|Awakening Queen Maebh
Long live the Queen…..but perhaps not the queen that first comes to mind!
Rather than a modern-day monarch, the feisty female being conjured up is
Ireland’s own Queen Maebh of Connacht, an iron-age ruler and towering figure
of Irish myth.
During a nighttime walk along the River Liffey whilst on
her first trip to Ireland in the fall of 1998, Los-Angeles based Celtic
singer-songwriter Elizabeth Pendleton found herself contemplating the historically
momentous vote of ‘yes’ by people across the island for the Good Friday
Agreement. The first legitimate hope for peace in Northern Ireland and an
optimistic gesture of reconciliation and hope for citizens on both sides
of the border, the Agreement got Pendleton to thinking about how people
at opposite ends of an issue can come together to create peace against an
historical backdrop of almost unspeakable suffering and atrocity. The vote
became the inspiration for Pendleton’s song ‘Hey Dublin,’ conceived during
this same portentous stroll as an allegory about creating peace out of pain
and moving towards a new paradigm of mutual healing.
“I never imagined that I would end up releasing the song at a time when
my own country is at war,” Pendleton says, “yet things have worked out that
way.” Pendleton nevertheless feels that the five-year anniversary of the
Accord, on April 10th, is an ideal time to send her message out to the world
- a world more in need of prayers for peace than ever.
Searching for a name for her collaborative effort at producing ‘Hey Dublin’,
Pendleton chose the iron-age sovereign of Connacht, Queen Maebh, as her
inspiration. “She’s a very powerful and enduring presence, and I welcome
her essence to our age. I love working with a strong feminine archetype.”
Along with Pendleton, Awakening Queen Maebh’s collaborators include programmer
and DJ Peter “Peas” McEvilley (Domo Record’s “Confessions of A Dangerous
Mind Soundtrack”) Dubliner Ken O’Malley (of the Twilight Lords on Dara Records)
on mandolin and harpist Lisa Lynne (Windham Hill Records). A student of
the Irish-Gaelic language, Pendleton sings her work in both Irish and English.
‘Hey Dublin’ has begun hitting the airwaves in Ireland, having been picked
up by Midlands 103 Radio in Co. Offaly, Co. Donegal’s Raidió Pobal Inis
Eoghain and community radio in Dublin.
About the song, Pendleton says, “Last December I made my third trip to
Dublin and my first to Belfast and the north. The experience moved me beyond
description and gave me the strength to finish this project I believe that
the relative success of the agreement demonstrates that in some instances
there are viable alternatives to war. And if it holds, this accord will
offer the world a new model for solving political problems.” We’re sure
the Queen herself would agree.
For more information on Elizabeth Pendleton and Awakening Queen Maebh,