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Back in August, Track 6 from the Sweetfire CD, “The Fresh Hills of Cein Mhic Cainte,” was featured on Marc Gunn’s Irish and Celtic Music Podcast. The episode is #55 which you can listen to through the following link or on iTunes when you seach for Celtic Music Podcast.

The tune was rated by the listeners of his show ( a great one if you like Celtic music) as the top tune for that show and it has quickly become the most downloaded song from the Sweetfire CD on iTunes. I have been contacted by people who have been searching for a recording of this song for years (it seems to be fairly obscure), some of them from other countries.

If I play the song at a show I may tell the following story of how I came across it:

I was a big fan of Lucy Maude Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) growing up. I read all the books and watched the movies regularly. When I was 7 or 8 the “Road to Avonlea” television series started and it quickly became my favorite show. A few years into the series, Gus Pike entered the ensemble; a young man, the new lighthouse keeper, love interest of the character Felicity, and most importantly, a fiddler. In the episode titled “Aunt Hetty’s Ordeal” he plays this haunting tune that I just had to learn. (For those who are interested, show synopsis can be found at The combination of my ability to quickly to pick up tunes by ear and my father’s abhorance of commercials (he records all TV shows) made it an easy few rewinds before the tune was mine. It became my theme song for the next few years (I even performed it in a play in eighth grade) and has always been one that I’ve come back to from time to time with a sense of comfort. I was thrilled to finally record it on the Sweetfire CD and equally thrilled that it’s reaching the audience that it is.

The original tune from the show was arranged by John Welsman and can be found through the following link:

Friday December 5th, 2008

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Laurel Thomsen

Violin, Viola, Vocals
Performance, Instruction, Recording

Based in Santa Cruz, California

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