The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle

When it comes to Celtic music, my favorite musician is Davy Spillane on uilleann pipes and low whistle. His music is hauntingly beautiful! It goes straight to the heart. Here are some of my favorites, and related covers.

Most of us in Fairfield know about this unique Irish instrument from Tim Britton who performs at various concerts in town. But hearing Midnight Walker really captured my attention! It’s how I discovered Davy Spillane.

I also found this amazing Tribute to Davy Spillane by Christelle Berthon playing Midnight Walker on both harmonica and recorder.

Another beautiful lament by Davy Spillane is Caoineadh Cu Chulainn. Written by Bill Whelan, this piece was part of a Riverdance performance.

I heard Davy play May Morning Dew on a wind instrument. Intrigued, I wanted to know more about it and discovered the low whistle. You can see him play this nostalgic tune at the start of this video clip from a live concert by Moving Hearts, a band Davy had been a part of decades ago. The lucky crowd waited 20 years for this 2007 reunion concert! Astounding performance! It sounds a register higher than the recording, making it more haunting. A video was made of that historic concert called Moving Hearts Live In Dublin. It’s also on Spotify. The audio of May Morning Dew (6:05) from the record is posted on YouTube.

A shorter version (4:24) with video taped by someone in the audience is posted as Moving Hearts feat. Davy Spillane. The quiet intro was not recorded and the long audience applause at the end was cut short. The sound quality is obviously not as good as the professional recording, but it gives you an idea of what it looked and sounded like live from a lucky fan who recorded and shared it along with a few other tunes from that memorable concert. Be prepared to turn down the volume as it’s loud. 

 

Other artists’ versions

May Morning Dew is an old traditional song, which reminisces about the past. You can hear it sung by the great Irish singer Dolores Keane.

Here’s a newer version beautifully sung by Siobhan Miller with her amazing band taken from the forthcoming album All Is Not Forgotten.

She later posted this live version performed in Glasgow August 2020. The 9-song CD, All Is Not Forgotten, is now available on YouTube.

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7 Responses to “The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle”

  1. Margot Says:

    He seems to very much be in alignment with the eternal melodies of Nature. This sounds like Irish Gandharva Veda to me – like the song of Nature “her”self.

    Like

    • Ken Chawkin Says:

      Very interesting comment, Margot. That may account for the deep resonance many people say they feel when they listen to his music. Some say it touches their soul, or that it expresses the soul of the Irish people and their history.

      Like

  2. deborahbrasket Says:

    Gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Like

  3. Found this beautiful piece of harp music online | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle […]

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  4. Bobby Hutcherson plays Bouquet with Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock at One Night with Blue Note | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] a kind of musical onomatopoeia in Bill Evans’s Peace Piece; the hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane on uilleann pipes and low whistle; and the angelic voice of Eva Cassidy, who uniquely interpreted and delivered songs with purity, […]

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    […] The hauntingly beautiful voice of Eva Cassidy || Colin Hay’s song—I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You—is so relevant during these tough times || Lissie @lissiemusic and her connections to Twin Peaks, Fairfield and #TranscendentalMeditation || Leonard Cohen said there’s a crack in everything—how the light gets in. It came thru him & lit up a broken humanity. || The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle […]

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  6. The hauntingly beautiful voice of Eva Cassidy | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Discover and enjoy the amazing soulful voice of young Angelina Jordan. It is jaw-dropping great! || Colin Hay’s song—I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You—is so relevant during these tough times || Lissie @lissiemusic and her connections to Twin Peaks, Fairfield and #TranscendentalMeditation || Leonard Cohen said there’s a crack in everything—how the light gets in. It came thru him & lit up a broken humanity. || The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle […]

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