Sophie Janna
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Horo Johnny

Horo Johnny

Jul 05, 2021

Ha, for Traditional Song Tuesday this week I actually chose the topic! Well, I have to admit, I suggested 8 different topics, but one of them was "men called John" because I noticed that many of the folk songs we play with The Lasses are Johnny-related. And one of my favourite songs to sing with the bodhrán is Horo Johnny, so I was very excited to see that Johnny got the most votes this week! It also means that I don't have to record a new song this week (although I still might do that) because already there are many different versions online of me singing Horo Johnny.

For the sake of this blog post, I rewatched a version of Horo Johnny that I hadn't really looked at before, because I was afraid it wasn't going to be good enough. I was 6 months pregnant at the time of this concert. I was getting out of breath more easily because there wasn't as much space for my lungs to expand with my baby sitting there. But in fact when I hear me sing in this video it's barely noticeable, except perhaps at the very end ! And it's still a brilliant song. I have to admit that the bodhrán sounds better in a space with more wood around it, or if the bodhrán has been amplified, but for the balance between the voice and the drum I suppose this is all good :)

This concert was at Music Around the Fireplace in Hilversum, a lovely group that organizes events with singer-songwriters every last Thursday of the month. There are always three acts playing on one night which I absolutely love, because it means I get to hear other people's music without even having to go out of my way to see them. This same night I heard Géonne Hartman's songs properly for the first time - she played solo which made her guitar playing really shine, and I loved the vocal delivery of her songs as well. That kind of playing really inspires me to give it my all. When I was pregnant I was feeling really uncomfortable all of the time, cold, exhausted, clumsy, overwhelmed, sore, but when I'm making music I usually forget about all such things, I'm only breathing and thinking and moving in service of the song. I am so glad that I get to be in that space so often.

I had to post a picture too because otherwise this post won't have a thumbnail on the main page :) Picture taken by Michiel Verweij! Apologies for the fingerprints on the guitar ;)

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