Music Review – Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart

Our family became fans of Celtic Woman the moment we saw one of their programs on PBS.  The immense talent of the vocalists – Lisa Kelly, Chloe Agnew, Lynn Hilary, and Alex Sharpe, along with violinist Máiréad Nesbitt – and the entire crew of virtuoso musicians involved with the production took our breath away.

Celtic Woman is known for covering well-known tunes with a modern, Celtic twist, as well as presenting standard Irish songs and folk tunes with their unique styling.

I recently received a copy of their newest CD – Songs from the Heart (available online and in stores now) – from EMI Music as part of the Music Moms review program.  When we first started listening to the CD in the car, we couldn’t get past Track 6 – my kids kept insisting we go back to listen to all of the songs again!  I finally reasoned that for a full review, I’d have to listen to the full CD.  Once they agreed, I was happy to prove to them that the rest of the CD was just as amazing as the beginning.

I think what you’re immediately struck by when listening to Songs from the Heart is the amazing talent of all the musicians involved.  You feel their passion and spirit coming through the music.  The songs have the common thread of love, but they each seem to tell their own story – love of home, love of country, love of a man or woman, love of a child.  The collection is powerful and moving.  Some tracks I honestly liked better than others, but overall the CD leaves you feeling refreshed and uplifted.  (note:  visit Celtic Woman’s YouTube Channel to see videos of some of these songs!)  Here’s a rundown of the track list and my thoughts on the songs:

  • Fields of Gold – My least favorite track on the CD, though maybe because I’m not a huge fan of the original Sting version.
  • Amazing Grace – You think you’ve heard this song sung every possible way it can be sung, but this version will still surprise you!  Gorgeous!
  • Níl Sé’n LáOUR FAVORITE, by far!  Sassy, upbeat, infectious.  Powerful.  LOVE IT.
  • My Lagan Love – This is a traditional 15th-16th century Irish love song.  I found out that it’s been covered by many artists before – it’s even on a Sesame Street CD!  This version is haunting and soulful; I found myself holding my breath during part of it.
  • When You Believe – Famously recorded by Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston, this is an Academy Award winning song from the Prince of Egypt.  Personally, I absolutely prefer this version over the pop version, because I feel it captures much more of the powerfully reverent spirit of the movie.
  • The New Ground – Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears – You need to listen closely as this story of a young woman’s journey to America unfolds.  I can only imagine through this song what it was like for so many to leave their homes and come through Ellis Island.
  • The Coast of Galiçia – Máiréad shines in this energetic tune on violin.
  • Non C’è Più – Half-Italian, half-English, this song reminds me of something you’d hear in an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical – and that’s a GOOD thing in my book.  Dramatic and lovely.
  • The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress – Famously recorded by a number of other artists, I wouldn’t put this at the top of my favorites for this CD.
  • You’ll Be In My Heart – Much like Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” I’m not a big fan of the original of this song by Phil Collins (for the movie Tarzan).  My kids said they prefered this version though, so it gets their vote!
  • Goodnight My Angel – Originally recorded by Billy Joel, this is a  fantastic choice to be covered by Celtic Woman.  The women add a serene sensibility to this lullaby that almost made me cry.
  • Galway Bay – Originally recorded by Bing Crosby, I had never heard this song before but was happy to hear this story of the Irish homeland.
  • The Lost Rose Fantasia – This violin piece by Máiréad is thoughtful and passionate.
  • O, America! – Written specifically for Celtic Woman, this song is full of power, majesty, patriotism, and hope.

It’s no exaggeration to say that I got goosebumps during several of the songs on the CD.  I am BEYOND EXCITED that my husband and I have also been confirmed for two tickets to review the Celtic Woman show when it comes to Houston in April!  Look for a post from me about it in early May!  To see if the Celtic Woman production is coming to your area, VISIT THEIR SITE TO CHECK ON TOUR CITIES/DATES.

115 comments

  1. Melissa says:

    Oh, I am so jealous of those tickets to their concert. William and I just purchased this CD on Saturday and LOVE it!!! I told him I want to check into going to the concert. I love the programs I have seen of this group on PBS. I don’t know a lot about each of the performers, but I really enjoy their music!

  2. Melissa says:

    Oh, I am so jealous of those tickets to their concert. William and I just purchased this CD on Saturday and LOVE it!!! I told him I want to check into going to the concert. I love the programs I have seen of this group on PBS. I don’t know a lot about each of the performers, but I really enjoy their music!

  3. Lissa says:

    I have heard OF them, but never heard them. I love Celtic music, though. I’d like to borrow that CD, if I can. 🙂

  4. Lissa says:

    I have heard OF them, but never heard them. I love Celtic music, though. I’d like to borrow that CD, if I can. 🙂

  5. Mari says:

    I have seen their special on PBS and they put on an excellent show! I would love a chance to win their cd.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  6. Mari says:

    I have seen their special on PBS and they put on an excellent show! I would love a chance to win their cd.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  7. Rachel D says:

    Crossing my fingers in a Celtic knot that you’ll pick me, little email subscriber that I am.

    P.S. We had a train birthday party for Lincoln today. Thought of you and smiled. He still remembers going to the live Thomas show.
    .-= Rachel D´s last blog ..Train Birthday Party =-.

  8. Rachel D says:

    Crossing my fingers in a Celtic knot that you’ll pick me, little email subscriber that I am.

    P.S. We had a train birthday party for Lincoln today. Thought of you and smiled. He still remembers going to the live Thomas show.
    .-= Rachel D´s last blog ..Train Birthday Party =-.

  9. Sharon B says:

    Celtic Woman is probably one of the few groups that my husband and I both love. I am more of arocker, and he is more elevator music. But we share our Celtic Woman CDs and watch their PBS specials together. Amazing voices, amazing music!

