Margaret Stewart,
Togaidh mi mo Sheolta
(Greentrax, 2008)

The title of this CD, Togaidh mi mo Sheolta, translates as "Along the Road Less Travelled." It brings us a variety of songs from Gaelic Scotland, including lullabies, ballads and humour.

The album opens with a haunting song that translates as "Little Sister, Oh Sister" -- in a way it reminds me of Clannad in those days when they could bring Gaelic into the British charts, although the majority of those listening didn't have a clue what they sang about. Margaret Stewart helps us in this by providing translations not just into English but also into Irish Gaelic.

"That Little Drop Went to My Head" has a lovely lilting sound ideally suited to a track devoted to the water of life. A song dating from the late 1700s, "I am Weary of This Exile" is one of my favourite tracks. It has just voice and piano but emotionally it fills the space. She lifts the spirit again when she sings "The Bachelor's Song."

Ranging through heartfelt love songs like "They Took You From Me" and more upbeat tracks such as "Clan Donald in the Civil War" featuring the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, this album inspired by a love of Gaelic Scotland will in turn inspire the listener.

The accompanying booklet with the triple translations and stunning photographs adds extra value to a very important release.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

15 March 2008

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