Songs of Saints and Scholars (2009)

Songs of Saints and Scholars
  • 1. The Lorica of Ballyloughlin
  • 2. Cead Mile Failte
  • 3. A Walking Prayer
  • 4. Bi Iosa Im Chroise
  • 5. Psalm 23: Se An Tiarna M'Aoire
  • 6. Bless the Corners of This House
  • 7. A Iosa, Mhic Mhuire (To Jesus, Son of Mary)
  • 8. A Circle Blessing
  • 9. Rian Phadraig (Song of Patrick)
  • 10. Those Who Love and Those Who Labor
  • 11. From East to West
  • 12. Deus Meus, Adiuva Me
  • 13. Each Step of the Journey
  • 14. To Christ the Seed

Pilgrims standing in the Burren, in County Clare, are easily overwhelmed by a sense of the otherworldly. What is this place? How did it come to be? It has such desolate, desperate beauty; yearning seems literally to leak from the rocks and stones.

The entire landscape is peppered with testimony of this sacred yearning: the monastic stone huts of Skellig, the abandoned friaries and stone chapels (their roofs now the vaults of heaven). Ireland knows well her own history, her deep, relentless journey to the sacred, and her aching ability to express these longings and truths in the arch of a simple folk tune.

Songs of Saints and Scholars pays homage to this rich culture. The hymn tunes, blessings, prayers, languages, and acoustical expressions found on this album can be traced as far back as the eleventh century (to the Latin/Irish hymn "Deus Meus, Adiuva Me"). But there are more recent offerings as well: new compositions wrapped around very old texts of blessings and traditional dance tunes, and two blessing prayers from the Carmina Gadelica.

The University of Notre Dame Folk Choir has often made musical pilgrimage to Ireland over the past twenty years, learning their songs, staying in parishioners' homes, singing in churches throughout the Four Green Fields of this wondrous nation. Now we are giving back to our hosts, saying "thank you" for those who brought their faith to our world, our families, and our own university. 

This album is dedicated to all those people who have opened their homes and sanctuaries to us during our years of travel to Ireland. Their hospitality and love of the Church has helped to bring about the gift of this music.

Special thanks to the Brothers of the Holy Cross and Brother Joseph Fox, CSC; to Mary Olen and Bobbi McMahon from the Office of Campus Ministry; and to the editors of World Library Publications for their unequaled support of our labors.

And with continued gratitude for the outstanding generosity of Richard and Edi Gibney, for their enthusiastic support of our ministry - especially in outreach to the Irish people. 


Steven C. Warner

Assistant Director

Karen Schneider Kirner


Marisa Behan, Susan Bigelow, Martha Calcutt, Hayley L. Dalgleish, Stephanie DePrez, Megan Feely, Courtney E. Gandy, Ellie Hall, Julia Humphrey, Katie Klee, Jenny Lewis, Carolyn Pirtle, Clarisa J. Ramos, Annette M. Ruth, Aubry Rose Skorich, Michele Dachtler Warner


Adjoa A. Andoh, Lina Delmastro-Smith, Marie Girardot, Christina J. Holmstrom, Christine Klauer, Andrea Michelle Krebs, Jessica Mannen, Kathleen McDonald, Mary McLaughlin, Michele Monk, Sadie Olen, Erin Ramsey, Mary Elaine Schoen, Whitney Young


Joseph DeMott, Joe Jurasko, Michael Krafft, Dan Masterton, Kurt Nowak, Jason Pham, Timothy Politano, Nicholas Shaneyfelt, Joshua C. Stagni, William Stewart


Daniel Crupi, Patrick Duffey, Stephen L. Eckart, Christopher Labadie, Geoffrey T. Mooney, Anthony M. Piskurich, Daniel Tostado, Kyle W. Ubl, Andres K. Valenzuela


Colleen Anderson, flute, piccolo; Mayene de Leon, violin; Catherine Hackbarth, violin; Colleen Valencia, violin; Minh T. Nguyen, viola; Adam Sims, cello; Joshua C. Stagni, bodhran; Skip Cleavinger, Uillean pipes, tin whistles; Ron Rednek, classical guitar; Karen Schneider Kirner, organ, piano; Steven C. Warner, guitar, Celtic harp; Anne Marie Horan, Irish texts