The Songs We Love: Phil Coulter and His Orchestra

Thank God, it’s the weekend again. Time to lift the spirit with some sublime music. If you like Celtic music rendered in a familiar contemporary keyboard style with large string sections soaring beneath romantic tales of love lost and longings for home, then you’ll love the lush meditative sounds of Phil Coulter and his orchestra. While the musical feel of these songs is closer to contemporary than folksy Celtic, the underlying essence is unmistakably Irish.  At 78, Coulter (b. 1942) has a long career as a composer, songwriter and performer and is still the best-selling Irish artist of his generation, built on 13 recordings since his 1983 debut solo album, Classic Tranquility.

Here are a selection of 5 of my favourite songs performed by the Phil Coulter Orchestra that pay homage to the Irish heritage. Hope they resonate with you as they certainly did for me.

The Old House’ (John McDermott)

Come by the Hills’ (Traditional. Lyrics by W. Gordon Smith)

‘Black is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair’ (Traditional. Lyrics: Nina Simone)

Caledonia’ (Dougie MacLean)

A Bird without Wings’ (Phil Coulter and Mike Chapman)

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