Tommy Makem: Discography
Ancient Pulsing


  • Ancient Pulsing
    • 1996 - Red Biddy RB-3001 CD
  • Track List:
    1. Ireland — (Tommy Makem)
    2. Life Waters — (Tommy Makem)
    3. Ode — (Arthur O'Shaughnessy)
    4. The Man From God Knows Where — (Florence Wilson)
    5. Pegasus — (Patrick Kavanagh)
    6. Winter — (Tommy Makem)
    7. My Fidil Is Singing — (Joseph Campbell)
    8. Causeway — (Peter Makem)
    9. Traveling To Skellig Michael — (Connie Sanford Jeffrey)
    10. Peter Kagen and The Wind — (Gordon Bok)
    11. The Songman — (Tommy Makem)
    12. I Am The Mountainy Singer — (Joseph Campbell)
    13. A Glass of Beer — (Cathal Buidhe Mac Gillegunna)
    14. Emhain Macha — (Peter Makem)
    15. The Children of Michael — (J.B. Goodenough)
    16. To Welcome In The Spring — (Tommy Makem)
    17. Watercolors — (Connie Sanford Jeffrey)
    18. A Childhood Christmas — (Peter Kavanagh)
    19. Brugh na Boinne — (Tommy Makem)
    20. Titanic — (Peter Makem)
    21. The Voyaging Done — (Tommy Makem)
    22. Young Land; Ancient Land — (Tommy Makem)

  • Musicians
    • Tommy Makem: Bodhrán, Whistle, Guitar and Autoharp
    • Aine Minogue: Harp
    • Bob Mastro: Violin
    • Ronnie D'Addario: Guitar
    • Rory Makem: Guitar, 12 String Guitar, Harmonica and Bass
    • Seamus Connolly: Fiddle
  • Credits
    • Produced by Tommy Makem & Rory Makem for Bard Enterprises
    • Recorded at Bard Studios, Dover, NH
    • Recording Engineer: Rory Makem
    • Tracks 1.3.11 & 22 Recorded at WMHT Television, Schenectady NY by Charlie Ebel (Used by Permission)
    • Mixed by Tommy Makem and Rory Makem at Bard Studios, Dover, NH.
    • Mastered by Jeff Landrock at Landrock Studios, Berwick, ME

Sleeve Notes

Ireland (Tommy Makem)
A salute to the small green island, gleaming in the North Atlantic, that has sent its disproportionate cultural contributions reverberating around the world.
Music: Were you at the rock?
Harp: Aine Minogue

Life Waters (Tommy Makem)
Our cultural heritage, continually renewing itself, keeps nurturing the soul of a nation, century after century, in an endless expanse of time.
Music: Savourneen Deelish
Fiddle: Seamus Connolly; Harp: Aine Minogue

Ode (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1844-1881)
Nineteenth century poet Arthur O'Shaughnessy's great tribute to the music makers and bards, who, down the centuries, have enriched Ireland's culture so much.
Music: Sliabh Fuadh (Tommy Makem)
Guitar: Robbie D'Addario; Violin: Bob Mastro

Pegasus (Patrick Kavanagh)
A very powerful, poignant, insightful poem of "modern" Ireland from a master poet.
Music: Old Foggy Dew
Harp: Aine Minogue; Whistles: Tommy Makem

The Man From God Knows Where (Florence Wilson)
A story of the rebellion of 1798 when the United Irishmen rose, mostly in Counties Wexford, Antrim and Down, to fight oppression. This story is from Co. Down and "the man" in the poem was Thomas Russell an organizer for the United Irishmen.
Music: The Battle of Ballynahinch
Whistle: Tommy Makem

Winter (Tommy Makem)
Winter - a dark time of rest and renewal, preparing for the returning light and the Rite of Spring.
Music: The Palatine's Daughter
Harp: Aine Minogue; Bodhrán and Whistle: Tommy Makem

My Fidil Is Singing (Joseph Campbell 1879-1944)
One of those eerie and magical little poems for which Joseph Campbell is noted.
Music: My First Love
Fiddle: Seamus Connolly; Harp: Aine Minogue

Causeway (Peter Makem)
Regarded by many as one of the wonders of the world, the Giant's Causeway on the north coast of County Antrim, is indeed spectacular. Poet Peter Makem addresses its origins some sixty million years ago.
Music: A Hi Ro
Guitar: Rory Makem; Whistles: Tommy Makem

Traveling To Skellig Michael (Connie Sanford Jeffrey)
The Skelligs are two mountains rising out of the sea eight miles off the coast of County Kerry. One is a bird sanctuary and the other a 6th Century monastic site called Skellig Michael. To climb the 670 steps hewn out of the rock, and experience the completely other-wordly feeling when you reach the top, can be described in one word — awesome!
Music: O Ro Mo Bhaidin
Harp: Aine Minogue; Whistles: Tommy Makem

