Christiane Cargill

Christiane Cargill


"...the show belongs to Cargill. With her sensual approach, her vocals reach far without faltering. Add to this a soulful adeptness on the keyboard, and her stock is sky high." ~ Music Connection Magazine


Christiane Cargill was born and raised in Orange County, California. An accomplished and agile pianist with a gift for melodies and a fluid, soulful voice, she begged to take piano and organ lessons at the tender age of 3, while her legs were still too short to reach the pedals.

Christiane studied classical works with great enthusiasm, but found herself drawn to musical composition and songwriting. She wrote her first song at age 8, and had several albums worth of material written by the time she graduated high school. Christiane received a music scholarship to attend the University of California in Irvine, where she graduated with honors, receiving degrees in piano performance and psychology. After college, Christiane fronted the Los Angeles-based bands ELYN and Riddle the Sphinx, and enjoyed composing for several film projects.

Christiane also co-founded the non-profit organization HeARTS Giving Hope, and was featured in Glamour Magazine's 2005 Woman of the Year issue, and honored with the Toyota Moving Forward Award for bringing music and art therapy to at-risk children. A fiery redhead, Christiane loves to try new things, including scuba diving, indoor skydiving, hang-gliding, and firewalking, to name a few. So its no surprise that this passion for life comes out in her music.

In 2006, she decided to launch her first solo project, exploring her Scottish and Irish heritage. She says, "On this project, I've stepped back from the full band sound, as I wanted to make an intimate recording, capturing the mood and feel of Ireland and Scotland, and what those places have meant to me."

Christiane collaborated with engineer and co-producer David Peters on the project, and arranged the songs with an intimate chamber music feel, including piano & vocals, electric violin, cello, flute, and accordian, as well as percussion from Riddle the Sphinx bandmate Christo Pellani.

The decision to make a Celtic album came from the overwhelming response she received on her version of "Danny Boy," which was offered as a bonus track to people who pre-ordered the full-length Riddle the Sphinx CD, "Fun House." "I've been performing a few of the Irish songs at a gig here and there, and I'm really excited about the responses we've heard; people really seem to connect with these traditional songs, and as an artist, it's a wonderful challenge to take these songs and try to make them my own." In addition to traditional songs, the upcoming album, "Metamorphosis," will feature four original songs.

After recently opening for the Young Dubliners, Christiane says "I've got the bug for it now. I've always been in love with Celtic music, and I'm really looking forward to jumping into this project with both feet!"


Scottish Ballade

Written By: Christiane Cargill & Joy de Guzman

As the ship’s sails caught wind she engraved it in memory.
With a smile and one wave he turned carrying her heart to sea.
Past the months came a messenger, there, at last a letter, said she.
But a stranger’s hand read that a route, the ship had sank at sea.

Vows in the heather, embrace in the flowers was he.
My child’s hopes with the man drowned, sank to ground without me.
Hide me to memory’s shade, I’ll wake, nightmares fade.
One step I’d fall to the waves, In coldness I’d wake.
Is there no one to say I’m still sleeping in yesterday?

Although roses in May bloomed she strolled in lover’s fields alone.
In her mourning clothes, round-bellied, scorned without a ring to own.
So when snow came, the babe born on board a ship she sailed from home
With it formed a life far from the sorrow and jeering known.

Candle in darkness, my warmth through starkness is he.
Little son, I’ve undone harm, I’ve brought us at sea.
Sailing from memory’s shade, we’ll wake, nightmares fade.
Feel how we’re safe in the waves, in new lands we’ll wake.
There’ll be no one to say I was dreaming ….

Bonny lass you’ve not smiled, said the young captain, months on my boat.
Do you not sail to see the babe’s father? Said she, We are alone.
Pretty maid, let me make you smile, offered the man, kind and bold.
If you’ll be my bride, I’ll be the father to your babe in our home.

Voice of embrace like the heather winds blowing is he.
My child’s hopes come in this man, in a landless sea.
Is this my memory’s shade? Won’t I wake? Don’t dreams fade?
One step we’d fall to the waves, in coldness I’d wake.
But night has cleared. I’m not sleeping.
Not today.

Green Fields of France

Written By: Traditional

Oh how do you do young Willie McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside,
And rest for a while ’neath the warm summer sun,
I’ve been walking all day and I’m nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19
When you joined the great fall-in in 1916
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Oh Willie McBride was it slow and obscene.

Did they beat the drum slowly did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that faithful heart you’re forever 19.
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Forever enclosed behind some old glass pane
In an old photograph torn, battered and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.


The sun shining down on these green fields of France
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
The trenches have vanished long under the plow
No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that’s still no man’s land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
'Til man’s blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation were butchered and damned.


And I can’t help but wonder oh Willie McBride
Do all those who lie here know just why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killing and dying, was it all done in vain?
Oh Willie McBride it all happened again,
And again and again and again and again.


Four Green Fields

Written By: Traditional

"What did I have?" said the fine old woman
"What did I have?" this proud old woman did say
"I had four green fields, each one was a jewel
But strangers came and tried to take them from me
I had fine strong sons, they fought to save my jewels
They fought and died, and that was my grief" said she.

"Long time ago" said the fine old woman
"Long time ago" this proud old woman did say
"There was war and death, plundering and pillage
My children starved by mountain valley and sea
And their wailing cries, they shook the very heavens
My four green fields ran red with their blood" said she.

"What have I now?" said the fine old woman
"What have I now?" this proud old woman did say
"I have four green fields, one of them's in bondage
In stranger's hands, that tried to take it from me
But my sons have sons, as brave as were their fathers
My fourth green field will bloom once again" said she.


Metamorphosis - released April 7, 2007
*On 2008 Grammy Nomination Entry List for Best Contemporary Folk / Americana Album, Best Instrumental Composition (Ceili), and Best Short Form Music Video (Four Green Fields)

Set List

Isle of Skye (original)
Four Green Fields
Green Fields of France
Loch Lomond
Scottish Ballade (original)
Gentle Spirit (original)
Whiskey on a Sunday
Céili (original)
Danny Boy
Town of Bally-Bay
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda