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! This 7:40 minute clip begins with an introduction but the piece starts around the 1:40 mark. 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.

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’.

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5 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.


    • 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.


  2. deborahbrasket Says:

    Gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing.


  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 […]


  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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