Mary O'Hara Ltd., Reg. Office 26a High Street, Andover, Hants. SP10 INN Director: Dr Padraig OToole UK Representation: Johnny Mans Photographs: C. Reeve, Denbrys, Herald-Sun Feature Service Front cover photograph: Mary O'Hara taken during the filming of her B.B.C. television series "MINSTREL OF THE DAWN1. Filmed in Northern Ireland.
Brochure Jayem Publicity 0992 440196. In association with Peter Griffiths Associates.
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VALENTINE MUSIC GROUP THE INSTRUMENTAL COLLECTION FEATURING 16 BEAUTIFUL MELODIES FOR HARP VAL 8059
ALSO AVAILABLE ON CASSETTE CATALOGUE No. VAL 68059 SIDE ONE
THE WAY WE WERE, WALKING IN THE AIR, LONDONARY AIR, THREE TIMES A LADY, SKYE BOAT SONG, GOING HOME, PAMELA BROWN, GREENSLEEVES, A BUNCH OF THYME, IN A ENGLISH SCARBOROUGH FAIR, COUNTRY GARDEN, FOR THE GOOD MEMORY, TIMES, ANNIE'S SONG, BRIGHT EYES, ONE DAY AT A TIME,
FILMING IN NORTHERN IRELAND.
FILMING IN NORTHERN IRELAND FOR BBC TELEVISION. FILMING IN N.I. FOR BBC TELEVISION.
MARY O'HARA WITH CHILDREN IN CLANDEBOYE HOUSE - FILMING "MINSTREL OF THE DAWN" FOR BBC T.V. IN NORTHERN IRELAND.
1C couple of years ago when it / % became clear to me that I /—-\t to have a place of my A \.own in England, I already had a good idea what type of house I wanted. To start with, it had to be a thatched cottage, what I call a sophisticated thatched cottage, and well in the country rather than in a village. Small enough to be kept clean without the need of staff, yet large enough to accommodate my harps, some books, music, records and one or two friends at a time — and be within easy reach of London, and Heathrow airport. Time is always at a premium where I'm concerned, and shopping around was far from easy, having to be done every now and then between working engagements. However, I found it. My ideal cottage. A seventeenth-century dwelling, originally a worker's cottage which, photographed in mid-winter snows makes a charming Christmas card, and in high summer qualifies for a chocolate box cover. Garden worship When my little cottage was built in 1662, neither Tolkien nor his hobbits were yet heard of, but the moment I saw a picture of it in the estate agent's office, I knew it was a hobbit house. No trouble naming it: Rivendell, from The Lord of the Rings. (I thought it a bit much to call it Bag End.) It stands among trees and shrubs on two acres of land on the edge of a quiet hamlet. Something of our personalities leaves its mark on our surroundings, or so I believe. We may think we are detached but our dwellings can become pan of us. Perhaps that explains why, at the last moment, I found it terribly difficult to leave the little flint and brick terraced cottage with its tiled roof and no back door, that had been kindly lent me by a friend and had become my temporary home since I'd started singing again. Close friends compelled me finally to move out. They gradually spirited away my belongings, and one day they came and took with them my cooking pots, my bed and my telephone. I had no choice but to follow them to Rivendell in the county of Berkshire. My knowledge of gardening is very limited but I'm learning, and it's hard to describe the sheer pleasure that the garden here gives me. As soon as I get up in the morning I go to the bathroom window and spend a good minute just looking out and rejoicing in the view. Garden worship some people would call that. Maybe. It certainly evokes a prayer of gratitude. As I write, the
HOBBIT HOME Mary O'Hara's haven is a cottage, deep in the Berkshire countryside. Surrounded by her books and her music, she is slowly collecting the furnishings and delighting in her garden. Here she shares her life at Rivendell with us
ancient apple tree standing in the centre of the lawn is at its most magical, laden with golden fruit. When the weather is warm and sunny I have meals in the garden, under the apple tree. I spend quite an amount of time actually working in the garden: weeding, planting, and occasionally swopping things around in the herbaceous borders. Surroundings are very important to me, where I know I can do something about them. One of the first things I did was to treat myself to a completely new kitchen of old pine. It looks out on to the idyllic garden, and to be in this kitchen surrounded by the warm honey-coloured wood, whether eating a meal, washing up or just relaxing is a special delight. I particularly dislike overhead lighting and, bit by bit, table lamps are taking over. I like a large bathroom so I extended the existing one and laid attractive rush matting which is more in character. As it happened, when I arrived at Rivendell my worldly chattels were minimal and anything I've acquired since has been carefully chosen. I try to avoid clutter, keeping the furniture simple and functional. All the furniture is light in colour, most of it old pine. After the kitchen the next room to get finished was the dining room. For about eighteen months I agonised over curtains for that room and I think I've finally got the fabric