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Autumn 2012 Newsletter

Inside This Issue

Inside This Issue

1 Welcome!  Music Suggestions, Celtic Sojourn, Martin Fay.
2 Virtual Fireplace North Country Christmas Fireplace.
3 Yes Virginia Meet 8 year old Virginia O'Hanlon.
4 Video of the Month Winter Solstice Festivals.
5 Secret Garden: Winter Poem


12 Days of Christmas CDs!


December Featured Music


Compilation: Together for Christmas


Community Discussion: Hot Topics


The Top Ten Songs



Merry Christmas
Or in Gaelic - Nollaig Chridheil Huibh!

Welcome to our special Christmas edition of the Celtic Radio newsletter. Christmas has arrived on Highlander Radio with our popular "A Celtic Christmas" broadcast playing from December 1st through December 28th. The traditional snows are flying on our main page once again!

This year we continue to compile one of the largest and inspirational Celtic Christmas music collections - featuring Gaelic, Scots, Irish, Welsh holiday music to keep you in the Christmas spirit at work and at home. Give us a
listen to brighten up your house for the holidays and make a request directly from our website using our Christmas Playlist below!

Browse our Celtic Christmas Playlist

Be sure to watch for our 12 days of Christmas thread for your chance to win a prize every day from December 14th through December 25th! Check out the all of the CDs we are giving away

For those looking for a more Celtic Rock influenced Christmas, you might be interested in
Celt-Rock-Radio. We have a 50/50 playlist mixed with some of the best rockin Celtic Christmas music your going to hear. And for those wishing not to over indulge in an "all-out Christmas Fest", try our Celtic Moon broadcast which has the perfect mix of Celtic and Christmas tracks.

As we enter the Christmas season this year we would like to take a moment and thank all of our members and listeners for a great year of Celtic music on our website and broadcast. Many musicians have been introduced and many CDs have been given away! All in all it’s been an excellent year.

We wish you, your family and friends a safe and Merry Christmas. Remember to enjoy every moment of this special holiday season and take the time to make it a Christmas to remember with the ones you love.

Nollaig chridheil huibh! (Merry Christmas!).


"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!" ~ Charles Dickens


Music Suggestions

Finding quality Celtic Christmas music is sometimes challenging when all you have available is the local Walmart! We have reviewed our library of Christmas music and would like to make the following recommendations. Please note that these albums can be found for MP3 download on Amazon.com:


Christmas Celtic Sojourn

Celebrating its 10th anniversary of sold-out concerts around New England, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan is returning to stages in Boston, Rockport, and Worcester, MA, along with Providence, RI.

89.7 WGBH host Brian O’Donovan has assembled some of the best musicians, singers, and dancers imaginable from around the Celtic world, and beyond!

Tickets and more information about this wonderful show can be found at the "A Christmas Celtic Sojourn" website.


Martin Fay

Martin Fay, a classically trained violinist who helped revive traditional Irish music as a founding member of the Chieftains, died on Wednesday November 14, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland. He was 76.

"Martin, a native of Cabra in Dublin, was inspired to take up music after seeing a film on Paganini.The soundtrack played by Yehudi Menuhin deeply affected him, and after persuading his father to buy him a violin, he was soon attending the School of Music for lessons. Martin wasn’t hugely impressed by traditional music in his early years, in fact, he was headed for a classical training. But after he had given up the idea of making a living as a classical musician, an old schoolteacher got him a place in the six piece orchestra that played overtures and intermission music in the Abbey Theatre.

Soon after, and hooked on Irish music, Martin became a member of Ceoltóirí Cualann, and not long after, he became one of the founding members of The Chieftains. Martin is best known for his interpretation of slow air demonstrating emotion and tranquility.

Martin lived in Dublin with his wife, Gráinne until November 2012 when he sadly passed away."



Secret Garden

"Winter Poem"

Secret Garden's "Winter Poem" is a beautiful collection of Winter songs to warm the musical heart. Picture a dark and cold winterscape that is suddenly alive with the sounds and instruments that flow through the frozen glens and the coves - giving hope that the light and warmth of the day is just a note away. Like a crackling fire, Winter Poem will keep your company like an old friend. Rolf and Fionnuala have captured the atmosphere and nature of a Norwegian winter with their talent, songs and instruments.

