Listen — Hank Wedell sings most nights of the year, I heard him in The Tin Pub Ahakista, (on The Sheeps Head in County Cork). He silenced the room with his passionate singing. When I heard this song I straightaway sought his blessing to sing it. He wrote it in a Swedish mining town inside the Arctic circle.
Does This Train Stop On Merseyside? — As we left Manchester, Andy Glover gave us a CD of songs for the road. Down the M6 we first heard this gem from Ian Prowse (A Tranmere Rovers fan). It was a favourite too of the late John Peel, that man of songs.
Shine On You Crazy Diamond — It feels like an old Sean-nós song. It evokes memories of old friends past whose stars burned brightly, whose flames were quenched too soon. Just like "The Yellow Bittern", it is beautiful to sing.
The Ballad Of Ruby Walsh — Ruby Walsh saved my bacon below at the Galway Races. When he crowned my treble in Ballybrit I vowed to sing a song for him.
China Waltz — Donagh Long played me this song in the 80's. I tried to record it then. It has never left me and came back loud and clear last year.
Barrowland — This old Glasgow dancehall is one of the great venues of my world. I first played there 30 years ago and I have grown to love the joint. Come the autumn and we'll climb the stairs again.
Hamish Imlach used to mix Bacardi Rum, Russian Vodka, American Coke into a mighty cocktail which he called a "Fidel Castro" … Mags Mclvor founded the original Barrowland … The Gaybirds were the resident orchestra and Jinky Johnstone played for Celtic.
Duffy's Cut — The story of what happened at Duffy's Cut is still emerging. Was it cholera or was it murder? They left Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Derry for a better life in the New World, and died within 6 weeks of arriving in Malvern.
The Disappeared (Los Desaparacidos) — Amnesty International suggested a song be written about the Disappeared. Wally Page wrote this 10 years ago. I heard him sing it again recently. We know of people who have disappeared. Here we remember those who were 'disappeared'.
Riding The High Stool — I knew a fellow like this once (I sing this song in memory of Jimmy Reid and Billy Parkinson).
Gortatagort — John wrote this song about his mother's home place. When I sing it, it transports me back to Barronstown, between the Hill of Allen and The Yellow Bog.
I Will — Declan learned this song from Noel (Nollaig) Bridgeman when they played together in Mary Black's band. Noel learned it from Billy Fury of Liverpool who had a hit with it in the early 60's. There is a statue to Billy on Merseyside.
John O Dreams — I performed in Bill Caddick's Folk Club in Wolverhampton in 1969 and heard him sing his song.
Rory Is Gone — Recorded live in Barrowland, Glasgow, June 2008.