101 Songs taken from outtakes, b-sides and sleepless nights, from rehearsals, live takes, and deleted recordings. These 6 CD's represent the under-belly of the work since I first encountered a tape recorder in 1964
This Project was made possible by the work undertaken by my collaborator Michael Traynor. Without his input I would never have seen it through. His enthusiasm encouraged me to continue at times when I was faltering.
I dedicate this work to my late friends Owen Hand, Pat McGowan and Janet Rohr.
Yellow Triangle (Christy Moore)
Previously recorded on "Graffiti Tongue" in 1997. I was never happy with that rendition. Here I offer a better version with the Companeros from a late night break in recording. This song has travelled around the world and I dedicate it to the late Phyllis McGee who inspired me to write it.
Dunnes Stores (Author Unknown)
This song describes the strike action taken by a small number of Dunnes Stores workers who refused to handle South African goods in the Henry Street Dublin store. Their action was taken in support of those oppressed South African workers who called for an international boycott.
I can recall their picket line standing cold and alone in an atmosphere of hostility and apathy in Dublin. While many Irish looked the other way, this act of anti-apartheid solidarity was recognised and appreciated by South African workers and was acclaimed by both Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu.
They Never Came Home (Christy Moore)
I wanted to include this song. I could find no other version but this one from The Point Theatre Dublin in 1995. I offer it here for those who failed to get a copy in 1986 when it was banned and withdrawn.
Nuke Power (Jim "Doc" Whelan)
After the first Anti-Nuclear Event in Carnsore Point 1978 I received this song from the writer, one of the small number of local people who stoutly opposed the ESB and Government plan to build a Nuclear Power station at Carnsore. I recall the late Jim 'Doc' Whelan's delight at his song being used as a weapon of opposition.
This version was recorded in St. Patrick's Training College in Drumcondra in 1979.
Who Cares? (Christy Moore)
Mullaghmore (Christy Moore)
I wrote the song for Donnacha Rynne who was active in the campaign to save Mullaghmore from ruthless developers, and the gombeens who ride in their wake. This recording was made in Bath, England where I spent a memorable day playing music with Neil and Calum McColl. 30 years earlier I had the pleasure of performing with their parents Ewan and Peggy in London.
Hey! Ronnie Reagan (John Maguire & Friends)
This song was sent to me by John Maguire who wrote it with a group of friends in advance of Ronnie and Nancy's visit to the Shamrock Shore. This version was recorded in the garden shed by Leo Pearson in 1999. There was a bootleg of this song recorded in the town hall New York, which I have not been able to uncover at the time of going to print.
St. Patrick's Dance in San Fernando (Colm Gallagher)
I met and heard Colm Gallagher in Los Angeles in 198He writes wonderful songs. His 'Reel in the Flickering Light" is a classic and this gem captures moments in life seldom written about. It's like a movie for me. It is simple, and it is huge.
Tim Evans (Ewan McColl)
I learned this Ewan McColl song from the late Derek McEwan of Chadderton, Manchester in 196I recorded it in 1975 and this version is from that time.
Goose Green (Taking tea with Pinochet) (Christy Moore)
Don't know when or where or how I came to write this. Found it in a copy one sleepless night and stuck it down on the old blaster.
In Zurich (Jim Page)
An outtake from the 'Ride On' album of 1985; this song came from the author of 'Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Russian Roulette'. Jim Page is at the forefront of American songs of Resistance these past three decades, and he is still going strong. He still carries the torch passed on by Guthrie and holds it at the front line. His journey is never a safe one and it is always a joy to hear him. One of my favourite moments in 2003 was when Dónal Lunny and I joined him on stage at Whelans, Dublin for a hot set. Ride On Jim.
The Powdered Milk Brigade (Christy Moore)
A sleepless night. Pick up the guitar. Press record on the blaster. It gets the mind off the Heebies!
Folk Tale (Paula Meehan, Christy Moore)
I particularly like this recording by Nigel Rolfe — at dawn between Hook and Crook out in his garden above the estuary. The milk lorry passed up and the birds listened carefully. It was a beautiful moment. I recommend you read the poems of Paula Meehan.
The Two Conneeleys (Christy Moore, Wally Page)
Previously recorded on "King Puck'. I like the atmosphere of this version from De Barras in Clonakilty during August 2003. I don't sing it often and when I do it can sometimes prove to be an emotional experience.