right. I've chosen sage green and cream which blend beautifully with the old pine table and welsh dresser. It was a relief to be able to hang some of my pictures at last, most of them etchings and woodcuts, very often of animals and country life. It took almost two years to find a couch for the sitting room and several more months to have it covered with material of my choice. The curtains there have only just gone up. That room is pale blue. At least I feel satisfied that what is there so far is what I want and though I would love to have the whole house decorated, furnished and curtained as soon as possible, it must needs be festtna Imte, hurrying slowly. My life is so full of things professional clamouring for attention that getting the house in order
unavoidably takes second place, so the process is a very slow one. Most days I spend some time practising the harp indoors, but whenever the weather is warm, sunny and still I take it outside. During the cooler months I work before the large open fireplace in the "middle" room. A log fire may be cosy and good for inspiration but it's not the best for delicate harps. They go out of tune with every variation in the temperature, and being strung with gut this happens more often than with instruments strung with nylon. Harps thrive best in an even, dry, warmish temperature. I love books. There are some in most rooms in the house. So far in my "new" house they remain stacked against the walls or on a few brick and plank shelves awaiting my tun her attention. Beautiful handmade things appeal to me; I prefer pottery to china, and a blacksmith friend is making a bookshelf with a wrought-iron frame — when he can get around to it — and when that's done I'll sort out the books — when I can get around to it. The same blacksmith has made some handsome wrought iron fire-irons for me. Even to hold them in the hand is a pleasure. Perhaps something of the care and love that the craftsman bestows on his creation communicates itself to the user. Isn't that one reason why antique furniture is so attractive and appealing? Modest tastes Books are about the only things I have that I value. Come to think of it, there are very few things in my house that would be of much value to anyone else. I don't go in for expensive jewels, priceless ornaments, or silverware. In my kitchen, a wooden bowl and horn spoon get the most use. Yes, I have a modest collection of records but most of them are connected in some way with my work and I've never thought it necessary to invest in a costly hi-fi or in a video machine. Some years ago I was given an old pine desk as a present. I've always meant to do my writing sitting at this desk but so far I've never got around to it. Invariably I end up
sitting on the floor with my pencil and sheets of paper propped up on my knees. One friend insists that functionally the desk is a disaster but it looks so lovely. Nowadays my work requires some son of filing system but my music books and programme notes are still stacked away in the drawers of the old pine desk and when I want to get at something I have to empty the whole lot out. For some reason, whatever I want always seems to be at the bottom of a drawer. I'm not an untidy person — but nobody would ever classify me as orderly. Friends come to stay My little hobbit house is a haven, my escape from the less welcome aspects of my career. I do most of my preparatory work at home and apart from my music I have just written two books there and am in the process of writing another. I have held protracted meetings with publishers and television producers under the apple tree but, understandably, I'm very careful about who I invite. This is the place where my friends come and stay. I dislike giving panics as much as I loathe attending them. I get flustered if I have to cater for more than four people. My friends, and I'm blest with many, take pity and do not expect to be entertained with panics here. I do that son of entertaining on stage and in television studios. When I have the time I ask my neighbours in for a meal, as they ask me in return, but these are far from formal occasions. Many friends come to stay with me throughout the year. Children entertain themselves with croquet and games of table tennis. I have a seldom-indulged passion for tennis, whether on a table or a lawn, and I might even get round to building a tennis court. One day. One thing I regret about my work is that it limits the time I'd like to spend with my friends and for that reason I appreciate it when some of them can come to me. I like (and need) periods of quiet and taking long walks, and my house is ideally situated for this. I'm blest with excellent neighbours who look after the house in my absence. In as much as I have roots anywhere at present, Rivendell Cottage is where I live and want to be, and it is to this spot that I hurry back when my travels in different pans of the world make me long for home.
Mary... inseparable from her harp.
Mary and Pat's charming 17th century cottage in Berkshire.
