Slow airs are a big part of Celtic music. The dance music — the reels and jigs and hornpipes — get the most attention, but there is a long tradition of taking slow, often wistful tunes and inserting them right in the middle of mirth. Tommy Sands, the famous balladeer from the North of Ireland, was once asked why he sang songs to make someone sad. He answered: "I don't sing them to make you sad, but to take the sadness out of you."

That answer has stuck with me over the years, and this selection of airs might serve the same function during these uncertain and anxious times of COVID-19. I find the airs, the melodies, reassuring and transporting. I hope you do too.

The details are below. Again, if you like something, please go to the artists' websites, and tell them so. And while you are there, maybe buy a CD or merchandise if they have it, or tell them you'll come and see them in concert when they are coming to your area. More than ever, artists need support.

00:00 "Cití na gCumman," William Coulter, Celtic Voyage
04:55 "Westlin Winds," Rant, The Portage
08:58 "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music," Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Oilean
12:46 "Eleanor of Usen," Phil Cunningham, Transatlantic Sessions - Series 3: Volume Two
16:40 "Johnny's Tune for the Avalon," Paddy Keenan, Na Keen Affair
20:59 "Seothín Seothó," Edel Fox and Neil Byrne, The Sunny Banks
24:50 "Sleeping Tune," Winifred Horan, The Magic of Memory
28:28 "AR Bhurach Na Laoi," Tony McManus, Untitled
30:56 "Idir Deighric 'Gus Breo," Matt Molloy, Heathery Breeze
33:18 "Minnie O Shirva's Cradle Song," Kevin Henderson, Fin Da Laand Ageen
36:23 "All These Years," Solas, All These Years
39:11 "Singing Stream Air," Niall Vallely, Paul Meehan, Caoimhin Vallely, Buile
44:37 "Fjellvåk," The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, Untitled
48:32 "Archibald McDonald of Keppoch," Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Fire and Grace
53:11 "A Day and an Age," Liz Carroll, Lake Effect
58:54 "Plunkett," Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Lament
1:02:33 "Amhrán Na Leabhar," Dermot and Flo, Dermot Byrne and Floriane Blancke