By Kells Waters

Celtic folk song arranged by Kelly Via


A defining nature of folk music is its cultural attachment to specific communities. Long before musical notation was developed let alone was widespread, much culture of a society was transmitted through the generations by an oral tradition of singing. Tunes and texts therefore were rendered vulnerable as they were reinterpreted from community to community, century to century. The outstanding songs remained in the repertoire while the less durable vanished completely over time. None however were exempt from multiple modifications.

While the Welsh declare that the haunting melody By Kells Waters is theirs, some recent research has yielded little historical evidence and no lyrics to support this claim. The only text to surface in print for this lovely tune appears in a Canadian collection, Maritime Folk Songs, by Helen Creighton. There, the words of courtship, marriage and leaving one’s home include geographical references to Ireland however, not Wales. Yet were these the original lines to accompany this melody or those of a newer adaptation? Whereas this tune in the ancient Dorian mode has proved great durability over time, it may be that the original text was less worthy and therefore banished into obscurity. Sadly, it appears the answer is like so many others that are lost forever now, as our modern world has left the old ways behind, unvalued and forgotten.

This delightful arrangement by Kelly Via explores the lush colours and textures of the flute choir. The flowing melodic and harmonic lines often connect one part to another in an effort to achieve seamless motion. Care has been taken to make each part interesting and important.

Weight 0.181 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × .2 in