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Peter Kearney | A Gift of Song

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AUSTRALIA - New South Wales

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Folk: Singer/Songwriter Spiritual: Contemporary Christian Moods: Solo Male Artist
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A Gift of Song

by Peter Kearney

Folk-style ballads, songs and hymns, mostly written as gifts for family, friends, good causes and good people. "Well-crafted songs and polished productions." (Gordon Biok)
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Song for the Educators (feat. Kevin Hunt)
4:02 $2.70
2. Celebrate Me Day
2:25 $1.70
3. Percy Mumbulla (feat. Kevin Hunt)
4:43 $1.70
4. There Is a Quiet (Mary MacKillop)
4:48 $1.70
5. Always There / Father Ted
4:37 $1.70
6. Journey to Change (feat. Kevin Hunt)
2:26 $1.70
7. Keeper of the Shrine
5:37 $1.70
8. One in Love, One in God (feat. Louise Cassidy & Frank Iacono)
3:19 $1.70
9. Love Is Starting Over
3:10 $1.70
10. Gather Round This Table (Wedding Song)
4:22 $1.70
11. The Love Light (Wedding Song)
1:31 $1.70
12. Sophie You're a Star
0:39 $1.00
13. God Is Good
3:23 $1.70
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Peter Kearney writes: "When I first discovered my ‘gift of song’ I was still a teenager. Some folk-hymns I wrote then were taken up by others, sung all round Australia, eventually in many different countries. That encouraged me! Ever since, I’ve written songs, sometimes on personal themes, more usually as gifts for others. 'A Gift of Song' is a mixed collection. Some songs will suit primary-aged children - ‘Celebrate Me Day’ and 'God is Good' are already proven favourites with children in Ireland and Australia. Other songs are complex and reflective, more for adults, but then I‘ve long since ceased to be surprised by the capacity of children to appreciate more ‘grown up’ themes, especially if led into the material by a good teacher.

Contains a 60-page PDF Book containing melodies, words & chords for all songs in this collection. Also contains an action sheet for 'Celebrate Me Day' and a Circle Dance' to go with 'God Is Good'. Available through Peter Kearney. For contact details and a link to Peter's online store see his 'Artist Page' in CD-Baby.


