Scroll To Top

Folk Friday #1

I’ve decided to start a tradition this week. Since I know some of you are music fans, and since I certainly am, I’m going to decree that every Friday henceforth shall be Folk Friday. I’ll choose a piece of music I like, provide a clip, and give a little background.

Musically, I’m a little schizophrenic. One part of me gravitates towards Celtic music, while another part responds to earthy tunes by the likes of John Prine and Mary Chapin-Carpenter. I’ll kick this off with a Celtic tune, The Briar and the Rose, written by Tom Waite, performed by Nova Scotian band The Cottars.

A good friend of mine works as an usher at the Rebecca Cohn auditorium, a major concert venue here in Halifax. She keeps me informed of upcoming shows, and a few years ago she told me The Cottars were on the bill. “Don’t miss it.” I’d been hearing of this band, so I took Kathy’s advice and didn’t miss it.

At that time, The Cottars were two pairs of siblings, young teens from two of Nova Scotia’s well-known musical families. The lead singer, Fiona MacGillivray, was only twelve at the time. When this dark-haired wisp of a girl stepped up to the microphone I didn’t know what to expect. I like children’s voices, but…

With her brother backing her up, Fiona launched into The Briar and the Rose. By the end of the first verse there were chills running along my spine and tears in my eyes. No artifice, no vocal gymnastics, just a pure, clear, powerful voice. Fiona must be seventeen or eighteen now, and though her voice has matured it hasn’t changed in quality. It still comes from the heart. This clip was recorded a year or so ago. Enjoy! And if there are any tunes you’d like to hear here, let me know!


  1. Janet
    June 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I'm very much looking forward to Folk Friday, Jennie. I love music – any and all (from heavy rock to celtic, from country to classical). THIS is beautiful – and thanks for introducing me to a new Nova Scotian group. I'll watch for them in this neck of the woods and be sure to get to tickets to their events.

  2. Jennie Marsland
    June 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it, Janet!

  3. Red Writer
    June 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Love the celtic music, Jennie! I'll have to check them out.

  4. Jennie Marsland
    June 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for dropping by, Julie! If you like Celtic music, this group won't disappoint.

  5. Kelly Boyce
    June 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I wish this would play at work. I can't wait to get home and have a listen!

  6. Jennie Marsland
    June 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Kelly, thanks for popping by! I love this tune.

  7. Cheryl St.John
    June 30, 2010 at 3:48 am

    That is beautiful. I'm going to go see if it's available on itunes.

  8. Jennie Marsland
    June 30, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Cheryl, thanks for dropping by! I would expect The Briar and The Rose is available on itunes. Hope you can find it!