Samhain - Banking the Fire

by Julia Lane & Fred Gosbee

Released October 2017
Released October 2017
Songs and poetry that explore the Celtic New Year, also known as Samhain or Halloween.
  • 03:50 Open the Door
  • 04:23 Story Lyrics Cailleach Song

    When the year is getting older and the sun begins to pale,

    On the last day of October Cailleach will lift the veil.

    Then the ghosts of our ancestors; spirits that have gone before;

    Sometimes call across the chasm see us through the opening door

    Samhain fires light up the night;

    Help us keep the dark away

    Cailleach's eyes are burning bright

    Brighter than the bonfire's flame

    Now's the time to ask your questions,

    Find out what the future holds.

    While the spirits walk among us

    Many things might be foretold

    Will this be the year I marry?

    What might be my husband's name?

    Many are the divinations

    In the guise of Samhain games


    Soulcake may appeas the spirits

    And the shadows of the dead

    But your mask cannot protect you

    From a truth you've come to dread

    Cailleach just holds the mirror

    Shows things you don't want to know

    What you see you have brought with you.

    Only you can let it go


    Welcome now the gift of darkness

    As the failing sun goes down

    In the quiet nights of winter

    There is wisdom to be found

    Cailleach has stirred the cauldron;

    Cailleach is old and wise

    Listen for her endlaess ballad

    Underneath the winter skies.



  • 02:12 Story Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
  • 03:30 Story Soulin'
  • 03:27 Story Lyrics The Wife at Usher's Well

    There was a knight and a lady bright

    Three little babes had she

    She sent them away to the north country

    For to learn there grammerie


    They hadn't been gone but a very short time

    'Bout three months and a day

    When Death, cruel Death, came riding along

    And he carried those babes away


    And when she heard her babes were dead

    She did mourn, she did weep

    'Till they cam to her one dark midnight

    Saying,"Mother we cannot sleep."


    She set the table. She gave them wine,

    Gave them bread, and gave them meat

    But they were not able to touch a bite.

    "We are dead: we cannot eat."


    "Mother, oh mother, we cannot stay.

    We must go e're break of dawn.

    Your weeping keeps us from our rest

    In our graves where we belong."



  • 03:36 Story All Soul's Night
  • 02:26 Story Lament for Owen Roe
  • 03:28 Story Ettrick
  • 04:00 The Crow in the Sun
  • 03:58 Story The Raven in the Apple Tree
  • 03:33 Story Waiting for the Snow
  • 02:36 A Cold Frosty Morning
  • 03:08 Story Who Knows Where the Time Goes
  • 04:44 Story Turning Towards the Morning
  • 03:34 Story October Winds
  • 04:34 Story Blessing/Going Home
The Celtic New Year, or Samhain (sah-when), is a celebration that occurs midway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice and reflects the ancient belief that a cycle begins in darkness as the seed falls into the earth for incubation. Hallowe'en or All Hallows Eve began at dusk the night before.The door to the "otherworld" opens to allow the spirits to visit the living and providing the opportunity to see both past and …
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Bound Away

