Mark Sirett has arranged many Celtic folk songs for a variety of different voices. Here is a listing of these arrangements as well as his original compositions inspired by the Celtic tradition:
SS, and piano, Alliance Music AMP-0712
This is an Irish blessing and was commissioned by St. John’s Ravenscourt Boys’ Choir, Winnipeg MB, under the direction of Michael Proudfoot. This lyrical, prayer-like setting is especially suited to young voices and the last verse includes a wonderful descant. See
A Gaelic Grace
SATB piano or organ, H.W. Gray (Alfred) 00-34854
A heartfelt setting of the traditional Gaelic blessing, “Deep Peace’ can be performed a cappella or with accompaniment. This recent release will become a favorite for many occasions including services on peace, for weddings and funerals, and general dismissal. See Listen
Auld lang syne
SATB, piano & flute, Boosey & Hawkes M051-47770-8
A moving setting of the wonderful Burns words to the original version of the Scottish air (different that the one often heard!) This is the perfect conclusion to a holiday concert, and also appropriate for graduation and other times of farewell.
See and hear
Beltane – A Branch of May
SATB, SSA, orchestra (small orchestra of strings, flute, oboe, harp, percussion), Boosey and Hawkes M051-47958-0
The text for this work is comprised of several traditional May Day carols and sonnets from a variety of sources ranging from the medieval era to the 17th century. Musically, the work embraces many different styles, but is largely a tribute to the folk traditions of Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany. It is scored for SATB chorus, children’s or women’s choir, and Piano. Duration: ca. 15 mins See and hear
TBarB and piano, Boosey & Hawkes M051-47745-6
This gorgeous Irish love song expresses the yearning of a young man for his love many miles away. A wonderfully expressive piano accompaniment supports this romantic ballad that will melt your heart. This has become very popular among many male choruses in North America. Easy. Watch
Celtic Carol (Sweet was the Song)
SATB a cappella, Kelman Hall 05/20 MMP 30 (Music Plus)
A setting of the traditional medieval text “Sweet was the song, the song the virgin sang”. Warm sustained harmonies compliment the sentiment of this beautiful text. Expressive ornaments underscore the Irish origin of the text. Medium.
Christmas in Carrick
TBarB, fiddle or piccolo, bodhran A high energy Celtic number recorded by the Barra-MacNeils. Suitable for high school and older ensembles. This is available directly from the composer; please send an email to request a perusal copy.
Cliffs of Dooneen, The
SATB and piano, Cypress Choral Music CP 1165
and SSA and piano, Cypress Choral Music CP 1165
The Cliffs of Dooneen is a popular and haunting Irish folk song that extols the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coast. The final verse expresses longing for the homeland–a sentiment shared by many Irish immigrants during the nineteenth century when they were forced to leave for North America because of the Great Famine. This arrangement was written for Sister Rita Clare and the Cape Breton Chorale for the Celtic Colours Festival in 2008. The SSA version is dedicated to Ann McIntyre, Conductor of the Edmonton Children’s Choir. See and listen Watch
The Curragh of Kildare
SATB and piano, Boosey and Hawkes M-051-479597
This exquisite Irish ballad tells the tragic love story of a young girl who goes to the Curragh to find news of her handsome love, a young man destined to be killed with his compatriots in battle. Excellent choice for concert, festival or international folk celebration. Commissioned by St. Francis Xavier University Chamber Singers.
Dear Old Ireland
Irish-Canadian folk song, TBB and piano, Boosey & Hawkes M051-48095-1
A rollicking lumberjack jig for male chorus suitable for teens, university an older. The folk song tells the tale of Irish lads, who valliantly face hardships of the Canadian woods but long for their home in the Emerald Isle. Lively and full of humour.
The Dying Rebel
Irish folk song TBB and piano, Boosey & Hawkes 051-48136-1
This poignant ballad recounts the tragic death of a young rebel from Cork during in the famous 1916 Easter Rising which proclaimed the Irish Republic independent of Britain. Expressive and emotional. See and hear
Farewell to Tarwathie
Scottish folk song, SATB and piano, Cypress Choral Music CP 1357 (also available in SSA and TTBB)
This lovely Scottish folk song, made famous by Judy Collins, is suitable for community, high school and college/university singers. Additional flute, oboe, double bass parts available from the composer. See and hear
Go, Lassie, Go
SSA and piano, optional flute, oboe, bass, Boosey & Hawkes M051475308 Instrumental parts: M051105106 and SATB and piano, optional flute, oboe, violin, bass, Boosey & Hawkes M051476596 Instrumental parts: M051105106 The two versions can be performed together.
The words to this folk-song are well known both in Scotland and Ireland. This is a lively rendition that sets the audiences toes ‘a-tappin’. A lively opening or conclusion to a concert. Can be combined with the SATB version of the work. Moderately easy.
