Irish Songs & Lyrics. That’s the official title of my Irish song lyrics website. The Irish Songs & Lyrics website began nearly six years ago. Originally, it was the Brobdingnagian Bards’ Celtic Lyrics website. The goal was to feature Celtic songs, lyrics, chords, MP3s and sheet music (though sheet music never made it on the site) so people could learn songs the way I did, but ear. Our Celtic Lyrics website was focused on songs that we performed. So later, I decided to expanded the website to include Irish song lyrics that we did not necessarily perform. Thus was born the the Irish Songs & Lyrics website.
When the site first began, there were very few Celtic lyric websites. Probably the best was Cantaria. They had a nice collection of Irish songs popular among the SCA, plus audio clips. But I preferred streaming audio, and there were no chords to the songs. Playing an autoharp, that was something I considered important. So I decided to create our own Celtic lyric directory.
The Brobdingnagian Bards site grew wonderfully and brought many new fans into our fold from people who were searching for Celtic lyrics. The service we provided was important. But as it grew, we got requests for a couple songs we didn’t play. Then we started performing more filk that didn’t really fit into the Irish song lyric idea.
So in 2004, I started the Irish Songs & Lyrics directory. This site would continue with what the Brobdingnagian Bards’ website had started, but I would add more Irish lyrics. Instead of fully produced music from the Brobdingnagian Bards, I decided I’d just record some solo songs, live, raw recordings so that people could hear what the songs sounded like. Thus was born the current incarnation.
The downside to the Irish Songs & Lyrics website is that I haven’t had much time to really record all the songs I wanted to do. Consequently, the site hasn’t grown nearly as fast as I wish it would. I’m almost tempted to add music from others, but I think having songs sound mostly the same is probably better overall.
One of the latest features of the Irish Songs & Lyrics website is that you can now download some MP3s from various websites and listen to them at your leisure thanks to services like iTunes.
In the summer of 2001, the Brobdingnagian Bards were doing fairly well on the Celtic MP3 charts on the late great MP3.com. That summer, I started the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine, a weekly electronic newsletter dedicated to promoting Celtic music.
Actually, the magazine was a blatent attempt to promote the Brobdingnagian Bards. But as I started publishing the magazine, I recognized more and more great Celtic music groups. I made some friends. Eventually, I changed the format from a newsletter to shamelessly plug my band into a valuable service for the Celtic community, the ONLY ezine for Celtic music.
In fact, it is still the only ezine dedicated to Celtic music. There are occasional ones who try to sell you music, but I realized that Free Celtic MP3s were a brilliant way to sell CDs. So instead of teasing people with clips, give them music they can listen to over and over again. Bands will build fans and sell CDs. And you know what? It works!
The Celtic MP3s Music Magazine has evolved over the years due to time constraints with the Brobdingnagian Bards. The magazine is now released once a month, however, it features more than the two downloads that were in the earlier version of the magazine.
Thanks the magazine, I’ve also developed Song Henge, the online archive of free and legal Celtic music downloads from past MP3 features. The project continues to grow with amazing success.
If you enjoy Celtic music, drop by the website and subscribe.
The Pub Songs Podcast is a personal podcast of Marc Gunn. It opens with some pub songs from Ireland, Scotland and around the world, song that you may hear in pubs, plus, folk song lyrics and news. It also features poetry, rants, and raves and some of the favorite non-Celtic bands of Marc Gunn.
The original idea behind the podcast was to teach people about a variety of pub songs. The first two songs were from that media. But I quickly ran out of time for research. So when I reworked the Pub Songs Podcast a few months later, I decided to make it a personal podcast, one where I could not only rant and rave about my favorite things are talk about things I love, but also where I could highlight music.
In every show, there’s at least one pub song from around the world, though mostly from Ireland and Scotland. Then, since I love many different styles of music, I branch out from there. Some times, I’ll have a song by yours truly, Marc Gunn. Other times, I’ll feature bands I find through my Irish & Celtic Music Podcast or my Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. Most recently, I started recording hour-long shows, highlighting songs that I perform, though not always pub songs. In fact, my musical interests lean more towards ballady music, but I like to think they’re all still fun.
The podcast comes out in seasons with fifteen shows in each season. Listeners can download the show by hand for free, or they can make a donation and download the season that is nicely zipped up for your listening pleasure.
Incidentally, the original format of the Pub Songs Podcast was recently replaced with another podcast I started called Marc Gunn’s Irish Song & Lyrics Podcast.
Marc Gunn’s hit CD, Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers, continues to astound as it goes into its fourth printing. The album was released in 2005. It is currently the #4 most-popular comedy CD on CDBaby and the #1 title released by Mage Records.
The fourth printing precedes the release of its companion CD, Irish Drinking Songs, The Cat Lover’s Companion, a CD by Marc Gunn that features the original Irish songs that were parodied on the Cat Lover’s CD.