Kíla ‘Cúl an Tí’ recordings aim to inspire interest in Irish songs

Experimental music launch features animation by Cartoon Saloon and music by Imelda May, Mundy and Mary Coughlan

Readers can view Mundy singing An Spailpín Fánach with Kíla.

Who said learning Irish wasn’t fun! Prominent Irish band Kíla have published an experimental DVD aimed at inspiring children to learn songs in Irish through the combination of music, lyrics and animation.

Recorded in collaboration with some of Ireland's best known singers including Mundy, Imelda May, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Mary Coughlan, Cúl an Tí was inspired by the eponymous TG4 TV series where presenter Pól Ó Ceannabháin travelled to schools around the country introducing children to well-known and lesser-known Irish songs and poems.

The brainchild of Fócas Films producer, Éamon Ó Cualáin, the latest project saw animators from award winning animation studio Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner) collaborate with Kíla to animate four new songs, two poems and two original tracks.

Designed for use in the classroom and at home, the DVD includes a printable lyric sheet, translation sheet and the option of viewing the lyrics as karaoke-style subtitles.


Musician Rossa Ó Snodaigh said the idea was conceived at the Kilkenny Animation festival where his band, Kíla, played at the launch of the TG4 series.

He said making the songs and animations available in a single package “as opposed to spread over six programmes” means they could be used in schools, singing clubs to aid the teaching of the songs.

One of the difficulties encountered during the project was selecting what songs to feature in the DVD.

“The selection was difficult in that whereas we wanted to do all new songs and the producers wanted traditional songs,” said Ó Snodaigh.

“So a compromise was reached. It was actually wonderful to hear some of the more well known singers bring their style to bear on the traditional songs.

The first TV series of Cúl An Tí was broadcast as a 6-episode series and a new series is currently in pre-production.

This latest collaborative project features prominent artists including Lisa Hannigan, Danny O'Reilly of The Coronas and John Spillane.

“Most performers were very excited by the challenge and the opportunity to sing songs ‘as Gaeilge’ some were reticent because they felt their Gaeilge wasn’t up to scratch, but Colm went over the lyrics, their sounds and meanings with them which gave them the confidence to perform them to their best.”

The DVD is being launched at the Gaeloideachas annual conference in Galway on Friday. Readers can view Mundy singing An Spailpín Fánach with Kíla at the following link: crystalmedia.ie/klcat (code CATGDQXMYMQJ).

Cúl and Tí track listing:

1. An tAmhrán Bréagach Pól Ó Ceannabháin Beochantóir - Walter Giampaglia

2. Cill Aodáin Danny O’Reilly (The Coronas) Beochantóir - Pádraig Fagan

3. Dónal na Gréine Cathal Ó Curráin Beochantóir - Alex Sherwood

4. Laoi an Lagáin Mary Coughlan Beochantóir - Lily Bernard

5. An Spailpín Fánach Mundy Beochantóir - Janis Aussel

6. An Raibh tú ar an gCarraig? Liam Ó Maonlaí Beochantóir - Paul Ó Muiris

7. Cuirfi mid Daeindí Bernie Pháid Beochantóir - Tod Polson

8. Aonach Bhearna na Gaoithe Irial Ó Ceallaigh Beochantóir - Mark Fisher

9. An tEarrach Thiar Lisa Hannigan Beochantóir - Eimhin McNamara

10. Cúl an Tí John Spillane Beochantóir - Louise Bagnall

11. Tá Mé Gonna Getcha Rónán Ó Snodaigh 7 Laura Sheeran Beochantóir - Joe Carroll

12. Fé Bhláth Imelda May (le caoinchead universal records) Beochantóir - Ross Stewart

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Iriseoir agus Eagarthóir Gaeilge An Irish Times. Éanna Ó Caollaí is The Irish Times' Irish Language Editor, editor of The Irish Times Student Hub, and Education Supplements editor.