by Castlebay

Released 2015
Released 2015
Traditional Seafaring Songs collected 1890-1941, transcribed, mended, arranged, and performed by Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee
  • 04:57 Story Lyrics The Mary L. McKay
    O come, all you hearty haddockers, who winter fishing go,
    And brave the seas upon the Banks in stormy winds and snow
    And you who love hard driving, come listen to my lay
    Of the run we made from Portland on the Mary L. Mackay.
    We hung the muslin on her, as the wind began to hum,
    Twenty hardy Nova Scotia men chock full of Portland rum,
    Mainsail, foresail, jib and jumbo, on that wild December day,
    As we passed Cape Elizabeth and slugged for Fundy Bay.
    Storm along, drive along, punch her through the rips
    Don¹t heed those boarding combers as the solid green she ships
    ŒT would fill your heart with terror, and you¹d wish you were away
    At home in bed and not aboard the Mary L McKay
    We slammed her past Monhegan as the gale began to scream,
    Our vessel took to dancing in a way that was no dream,
    A howler o'er the topsail we steered her east away,
    O she was a hound for running, was the Mary L. Mackay.
    We slammed her to Matinicus, the skipper hauled the log,
    `Sixteen knots! Lord Harry, ain't she just the gal to jog?'
    The half-canned wheelsman shouted, as he swung her on her way,
    `Just watch me tear the mainsail off the Mary L. Mackay.
    Well, the rum was passing merrily and the gang was feeling grand,
    Long necks dancing in her wake from where we left the land,
    Our skipper he kept sober, for he knew how things would lay,
    And he made us furl the mainsail on the Mary L. Mackay.
    Under fores¹l, jib and jumbo we tore wildly through the night
    The surging foaming whitecaps in the moonshine made a sight
    And in the wild inferno, boys we soon had hell to pay
    But we didn¹t give a hoot aboard the Mary L McKay
    We lashed our wheelsman to the box as he steered her through the
    A big sea hove his dory-mate right over the main-boom,
    It tore the oil pants off his legs and you could hear him say,
    `There's a power of water flying o'er the Mary L. Mackay.'
    Now, our skipper didn't care to make his wife a widow yet,
    He swung her off to Yarmouth Cape with just her foresail set.
    We passed Fourchu next morning and shot in at break of day,
    And soon in sheltered harbour lay the Mary L. Mackay.
    From Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth Cape two-twenty miles we ran,
    In eighteen hours, my bully boys, now beat that if you can,
    The crew said it was seamanship, the skipper he kept dumb,
    But the force that drove our vessel was the power of Portland rum.
  • 04:46 Story Lyrics The Banks of Newfoundland
    You may all bless your happy lot that safely dwell on shore
    You do not know what howling winds around poor seamen roar
    You do not know what hardships great that we were forced to stand
    For fourteen days and fourteen nights on the banks of Newfoundland
    Our captain, mate and sailors ten made up our good ship's crew
    Ten passengers we had on board made up to twenty-two
    Some had wives and families on their dear native strand
    Hoping soon to come across by the banks of Newfoundland
    We sailed away through frost and snow from the day we left Quebec
    And if we had not walked about we'l have frozen to the deck
    But being a true-born sailor man as ever took command
    Our captain doubled our grog each day on the banks of Newfoundland
    Our vessel never sailed before the stormy western sea
    She was well rigged and fitted out before she sailed away
    But made of green unseasoned wood, she little could withstand
    The hurricane that struck us on the banks of Newfoundland.
    The tempest blew from sunset to the cold wintry dawn
    When she fell on to leeward, two of her masts were gone
    Our captain says: 'My brave boys, we must inventions plan
    For to hoist a signal of distress on the Banks of Newfoundland'
    If you had seen our doleful state your heart would be oppressed
    It blew a most tremendous gale with the wind from the southwest
    Some of our men jumped overboard thinking they would swim to land
    But alas, it was five hundred miles from the banks of Newfoundland
    By the morning of the twelfth day our provisions had run out
    On the morning of the thirteenth day the lots were cast about
    The lot fell to the captain¹s son, but hoping relief at hand,
    We spared him another day on the banks of Newfounfland
    On the morning of the fourteenth day we told him to prepare
    We gave to him another hour for to offer up a prayer
    But Providence proved kind to us, kept blood from every hand
    For an English vessel hove in sight on the banks of Newfoundland.
    Oh when we were taken off the wreck we were more like ghosts than men
    They clothed us and they fed and then brought us home again
    But five of our brave sailor men ne'er saw their native land
    And our captain lost both feet by frost on the Banks of Newfoundland
    Of all the gallant company that were our brave ship's crew
    There live but five to tell the tale, and passengers but two
    For the rest, their friends may shed salt tears on their native strand
    But the mountain waves roll o'er their graves on the Banks of Newfoundland
  • 03:27 Story The Dark Eyed Sailor
  • 05:04 Story Lyrics The Boxer and the Enterprise
    Come all ye sons of Freedom, 
    Come, listen unto me,  
    I 'll tell of an engagement  