(COURTESY OF IRELAND OF THE WELCOMES)
The singerlharpist and her haven. Pictured clockwise from top left: a warm pine-wood kitchen was Mary's first treat when she bought her Berkshire cottage; standing outside the charming Rivendell, Mary with her furry toy mascot (one of her well-loved songs is George Scott-Moncrieffs The Prayer of the Badger,/; working happily at home, she sits comfortably, barefoot, on the floor of the middle room, surrounded by reference books and with writing papers propped up on her knees; Mary has taken time and put a lot of thought into collecting the furnishings for her home. She loves the colour blue, and chose it for her sitting room, where she is pictured with one of her harps; enjoying the tranquillity of home. "We may think we are detached," says Mary, "but our dwellings can become part of us."
Mary OHam's Discogmphy Songs of Erin:
The Weaving Song - The Quiet Land of Erin I wish I had the Shepherd's Lamb-The Bonnie BoyAililiu na Gamnhna - She Moved Through the Fair The Spanish Lady - Eileen Aroon - The Spinning Wheel- Dileen o Deamhas- Londonderry Air-1 have a Bonnet Trimmed with Blue - Castle of Dromore Next Market Day - My Lagan Love - Ceol a Phiobaire Fill. Fill a Run O - Ballynure Ballad.
Monday, Tuesday â€” Songs for Children: The Frog and the Mouse - An Peata Circe - Ailiu Eanai - 1 Wish I had the Shepherd's Lamb - Fead an lolair-OroMoBhaidin- My Aunt Jane- Hi-Didil-Dum - Deirin De - An Maidrin Rua - An Caitin Ban A Dandling Song - Baidin Fhelimidh - Cogai-o-Gaog I Have a Bonnet Trimmed with Blue - Dia Luain, Dia Mairt - An Luipreachan - Sweet Child of Glory.
Love Songs of Ireland:
Deoindi - My Brown Haired Boy - The Stuttering Lovers - Ballinderry - Da Bfaighinn Mo Rogha Beleive Me if all Those Endearing Young Charms Anonn's Anall - I Know Where I'm Going - The Minstral Boy - Paddy's Wife - I Know My Love An Raibh Tu a'g Carraig ? - Loves Young Dream I Will Walk With My Love - Beidh Aonach Amaireach Gaelic Hymn in praise of the Mother of God.
Mary O'Hara's Ireland:
Songs of Ireland:
An Crann Ubhall - She Lived Beside the Anner Cucuin a Chuaichin - Kitty of Coleraine - Roisin Dubh - Down by the Sally Gardens - Luibin o Luth I will Walk with My Love - Seoithin Seo - The Parting Is ar Eirinn Ni n-Eosfainn Ce hi - The Last Rose of Summer- Sean Sa Bhriste Leathair- Young Bridget O'Malley - Deus Meus - I Know My Love - Sliabh Geal Qua na Feile - Trottin' to the Fair.
Haigh Didil Dum - Carraig Donn - The Frog Song Oro mo Bhaidin - Jackets Green - Seoladh na Ngamhna - Wexford Mummers Song - Sliabh nam Ban - The Gartan Mother's Lullaby - Down by the Glenside - Maidrin Ruadh - Silent O Moyle - Dia Luain Dia Mairt - Fairwell but Whenever- The Lepraughan Na Leanbhai I Mbeithil - The Famine Song - She didn't Dance
Mary O'Hara's Scotland:
Music Speaks Louder Than Words:
Music Speaks Louder Than Words - Annie's Song Cucuin a Chuaichin - Oceans Away - Dust in the Wind - The Snail - I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song - Home in the Meadow - Scorn Not His Simplicity -Ceol a' Phiobaire - Never My Love - Roisin Dubh.
Willie's Gane Tae Melville Castle - Song of the Waterhorse - Annie Laurie - The Laird of Cockpen Cro Chinn tsaile - A Shetland Lullaby - An Fhideag Airgid - The Elfin Knight - A Shetland Spinning Song The Bonnie Earl of Moray- larla nam Bratach BanaWillie's Drowned in Yarrow - Afton Waters A Hebridean Waulking Song - The Twa Corbies Lord Randal - Na Hao Ri U - The Wee Cooper of Fife.
The Scent of the Roses:
A Song for Ireland:
You Are The New Day - The Prayer of the Badger The Rainbow Connection - Child of the Woodland Green Finch and Linnet Bird - The Scent of the Roses - Try to Remember - The Garden Song Ye Banks and Braes - As I Walked Forth One Summers Day - Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants I Gave My Love a Cherry.
Mary O'Hara Live in New York: Carnegie Hall. Perhaps Love - Uist Cattle Croon - Oaken Ashes Judas and Mary - In an English Country Garden The Rose - Face to Face - The Snail - Say That I'll Be Sure to Find You - Tis a Gift t be Simple - Lord of The Dance - Greensleeves.