Don't Forget Your Shovel (Christie Hennessy)
The Point Theatre, Dublin. This is what it was like to stand before 7,000 people who are out for a good night and want to hear you play and send you up a heap of good vibes that sometimes would fill you with a fierce unnatural energy, jaysus ye'd be bollixed after it.
Quiet Desperation (Floyd Westerman)
I've offered this song on two previous albums but for the sake of two minutes and fifty-three seconds I want to include this rendition from Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London in 1996. It illustrates an element of my work for which I have deep gratitude. To be part of a song that, for three minutes, stills the night, quietens the crowd, as together we deeply feel the loneliness imbued in the words of Floyd Westerman.
Previously recorded on "Ordinary Man" 1987 and "Live at Vicar Street" 2001.
January Man (Dave Goulder)
I know, I know! I've recorded it recently and also in the distant past, but I am convinced you will want to hear this particular version of Dave Goulder's timeless classic. Despite the fact that there is a version of this on my last album I am confident that you will agree with me and consider this track worthy of inclusion. If you disagree with me, well that's the sort of thing that makes life interesting and I'll try and make it up to you with the next box.
Poor Old Earth (Samuel Beckett)
In 1974 I was staying with Tony and Janet Rohr in Hammersmith, London. Very late one night I heard Jack McGowran recite this piece and for years afterwards it resounded in my head. I made numerous efforts to record these words in the 80's and 90's until one night The Companeros took a run at it down in Kilkenny and it feels good. God only knows what Beckett makes of the outcome! Others, I'm sure, will be more forthcoming.
Tippin' it up (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
The Boyle Fleadh Ceol in 1964. We were full of it. A few van loads of short grass balladeers, out for sport and porter when we landed into Bridie Grehans pub where the music was epic. In the midst of all the mayhem Mrs. Grehan called "order" and the pub went quiet and this small man in the corner began to sing. What followed changed my life, for John Reilly carried "Lord Baker", "What Put the Blood" "Raggle Taggle Gipsy" "The Well Below the Valley" and "Tippin1 it up" to us. These and a few others were saved before poor John passed away. God knows what he might have taken with him. John was a transporter of our culture and we barely noticed him. My gratitude to Bridie Grehan and to Tom Munnelly. They cherished the beauty.
Poitin (Christy Moore)
It's a hoor, if you get fond of it!
1945 (Christy Moore)
Here is a song I wrote about growing up in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
Little Musgrave (Arr. Christy Moore)
This is one of the big songs in my life. Here is a version from 27 years ago. I found the words scattered around the floor of an old auction room in 1973 — loose pages from a fallen book. I gathered them up on Liffey Walk and took them home to Inchicore where I stuck them together again and found this wonderful lyric. Sometime later I heard the melody elsewhere — (Nic Jones maybe) and married the two. I still love to sing this but don't often find the right setting.
Last Saturday night (11/10/03) I performed it in The Hall in Lisdoonvarna with the original Planxty Band (our first gig since 1982) and it was hypnotic. Once again, I fell under its spell.
Johnny Jump Up (trad, arr Christy Moore)
Me and Jimmy Crowley were doin' a world tour in 1974. We hit Kealkill, Ballydehob, Schull and these were just the big gigs. We were stuck in the Brown pub in Kealkill with Tom and Suzanne Whitty when Jimmy taught me this one. Bumped into Barney McKenna in Donoghues, Merrion Row during the recording sessions in 76 and he arrived at the studio where we recorded this for sport. That album was deleted.
Radcliffe Highway (trad, arr Christy Moore)
Originally learned while living in Rochdale in Lancashire in 196I was driving a vegetable van by day and chanting by night. The late Derek McEwen gave me this song. When I tried to remember it in 1999 I couldn't trawl it up, so I rang Martin Carty who duly obliged and sent me this version, which I recorded on Declan Sinnot's minidisc.
John O'Dreams (Bill Caddick)
Declan Sinnott and I rehearsing as I found my way back into the world of performance after a lengthy lay-off. This fine song I learned from its writer Bill Caddick in Wolverhampton in 1968. There are a few versions. Planxty played it on the B-side of Riverdance, it featured on a "C. Moore and Friends' album in 1980, but I've never recorded a good version yet. I include this rehearsal tape because it was a special time for me.
Cold Blow (trad, arr Christy Moore)
While residing with Mike and Patricia Harding in Crumpsall, Manchester in 1967 there was a lot of song swapping taking place. Mike taught me this song, which I subsequently recorded on the third Planxty album. Here is a solo version.
