The Irish Rover
"Our ship was a craft that was built in Belfast
And many's a wild wind rolled her
We had canvas by the mile
And we sailed away in style
On the ship called the 'Irish Rover'."
Most Irishmen know at least one verse of this song.
My Boy Willie — We got this song from Joe's father. It has been his party piece for years. Every time Joe sings it, I can just see our grannie wiping her eyes on her shawl and having a snuff out of a wee tin box.
The Rattling Bog — The children in America sing a version of this song called "A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea." If you think the last few verses are hard to sing, try them after a few pints. We learned this from our old mate Jack O'Connell, a ballad singer from Dublin.
Coulter's Candy — An old man reminisces about his childhood as he watches some wee boys kicking a ball about a park. Our favorite sad wee song.
My Old Man's A Dustman — A London music hall song in which the hero is the Sanitation Engineer or garbage collector.
"He looks a proper nana in his
Great big hobnail boots.
He has such a job to pull them up
That he calls them daisy roots."
Patsy Fagan — Touring America as an Irish singing group, we are always asked to sing the all-time Irish favorites such as "Irish Eyes Are Smiling" or "How Can You Buy Craig Billy," etc., etc. To keep everyone happy, here's a music hall song of "the decent Irish boy" away from home.
I Don't Mind If I Do — Now we would like you all to turn up the volume, and fill up your cup, then join in on the toor-a-loo chorus. We especially love to hear the girls singing this chorus "An me darlin' says I, I don't mind if I do."
Many Young Men Of Twenty — One of Ireland's newest playwrights and poets, J. B. Keane, wrote this song for a girl to sing. I hope he forgives us for putting in our own verses to his sentimental theme about Ireland's youthful emigrants.
Mick Maguire — Poor ould Mick is still another victim of the mother-in-law. She can't do enough for him when he's courting her daughter. But then he marries the girl and spends all his money. And his troubles have just begun.
Donald Where's Your Trousers — This is a fairly modern song from Scotland. All about the boys in the kilts, or "the ladies from hell" as they were called during the last war. A great lively song.
"I drink what I earn, what I owe I will pay
For me first love in life is the whiskey."
County Antrum is only a stone's throw from Scotland, and they do that now and then-throw stones at us. But we like their songs nevertheless.
The particular appeal of Irish music is an elusive, hard-to-explain phenomenon. What is "Irish music"? Spilling over with joy, yet tinged with a poignant sadness, it is a stew of contradictions simmered in a kettle of nostalgia, to be taken with a grain of salt. Irish music is the history and character of the Irish people recorded in song. The special message of this music is conveyed with authority and skill by a refreshing new singing group—The Irish Rovers.
The Irish Rovers are four boys twice blessed-with the gift of talent and the bounty of taste. These dashing young men of the ould sod, Will, George and Joe Millar, and Jim Ferguson, have already blazed a train of Gaelic glory across Canada and the U. S. with a successful sweep of nightclub, TV. and personal appearances. Will and George are brothers, who sing and play guitar. Joe is their cousin, who doubles on accordion and harmonica. Jim Ferguson is their close friend, who spikes the music with a lyrical tenor voice and a pungent wit (He's been called an Irish Jonathan Winters.) All four boys hail from the north of Ireland-the Millars from Balleymena and Jim from Belfast.
Equally at home with informal college groups and sophisticated nightclub audiences, The Irish Rovers sing their way through a rich, and varied repertoire of Irish folk music. The songs range from the mournful to the mirthful to the wildly hilarious. It's a brew as potent as Irish whiskey and it's served up with wit, style and spirit. The Irish Rovers are masters of the sing-along, with the uncanny ability to break down the barriers between an artist and his audience. Their warmth, sincerity and genuine friendliness have made Irishmen out of Americans of every origin and color. This special magic will touch you too, as you listen to their enchanting music. Close your eyes and you're in Ireland, strolling past a friendly pub, watching the mist rise over the sea. As Will Millar himself would say, "Come on in for a minute or two out of the rain. And give us a hand on a couple of choruses."