Released on Monday 21 December, the winter solstice, Anam Cara Gaelic for ‘soul friend’ was inspired by the book written by the late Irish poet, John O‘ Donohue. The song was written early in 2020 when Deborah rediscovered the book in Glasgow Cathedral while at Celtic Connections. At evensong the sermon spoke of moving away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and going inward, finding a deeper, more lasting peace in prayer and contemplation, the spirit within, lyrics below.
In this feast of silence
In the bliss of solitude
I steal away from the neon
My soul is renewed
In the shadow of your wings
There’s a reverence that sings
No casualty of words
A deep peace within
Among the remnants
Of the rubble and the shards
I hear the small still voice of God
Calling home to me
A whisper in the dark
Hiding in the space between heaven and earth
And in the reckoning
Of what is false and true
An ancient circle
Surrounding me and you
Like a faith keeper
Of wisdom and of grace
I stand by you
You stand by me
Like a stone in its place
The song was recorded with Boo Hewerdine and Chris Pepper in his Saltwell Studio in Cambridge just before lockdown in early March, before news of the pandemic had fully hit. Both Boo (electric guitar, keyboards and harmonium) and Chris (keyboards) feature on the single.
Anam is the Gaelic word for soul; Cara is the word for friend. John O’ Donohue believes the Anam Cara is God’s gift. It can be a person who you share a sense of ancient belonging with, or simply the world that lives within you. He says, “When you acknowledge the integrity of your solitude, and settle into its mystery, your relationships with others take on a new warmth, adventure and wonder.”
To quote Deborah “Christmas this year for many could be more reflective and low key, as people spend time in smaller groups or alone, due to the current pandemic. I love the notion in John‘s book that Jesus, the son of God is the secret Anam Cara of every individual. In an ever growing secular modern world, this year might be one where there is more time and space to reflect on a deeper meaning of Christmas. This song is a celebration of peace, and the joy of friendship.”
Originally from Wales, the Celtic landscapes have always inspired Deborah and her song-writing. Taigh Allain, written in the Trossachs, appeared on her first album ‘Song be My Soul’, the title track which explores the theme of hieraith, longing for the Welsh homeland. Wrestling with Angels, from her second album, ‘The Shining Pathway’ was written in Aberdeenshire, at a church near Balmoral, when the Queen was in attendance.
Deborah’s new album due to be released in 2021 references more of the Welsh borders. Living Waters a lament to the River Teme and its wildlife, and Catalina an ode to Catherine of Aragon who moved to Ludlow Castle, from the Alhambra, in Granada, for her marriage to Prince Arthur.
Anam Cara will be released digitally on 21 December and on 7” vinyl to pre-order, to be delivered in January. This is her first release on vinyl. The B side of the record will feature her recent single Rings of Saturn released this summer on her own label Abracadeborah Records.
This winter, Deborah will be launching a new range of handmade letterpress stationary sets, containing lyrics from her first, second and forthcoming album.
For more information and to order the single and other releases please visit the shop.
For all media enquiries, please contact:
James Soars 01536 720245/07758781032