The Raggle Taggle Gypsy (Planxty)
I include this version (albeit a bad recording) because it captures a magical moment in my life. Planxty were playing support to Donovan in the City Hall Cork when this recording was made. It was the night that Planxty took off. We arrived into Cork an unknown Irish Band playing support to an International recording star and we left Cork next day, all of us three feet taller! You can hear the crowd discovering us and our excitement and giggles at the enthusiastic response.
El Salvador (Johnny Duhan)
I found a cassette of this rehearsal with Jimmy Faulkner and it appeals to me. I like the shape of it. I don't recall where or when we made this, but it feels like the late 80s.
Jack Doyle (Jimmy McCarthy)
September 11th, 2002. Declan and I do a benefit concert for Muintir Beara Community Hall in Kilcrohane, Sheeps Head, Co. Cork and there was a request for this Jimi Mack gem.
Joxer (original) (Christy Moore)
Here is the first draft of what has become a well-known ballad. Dónal and I recorded this in Lansdowne Studio, but this early version was considered unsuitable for release.
It was written on the Portlaoise ring road during a pit stop on the way back from the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney — we took on a nail outside Mountrath and limped to Portlaoise where Cid aired the spare while I got busy with the biro. It came at a time when most Dublin ballads were either about heroin or joyriding, so Joxer brought a few smiles with him. My collaborator pleaded eloquently for this inclusion.
Suspecting him to be a closet Sligo Rovers fan, I submitted to his plea. (Here you are Luke).
Intro (Christy Moore)
Lawless (Mick Curry)
It was one of those mad nights in The Point Theatre, Dublin, when the vibes were hot and edgy. This recording carries well the atmosphere of the time, the enthusiasm of a large and well-relaxed audience and how their energy can lift a performance.
Different Love Song (Dick Gaughan)
I first encountered Dick Gaughan in Sandy Bells, Edinburgh, in 1967 when we were both embarking on our long journeys through song. He gave me this song many years later when I visited his home in Leith. His is one of the constant voices in the Folk Revival and he remains a committed singer carrying the stories of struggle and revolution wherever he goes. This recording is an outtake from the 1987 album "Unfinished Revolution".
Changes (Phil Ochs)
Eamon McCann from Derry introduced me to the work of Phil Ochs. I've tried to record this song many times. The quality of the recording here is not good but nevertheless, I love this version. There is an atmosphere here that I could never get in the studio. Dónal Lunny's electric bouzouki is locked to the lyric and the song means a lot to me. I doubt if I'll ever catch this feeling again. It was a rare moment and I'm happy to have it here. I give thanks.
Ballindine (Christy Moore)
What a time I had in that Vale of Honey. There was great friendship, love and porter, football and dogs, dancing and singing — with a bit of miserable banking to keep a fellow from going mad — all that came later. I landed there (Clonmel) in late '63 and discovered a new world, most of it idyllic.
I was learning the strum, I'd progressed on to the 5th chord (E minor) and there were songs round every corner. I became a sort of travelling troubadour to a group of sporting business people who carried me to hurling matches and race meetings and greyhound tracks and all I had to do was sing for my entrance fee. (In memory of Michael Murray).
Anne Lovett (Nigel Rolfe, Christy Moore)
Nigel Rolfe wrote these words as a memorial to Anne Lovett. The music came later. Anne Lovett paid the ultimate price for our lack of compassion and charity. We stood idly by as church interference into our conscience and political psyche turned us into an idle flock. Perhaps her death will not have been in vain if it helps us face up to the Catholic church hierarchy who, still today, behave dispassionately when confronted with their own centuries of sin. Did they not teach us that Forgiveness comes only after Confession?
This recording was made in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in the late 80's.
Dalesman's Litany (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
The big Lunny bodhrán sound is holding up the basement here. We were doing some rehearsing for "This is the Day" in Declan's studio. We rehearsed this old Yorkshire song, but it didn't survive to the album.
I first recorded it in 76 on a long since deleted album. I started singing it in '68 when I lived in Causeway Foot, near Halifax, a time of learning. It is based on an old dialect poem about towns in Yorkshire where begging was a hanging offence and I learnt it from the singing of both Denis Sabey and Alastair Cameron.