  10. Sharon B says:

    Celtic Woman is probably one of the few groups that my husband and I both love. I am more of arocker, and he is more elevator music. But we share our Celtic Woman CDs and watch their PBS specials together. Amazing voices, amazing music!

  11. Jacqueline Daigneault says:

    I am so much in love with celtic music and every time its on pbs I watch it.

  12. Suzanne K says:

    Absolutely love them! Have for years. I just recently got my 16 year old daughter to listen to some of their music (since she’s in choir now, she has a new appreciation for their voices/music). She loves them also! Now I’m trying to decide if I can afford to go to their upcoming concert when they are in our area.

  13. Suzanne K says:

    Absolutely love them! Have for years. I just recently got my 16 year old daughter to listen to some of their music (since she’s in choir now, she has a new appreciation for their voices/music). She loves them also! Now I’m trying to decide if I can afford to go to their upcoming concert when they are in our area.

  14. Doug says:

    Had not heard of them until a retreat this wknd when the speaker shared one of their songs as being particularly touching

  15. Doug says:

    Had not heard of them until a retreat this wknd when the speaker shared one of their songs as being particularly touching

  16. Harriet says:

    Have never heard of them, or heard them, but would like to hear their rendition of Amazing Grace

  17. Harriet says:

    Have never heard of them, or heard them, but would like to hear their rendition of Amazing Grace

  18. Christine W says:

    I have heard of them but have not heard any of their music. I have a dear friend who long ago introduced me to Celtic Music. I have loved listening to her CD’s and know that I would very much enjoy listening to the CD Celtic Woman Songs From The Heart. It would definitely bring back fond memories of my grandfather who came to the United States from County Cork in Ireland.

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

  19. Christine W says:

    I have heard of them but have not heard any of their music. I have a dear friend who long ago introduced me to Celtic Music. I have loved listening to her CD’s and know that I would very much enjoy listening to the CD Celtic Woman Songs From The Heart. It would definitely bring back fond memories of my grandfather who came to the United States from County Cork in Ireland.

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

  20. Patricia says:

    I am familiar with Celtic Woman. They all sing beautifully. I think Mairead is an amazing violinist.

  21. Patricia says:

    I am familiar with Celtic Woman. They all sing beautifully. I think Mairead is an amazing violinist.

  22. Rosie says:

    I’m watching their concert on PBS at this very moment and they are amazing! All of them look beautiful and sound even more so. I’d love to attend one of their concerts when they stop in my city.

  23. Rosie says:

    I’m watching their concert on PBS at this very moment and they are amazing! All of them look beautiful and sound even more so. I’d love to attend one of their concerts when they stop in my city.

  24. Sarah McKee says:

    I wasn’t familiar with them until I saw another giveaway. I checked out their website and the album on Amazon.com and was impressed by their voices. Would love to hear an entire album of theirs. I

  25. Sarah McKee says:

    I wasn’t familiar with them until I saw another giveaway. I checked out their website and the album on Amazon.com and was impressed by their voices. Would love to hear an entire album of theirs. I

  26. Shellie says:

    My husband and I have watched their shows on PBS many times and love them. I bought the first DVD and am playing it in our waiting room at work. Clients really like it.

  27. Shellie says:

    My husband and I have watched their shows on PBS many times and love them. I bought the first DVD and am playing it in our waiting room at work. Clients really like it.

  28. Alaska/P says:

    Oh how I want to be a Celtic Woman…but I’m just an Eskimo Lady up here in Alaska. I am not familiar with them, but I love Celtic music. I would love to see them. Crossing my fingers on this one. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Alaska/P says:

    Oh how I want to be a Celtic Woman…but I’m just an Eskimo Lady up here in Alaska. I am not familiar with them, but I love Celtic music. I would love to see them. Crossing my fingers on this one. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Marc says:

    I caught a PBS special on them a week or so ago but only the end part. Their music seemed inspirational and would love to give their new CD a listen.

  31. Marc says:

    I caught a PBS special on them a week or so ago but only the end part. Their music seemed inspirational and would love to give their new CD a listen.

  32. Ed Nemmers says:

    Yes, I am familiar with Celtic Woman and have watched them frequently on our PBS Channel.

  33. brooke says:

    I have heard of them… What I love is one they are Irish and two their voices… Pure sweet crisp and clean to the ears….

  34. brooke says:

    I have heard of them… What I love is one they are Irish and two their voices… Pure sweet crisp and clean to the ears….

  35. Pamela S says:

    I have seen them on PBS several times and always loved them. I think their music is hauntingly beautiful. Thanks.

  36. Pamela S says:

    I have seen them on PBS several times and always loved them. I think their music is hauntingly beautiful. Thanks.

  37. Kat Emerick says:

    I heard them one time in fact by mistake and loved them but I never found out who they were.

  38. Kat Emerick says:

    I heard them one time in fact by mistake and loved them but I never found out who they were.

  39. Brian E. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway…My wife is a big fan of CW, she has watched their specials on PBS.

  40. Brian E. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway…My wife is a big fan of CW, she has watched their specials on PBS.

  41. Veronica Garrett says:

    I’ve seen Celtic Woman on PBS for several years. Their show is fantastic. They always put on a good show.

  42. Veronica Garrett says:

    I’ve seen Celtic Woman on PBS for several years. Their show is fantastic. They always put on a good show.

  43. heather c says:

    I am familiar with them. Love their sound. I laugh when I watch them sing, though, because of their one particular pose.

  44. heather c says:

    I am familiar with them. Love their sound. I laugh when I watch them sing, though, because of their one particular pose.

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