Thursday, 13 March 2008

A Scottish lament written by a Jewish guy from the Bronx

His Girl Friday has posted a beautiful song over at Wellied on Life.

The Ashokan Farewell has been a favourite of mine since I first heard it on Classic FM a few years ago. In fact, I've voted for it in the Hall of Fame every year since. There's a poignant Scottish feeling about it, which I adore and which usually brings a lump to my throat and a wee tear to the corner of my eye.

I hadn't really thought too much about the background to the song until tonight. In fact until tonight I hadn't really thought of it as a song - just a wonderful piece of music. Anyhow, as I was listening to it, I looked up the lyrics on the inter-webby-net, and I thought that they were reminiscent of some of Burns' love songs.

Then I found Jay Ungar's (the composer) website, which includes his story of the song. I'm amazed by this extract:

"By the time the tune took form, I was in tears. I kept it to myself for months, unable to fully understand the emotions that welled up whenever I played it. I had no idea that this simple tune could effect others in the same way."

The story is lovely, and so is the music. Good for the soul at the end of a working day!


His Girl Friday said...

I'll have a look at the lyrics. Interesting that you would make note that it has a Scottish feel to it, but you're right, come to think of it. It's a song that does speak to the soul, and causes that same teary reaction as yours! :)

His Girl Friday said...

ps thanks for the link :)