Intro (Christy Moore)
Farewell to Pripchat (Tim Dennehy)
Previously recorded on "Voyage". I include this version because I like it. It is such a privilege to have the opportunity to sing songs like this, more so when 6,000 people sit and listen as they did at this performance in the Point Theatre in Dublin in 1996.
Tim Dennehy from Mullagh, West Clare wrote the song and recorded it on his own first album. I heard him sing it late one night in Tom Malone's pub in Miltown Malbay (much later than the sergeant would like). It was after Mrs. Malone had treated us to a fine feed of fried mackerel with bread and butter washed down by the finest of porter. It's no wonder Tim sang so well.
The Lakes of Pontchartrain (Trad. Arr. Mike Waterson)
I know I've laid this track down once or twice before but here is a good version worthy of inclusion. The Companeros were hard at work on the "This is the Day" album. Late one January night we were singing and playing for the simple joy of it. I asked Tim Martin to run the tape and we slipped into The Lakes. This song has transported me to many exotic places. I first heard it in Hull, East Yorkshire in 1967 and since then it has had a great re-awakening — coming first to Ireland and then heading back across the Atlantic.
I often wonder where did Mike Waterson first hear it sung. It is a wonderful example of how a great song will long outlive the name of the person that wrote it.
Cricklewood (John B. Keane)
I learned this from Tony Grehan in Moss Side Manchester in 196I recorded a poor version on my deleted first album in 1968. I thought to do a simple rendition for this project as a small salute to the recently departed John B. His work will long outlive the names of those who rejected it. I met him twice briefly, each time a great pleasure.
Strangeways (Christy Moore)
I wrote this after hearing a woman describe the horrific abuse she had suffered as a child. The original lyric was so vicious and ugly that I could not sing it. It evolved thus and hopefully still describes the hurt and confusion of an innocent child who had been tragically abused by her father.
Wise and Holy Woman (Christy Moore, Wally Page)
Previously recorded as "Yellow Furze Woman" on the King Puck album. This version contains the original lyric. When my mother died it became "Yellow Furze Woman" for a few years but it reverted. I recall the moment I found this song. I was driving up the boreen to Mattie and Nuala Fox's house in Derryneel and the imagery of the opening lines unfolded.
The final words were written during a severe electric storm in New South Wales two years later. There are bits here from the kitchen in Newbridge in the 50's, from the Travellers Halting site in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, from Chico Mendez in the rubber plantations of South America, from Pat Clarke in Sao Paolo and from George Bush Snr in Kuwait.
This version was recorded in the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, London in 1996.
Veronica (Christy Moore)
I wrote this lyric on Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork on the day Veronica Guerin was murdered. This is the original melody. The subsequent version recorded on "This is the Day" had new music by Dónal and Declan. I submitted it for the film, but, as in all submissions I've made to moviemakers, I've never even received an acknowledgement of receipt, never mind a rejection. I'll keep trying though!
Cry Like a Man (Dan Penn)
This song is on a recent album (This is the Day). Nevertheless, I include it again here for this later version contains the full lyric (unlike the album version where I somehow managed to forget the 'middle 8' and we didn't notice!) This live version, made in Vicar Street in 2002, has the bit of magic and I like listening to it.
Viva La Quinte Brigada (Christy Moore)
Barrowlands, Glasgow 1991 — This dreadful recording is included because I love it. Some sham taped it down the hall with a ghetto blaster under his arm and a microphone stuck up his arse, but I'm very glad he took the trouble. I was charmed to hear the glorious Glasgow hordes sing out the way they do. When I break a string and change guitars they carry on regardless, those whistlers and clappers and moulds, bless them all.
I mispronounced the names of Danny Boyle and Blazer Brown — excuse me.
The auld Triangle (Brendan Behan)
This track and the previous one showed up when I put the word out that I was interested in any rare recordings that might be lying about. The song has not been in my repertoire since the sixties. However, it somehow showed up on a Dublin bootleg from the mid 80's. We all used to sing this Brendan Behan classic in the early days. I've sung it a number of times in Mountjoy jail (though never on a Monday morning) where it always gained an added relevance and poignancy.
I believe I was in McDaids once at the same time as Brendan, but sure who doesn't? I'm reminded of the singer Des English who sang "They Tell me poor Brendan is Dead" when I played his folk club at the back of Strangeways jail in Manchester in 1967.