Peter Kagen and The Wind (Gordon Bok)
This story comes soaring out of the vast Celtic folk tradition. Gordon Bok has created a very beautiful version of a very ancient tale.
Music: Peter Kagen (Gordon Bok)
Guitar and Autoharp: Tommy Makem; Bass: Rory Makem

The Songman (Tommy Makem)
How the music and poetry, that seems to emerge fro the earth and air, are gathered and sent on their way to sweeten our lives.
Music: Emhain Macha (Tommy Makem)
Guitar: Ronnie D'Addario; Violin: Bob Mastro

I Am The Mountainy Singer (Joseph Campbell 1879-1944)
Belfast-born Joseph Campbell included many ancient Celtic references in his poems and songs. A number of his songs, such as "My Lagen Love" and "The Garten Mother's Lullaby" have passed into the oral tradition and are regarded by many as being traditional. In this poem he is expressing his affinity with the land and the people of the land.
Music: Sweet Dromintee (Tommy Makem)
Guitar: Rory Makem; Whistles: Tommy Makem

A Glass of Beer (Cathal Buidhe Mac Gillegunna)
It appears that Yellow Charles MacElgun the 18th century poet was traveling down a mountain road on a hot summer day. Being very thirsty, he stopped at a roadside pub and being poor like most poets, demanded "the loan" of a glass of beer. He was thrown out of the pub unceremoniously and in boiling anger composed this poem "at" the mistress of the pub. This translation is by the 20th century poet James Stephens.
Music: Conall Cearnach
Fiddle: Seamus Connolly; Whistles and Bodhrán: Tommy Makem

Emhain Macha (Peter Makem)
Emhain Macha, about two miles west of Armagh City, is the ancient seat of the kings and queens of Ulster. It is also the location for the Ulster Cycle of Tales, Ireland's greatest contribution to Medieval literature. The tales feature the mythological hero-warrior Cuchullain, the Red Branch warriors, who were the predecessors of the Arthurian Knights, and the tragic and magnificent love story of Deirdre of the Sorrows.
Music: Bonny Portmore
Harp: Aine Minogue; Fiddle: Seamus Connolly; Whistle: Tommy Makem

The Children of Michael (J.B. Goodenough)
This modern retelling of the Faustian legend in which a man sells his soul to the devil for some specific purpose, is by my late friend J.B. Goodenough. In this case "the devil" or "fate" is referred to as "the year." This is vintage Goodenough.
Music: Cast a Boat (Goodenough)
12 String Guitar and Bass: Rory Makem; Whistles: Tommy Makem

To Welcome In The Spring (Tommy Makem)
Life, light and energy return to all living things with the great awakening at the beginning of Spring.
Music: Gallagher's Frolics
Fiddle: Seamus Connolly; Bodhrán: Tommy Makem

Watercolors (Connie Sanford Jeffrey)
After touring Ireland, Connie Sanford Jeffrey returned home to Chicago and found that even the passing of time did not lessen or change the memories or the lure of the place, in her heart.
Music: Blind Mary
Fiddle: Seamus Connolly; Harp: Aine Minogue; Whistle: Tommy Makem

A Childhood Christmas (Peter Kavanagh)
A perfect rural Christmas morning. Kavanagh's feet were firmly planted in the mucky fields of Monaghan, but his head was among the stars.
Music: The Raven's Circle (Tommy Makem)
Guitar and Harmonica: Rory Makem

Brugh na Boinne (Tommy Makem)
Newgrange, or Brugh na Boinne in Gaelic, is a 5300 year old megalithic mound in County Meath. Some say it was a burial mound, others, that it was ceremonial in nature. In any case, it is a magnificent, mystical, hallowed place indeed.
Music: Written on the Stones (Tommy Makem)
Whistles: Tommy Makem

Titanic (Peter Makem)
In this poem, an iceberg was predestined, since the dawn of time, to be at a precise place at a certain time, where it was to cause the terrible disaster that destroyed the great ship Titanic on her maiden voyage.
Music: The Grey Green Sea (Tommy Makem)
Whistle: Tommy Makem

The Voyaging Done (Tommy Makem)
Weary of wanderlust, the soul of the traveler will always turn, drawn by some magnetic force, to the last journey, and home.
Music: The Flower of Finea Whistles: Tommy Makem; Guitar: Rory Makem

Young Land; Ancient Land (Tommy Makem)
At the present time Ireland is regarded as having, arguably, the youngest population in Europe and yet it is a land of great cultural antiquity.
Music: O'Carolan's Concerto (Turlough O'Carolan 1670-1738)
Fiddle: Seamus Connolly; Harp: Aine Minogue

  • Notes
    • Credits and sleeve notes are courtesy of Sean Cogan.