My name is Lynda Cullen, a singer and teacher currently based in Villingendorf, Baden-Wüttemberg, Germany.
In my 20s, I lived in South Korea for 5 years. The Irish diaspora was strong. After a Christmas night out, a friend from Cork played John Spillane’s ‘Dance of the Cherry Trees’ album back at his place and the song ‘All the Ways you Wander’ really spoke to me. I still remember the feeling as we listened. We had all left Ireland out of a sense of adventure, a yearning to learn more about different cultures, see the world and hopefully learn more about ourselves. At Christmas especially, we missed home…but there’s something about this song that reminds me who I am while also saying ‘Take your time, we are here for you when you get back.’
20 years later I find myself in Germany. I’m content here and I consider myself very lucky to be still learning about another culture and myself, and still listening to John Spillane! During lockdown it seemed fitting to record a version of this song, not knowing when I might see family and friends again. I lived in Cork for 12 years before moving here, and a large part of my heart belongs there.
Chris and I (Sona) played for many years in Cork and so we decided to record this remotely, he in Frankfurt and I in Villingendorf, Baden-Württemberg. The spirit of this beautiful John Spillane song brought us right back to Cork. His Everyman Palace Christmas concert has become a Cork tradition. I recommend getting tickets if you can! It’s right up there with the spiced beef from the English Market as one of Cork’s greatest Christmas blessings.
Wherever you are on your own unique journey, in Ireland or abroad, I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that you find peace and many reasons to be joyful.