Intro (Christy Moore)
Brown Eyes (for Joe Sheeran) (Shane McGowan)
I'm playing in a huge marquee in Belgium on a Saturday night in 1995. The Spirit of the Killing Field lingers. That day I had found the name of my granduncle Joe Sheeran on the memorial wall at Ypres.
He hailed from The Cotton Mills on the Boyne Banks near Yellow Furze, not far from Senchelstown, on the low road between Navan and Slane. I got very emotional during this rendition — all the old people came back to me as I chanted, Elly and Jack Power, Frank and Jem Sheeran, Kathleen Sheeran (Ryan, Ashforth-Upton, Knowles), Jim Byrne, Jem Gibney and Auntie Annie. My head was full of ghosts and my heart was aching with loneliness as I stood before 10,000 Belgians (and a few drunk Paddys) and delivered Shane's words on the balmy night. I'll never forget it. One of those special nights.
Johnny Connors (Christy Moore, Wally Page)
This is a rehearsal demo of the original version of this song, (which featured later on the "King Puck" album.) It has drum machine and lazy bass as Dónal and I work up an arrangement. It also has an early feel to it and contains the original lyric, which I thought maybe you'd like to hear — rough vocal and all.
Lay with Me (Author Unknown)
I stumbled across a Waylon Jennings concert in London in the early 80's. Bought cassettes and played nothing else in the van for 12 months. Shook the man's hand and held his Fender Guitar. It had hair on it. As I recall — Waylon and Willie did this song on the tape, which I have not seen for twenty years. Recorded this for the 'Ordinary Man' album. Didn't make the cut.
This is the Day (Wally Page)
Dónal and I made this demo in 1991 at Ceol Puca in County Wicklow eleven years before we recorded it on the album 'This is the Day'. I like the vibe of this rehearsal and the fact that the song is so different from the subsequent recording. Wally wrote this many years ago while camping in Killary Harbour.
Among the Wicklow Hills (Pierce Turner)
I took liberties with Pierces song on the 'Ride On' album. Here I offer the actual lyric he wrote, and I thank him for his patience as I went "rambling through his oeuvre'!
Aisling (Shane McGowan, Christy Moore)
Mark Cooper of London was making a documentary about the McGowan fellow and asked me to do a version of this, sure what could I say. There is a version of it on 'Smoke and Strong Whiskey' too and Shane recorded it himself which I've not heard yet, but it was après Pogues.
I believe this to be Shane's writing at its very best.
Grey Lake of Loughrea (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
Finsbury Park, 1971 — and a squat full of loopers. In the midst of all the mayhem, Tony Small from Galway sang this song and the madness was stilled for a while. It stuck in my mind and 16 years later I sang this version for the 'Voyage' album, but it didn't make the cut. Can't understand why.
All I Remember (Mick Hanly)
Previously recorded with Moving Hearts and on 'The Time Has Come'. This version is from Mick O'Brien's show on Radio na Life in 2002 and I like the taste of it.
Someone to Love (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
A lonely auld song. Tried to record it many times after learning it from the singing of Joe Heaney. I heard it on a tape he made for Lynn Doherty in Maroubra in New South Wales. Sometimes I love to sing this but not always. Most songs I can put out almost at will but this one needs a lonely air around it — it won't exist in any old atmosphere but maybe needs the ears of those who know the feeling of loneliness.
Trip to Carnsore (Trad. Arr. Ballymageebar Ceili Band)
Previously released by 'The Early Grave Band" on the anti-nuclear 12' single and by 'The Ballymagash Ceili Band" as a B-side to "Bunch of Thyme" (God forgive me).
(This was a band which worked under different names on and off in the mid to late seventies. It's all a bit hazy but the music has a sparkle.)
Danny Boy (Derrylondon air) (Author Unknown)
Nigel Rolfe assembled a collection of work from various Irish artists. This was subsequently released as an album called 'Laments". He asked me to perform 'Danny Boy' and this is a rehearsal of that work.
Ships in the Forest (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
Seems like a long time since I first heard this. I've a memory of Mick Moloney singing it in Parnell House in 1965 maybe. I'm sure it was from Mick I learned it. This is a rehearsal tape from the 'Ordinary Man' period in the 80's and the song was a constant in my 60's repertoire, but seldom sung since.
100 Miles from Home (Johnny Duhan)
This recording is from the Opera House in Cork — 1988. Despite its poor quality and the fact that I kept cutting across Dónal's accompaniment with wrong chords, I want to include it as it contains something special which I cannot define but I am sure that you will hear it too.
