Love’s Vigil
Posted by


the sea plays a prominent role in many Celtic songs

©2010
lyrics by Melissa L. Tatum
music by Berdene C. Foye
arranged by Mark Clavey
recorded by Tullamore
guitar and vocals Mark Clavey
lead vocals and hammered dulcimer Mary Hanover
vocals and fiddle Rachel Gaither
recorded at Chapman Recording Studios, Kansas City, MO
recording engineer George Hunt
post-produced at Tentsmuir Studios
post-production by Phil Smillie and Grant Milne

Here’s a preview sample of the song.

When Dene sent me the melody that would become Love’s Vigil, I was headed to Geneva, Switzerland, to teach for two weeks. I arrived on a Saturday, and Sunday we took the students to Annency, France for the afternoon. I loaded the melody on my iPod and listened to it as I explored the village. The afternoon was cut short by a rain storm. As I watched the storm roll in over the lake, the lyrics began to flow. 
I first heard Tullamore at a small midwest festival a couple of years after the band got its start. I loved their sound, and it was obvious they were going places. From small local festivals to nationally known festivals such as the Kansas City Irish Fest and the North Texas Irish Fest, it’s been a pleasure to watch them achieve the success they so richly deserve, even as they stayed true to their music. Plus, they are just really great people.

Fifteen robust seasons and three international tours have made Tullamore one of the Heartland’s premiere Celtic bands. Diverse musical influences and experiences lend them an unmistakable sound – an American-folk body with a traditional Celtic soul. Their take on Celtic music is rich and clear vocals, tight harmonies and instrumentals, and cool and clever arrangements. Across the country and across the ocean, from arts-centers and theatres to Irish Festivals and Scottish Highland Games, Tullamore are favorites wherever they go.

The lyrics:

In the fading twilight, out on Cragen’s Point
Two lovers stand embracing, saying their goodbye
The whaling ship November sails in the morn
He swears when he returns, she will be his bride

When the ship November had been at sea two months
A deadly storm arose and sank that gallant ship
She sank into the sea with all her hands aboard
Her fate hidden by the storm and its deadly grip

CHORUS: The cycle of a village depends upon the sea
The sea deals life and death, both with equal ease.
She cares not for the schedule of any mortal man
When one cycle ends, a new one can begin

In two years the November was scheduled to return
At two years and a day, as the sun began to set
She walked up to the headland to see her love arrive
The village marks each day by her lonely silhouette

This evening is the first in nigh on forty years
She hasn’t made her walk to watch for his return
Tomorrow she will rest in a spinster’s lonely grave
Perhaps in death she’ll find the peace that she has earned

In the fading twilight, once on Cragen’s Point
Two lovers stood embracing, saying their goodbye
Now if you watch the headland when the light is right
You will see a ghostly sailor and his bride