Country Gardens #Music

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“Country Gardens is an English folk tune that is often used in Morris Dancing. My lyre arrangement is based on piano arrangements by Percy Grainger, except I’m playing in C instead of Eb/E-flat, and not as quickly. Still, I hope you enjoy this cheerful melody!

Glissful Love #Poem #Music

Play or download the poem with lyre accompaniment.

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What we don’t know, we cannot miss,
Except for longing deep inside.
The Music only Love provides
Brings Peace and Comfort, Joy and Bliss.
Now hear the magic of the gliss*
That lifts us to a higher place,
Where there’s no conflict we must face.
The Love we try but fail to find
Exists forever in the mind
Beyond our mortal time and space!

*Gliss, short for Glissando: Italian musical term meaning a continuous slide upward or downward between two notes.

This is a Decima for
Ronovan Writes Decima Poetry Challenge Prompt No. 27: Bliss. This week, it’s the A rhyme line.

Softly and Tenderly #Music

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Will Lamertine Thompson wrote this hymn in 1880. The lyrics are based on Matthew 11:28, which reads, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

“Softly and Tenderly” is Thompson’s best known composition and has been widely translated. It has spread throughout many Christian denominations beyond its origins in the American Restoration Movement and the Churches of Christ, where Thompson was a member.

I hope you find comfort in this lyre arrangement!

When the Saints #Music

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“When the Saints Go Marching In,” often just called “The Saints” or “When the Saints,” needs no introduction. This is good, because its origins are unclear. It’s a Gospel song, an African-American spiritual, and a jazz classic, such is its versatility. I’ve known it to be a campfire song as well.

I hope you enjoy this simple lyre arrangement!

“Off She Goes” Trad. #Music

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This is a traditional fiddle tune, but even the country of origin is unclear. Some sources say “New England,” which would make it an American tune; others claim it’s English, as in England, United Kingdom. Still others claim it as a Scottish or Irish tune. It’s agreed that the form is a jig, but that’s about it. It’s usually played in the key of D, like many fiddle tunes. Here, I play “Off She Goes” in C, on lyre. I hope you enjoy this cheerful melody!

Lullaby of the Ages DSE #10 #Music

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I wrote this song in June. You can listen to the lyre arrangement with lyrics

Today you’re hearing alto recorder, then lyre and zither played together. The melody is on zither, with accompaniment on lyre. Note the bell-like ringing in this arrangement, made possible by having two sets of strings.

This is the tenth and final piece in my
Double Strung Experiment Series.

The next time you hear mention of double strung something, it will be a harp! I’ve had fun and learned a lot while arranging and playing this series, but I will also be glad to sit in a chair and play! I’ve been sitting cross-legged on the floor to make room for holding the lyre and zither balanced precariously on my lap!

I hope you enjoy this piece, and as always, I appreciate any comments and feedback you want to share!

Thanks, and thank you for listening!

Gratitude DSE #9 #Music

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I wrote this piece in 2010, on a small Celtic lap harp on which I took a few lessons. I’ve lost that old harp recording, but you can listen to a ukulele version with lyrics

This piece is also part of my
Zither Review,
as well as the
Lynda Lyre Review
I posted in March.

So, why this piece, and why am I sharing it yet again?

First, it’s a calming melody written especially for healing music sessions, and who doesn’t need more of that? 🙂

Second, this is the ninth in the
Double Strung Experiment Series.

Now you can hear the piece as if it had two voices. That is, the melody is echoed, and two sets of strings put the echo in the same octave, similar to the ukulele version, instead of one being an octave higher than the other.

If this makes your head spin, pay it no mind, and just enjoy listening! You will understand. 🙂

If you’ve read and listened this far, I really appreciate it! I’d also love to know if you have a favorite out of the versions I’ve linked here!

“Little Boat” DSE #8 #Music

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I wrote “Little Boat” last month in response to one of
Sue Vincent’s
weekly #Writephoto prompts. If you haven’t heard the original lyre version, including lyrics, you can find it

Today I’m playing the song on two instruments, melody on zither and accompaniment on lyre. This is the eighth in my series of
double strung experiments.

When I started, I didn’t plan on a series of them, maybe just one or two, to see whether, and if so how, I would handle having two sets of strings to play, with one set for each hand. Well, It’s been a success, and I’ve enjoyed arranging pieces to demonstrate the possibilities offered by this unique stringing. And the series was born!

When I do get a double strung harp at some point, I will record these pieces again, so we can all experience the real McCoy! Until then, I hope you’re enjoying these pieces in which the lyre and zither play at the same time!

Thank you for reading, listening, and leaving your comments and feedback!

Bon voyage!

“Kumbaya” DSE #7 #Music

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“Kumbaya,” also spelled “Kum Ba Ya,” is a well-known campfire song. I know I spent many happy Saturday nights around a campfire singing it as a child. Even those who couldn’t sing managed to catch on and make an effort.

No one really knows the song’s origin; in fact, there’s been some controversy surrounding it, as
this article
points out. To me it was, and still is, a common song that I, personally, have used to bring people together.

This is number seven in my
double strung experiments.
You will hear the melody played on zither, which has steel strings, and harmony on the lyre with softer, nylon strings. Notes of the melody and harmony echo each other at times. This is one of the many fascinating effects available on a double strung harp. As usual, it’s easier heard than explained, so I ask that you have a listen, and enjoy this peaceful arrangement!

Loch Lomand #Music

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Even if you’re not of Scottish descent, you’ve probably heard the folk song, “Loch Lomand.” There is also an Irish variant sung to the same tune, but with different lyrics, entitled “Red Is the Rose.” It’s a beautiful and recognizable melody, and I hope you enjoy hearing it on lyre!