    Which happened on the sea,  
    Between the Enterprise and Boxer, 
    Two noble ships of fame,  
    Though the Enterprise is but small 
    Soon she made the Boxer tame.  
    We sailed out of Portland harbor 
    In a sweet and pleasant gale,  
    The saucy Boxer hovering round,  
    She proudly spread her sail.  
    It being about Meridian 
    When we to them drew near,  
    We hoisted Yankee Colors,  
    And gave to them three cheers. 
    It  was on the third of September, 
    It being a glorious day, 
    The Enterprise and Boxer, 
    Had their a bloody fray.
    Until the Enterprise box'd her, 
    And quickly made them see  
    That we were Yankee heroes  
    Just from America  
    So now we¹ve gain'd the victory, 
    My Yankee hearts of steel,  
    But heavy was the price we paid,  
    To force our foes to yield.  
    For in the fight was Burgess hit
    He got his mortal blow
    Alas our young commander
    Shall see Portland town no more.
    When we came on board the Boxer
    ŒT would grieve your hearts full sore
    To see all those proud Englishmen
    Lying in their gore
    And there upon the quarterdeck
    Where officers do tread
    Their young captain, Samuel Blyth,
    Was found among the dead.
    In a Portland cemetery 
    Those two young heroes lie, 
    God bless Lieutenant Burrows,  
    And Captain Blyth likewise  
    From the roaring din of battle,
    The province of the brave,
    They slumber for eternity
    In the silence of their grave.  
  • 03:59 Story The Irish Rover
  • 00:31 The Green Bed (or Pretty Polly)
  • 05:38 If I were a Blackbird
  • 04:30 The Schooner Fred Dunbar
  • 05:31 Mary's Dream
  • 03:56 Story Lyrics The Capture of the Crown
    On the 26th of April, it plainly doth appear
    The brave boys of Bristol fitted out a privateer
    In command of Captain Tucker- a sloop both neat and trim
    And we set out to cruise the seas all for to take the Bream
    So cheer up, my lively lads and never be it said
    That the brave boys of Bristol were ever yet afraid
    We cruised the shores for several days and nothing did appear
    At length our brave commander resolved to homeward steer
    It was on a Friday morning, and clear was the sky
    And as we were returning, a sail we did spy
    Then rose our bold commander and to his men did say
    "My boys, be all stout-hearted and do not fail today!
    Our enemy's before us and after her we'll run
    For I'm resolved to take her before the setting sunî
    Then we bore away for her and up to her did come
    We hauled down our foresail and gave her a gun
    'Twas broadside and broadside we showed her Yankee play
    'Til our enemy got frightened and tried to run away
    We went to bind her to our side but much to our chagrin
    We found we had no grappling hooks to seize and pull her in.
    Till Collamore leapt up and swung the anchore o¹re his head.
    "Captain, shall I let her fly?" the Bremen monster said.
    Then they quit their quarters and down below they run
    We shot away their halliards and down their colors come
    Their captain he stepped forward and waving of his hand
    He cried "I must surrender; this I can no longer stand!"
    Then we hoisted out our boats and on board of her did go
    We made them all prisoners and ordered them below
    We hoisted Yankee colors and hauled the British down
    And when we did examine her, she proved to be the Crown
    "Now" says our brave commander "we'll bring our prize ashore
    For we're the boys that fear no noise, thoí cannons loudly roar!
    And quickly we will clear the coast of all these British boys
    For we will fight 'em till we die, and never mind their noise!"
    Now we have fought this privateer till she is overcome
    And God bless Captain Tucker this day for what he's done
    Likewise his officers and all his jolly crew
    God grant that they may prosper in everything they do
  • 04:37 Blow Ye Winds Aye-O
  • 03:16 Story Lyrics Bound Away
    Bound away, bound away. Where the stormy winds blow.
    Bound away in the Dreadnought to the eastward we go.
    The day of our sailing is fast drawing nigh
    And you my dear sweetheart I'll bid you good-bye
    Godd luck to New York and all my friends here
    Bound away in the Dreadnought to the eastward we steer.
    And now we are hauling of the Long Island shore
    Our captain's on deck, as often before
    Saying,"Crowd on all sail, boys, and let her run free
    "For the Dreadnaught is a clipper and fears not the sea."
    And now we are sailing off the shore of Newfoundland
    Where the waters change color and the bottom is sand
    Where the fish of the ocean swim about to and fro
    Bound away in the Dreadnought to the eastward we go.
    And now we are sailing on the ocean so wide
    Where the mighty blue billows rush against our dark side
    Our sails neatly trimmed, the red cross to show
    Bound away in the Dreadnaught to the eastward we go.
    Here's a health to the Dreadnought and all her brave crew.
    To bold captain Samuels and his officers too.
    Talk about your flash packets, Swallowtail or Black Ball.
    The Dreadnought's the clipper that will beat one and all!
Julia has been reviewing the several collections of songs from Maine gathered by folklorists in the 19th and 20th century as well as finding additional songs in unlikely places. To date she has found approximately 7000 songs with Maine providence. We want to thank the Maine Folklife Center, the Library of Congress and Middlebury College for allowing us access to their collections.

