1 John Blessings:
Tinker Hill, Patsy Touheys, Mary
Bergins, Johnny 'Watt' Henrys (reels)
The first reel is one of the reels made known to the world through the playing of South Leitrim flute player John Blessing, and has been previously recorded by John Lee &
Séamus Maguire on ‘The Missing Reel’. Patsy Touheys is called after the legendary piper, reputedly the first man to record Irish Traditional music, way back in the ages before mini-discs and cds! The next reel was popularised by the playing of Mary Bergin, recorded on her landmark album ‘Feadog Stáin’. The final reel is one of the many reels associated with the blind Sligo fiddler Johnny ‘Watt’ Henry, and has been commonly titled after him.
2 Jig Songs:
These three pieces belong to the tradition of lilting with words, or infant-dandling songs, and are associated with the great sean-nos singer, Peadar O’Ceannabhain.
2a An Rógaire Dubh
The tune to this song has a long history. The version which we play appears in TUNES OF THE MUNSTER PIPERS
published in the 1860s.
Tá mo stoca is mo bhróga ag an rógaire dubh (x3)
Mo naipicín póca le blian sa lá inniu
Tá nead insa sliabh ag an rógaire dubh (x3)
Ní ghabhfaidh sé an bóthar ach cóngar an chnoic
Da bhfeicteása Máire taobh eile den tsruth (x3)
Is a dhá chois in airde ag an rógaire dubh!
The black rogue has taken my socks and shoes (x3)
And my pocket handkerchief, a year ago today
The black rogue has a nest in the mountain (x3)
He won't travel by road, but takes the shortcut
over the hill
If you were to see Máire on the far side of the
And the black rogue's two legs high up in the
2b Na Ceannabháin Bhána
(The Little Fair Cannavans)
Collected by Séamus Ennis from Colm Ó
Caoidheáin of Glinsk, Connemara in 1943.
The tune version of the slip-jig was recorded
by Ennis for his 1974 album THE WANDERING
MINSTREL. In the sleeve notes he says: "The slip-jig which follows, is from the same source [Colm Ó Caoidheáin], but was lilted with words, as an infant-dandling song,
Cannavan being a surname. Colm regards it as the folk-composition of a woman who was tending a neighbour's two children in their absence - an old-time baby-sitter's
occupational song!" Briste go glúine 'bhí ar Pháidin Ó Raifeartaigh Hata gan bonn 'bhí ar Pháidin Ó Raifeartaigh
Cosa buí arda 'bhí ar Pháidin Ó Raifeartaigh
Ach d'éalaigh mo ghrása le Pháidin Ó
Eírigh I do shuí a Pháidin Ó Raifeartaigh
Faraor ní fhéadaim tá ioscadaí lag ionam
Tá mé san aois ach nil trí troithe ar fad ionam
Féach mar sin fhéin go raibh mealladh na
Cailín 'ti mhóir go deo ní ghlacfaidh mé
Bíonn sí nuall-ghuthach stuachach feargach
Bíonn buille ar gach ní ar chat is ar mhada aici
Amach sa meán oiche bíonn focal na faire aici
Cailín ón sliabh go fóill a bheas agamsa
Blífidh sí an bhó agus ceanglóidh sí an capall dom
Déanfaidh sí an ciste, mo chuid ime 'gus
Is go deo deo ní éalóidh le Páidin Ó Raifeartaigh
Trousers with no waistband wore Paddy O'Rafferty
A tall yellow hat wore Paddy O'Rafferty Long skinny legs had Paddy O'Rafferty
And my true love eloped with Paddy O'Rafferty
Breeches to the knee had Paddy O'Rafferty
A hat with no base wore Paddy O'Rafferty
Long yellow legs had Paddy O'Rafferty
Yet my true love ran away with Paddy O'Rafferty
Rise up now, Paddy O'Rafferty
Alas! I'm not able to, the backs of my kness being weak
I'm of age, but no more than three feet in height
Even so, I had the seduction of women in me!
A girl from the big house I will never accept
She's often loudmouthed, sulky, cantankerous
She hits out at everything, the cat and the dog,
in the middle of the night she has the watchword
A girl from the mountain I'll get myself yet
She will milk the cow and fetter the horse for me
She'll make the cake, my butter and milk for me
And she'll never elope with Paddy O'Rafferty
2c Páidín O Raifeartaí
According to Francis O' Neill's book (IRISH FOLK MUSIC, A FASCINATING HOBBY, 1910) the air to this song is supposed to have been composed by the blind harper Turlough O'Carolan 'in honor of a little boy of that name who won immortality by obligingly opening the gate for the bard while paying a visit to his first love, Bridget Cruise.' The author of the humorous words to the tune is unknown.
