We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

The Winding Way Down To Kells Bay (With the RT​É​ ​Concert Orchestra)

by Emma Langford



Hello! I hope you love this utterly breathtaking, cinematic version of my little song. Please play it loud and proud, spread the word, and encourage others to do the same, and to donate to my charity partner on this release, Croí, through streams, downloads, or directly through their website – croi.ie/donate/

‘The Winding Way Down to Kells Bay’ is a song of love, loss and hope that recalls the warm halcyon days of a childhood by the sea. The track was originally released on Langford’s second album ‘Sowing Acorns’, in September 2020.

Emma wrote the track in memory of her grand-uncle Eamonn Langford who died suddenly in the summer of 2018, when she and her parents were visiting him. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the idyllic place he and his late wife spent much of their life, Kells Bay in South Kerry.

"I wanted to capture the essence of the place - the natural beauty of it of course; but also the people, their manner, and the craic that can always be found in a small close-knit community like theirs." says Langford.

"When I released it first, a lot of people connected with it – people who had visited Kells Bay on their holidays, who had met Eamonn at some point, but also people who had never been there or met him. It felt like home to a lot of people."

As her second album ‘Sowing Acorns’ was being pieced together, Emma made the decision that each track would be a dedication. The song is dedicated to the memory of her grand-uncle, and to the kind people of the Iveragh Peninsula who were his friends, and who took care of Emma and her family in the days surrounding his passing.

In late 2020, Emma was approached by RTÉ’s Elizabeth Laragy to record a version of the song with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, as part of their Folk Season broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1. Cormac McCarthy’s arrangement brought a new energy to the song:

“This was such an exciting chance to hear my own song in a new light. I remember hearing it for the first time and I was transported – Cormac’s arrangement feels like an aerial view of the place, it feels like flying over the hills, skimming across the sea, and landing in my grand-uncle’s house by the fire for a cupán tae and a chat. It’s perfect.”

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra relished being involved in this remote recording project – while isolated from their musical and wider community, it was an opportunity to work creatively, and to come together virtually to collaborate with Langford on a project with such resonance for so many. Emma recorded her own final vocal and guitar parts at Open Door Studio in John’s Square, Limerick City, before all the separate components were passed on for mixing to her go-to producers, The Production Suite in Dublin.

The beautiful new collaborative version of ‘The Winding Way Down To Kells Bay’ will be available from early July on all streaming platforms, as well as to buy/stream on Bandcamp, with all profits from its sales going to Irish heart and stroke charity, Croí. The aim of Croí is to lead the fight against heart disease and stroke, with a particular focus on the West of Ireland. Their mission is to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery & wellbeing. Emma chose to support Croí, as they also work to support education around CPR, first aid response, and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Thanks to swift action and competence in CPR from individuals on the beach on the day of her grand-uncle’s heart attack, Emma and her family had the chance to say goodbye to him before he passed peacefully in University Hospital Limerick. Her hope is that through supporting Croí, more people will be able to train in CPR and AED use.


Oh the road stretches out before your feet on the winding way down to Kells Bay
And the Golden sunset's like no other they say on the winding way down to Kells Bay
Where sorrow's met with smiling eyes and a great black cloak brushed with stars for a sky
And the old trees lean in there to whisper a tale on the winding way down to Kells Bay

There's a song in the heart of the people you'll meet on the winding way down to Kells Bay,
Yes a joke to be shared and a drink to be drank on the winding way down to Kells Bay
And the green Kerry Hills overlooking the sea, and the fuschias are blooming so brightly and sweet
And the ocean could carry our worries away on the winding way down to Kells Bay

On the winding way down, oh the winding way down,
On the winding way down to Kells Bay
Yes the ocean could carry our worries away on the winding way down to Kells Bay

There's a saint on the hillside i dteach deas beag buí, on the winding way down to Kells Bay
Lean isteach leat a stóirín agus lig do scíth on the winding way down to Kells Bay,
And when the bell rings then we'll all head away on the winding road down to Kells Bay,
Where the ocean could carry our worries away on the winding way down to Kells Bay,

And the Golden sunset's like no other, they say, on the winding way down to Kells Bay,
And we'll stop for the chat, and the auld cupán tae, on the winding way down to Kells Bay.

Yes the ocean could carry our worries away, on the winding way down...


released July 1, 2022
Lyrics, melody, vocal & guitar by Emma Langford
Arranged for orchestra by Cormac McCarthy
Orchestra ecorded remotely by RTÉ Concert Orchestra members
Vocal & guitar recorded by Joe Mulcahy at Open Door Studios, Limerick
Mixed by Chris O'Brien and Graham Murphy at The Production Suite, Dublin
Mastered by Richard Dowling, Wav Mastering, Limerick

Artwork by Selkies


all rights reserved



Emma Langford Limerick, Ireland

Emma is a Limerick-based songwriter with strong folk, traditional influences that shine through her work


contact / help

Contact Emma Langford

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this track or account

Emma Langford recommends:

If you like Emma Langford, you may also like: