Music Monday: Music from the North Country
The Rankins as a musical group were born out of the practice of the céilidh, a traditional Gaelic social gathering for storytelling, music, and dancing. The Rankins had twelve children in their small community of Mabou on the west coast of Cape Breton Island who regularly entertained their neighbors on the weekend gatherings.
Five of the children eventually formed a group and performed at various occasions in the 1970s. In the 1980s and 90s they began recording and became an award-winning musical act in Canada, winning several Juno awards, the equivalent of the U.S. Grammy.
Members of the group eventually went their separate ways to pursue independent careers, and brother John Morris and sister Raylene have since died.
The Rankins’ music over the years has included a wonderful combination of original pieces, poignant traditional Gaelic songs, and rollicking jigs and reels. I especially love it in the fall, when the north country cries out amidst fading beauty and joy delights in the harvest dance.
• • •
• • •