“We truly hope that 'Winter Poem' can contribute light and warmth to our listeners during the cold, dark winter evenings and to those living in warmer climates, light and warmth through cold and dark times...Fionnuala Sherry"

Reviewing the track and guest list brings a smile to our face. With Moya Brennan, Brendan Graham and a host of talented musicians playing accordion, harp, fiddle, uilleann pipes - this album is truly a pleasure to listen to on a cold Christmas night. Winter Poem will keep you warm all winter long. 5 Snowy Stars for Secret Garden's Winter Poem....

[Read More]




The Top Ten
Most requested songs for the past 10 days

1. When You Wish Upon A Star - Celtic Thunder
2. In The Bleak Midwinter - Gregorian
3. The Little Drummer Boy - Charlie Zahm
4. Ding Dong Merrily On High - Blackmore's Nig
5. Ding Dong Merrily on High/The - Cherish the Lad
6. Silent Night (Celtic) - Enya
7. Away in a Manger - Slane National
8. Celtic Christmas Guitar - The Irish Chris
9. Christmas Prayer - Danny O'Flahert
10. Away in a Manger - Fiona Joy Hawki

Winter Solstice

Christmas wreaths have a seasonal connection with the pagan feasts of the winter solstice. Winter solstice happens on the shortest day of the year when, in the northern hemisphere, the earth is tilted farthest away from the sun. The sun has its lowest arc in the sky of the year on winter solstice.

Winter solstice ceremonies were performed by many cultures over time. Fear that the sun would never return were the motivation for these ceremonies. Ceremonies and celebrations gave hope. Many of these cultures were pagan sun worshipers. Some of the greatest architectures of ancient cultures were built to align with the solstices and equinoxes – temples, tombs, cairns and sacred observatories..

The earliest Christmas wreaths were made from holly during Roman times. Holly was looked on as having magical powers to the ancient Celts as it was one of the few plants to survive and look beautiful in the winter. The Celts picked holly boughs and put them in their houses to ward off the evils they believed lurked about in the darker months. Roman soldiers are believed to have brought the idea of decorating with holly back from Britain.

[Read the full Article]



"Together for Christmas"

Christmas season brings along nostalgia, a remembrance for times when we were young with our families gathered round the Christmas tree. Christmas also welcomes in a new era, a birth, a new year and the hope it brings. In that spirit we bring you the gift of new Christmas music by contemporary Irish and Celtic music recording artists.

"This album is a labor of love that I have wanted to do for a long time, it not only represents the best in contemporary Irish/Celtic music, but some of the amazing artists that have been on my roster - Anita Daly."

Anita Daly of Daly Communications, the premier Irish and Celtic entertainment promotion company in the US, has put together a magnificent, eclectic selection of yuletide cheer featuring original Christmas songs and standards titled: “Together For Christmas: A Contemporary Celtic Christmas Collection”. From the rousing opening ‘Christmas Day’ by Kansas City’s own, The Elders, to the traditional sounds of Cherish the Ladies and The Celtic Tenors; to the booming vocals of Damien Dempsey to folk heroes, The High Kings, you will be singing along by the second time you play it and you will think of Christmas music in a new light....

[Read More]


Virtual Fireplace
Sit by the warm Christmas Fireplace all Christmas Eve. Have a cup of hot chocolate or your favorite Guinness!


 12 Days of Christmas

Starting on Friday December 14th we will begin our 12 Days of Christmas contest. 12 CDs will be given away every day until December 25th!

The contest will work in this way. We will post the CD or prize to be given away in the early morning and then at some point in the day we will ask for the first person to respond to win the prize. Only 1 prize per person during this contest. Watch this thread for when we will be announcing the prize:

12 Days of Christmas Contest Thread

We are also giving away 4 CDs in our regular monthly CD contest which can be found here. Our monthly contests are held on the 1st day following the month of the contest. At exactly 12:00 PM EST the contest opens up, and "Grab It" links will appear next to the CDs below. Make sure to refresh this page at that time. Be the first to click the "Grab It" button and the CD is yours. Good Luck!

December CD Contests






Yes Virginia

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge...

[Read More]



Click Here

December Featured Music

Shauna Burns
"A Winter Gathering"

Margo Rey
"This Holiday Night"

Thistledown Tinkers
"A Tinkers Christmas"

Secret Garden
"Winter Poem"

Blast From the Past
"A Victorian Christmas"


Hot Topics
Popular community forum threads

This Is My Court!
This Day In History...
Dia Dhuit From Cattee
Celtic Jewelry Draw
Jester? Why?
Pets Anyone?
Picnic Foods
Email Service
I Remember This Wonderful Place!
The Promise
Editor's Pick!
Hi There!
Keith Harkin ~ Solo CD
Pumpkin Ale!


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