With our Monthly Marker we try to shine a light on something that we would like to see get some more attention. Sometimes this is a festival, sometimes a new album, or maybe a band. This month we would like to introduce you all to someone who has been living a life in the world of music for a long time, yet can easily be seen as a new face in the world of folk music. Mojra has studied music and has an extensive background in singing, dancing and musical education. This, combined with an artistic approach, led to her starting as a storyteller. Mixed in with these stories she adds beautiful traditionals that through the lovely sound of her voice carry the listener into a dreamstate. This, at least, is what happened to Alex when he saw her performance at the Castlefest Academy last summer. Right after the show he approached her to ask if she had any recordings, which she hadn’t. But it did get her thinking, and she does enjoy a challenge, so right after getting home Mojra dove into the studio and recorded An Raibh Tu ar an gCarraig, and we couldn’t be happier that she did, as Alex and Arjan were immediately blown away by the song and within seconds decided that this would be our next Monthly Marker!
The song itself also has a whole story behind it. It is an Irish traditional from the 17th century that appears to be a love song (Where you at the rock, and did you see my love there?) but it actually contains a secret message. “The rock” meant the altar and “my love” the priest, as this was a time when British Protestants were actively persecuting Catholics. In the second verse one could answer yes or no, indicating that it was or wasn’t safe to meet for worship that day. And since the song was sung in Irish, the English never had a clue!
Nowadays in most parts of the world religous persecution is fortunately not a big issue anymore, which leaves us with the ability to just enjoy the sheer beauty of the song. Please just sit back, close your eyes, and let Mojra’s beautiful voice carry you away, just like it did us.