Intro (Christy Moore)
Smoke and Strong Whiskey (Wally Page)
Here is a recording from the London Palladium in the mid 90's. I'm unsettled in the performance and I keep stepping across Jimmy's playing making it difficult for him to establish his pattern. It has been a fault of my live ensemble work and I've often seen pain on the faces of my collaborators as they try to hang on to wherever the song is leading us. I enclose it for its awkwardness, its audience participation, and its discomfort.
I Love The Way Pierce Turner Sings (Christy Moore)
It's dark and lonely work but someone has to do it!
The Hamburg Medley (Christy Moore)
The Markethalle in Hamburg is a splendid venue. I came back out for a 3rd encore, I was tired, but they were still not sated. They were calling out for all sorts and I launched into this not knowing where it might lead. God, but it was a lovely night. I was offered a wee red rose and I sang on and on and the stillness was inspiring — there were a thousand Germans, the songs, the guitar, myself and the power that was created. This is a ramble through various verses before we parted out into the night. This was our last embrace.
I love singing in Germany.
Tyrone Boys (Christy Moore)
Here is a complete version of this song — I first recorded back in 198In those days there was such paranoia about my lyrics (after the High Court debacle over "They Never Came Home') that WEA had the briefs crawling all over my songs. It doesn't happen a lot these days.
I must have lost it!
Hey Paddy (Wally Page)
Wally Page used to sing this fine song until some comedian robbed it and turned it into a crass jingle. I've always thought it a fine piece and tried to record it on a number of occasions. This is a demo version, which Dónal and I made in Poulaphoucha in 1991.
On the Blanket (Mick Hanly, Christy Moore)
Moving Hearts on the road during the hunger strikes in the Summer of 1981. We recorded this in the Community Hall, Colooney, Co. Sligo on the night that Martin Hurson was laid to rest. I particularly recall the strangeness and incongruity of this concert. While many were out for the night and were oblivious to the significance of the occasion, others among us were deeply hurt by the terrible events that were taking place.
I will never forget the deaths of these men nor will I ever remain silent when others seek to mock them.
Southern Winds (Tom McCreesh)
Tom McCreesh is a singer and musician who lives in Oregon, U.S.A. He was born and grew up in New York of Irish parents. He is a first cousin of Raymond McCreesh, who died on hunger strike in 1981.
When my brother Andy returned to Ireland with his family he carried this song back to me from Tom whom he had befriended during his stay in the States.
Tom described to me how he wrote this song while on a visit back to Ireland where he stayed in Raymond McCreesh's home place.
Don't Hand Me Over (Author Unknown)
I rang Mick Hanly about this song thinking he had written it, but he had not heard it before. I've no idea when I recorded it or who wrote it but that sounds to me like Arty McGlynn on guitar.
Shoot Out The Streetlights (Dónal O'Kelly and Christy Moore)
Dónal O'Kelly wrote this lyric — I performed it once as I recall and made this recording in the Garden Shed one sleepless night in 1998.
The Bridge at Killaloe (Scariff Martyrs) (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
I heard this in East Clare in 1965 in the home of Mrs. Murphy on the windswept hill of Tulla. She had attended the funeral of "young McMahon and Rogers, Brave Egan and Kildea" and her description of the November morning still rings clear in my mind when I sing these verses.
North and South (Christy Moore, Bono, The Edge)
Here is a rough version of this song recorded during a sound-check in the Savoy in Cork in 2001. The song began in Bellaghy in Co. Derry in 1986 and finished in Dublin in 1995.
This song has had as many critics as admirers.
At the G.P.O 1980 (Christy Moore)
First Hunger Strike Rally. I sang these words on that day, but I cannot recall any melody.
90 Miles to Dublin (Christy Moore)
Released originally as a single and subsequently on the album "H Block". I wrote this song after spending two days with (the late) Kieran Nugent, Fra McCann and Ned Brown who were the first Blanket Men to be released from the H Blocks. The song describes their time on the Blanket.
Wicklow Boy (Christy Moore)
Dónal Lunny and I once performed this song at the gates of Portlaoise Prison while Nicky Kelly was on hunger strike. This later version was recorded in 1999.
Ballinamore (Fintan Vallely)
This was released as a B-side to "Ronnie Reagan*. Fintan Vallely wrote a series of fine ballads at this time.
