One of the most popular traditional songs out there in the Celtic world is The Parting Glass. And it’s probably the most popular “parting” song of all time. Scottish and Irish peoples value the saying “To make a friend you must be a friend”. And the heart and soul of this song is simply that.
The Parting Glass has a history that’s associated with gatherings in the Celtic lands. At the end of the gatherings, friends will typically sing songs. And the gathering usually provides departing guests with a drink as they’re leaving. That was a way of giving them something “for the road”. This became somewhat of a custom, and was widely practiced across Celtic lands back in the day. This practice was so popular that it formed the basis for the song The Parting Glass.
According to rumor, the most popular song sung to commemorate the parting of friends is The Parting Glass; until Robert Burns, noted Scottish poet, wrote “Auld Lang Syne”. Owing to its considerable popularity, it has been enjoyed in Scotland and Ireland many times in the past.
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Many Recordings of The Parting Glass
Many different versions of The Parting Glass has been recorded by many musical artists, Celtic World Orchestra included. In 1958, The Clancy Brothers recorded it. And that’s one of the earliest versions on record. However, more contemporary versions, such as the ones sung by Ed Sheeran, were recorded over the last 60 years.
The popularity of The Parting Glass would most likely contribute to the sheer volume of recordings out there by many artists both known and unknown. The Parting Glass has many references to companionship and friendship. The parting of a friend need not be a purely sombre occasion but instead a joyful one in The Parting Glass. It has many connotations and they are all important to understand.
Despite the fact that a more prominent song was created by Burns, this continues to be one of the more defining musical compositions in both Scotland and Ireland. It was the privilege of Celtic World Orchestra to create a cover rendition, as well as produce a music video to accompany it. The piece has, after all, held much significance in recent history. And it has been the target of numerous cover versions in the last 60 years or so. At least a dozen popular artists have all tried.
Certainly one of the most popular songs to originate from the Celtic Lands of Scotland and Ireland is The Parting Glass. It is, despite the topic matter, not an inherently sad song. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that friends will be reunited again, and that this departure is only temporary. The Parting Glass is a significant traditional piece, and perhaps always will be.