The songs run the gamut from murder ballads to love songs, war songs, and …
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Islands in Time

by Castlebay

Released 2006
Released 2006
Maritime folk songs and stories
The audio samples here are the first two minutes of each track. If you want to hear different samples, go to the Islands in Time web site

Songs and stories of the sea and shore, both old and new, recorded live at various venues during 2004 -2006. Presented as a complete concert, this recording includes rousing sing-alongs, moving ballads, unbelievable stories, and bouncy whistle tunes, as well as the “in-between bits” so …
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Ae Fond Kiss

by Castlebay

Released 2003
Castlebay, Inc
Released 2003
Castlebay, Inc
Gentle Celtic folk songs and ballads. These romantic songs are the perfect compliment to a good wine and a charming companion.
July 30, 2013 we received this wonderful note from Nicolae Ilco

" 'When we first rode down Ettrick. . .'
" Hi Castlebay I want to thank you very much for your absolutely fantastic music, I call it "sounds from heaven". I have searched a lot in order to find at least something alike your music and I haven't found, that means that you are the unique performers in this amazing style. I am deeply impressed with your melodies which …
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Rantin' Rovin' Robin - Songs of Robert Burns

by Castlebay

Released 2009
Castlebay, Inc.
Released 2009
Castlebay, Inc.
Elegant vocals with folk-baroque accompaniments and a touch of humour. Prize-wining Celtic harp, fiddle, guitars and flutes. Scroll down for complete album notes, lyrics and glossary
ROBERT BURNS (January 25 1759- July 21 1796) The Man, The Myth & The Music
by Castlebay- Julia Lane & Fred Gosbee

Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Poet, lived in a turbulent and vibrant era. For all of his brief life, he was an extraordinary man; not only a man of his time but for the ages. The son of a painfully poor Scottish Lowland farmer, he worked physically hard most of his life. Generally painted as a romantic rake, …
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Bards & Blarney - Irish Tunes & Tales

by Castlebay

Released 2010
Released 2010
Ancient Irish poems and story accompanied by Irish harp plus songs of wonder and transformation.

Julia - harp, choir
Fred - voice over, percussion
Barbara Burt - French horn

This is the most ancient of Irish literature. The first two readings are from the Song of Amhairghin (Av'-rin), the second two readings are from the Invocation. This poem, originally in old Irish, pertains to the invasion of the Milesians. There is some thought that this refers to Iron-age people invading the …
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John Earthy's Tavern

by Fred Gosbee

Released 2012
Released 2012
Historic Songs of Maine - Being a Choice and Well-Selected Collection of Sentimental, Patriotic, Naval and Comic Songs
The idea for the John Earthy’s Tavern CD grew from the realisation that I had learnt or written many songs about historical events in Maine spanning almost three centuries. Few people know or appreciate how important Maine was in the early years of European colonisation. We don’t know exactly when European fishermen started visiting our shores and establishing seasonal fishing camps; it is likely to have been in the mid-1500s or even …
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Song of the Sea

by Julia Lane with Fred Gosbee

Released 1998
Castlebay Music
Released 1998
Castlebay Music
Original songs about life beside and upon the ocean; voice accompanied by Celtic harp with ocassional appearances by guitar, low whistle, fiddle and bass.
Song of the Sea
Julia Lane - Vocals & Celtic Harp

Original music in the Celtic spirit. Julia sings 10 original songs and plays 3 original harp solos on this recording.