Briste gan básta 'bhí ar Pháidin Ó Raifeartaigh
Hata buí ard 'bhí ar Pháidin Ó Raifeartaigh
Cosa caola ard 'bhí ar Pháidin Ó Raifeartaigh
Is d'éalaigh mo ghrása le Pháidin Ó
Faidhfilileá, faidhfilil adió
Faidhfilileá is faidhfilil adió
3 Father Jack:
The Pipers picnic, t'Athair Jack Walsh, Pull the knife & stick it again, Banks of Lough Gowna (jigs). Four jigs this time. The first is a jig that was in the popular repertoire of Sligo tin-whistler Jimmy McGettrick. Séamus introduced it to us, and it is noted in the music collection ‘Trip to Sligo’. The next two are old favourites of ours, and are regularly played in the Sligo area. Shane reminded us of the Banks of Lough Gowna to complete the set.
4 The Fair-Haired Boy
Published by Acorn Music / Warner Chappell
Our good friend Brendan Graham gave this song to us. It is part of the soundtrack Brendan wrote to compliment his best-selling book ‘The Whitest Flower’ published by
Harper Collins. The song is set in the 19th century during the Irish famine, and tells of the sorrow of parting.
Oh, my fair-haired boy, no more I'll see
You walk the meadows green;
Or hear your song run through the fields
Like yon mountain stream
Your ship waits on the western shore
To bear you o'er from me;
But wait I will till Heaven's door-
My fair-haired boy to see.
All joy is gone that we once knew
All sorrow newly found
Soon you'll in California be
Or Colorado bound
Let no sad tears now stain your cheek
As we kiss our last goodbye;
Think not upon when we might meet
My love, my fair-haired boy
If not in life we'll be as one
Then, in death, we'll be;
And there will grow two hawthorn trees
Above my love and me.
And they will reach up to the sky
And the hawthorn flower will bloom where lie
My fair-haired boy and me
And the hawthorn flower will bloom where lie
My fair-haired boy and me.
5 Siesta Set:
Kevin Burkes, McCabes, the Siesta (composed by Tom Morrow), Gabe O'Sullivans (reels). We start with a reel named after fiddler Kevin Burke, and follow it with McCabes, which Tom learned some years ago at a session in Clare. The third reel was composed by Tom in a moment of inspiration (?) during the recording of this album in Beltra. It is titled after the previous day’s close encounter between a Seat & a Fiesta, which belies the tunes good humour! The last reel we picked up from a great neighbouring band ‘At the Racket’, the tune being associated with Gabe O’Sullivan, flute player originally from Galway.
6 The Soldier Laddie
Robbie Burns (words)
The words of this song were composed by Robert Burns in 1785 as part of his cantata The Jolly Beggars. They were not published until after his death. The tune 'Sodger Laddie'
which Burns indicated as the tune to which this song was to be sung may have been a popular tune at the time. Cathy first heard this song from her good friend Amy O’Hara, who
learned it at the Tubbercurry Summer School.
I once was a maid but I cannot tell when
still my delight is in proper young men
Some one of a troop of dragoons was my daddy
No wonder I fell for a young soldier laddie
Sing fol de rol... etc
The first of my loves was a swaggering blade
To rattle the thundering drum was his trade
His leg was so tight and his cheek was so ruddy
Transported was I with my young soldier laddie
But the Godly old chaplin left him in the lurch
The gun I forsook for the sake of the church
He ventured the soul and I risked the body
'Twas then I proved false to my young soldier laddie
Full soon I grew sick of my sanctified thoughts
To the regiment at large for a husband I sought
From the gilded spitoon to the fife I was ready
And I asked for no more than a young soldier laddie
But the peace it reduced me to beg in despair
Till I met my old laddie at Canningham Fair
His rags regimental they fluttered so gaudy
And my heart did rejoice in my young soldier laddie
Now I have lived for I know not how long
But still I can join in a cup or a song
While with both hands I can hold the glass steady
Here's to you my love my young soldier laddie
7 Beauties of Autumn:
The Beauties of Autumn (march, comp J. Brady), An Páistin Fionn (hornpipe). We start this set with a march entitled 'The
Beauties of Autumn' which was composed by John Brady, the noted Offaly composer & flute player. Tom discovered it years ago on an old Longridge band recording. It is followed by a hornpipe version of the air 'An Páistin Fionn', before returning to an up-tempo version of the Beauties of Autumn to finish the set.