Rialto Derry January 1993 (Christy Moore)
This recording was made in the Rialto, Derry where we gathered to remember, not that well ever forget. Before the concert I spoke with Eamon McCann and wrote these few words before going out to sing.
It was an emotional night and listening to this I can hear myself barely getting through this rendition. There were scores of people in the Hall who had been bereaved, many others had been shot and injured and their presence in the room created an emotion that welled and welled. These words later grew into "Minds Locked Shut" which I recorded some years later on the album "Graffiti Tongue".
Armagh Women (Margaretta D'Arcy)
I first heard this song from Geraldine King of Inishbofin. The powerful lyric focused attention upon the women in Armagh jail whose support for their comrades in the H blocks was not always acknowledged.
I dedicate this recording to Mairead Farrell.
On The Bridge (Christy Moore)
This is the original version of the song. It was recorded in the National Concert Hall, Dublin in 198It is interesting to contrast the audience participation at this gig with that of the Glasgow audience on the following track.
Scapegoats (Eamonn Cowen, Christy Moore)
This recording from the Barrowlands in Glasgow arrived shortly before I closed the box. The Birmingham six were still in prison when this was recorded. Nights like this are never forgotten. The way those people sang with me that night. I recall having the feeling that all these voices would surely be heard.
"They Fouled the Ball Daddy" (Christy Moore, Phil Stewart)
These are words spoken by Gerry Conlon to his father Giuseppe. I attribute this performance to the Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road in London on the week that Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong and Carol Richardson were released. Paul and Gerry were at the show and the audience rose to greet them.
I sang on and on, but it was their gig and I was never as happy to have my stage commandeered — it surely was their night.
No Time For Love (Jack Warshaw)
Early Moving Hearts (Liberty Hall 1981). Although there is a recording of this song on the first album (Moving Hearts WEA) I have included this much longer version. Despite it not being Moving Hearts at their best, it is the only live recording of this song — always a highlight of our early 80's gigs. Night after night it soared, and I am happy to have been able to include it here.
On a Single Day (Peadar O'Riada, Christy Moore)
Peadar O'Riada sent me this lyric and I recorded it for a documentary he made with Paddy Glackin of RTE. They made this programme to mark the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine.
Roots (Christy Moore)
One of those sleepless nights. Just me and the tape — anything to get away from the head staggers.
The Old Man's Song (Ian Campbell)
I don't recall who taught me this song. The recording is flawed. It was recorded over an old tape and the previous recording peeps through occasionally — I also stumble the words. Nevertheless, I feel it is worthy of inclusion for the quality of the song. Ian Campbell was one of the most influential singers in the 60's and I met him at his club in Digbeth, Birmingham. He now lives in Kilkenny. We last met at the making of the Luke Kelly documentary. He also wrote "The Sun is Burning in the Sky" which I recorded in 1978 on "The Iron Behind the Velvet" album.
1913 Lockout (Donagh McDonagh)
Recorded in 1968 in the M.S.G club Manchester. This is a powerful song, written by Donagh McDonagh. I learned it in Glasgow from the singing of Arthur Johnstone who played with a fine band called "The Clutha". I enjoy hearing again the energy of the work from this period — it was a different world and we sang and listened differently. It was a time before the Music Industry took notice of this music. We were operating entirely in an independent environment and the work was still underground.
Seth Davy (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
Learned from "Jackie and Bridie" at their club in Liverpool. Recorded at the Adelphi, Leeds Bridge. Leeds was a great city for me in the 60's. I had a good following and got to know some great singers there. Among them were Allan "Spud" Taylor, Bob Pegg, Alma Ford, Andy Turner, Geoff Wood, to name but a few. It was a special time in my life and I'll always be grateful for the friendship and music I encountered there.
The Bould Rake (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
Its 1964 and I'm clerking in The National Bank, Tulla, Co. Clare. I'm down the hill in John Minogue's Hotel hearing Spancilhill for the first time, sung by its writer, Robbie McMahon. There's a fellow there called Joe McGrath (he became a good friend) and he has this tape recorder. I'd never seen a tape machine before and he invited a few of us back to his house for my first recording session. Four dozen stout and a couple of stout gossoons — and 35 years later I hear from Joe's nephew Mike McGrath in Woodside New York. Somehow this old tape crossed the Atlantic to resurface decades after I'd forgotten the whole episode. Thanks Mike and God rest you Joe McGrath — you whistled a lovely tune. (The first time I ever met Willie Clancy was with Joe McGrath and John Minogue — we travelled from East to West Clare in a green Beetle, I played "Liverpool Lou" with Clancy on the pipes and we drank every drop of Celebration Cream in Miltown Malbay!!)