The Colours of My Life - Blow The Wind Southerly My Favourite Things - Greensleeves Mr. Tambourine Man - The Rose - You Needed Me Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring - Being Green - English Country Garden - The Last Rose of Summer - In My Life.
The Lark in the Clear Air- A Fond Kiss- Oaken AshesPedlar's Song - Una Bhan - Eros - Face to Face Lord of the Dance - Among Silence - The Prayer of the Butterfly - A New Year Carol - Come Lord.
Tranquility: The Floral Dance - Streets of London - And I Love You So - When I'm 64 - Barbara Allen - 1 Know Where I'm Going - Shepherd's Song (Bailero) -Believe Me if all Those Endearing Young Charms-Scarborough Fair - What is Life to me Without Thee1- Bright Eyes Where E'er You Walk - Leaving on a Jet Plane Eriskay Love Lilt - It's Me O Lord - Autumn Leaves All Through the Night - Where Have All the Flowers Gone ? - Drink to me Only With Thine Eyes Killing Me Softly with His Song.
Focus on Mary O'Hara (double)
The Weaving Song - The Quiet Land of Erin - The Bonnie Boy - She Moved Through the Fair - The Spanish Lady-My Lagan Love-A Ballynure Ballad The Next Market Day - Ceol a'Phiobaire - I Wish I Had the Shepherd's Lamb - Eileen Aroon - My Brown haired Boy - The Stuttering Lovers - The Minstral Boy - 1 Have a Bonnet Trimmed With Blue Ballienderry - Beleive Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms - Anonn's Anoall - 1 Know Where I'm Going The Spinning Wheel - Paddy's Wife - 1 Know My Love - I Will Walk With My Love - Love's Young Dream- Gaelic Hymn in praise of the Mother of God.
My Lagan Love - Kitty of Coleraine - A Soft Day Oro Mo Bhaidin - Young Bridget O'Malley - Danny Boy - The Spanish Lady - She Moved Through the Fair - The Gartan Mother's Lullaby - The Fairy Tree Ailiu Eanai - Bring Me a Shawl from Galway - Down By the Sally Garde - The Song of Glendun - An Peata Circe - The Quiet Land of Erin.
Mary O'Hara at the Royal Festival Hall:
Morning Has Broken - Tapestry - A Hebridean Milking Song - Among Silence - Bring me a Shawl from Galway - Bridge OverTroubled Water- Forty-five Years - Una Bhan - Scarlet Ribbons - Song for a Winter's Night - When I Need You - Lord of the Dance.
The Last Rose of Summer: Annie Laurie - The Last Rose of Summer - Cucuin a Chuaichin - Trottin to the Fair - Lord Randall A Shetland Lullaby - Child of the Woodland Roisin Dubh - My Aunt Jane - The Wee Cooper of Fife - Sean's Bhriste Leathair - The Parting - Deirin De - Gogai-o-Gaog.
In Harmony: Plaisir D'Amour - Rainy Day People - The Clown The Sun is Burning - Too Much Magic - Pussy Willows Cat Tails - Sliabh Nah mBan - A Friend of Mine -The Wee Cooper of Fife - Mon Pays - The Spinning Wheel.