8 The Lag's Song
This song was written by Ewan McColl in 1956. It was used as the musical theme for IN PRISON, a documentary film made in Strangeways Prison, Manchester, by the English film-maker Dennis Mitchell. Séamus has known the song for several years having first come across it on the Dubliners album 'Dubliners Together Again,' 1979.
When I was a young man
Sometimes I'd wonder
What happened to time as it passed
Then one day I found out
That time just lands in prison
And there it is held fast
When I was a young man
I used to go courting
Underneath the moon and the stars
The moon is still shining
But the dreams they are all broken
On these hard iron bars
Look out of the window
Over the rooftops
Over the wall, up to the sky
Just one flying leap and you could make your getaway
If only you could fly
The prison is sleeping
The nightwatch is keeping
His watch over seven hundred men
And behind every cell door
A sleeping lad lies dreaming
Oh, to be free again.
Repeat 1st Verse
9 Boots of Spanish Leather
Cathy was introduced to this song by Fran Hegarty, a long time friend of the band and chose to sing it for a birthday commemoration held in Dublin to celebrate Bob Dylan's
60th year. Words are available on the World Wide Web.
10 & 11 O'Raghailligh’s Grave & Swallows Tail:
O'Raghailligh’s Grave (air), Swallows Tail (reel)
Liam begins this set with a version of the wellknown
ancient air O'Raghailligh’s Grave, which commemorates the Irish poet Aodhgan O'Raghailligh. It is followed by a travelling version of the reel 'The Swallows Tail', which
has been associated with the Keenan family.
12 The Cocks Are Crowing
Hugh Shields recorded a version of this song from the County Down singer Eddie Butcher in 1966. In his book ADAM IN PARADISE, 1969, Shields says of this song: “A young man taps at a girl's window before daybreak and pleads with her to elope with him....Their dialogue at the window and their parting are full of exquisite poetry which puts this English song among the best of Eddie's repertory....the song seems relatively rare in Ireland and Eddie's version of it is quite unique”. Cathy first heard this sung by the Voice Squad.
The cocks are crowing, daylight is appearing
It's drawing nigh to the break of day
Arise my darling out of your slumber
Arise my darling and let me in
And when he came to his true love's window
He kneeled low down upon a stone
And through the window he whispered softly
"Arise my darling and let me in"
"Well who is that that is at my window,
and who is that that gives me no rest"
" 'Tis I, 'tis I a poor wounded lover
who fain would speak with you love awhile"
"Then go away love and ask your daddy
If he would have you my bride to be
and if he says no then return and tell me
For this is the last time I will trouble thee"
"Oh my dada is in his bed chamber
he's fast asleep on his bed of ease
but in his pocket there lies a letter
which reads far love on to your disgrace"
"Oh what disgrace can he do unto me
A faithful husband to you I'll be
and what other neighbours have round their houses
the same my darling you would have with me"
"Then go away love and ask your mammy
if she would have you my bride to be
But if she says no then return and tell me
For this is the last time I will trouble thee"
"Oh my mama she's an old aged woman
and scarce can hear love one word I say
but she'd have you go love and court some other
For I'm not a fitting girl your bride to be"
"I'll go away but I'll court no other
my heart is linked all on your charms
I'd have you go love and leave your mammy
For you're only fit to lie in your love's arms"
"I'll go away unto the wild mountains
where I'll see nothing but the wild deer
and I'll eat nothing but the wild herbs sure
I'll drink nothing but my true love's tears"
"If the Kellybawn it were mine in the chorus
and the green fields they were mine and wide
If my pen was made of the tempered steel sure
My true love's praises I could never write".
Trounsdells Cross, Whelans (jigs). The first jig Liam subconsciously picked up somewhere on his travels, and has discovered that the source for it is accordion man P.J.
King of Clare. Whelans jig follows it, a wellknown jig that gets an alternative treatment this time out!
Goirm fhéin, goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin,
goirim fhéin Micil is Máire
Goirm fhéin, goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin, seo'd
iad na Ceannabháin Bhána
Cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé,
cuirfidh mé suas chuig Sadhbh Sheáin thú
Cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé, is
cuirfidh sí buairín sa ngleann ort
I myself applaud Micil and Máire (x3)
I myself acclaim them, the little fair
I'll send you up to Sadhbh Sheáin's (x3)
And she will put a spancel on you in the glen
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