Bridget's Pill (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
I first met Sean Cannon at the Cofas Tree Club in Coventry in 1968. He sang this song and taught it to me later the same night. This recording was made in Cockermouth, the Lake District, in 1969 at a club run by the singer Muriel Graves. It's a sort of song we don't write any more. I don't know who wrote the song, but it addresses, in a comical, almost silly way, one of the important issues of the day.
This recording was made at a time when a condom was viewed in the 26 Counties with shock and complete horror. Dark forces, rallied by celibates, exerted their religious power over women's rights, and they used to get away with it too, the sinful buckers.
The Lark in the Morning (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
From the singing of Luke Kelly — recorded in The Upper George, Halifax in 1967
Come by the Hill (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
I first heard the Irish singer Michael Hipkiss perform this song at his club in Birmingham. When I say 'his' club, I'm describing a room above a pub called "The Old Contemptibles" in the centre of Birmingham. Michael booked the room each Sunday evening and he had a number of regular singers and musicians who were "resident" performers. Each week there would be a guest musician who would usually be a full time professional. That was the basic modus operandi of the clubs that went to make up the British Folk Scene in the sixties. In 1968 there were about 1,500 of these clubs around Britain, many of them with very varied musical policy and politics. I believe this particular recording was made at The Adelphi Club, Leeds Bridge, 1968.
The Enniskillen Dragoon (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
Another song from the Tulla session with Joe McGrath in 1964. I learned it from the P.W. Joyce collection in 1963. This book also yielded The Curragh of Kildare and The Rambler from Clare. Sure, 'twas manna from Heaven for this budding balladeer!
Weela Waile (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
I recorded this in 1998. I find it an interesting and dark song that once was played for laughs but now I hear it differently. It could be a lot darker too and maybe it will be. I first heard it performed by Eamon Clinch of "The Beggermen" in Manchester in 1967.
There are two renditions here side by side. I had planned to include only the 2nd piece but Robyn Robbins, the mastering engineer, felt it worked as a single entity so I put away the snips.
Whiskey in the Jar (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
This is the version I used to sing in my 60's travels around the Folk Clubs of John Bulls Island. The melody comes from the Colm O'Lochlainn Collection. It never was as popular as the Clancys — Luke Kelly — Phil Lynnott version, but has its own charm. I recorded this in 1998 in the garden shed.
Intro (Christy Moore)
Tribute to Ewan McColl (Ewan McColl)
Liverpool Philharmonic — 199There were Liverpool dockers locked out and their spirit was in the air. After dedicating some songs to the dockers I played this tribute to McColl, a picket-line singer in his day, who had just passed on. Liverpool is always special, always lives up to expectations — a true city of culture.
Finnegan's Wake (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
This is a song from my '66 repertoire that I like to sing to myself occasionally. I heard it first from Ciaran Bourke or Ronnie Drew at an early Dubliners gig. They were such vital nights — The Clancys and The Dubliners had so much energy and vitality that I'm still runnin' on the memory of it.
Down in the Valley (Trad. Arr. Christy Moore)
A unique recording. It includes Liam O'Flynn singing. 25 years before "0 Brother Where Art Thou" Planxty rehearsed this song above Scruffy Murphys pub in Mount Street Dublin, but we decided not to put it on the first Planxty album. To think we could have been riding the rods with George Clooney! I love this trip down memory lane. The old Planxty harmonium wheezing into life — and the four of us thirsty for sport. I wish to thank the band for allowing me to include this and the other two Planxty tracks.
Paddy on the Road (Dominic Behan)
This is the way I sounded on my first album, recorded in 1968 in Chelsea in London. I rehearsed with the combo for six hours on Thursday and it was recorded in six hours on Friday. Never met the band before or since. This experience caused such a reaction in my head that I recorded "Prosperous" on the rebound — so it wasn't all that bad!
Three Drunken Maidens (Trad. Arr. Planxty)
Planxty's first recording after the "Prosperous" album. Trend studios, one take and no overdubs. Freddy Meyer on the desk as Liam sailed into The Foxhunter's Reel. A plague upon whoever decided to fade it out. Andy learned this song from Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span.