Traditional Irish - feminine original
(voice/harp/fiddles 5:39)

JB: 'I find it hard to sing traditional songs as if I'm a guy, so I decided to sing this as I really would from experience. The layers of violin are haunting and make me feel like I'm really there, having a night visitation from my lost love.'

Traditional English
(harp/bodhran/tin whistle/finger cymbals 3:32)

JB: 'A gentleman in his nineties told me one day to learn this piece at a big festival at the Stratford Festival Theatre in Canada. (I always listen to my elders, you know, so I learned it.) He said he'd waited since the age of five to pluck a harp string, and this wonderful guy sat down in front of a few hundred people and plucked to his heart's content. He then said he'd recommend me on his next journey. Upon inquiring where, he said, "why to heaven of course my dear". I will never forget this wonderful man and his boyish charm.'

Black Lagoon
Music & lyrics by Jacquelyn Brown
(voice/harp/sound design 7:24)

JB: 'I practise in front of a large painting which I call the ghost ship. I began to imagine a woman who lost her love at sea looking on. One day I was in a card shop and found the image I'd seen in my mind of her -- hair and clothes blowing in the wind, a look of forlorn. Images are a great inspiration to me, and the song just wrote itself.'

O Great Spirit
Native moonlodge chant
(voice/harp/fiddles/bodhran/rain stick/sound design 4:23)

JB: 'I first encountered this piece as a dancer. It brings me great peace in worship, whether in a sacred dance or sacred harp setting. It also brings me closer to my native roots and I use this in meditation often. If we could only see that we are all part of the divine spark, no matter by what name.'

Voices in the Dark
Music & lyrics by Jacquelyn Brown
(voice/piano/ashiko drum/fiddles/gong 2:27)

JB: 'I decided to record this healing chant for the many men and women who have entrusted me with their personal stories, some finding peace and others still wishing to escape their pain through death. The human spirit has a great capacity to love, forgive and grow amid life's great pain and journey of suffering.'

The Skye Boat Song
Traditional Scottish
(voice/harp/fiddles/tin whistle 3:31)

JB: 'I approached this song as a lullaby for prince Charlie. The two lines that touched me were, "Ocean's a royal bed" and "Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep watch by your weary head." The other verses are like memories while the harp plays so gently. Poor Flora was hung in the Tower of London for taking her prince to Skye.'

Into Darkness
Music & lyrics by Jacquelyn Brown
(cathedral bells/voice/harp/fiddles 6:55)

JB: 'This song has been a long time in process. It originates in a personal experience of violence that brought me near death. To have a peaceful near death experience coupled beside the violence was confusing for a time, but my faith and art have been healing avenues for me. I give this prayer as an offering to all who have faced their mortality and to those who have gone on to experience immortality.'

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