Watch – Kokoro, Brenda Uchimara, conductor
The Holy Ground
Boosey & Hawkes HL48023063
Irish folk song, TTBB a cappella, The Holy Ground is a traditional nineteenth-century folksong from County Cork, Ireland and is based on a Welsh sea shanty, “The Lass of Swansea Town.” Written for, and dedicated to, Diane Loomer, founding director of the male chorus, Chor Leoni, this is a reflective arrangement of what is often a boistrous “tavern song,” capturing the sad sentiment of the lyrics. See and hear
SS and piano, Boosey & Hawkes M-051-47134-8
A charming traditional lullaby sung in Irish. The pronunciation guide makes the language very easy. The simple piano score supports a unison first verse, and the second with a flowing descant. Delightful folk song especially suitable for very young voices. Watch
SATB and piano, Trad Scottish. Cypress CP 1559. This incredibly energetic arrangement would be a thrilling conclusion to any concert. Cope was a leader of the British troops and the battle that is described was a decisive victory for the Jacobites. See and hear Listen Small instrumental ensemble version is available from the composer.
Jug o’ Punch
Irish folksong, TTBB, penny whistle and piano
One of the great Irish drinking songs made famous bythe Chieftains,full of vigour and good humour. Now available directly from the composer; please send an email to request a perusal copy.
The Leaving of Liverpool
Celtic folksong, SSA and piano, Boosey & Hawkes, M051-48177-4 Setting this Celtic folk song in a slow and majestic style, Mark underscores the anguish and uncertainty of the lovers who must say goodbye. The final outburst is full of heartbreak and will be a passionate and emotional moment for your choir Duration: ca 3:50. See and hear
Trad. Scottish, SATB and piano, Cypress CP1558 A highland Laird courts the beautiful Leezie Lindsay in Edinburgh. He wins her heart and take her to the highlands where she becomes lady of a great castle. A beautiful tune about this wonderful romance! See and hear Listen Small instrumental ensemble version is available from the composer.
TTBB and piano, Boosey & Hawkes 48019915
One of the most beautiful of all Maritime love songs masterfully set for older teens or adult voices. Simple canonic writing and warm harmonies supported by an evocative rolling piano accompanist build to the final verse. Medium.
See and hear Watch
Mummers’ Carol (The Wren Song)
Celtic folksong, TBarB and body rhythm
A high-spirited ‘St. Stephen’s Day’ carol about the capturing of the wren to bring good luck. Now available directly from the composer; please send an email to request a perusal copy.
The Parting Glass
SATB a cappella, Boosey & Hawkes M051-473427
A hauntingly beautiful setting of this poignant Irish folk song of departure reminiscent of “The Turtle Dove” by Vaughan Williams. Graceful contrapuntal lines and warm harmonies underscore the bittersweet sentiment of the text. Medium.
Red is the Rose
Irish folk song, SATB and piano, Boosey & Hawkes M051-47979-5 This anonymous Scottish text is set to the beautiful Irish melody Loch Lomond. With a piano part depicting the flowing river, passages featuring men’s and then women’s voices, and a middle a cappella section, this is a concert setting worthy of the best choirs. Duration: ca. 4:00.
See and hear
The Spinning Wheel
SSA and piano, ECS Publishing ECS 6416
“Merrily, cheerily, noiselessly whirring”–this delightful Irish folksong tells the story of a young maiden spinning under the supervision of her grandmother. The sounds heard at the window are that of the young girl’s lover come to steal a kiss without her grandmother knowing. An inventive piano part highlights the humour of the story. Medium easy.
SSA, piano and violin, Boosey and Hawkes M051-47874-3
SATB version available from the composer
This beautiful Gaelic carol comes from the Scottish Isles and is an ancient waulking song. The tune, which is in the Mixolydian mode, has a medieval quality. The gently swaying rhythm captures the essence of Mary gently rocking the Baby in her arms. This song could also be used as a processional.
See and hear Watch
The Wild Rover
Irish folk song,TBB and piano, Boosey & Hawkes HL 48022979
Once again, Mark Sirett has captured the spirit of a text and assigned it to the best possible voicing. The Wild Rover was and still is a popular “pub” song. It has also become a popular song for football (soccer) fans in Britain to sing at a game. Mark’s arrangement is lively and robust. With its repeated chorus, it will be easy to learn and fun to sing. Small instrumental ensemble version available from the composer See and hear
Will Ye No Come Back Again?
SATB and piano, Alliance Music AMP 0391
A stirring arrangement of this great Scottish folk song of farewell. Each verse features different sections of the choir. The final verse is an outpouring of emotion; and thrilling conclusion with a dazzling piano part that evokes the sound of the highland drums and pipes. Excellent for youth and adult adult choirs. This has been used for Unisong on Canada Day at the National Arts Centre. Full orchestra version available from the composer. Easy/Medium difficulty. Score