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CELTIC PSALMS CD RELEASE
Press Release Dec 2015

‘Celtic Psalms: The Lord’s My Shepherd,’ is a second album by Kiran Young Wimberly and the McGrath family. Comprised of Biblical Psalms set to traditional Irish and Scottish melodies, and recorded in Belfast, ‘Celtic Psalms’ is intended not only for meditative listening but to encourage the use of traditional music in worship, across community divides. A reflective and uplifting collection, ‘Celtic Psalms’ was produced by renowned multi-instrumentalist Dónal O’Connor of the respected Belfast bands ‘At First Light’ and ‘Ulaid.’

Kiran Young Wimberly is an American Presbyterian minister who lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for over six years until 2013. While serving in congregational and ecumenical ministry in Northern Ireland, Kiran pursued her keen interest in Irish/Scottish traditional song and its connection to spiritual life. Joining the Belfast Trad singing class and the Belfast Singing Circle, Kiran discovered a wealth of traditional airs and tunes from these lands. Over time, she put together a collection of melodies that she believes are particularly suited for use in worship, and paired them with the sacred words of the Psalms.

Upon completing the arrangements, Kiran asked the McGraths, a family from Dungannon, Co. Tyrone with a heavenly yet natural acoustic sound, to join her in recording these Psalms in a traditional/folk style that would be inspiring for personal listening and meaningful for worship. Kiran approached Dónal O’Connor, the highly sought-after producer and fiddle prodigy, to produce and contribute musically to the collection, and together they created an album with soaring Celtic melodies, rich harmonies, and traditional-style instrumentation – a soothing and refreshing version of the Psalms that is both impressive and accessible. They produced their first ‘Celtic Psalms’ album in 2013, and since then their music was featured on Irish national television as well as the BBC documentary, ‘Then Sings My Soul.’ They released their second album in December 2015.

‘Celtic Psalms: The Lord’s My Shepherd’ promises to be a long-standing resource for meditation and worship, with timeless wisdom grounded by ancient airs. With its delicate harmonies and instrumentation, this album evokes the Celtic landscapes of Ireland and Scotland with sincerity, integrity and tenderness, and offers a healing balm much needed in today’s world.

www.celticpsalms.com
info@celticpsalms.com

Psalm 23: The Lord’s My Shepherd

Psalm 22
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This beloved psalm, describing God shepherding us through green pastures and dark valleys, is set to the well-known air, “The Parting Glass.”

The Lord’s my shepherd I’ll not want
He lets me rest in pastures green
He leadeth me by waters still
He restores my soul; restores my soul

Even though I walk through the darkest vale
I will fear no evil, for you’re with me
Your rod and staff, protect and guide
You comfort me; you comfort me

You prepare a table, a feast for me
In the presence of my enemies
You anoint my head with holy oil
My cup overflows; it overflows

Surely goodness and God’s mercy great
Shall follow me all my days of life
And I’ll dwell within the house of God
My whole life long; my whole life long

Psalm 30: You Have Turned My Sorrow

Psalm 22
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Proclaiming God’s power to transform sorrow into ‘dancing and song,’ this psalm is sung to the uplifting melody, “Green Grows the Laurel.”

Refrain
You have turned my sorrow to dancing and song
You’ve taken my sackcloth and clothed me with joy
So my soul may praise you, be silent no more,

My Lord and my God I’ll give thanks evermore!

I will praise you, O God, for you’ve lifted me up
My foes did not triumph when I called you for help
You have healed me and lifted my soul from the pit
Restored me to life, I’m contented and blessed

Sing praise to the Lord, O you faithful in heart
Give thanks to the Almighty, Creator of earth
God’s anger will last but a moment in time
I weep through the night but the morning brings light

As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I’m strong as a mountain, they will never move me”
But you hid your face, Lord, and I was dismayed,
“O hear me,” I cried, “and be gracious I pray”

And if I am silent, then what will be gained?
The dust will not praise you, it will not proclaim
But show me your love and your faithfulness
Be merciful to me, O Lord, be my help

Psalm 61: Hear My Cry, O God

Psalm 22
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This arrangement, set to the wordless tune, “Caisleán an Óir,” portrays the urgency and energy with which the psalmist may have written these words.

Hear my cry, O God
and listen to my prayer
From the end of earth I call to you
when my heart is faint
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I
for you are my refuge, my strong tower, my God forevermore

Let me dwell within your tent,
now and forevermore
Let me rest beneath your sheltering wings
for you have heard my vows

I will always sing my praise unto your name
for you are my refuge, my strong tower
my God forevermore.

Psalm 84: How Lovely

Psalm 22
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Set to the beautiful air, “Carrickfergus,” this psalm depicts the pilgrimage of faith, through which we are strengthened by God’s presence.

How lovely your place of dwelling
God almighty, I long for you
My heart cries out, and my flesh is weary
For the courts of the living Lord

Even the sparrow, it finds a home
And the swallow builds her nest in spring
At your altar, your place of dwelling
In your presence to you they sing.

Blessed are the ones whose strength is from you
Whose hearts are set on pilgrimage
As they pass through the desert valley
They will make it a flowing stream

The early rains will cover over
With blessings rich and flourishing
They’ll go from strength to strength increasing
Till each one sees their heavenly home.

Better one day in your presence
Than a thousand anywhere
I’d rather serve at the door of heaven
Than to stand with wicked ones

God is our sun who shines so brightly
Our shield protecting us from harm
Showing favor to the beloved
No good thing will God withhold.

How lovely your place of dwelling
Our hearts are set on pilgrimage
We’ll go from strength to strength increasing,
Till each one sees our heavenly home.

Psalm 86: For Love is Lord of All

Psalm 22
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The haunting melody, “My Lagan Love” accompanies this psalm’s pleas for the listening ear of the Loving God who is ‘Lord of All.’

For Love is Lord of all (antiphonal x2)

Incline your ear, O Lord, to me
For I am weak and weary
O save my life, O save my soul
I trust  in you alone
For you are kind and gracious to me
To you, I lift up my soul
For you, O God, are good and giving
For Love is Lord of all (antiphonal x2)

Give ear to me and hear my prayer,
My cry  of deepest longing
I cry to you when I’m in trouble
I call for you to answer
For there is none like you, O Lord,
Not one has works like yours
All nations bow before your throne
For Love is Lord of all (antiphonal x2)

Teach me O Lord what I should do
and I will serve you wholly
I’ll praise you from my heart of hearts
Proclaiming the greatness of my God
How great is your deep love for me
You have saved me from the grave
For you O God are good and giving
For Love is Lord of all