WTiat the Critics Say The Advertiser, Wednesday, July 23. 1986 15
-Arts Rare joy from poised sounds Mary O'Hara; Town Hall; Sunday O UPPORTED by the rippling delicacy of her O own harp playing, Mary O'Hara performed an evocative, personal selection of songs. After a busy weekend it was a rare Joy to be able to relax with these poised sounds wasping calmly into the mind. At the core of Mary O'Hara's artistry is a stillness and quiet intensity that gives each song a clarity and truthfulness in high degree. Technically, her diction is impeccable and the purity of her tone always paramount. She projects each song .with a precise focus and simple, direct expressiveness. It was in the traditional Irish songs — whether delivered in Gaelic, Anglo-Irish or in an accent modified for listeners used to some sort of standard English — that Mary O'Hara was most beautifully and obviously at home. Here was that gently, introspective, but exquisitely shaped flow of melody so characteristic of Irish song. The singing moved freely between a subtly ornamental style and lines of astonishingly simple breadth: all equally moving. The program was framed and centred on Irish melody, from I Know My Love and Quiet Land of Erin, to Oro Mo Bhaidin and the lively rhythms of She Didn't Dance. But from this core, Mary O'Hara moved out and explored a variety of other national traditions. For all its popularity, one rarely hears Greensleeves sung, certainly not shaped and caressed as lovingly as in this performance. The clarity of the words, warmth of feeling and intensity of line gave the interpretation immense conviction and a .grave beauty. A French and German song apiece and some merry songs of recent origin completed a thoroughly attractive and refreshing program of song. Warren Bourne
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RBCBFT MARY O'HARA RECORD RELEASES In Ireland: KARY 0|HARA SA GHAILSARAI IAISIUITA - an RTE/Gael-linn release of an all-Gaelic performance at the National Gallery, Dublin. Ireland & UK: SPREAD A LITTLE HAPPIIBSS _ songs fron Mary's recent ITV series backed by City of London Sinfonia (Telstar Records) In Australia: MARY O'HARA - an instrumental album of popular melodies on the harp (J & B Records)
The Celtic Harp The small Celtic harp, sometimes called the Folk Harp, has been associated with Ireland for centuries. As a rule, it was played only by men and was used for accompanying recitations and the telling of stories by the travelling story tellers. Poets and musicians - and story tellers - enjoyed an honoured place in the old Celtic cultural tradition of Ireland, and they had considerable influence among the ordinary people of the island. The tradition of story telling continued long after Ireland ceased to run its own affairs and, not surprisingly, many stories took on an aura of resistance and hostility towards foreign rule. Successive governments who wished to be rid of Celtic culture banned harpers; and state officials had orders to destroy the harps wherever they were found. The old harps were all wire-strung and the harper plucked at them with very long nails. A particular punishment for harpers was to order their nails cut. Nowadays, most harp strings are made of gut or nylon and are plucked with the finger tips instead of with the nails. Also, unlike in the old days, harp playing is no longer the exclusive preserve of the men of Ireland, nor is it any longer considered, thank Heaven, a treasonable offence to play the harp. Instead, the harp has finally achieved the proper recognition it has long deserved. Ironically, it was an Knglish monarch who first established that respectable symbolic connection between Ireland and the harp. Henry Mil in the 16th century used the harp as a symbol of Ireland, and towards the end of that century his daughter, Klizabeth I, had the harp minted on the coins of Ireland. The custom of representing Ireland with the harp design gradually gained acceptance thereafter and in the 17th and 18th centuries many of the Irish armies abroad used the harp as their distinguishing badge. At the turn of the 18th century the poet Thomas Moore popularized the harp, perpetuating it as a symbol of resurgent Irish nationalism. Today, the harp is the most widely recognized symbol of modern Ireland. It appears on all official state documents, as well as on the presidential flag and on the coins of the country. For the small Celtic hurp the road has been sometimes rocky, but it has survived all the trials and tribulations and mellowed quite well.
The Scent of the Roses Mary O'Hara's own remarkable, true story is the inspiring account of an unshakeable religious conviction and a great love story. "This is a strong but, delicate story, full of absorbing interest and a very'good read' indeed one not to be missed. Many will love to read and re-read it â€” an enriching experience". (The Methodist Recorder) "A moving autobiography... she writes with a clean simplicity which is as accomplished as her singing... Ms. O'Hara has applied her new found gift to the most intensely moving autobiography for many a year". (John Paddy Browne The Irish Poet)
A Song for Ireland "The Ireland I try and portray in this book is the Ireland of my songs; and like one of my earliest record albums, Mary O'Hara's Ireland, the songs form a cross-section of what appeals to me in the Irish tradition." from Mary O'Hara's Introduction "From Ireland's ambassadress of song comes this new and lovely book of the melodies which epitomize all that the singer finds to be inextricably bound up with the land of her birth... There is history here, mingled with folklore, personal recollection and story telling in a lovely potpourri, written by a lady who is as adept with the pen as she is with the lilting cadences of an Irish song." (Tim Cromer CORK EXAMINER) "A body blow to the Celtic predjudices of any Briton . . . The lovely book is another reminder that in art and song the British Isles are a rich mine of treasure . . . " (Southern Evening Echo U.K.) Both Books Published by Michael Joseph Mary's third book, published in September 1985, is entitled CELEBRATION OF LOVE. This is a unique collection comprising Mary O'Hara's favourite poems, songs, prayers and prose excerts. Mary provides a personal introduction to the book, and to each section of the collection, which is illustrated with photographs and line drawings. Published by Hodder and Stoughton
Mary O'Hara concert brochure from her UK tour of 1987