Casadh an Tsúgáin

This performance is available on Spotify, Apple Music and all streaming services.

Casadh an Tsúgáin on Spotify

Casadh an Tsúgáin on Apple Music

Sean-nós “in the old way” singing is unaccompanied, traditional Irish vocal music — usually performed in the Irish language. Of these singers, Iarla Ó Lionáird is definitely my favorite. His performances are emotive, and his intonation is masterful.

The song, Casadh an Tsúgáin “The Twisting of the Hayrope” is a whimsical story, told in the usual coy manner that characterizes many Irish folksongs (when approaching the subject of love). Boy meets girl — then the boy visits her house — only to be met by her rather protective mother. The mother cleverly asks him to unravel a hayrope. The young suitor complies, and as the hayrope lengthens — he is once again outside the door whereupon the expedient mother summarily shuts it in his face.

My version of Casadh an Tsúgáin is specifically based off of Iarla Ó Lionáird’s performance in the movie Brooklyn. There’s some beautiful orchestration on the back end of that performance that I also tried to capture with my guitar.

I suppose I’m also channeling Hozier, as this turned out to be something like he’d play on guitar — with his melodic, but distinctly Irish style.

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Gear used

For this arrangement, I used my Cordoba C7 Cedar. The cedar top is a naturally dark and deep sounding wood.

You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to play Casadh an Tsúgáin | fingerstyle guitar

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The guitar tab for this piece is beautifully written across 2 pages. My version is comprised of many trills, hammers, and pulls. I find it to be very easy to play — but I’m aware that beginner guitar players might find this difficult. At a minimum, Casadh , is a perfect étude to practice those techniques. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

This is essentially one long passage played 2x.

Casadh an Tsúgáin | fingerstyle guitar

This song is tune one whole step down, from low to high: D G C F A D. However, you can just as easily play this in standard tuning.

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Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.