“Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a Commodious vicus of recirculation back.” — James Joyce
Joyce is Irish, the picture above is of Loch Maree, in Scotland. So in keeping with tonight’s Celtic theme, here’s an entire Chieftains album:
The song @ 38:44 is Here’s a health to the company:
So here’s a health to the company, and one to my lass
Let’s drink and be merry, all out of one glass
Let’s drink and be merry, all grief to refrain
For we may or might never, all meet here again
This song is an old Celtic song of the Ulster Scots, from probably Scottish origin.
Like most Celtic music, the chords (if you were to play this on a guitar) are quite simple and yet haunting. This effect is in large part made by being in a minor key along with the doubling of the lead an octave lower (basically a vocalized power chord). Everything from Gregorian Chant, to Appalachian mountain music, to Metal, to Industrial, to Trip Hop is based upon a rather simple foundation. We tend only to focus upon the external differences, missing the essential similarities. Much as we do in everything, I suppose.
This song also happens to be playable in my second favorite key: D minor. (After B minor, of course.) Given how long it’s been around, it’s been done in a ton of ways. However, this is how I like to play it:
Dm – Am – C – Dm
Dm – C – Gm – Am
Dm – F – Dm7 – Am
Dm – Am – C#dim – Dm
Chorus and verse are the same. That last C sharp diminished makes it hard to stop playing it in a round — it just won’t resolve! — which is the whole point of a drinking song…
Now go lift something heavy,