Connection to and through Music

by Kerry Dexter /
Kerry Dexter's picture
Mar 20, 2023 / 0 comments

Connection happens in all sorts of ways.

Connection to and through Music

There is connection to family.

There are friends, well known and loved ones, ones seen only in passing or known long ago, but yet connected still, and part of life.

There is connection to community built around all sorts of things, among them faith, sport, food, occupation...

There is connection to place, be that a home, a place of learning, a landscape, a whole country.

There is connection to language, to story, to stories of heritage handed down.

There is connection to and through music.

Explore these varied ways musicians who draw on the heritage of Ireland speak of connection.

Cara Dillon, who comes from Dungiven in County Derry, considers connections to a well-loved place and a well-loved person in the song Banks of the Foyle. Distance from those, as is the circumstance of the protagonist in the song, often makes one reflect on and think of connection to and among such things in new ways. You will find the song recorded on Cara Dillon’s album Wanderer.

Sister I Am Here For You speaks to connection to and through hard times, and the power of connection to reveal and support truth. Karan Casey and Niamh Dunne share lead and harmony on the song, which Karan wrote along with Sean Og Graham. He plays guitar alongside Karan and Niamh in this video. You will find the song on Karan Casey’s album Nine Apples of Gold. Karan is based in Cork.

Another powerful song of connection and hope is Walk the Road, which Cathie Ryan chose to record on her album Through Wind and Rain—in fact, she liked what the song says to well she chose to name her album from a bit of the lyric. Kate Rusby wrote the song and joins in with backing vocals on the recording. Irish-American Ryan has lived for a number of years in Ireland, and is based in County Louth.

Top Irish-American group Cherish the Ladies invited singer Nathan Carter to join them to record the tile track of their album Heart of the Home. There is a celebration of hope and connection in the song to be sure. It was written by Andy M Stewart. In addition to guest Nathan Carter, Cherish members in the video and on the album are Joanie Madden on flute, Kathleen Boyle Jordan on keyboard, Nollaig Casey on fiddle, Mirella Murray on accordion, and Mary Coogan on mandolin.

Aoife Scott and Andy Meaney, who are based in Kildare, wrote the song Another Reason to celebrate the birth of their eldest niece. You will find Another Reason recorded on Aoife’s album Homebird. It is song filled with light and hope, gentleness and connection, and love.

All those elements factor in to each of the songs here, in many different ways. May they make good companions as you think about these things.



Thank you for staying with us through this journey. Below, you'll find a link that will take you to an article which has a bit more backstory on the series. It also has links to a number of the stories, including ones called Listening for Community, Music for Winter's Changes, and The Geography of Hope.

Music for Shifting Times

Music for Shifting Times



Kerry Dexter is Music Editor at Wandering Educators. 

You may find more of Kerry's work in National Geographic Traveler, Strings, Perceptive Travel, Journey to Scotland, Irish Fireside, and other places, as well as at her own site, Music Road.