Track List & Notes on the Songs:
01 SONG FOR THE EDUCATORS: Written for a National Catholic Education Conference in Canberra, Australia. The song has often been used by many schools and colleges for staff prayer at the start of term or the beginning of a school year.
02 CELEBRATE ME DAY: Written as a gift for Sr. Cecilia Molloy, an Irish Presentation sister and good friend to Peter and his wife Madge. Sr. Cecilia has had a long-time involvement with Rainbows Ireland. "Rainbows is a non profit making, international organisation that provides curricula for establishing peer support groups for children, youth and adults who have experienced a death, separation, divorce or other painful transition in their family" (Rainbows website). The twelfth and final week of the children’s program is called the ‘Celebrate Me Day’ … to celebrate coming through the storm.
03 PERCY MUMBULLA: Peter's musical setting of a a fine flight of words by Christine Smith who lives in the outback town of Wilcannia in western New South Wales. Christine has written an extended piece (full text on the Resource CD-Rom) about her friendship with Percy Mumbulla. Her opening paragraph goes: "Percy Mumbulla was a elder of the South Coast Aboriginal people. I was also told he was a clever man of the tribe. He lived the culture as strongly as any Aboriginal person in a remote area of Australia, and his cultural life was lived even amidst the commercial developments of the South Coast, so close to Sydney. It was as if he lived in a parallel universe and the Western ways didn't touch him. He had a mystical consciousness which he delighted in sharing".
04 THERE IS A QUIET: The lyrics of this song are from the first five verses of a poem ‘An Icon For Australia’ by Josephite sister Patricia Mary White RSJ. Peter was glad to receive Pat's blessing for his musical setting and her permission to publish. The powerful words describe Mary MacKillop’s calling and early years of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The first verse evokes the geology of the land around Penola, South Australia where Mary’s work began. Her friend and co-founder of the Order, Fr. Julian Tenison-Woods was a keen amateur scientist with a particular interest in geology.
05 ALWAYS THERE - FATHER TED: Fr. Ted Kennedy (1931-2005) was a friend to many, and many friends met through knowing Ted. He was a living testament to the miracle of the loaves and fishes, having the rare gift to spread himself widely yet deeply. Peter Kearney writes: "In 1966 at Sydney University Ted met me, a shy young man from Sans Souci, heard my ‘gift of song’ and encouraged it. He was the first to hear so many of my songs that were inspired by his friendship, conversation and example. For the last 30 years of his life Ted was priest at St. Vincent’s Church Redfern, a friend and advocate for the many Aboriginal people who lived in that area".
06: JOURNEY TO CHANGE: Peter's gift of song for a school group going on a journey to Zambia. The group was comprised of 10 students from Scoil Mhuire (St. Mary’s School), Clane, Co. Kildare and their chaplain, Mr. Pat Breslan. Pat writes about the journey: "We did not go there just to observe but rather to immerse themselves in what it means to live in the developing world. This project was about giving and receiving - but in reality we received so much more from the gentle and welcoming Zambian people".
07 KEEPER OF THE SHRINE: Peter Kearney writes: "I met Charlie McGlynn (1930-2001) in Lattimer, Pennsylvania as he tended a stone memorial to the victims of an 1897 massacre of striking miners. He called the memorial ‘The Rock of Solidarity’. After Charlie and I had corresponded for some years ‘Keeper of the Shrine’ was eventually written, based on his information and reflections. The song was my gift for him and his cause and it was completed in time for the centenary of the massacre. Charlie was pleased: "You did a wonderful job on the ballad about the Lattimer Massacre. I like it very much. You certainly included a lot of information about Lattimer in the ballad. Very good - Very good. Thank you - Thank you!" The version of ‘Keeper of the Shrine’ heard on this album was recorded very soon after the song was written. It was this recording that was sent to Charlie McGlynn. There are a couple of ‘glitches’, for example the popping ‘p’ in ‘peaceful’ during Verse 2. But in the end I chose to use this version because its feeling and strength could not be replicated in a ’glitch-free’ recording.
08 ONE IN LOVE, ONE IN GOD: Written as gift for a gathering of staff from Catholic schools in the Wollongong Diocese, New South Wales.
09 LOVE IS STARTING OVER: For a second marriage. Peter writes: "A gift of song for my brother John Kearney and his wife Christine on the occasion of their wedding in 2003. This was a second marriage for both John and Christine. After conversations with them I wrote their song, trying to give voice to the complex emotions surrounding such an event".
10 GATHER ROUND THIS TABLE: The song was written in Mittagong in 1982-3 as a gift for one of Peter's guitar students who was getting married.
11 THE LOVE LIGHT: A special gift of song—for the wedding of Peter and Madge's son Jason Kearney, for Jason's wife Ellen (and little Sophie too!). The song is a short blessing and quite general in content, so could be used for other occasions.
12. SOPHIE YOU'RE A STAR: This little song was tagged onto ‘The Love Light’. The bemused couple sat on stools as we danced around them. Sophie loved ‘Ring a Ring a Rosie’ at that time, so this was the wedding equivalent. It would be simple to substitute other names in this song and sing it for different celebrations.
13 GOD IS GOOD: Another song for Peter's Irish friend, Sr. Cecilia Molloy, who as well as her work with ‘Rainbows Ireland’ (see notes for ‘Celebrate Me Day’) lived and worked at Mount St. Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard, Co. Laois. Peter writes: "As often happens when I’m writing a song for someone, I asked Cecilia to 'come up with' any words, images and phrases she would see as ‘keys’ to a song about Mount St. Anne's. She thought for a few moments and then said simply: “God is good. I am good. Life is good.”

'The Little Portion' Studio, Welby, Australia and 'Riverview Studio', Carlow, Ireland.
Produced, engineered and mixed by Peter Kearney

Lachlan MacBean: African drum on 'One in Love, One in God'
Peter Kearney: Guitar, recorder and other parts.
KEVIN HUNT: Keyboard parts and accordion. Over the last 20 years, Kevin has shared the stage with international artists including: Herb Ellis, Billy Cobham, Sheila Jordon, and Larry Adler. He has also recorded and performed with most of Sydney's prominent jazz artists. He works with his own trio, the 'Kevin Hunt JS Bach Trio' and also toured extensively with Don Burrows”. In 1999, Kevin was awarded the Mo Award for Australia’s 'Jazz Instrumentalist Performer of the Year'.

Choral group on 'One in Love, One in God': Louise Cassidy, Frank Iacono, Peter Michael, Clare Michael.
Peter Kearney sings all other songs.



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