"This is music of shimmering beauty that stirs the heart gently but passionately."

"Lane is an accomplished musician. Listen to this." - Dirty Linen Magazine, Maryland

"A talented player with a sure hand" - The Source, Albany, NY

"A rich collection of singable songs and beautiful harp …
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The Ballad of Cappy John & Other Songs of Coastal Maine

by Fred Gosbee

Released 1999
Castlebay Music
Released 1999
Castlebay Music
This recording is a collection of history, sociology and other myths and outright lies about life in coastal Maine wherein Fred Gosbee plays 12 instruments and sings in four voices.
The Ballad of Cappy John
& other songs of Coastal Maine

FRED GOSBE- Vocals, 12-string guitar, 6-string guitar, 5-string viola (yes, really), Fiddle, Bass , Mandolin, Tin Whistles, Dobro, Harmonica, Dijeridu, Bok Whistles, Bowed Psaltry
Guest Musicians
JULIA LANE - Background vocals, Celtic harp
MARK McNEIL - guitar, bass, percussion, chorus vocals
CLAIRE CURTIS - concertina, chorus vocals

All compositions copyright Fred Gosbee except "The Old Liars", and "The Fisherman's Life"; copyright Julia …
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Imbolc - Rekindling the Flame

by Julia Lane & Fred Gosbee

Released 2011
Released 2011
Songs and Stories, Poems and Tunes in praise of Brigid and the Imbolc season. Readings in Gaelic with English translations
Early February marks the celebration of the Celtic holiday of Imbolc, also known as Candlemas or
St. Brigid's Day. It is the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox and a time of
renewal and emergence from the darkness and constrictions of winter. These songs, stories and
poems explore the symbols and lore associated with Imbolc and Brigid's realm of rejuvenation,
inspiration and healing.

Looking Home

by Castlebay

Released 1995
Castlebay Music
Released 1995
Castlebay Music
These songs with a theme of immigration tell of the longing for an ancestral home. Duo vocals with Celtic harp and 12-string guitar, ocassional appearances of fiddle and bass.
FRED GOSBEE - Vocals, 12-string guitar, 5-string viola, whistles
JULIA LANE - Vocals, Celtic Harp

As descendants of immigrants, we sometimes tend to feel homeless; not quite belonging to the new land yet alien to the land of our ancestors. It is in "Looking Home" that we reconcile the two. Since music has a fine way of bringing people together, bridging cultures, generations and lifestyles, the selections here honor both our Celtic roots …
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The Night the Whiskey Froze

by Fred Gosbee

Released 2004
Released 2004
wacky, wonderful stories and songs about winter
It's the time for stacking wood, stocking up on supplies and bracing for the busy and sometimes crazy holiday season. Just when we are starting to get grumpy about winter, folk musician Fred Gosbee has come out with a sonic antidote to stress, "The Night the Whiskey Froze -Stories and Songs for a Winter's Night".

This collection of songs and stories will help you chuckle through the winter. His rendition of "The Night Before Christmas …
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Newsletter and concert summary

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About the Newsletter...

We send out the newsletter 6-12 times a year. You will get a bit of news about our adventures, pre-release info about our recordings and a summary of upcoming concerts. You can opt out of our mailing list any time.

Concerts in Brief

  • Jan 23
    St Andrews Village,  Boothbay Harbor
  • Mar 12
    The Ridge,  Exeter
  • Mar 15
    Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church,  Baltimore
  • Mar 16
    Lakewood Manor,  Richmond
  • Mar 18
    Well-Spring Retirement Community,  Greensboro