We thank all our fans for their thirty years of listening. Without you there would have been no Irish Rovers. We hope you enjoy these new tracks, the beginning of our next 30 years.
A very special thanks to Betsy Millar for her assistance in sorting out the little problems that seem to arise whenever the seven Rovers get together to record. Also, for her daily supply of fresh soda bread — yummy!
George Millar, September '95
Willie's Gone Awa — Lead Vocal: George
The Willie In this song certainly has a very healthy libido. When he returns, he's promised to marry the four of them. Good luck to him! Melville Castle still stands today about six miles south of Edinburgh at the northern edge of Scotland's Borderland.
Sweet Strabane — Lead Vocal: Joe
This beautiful Ulster ballad from the early part of the nineteenth century has a theme popular with songs of that time. — Immigration.
The Orange and The Green — Lead Vocals: Jim
The resiliency and sense of humour of the people from Belfast have helped them endure the unrest of the past twenty-odd years, how that peace has finally come to Northern Ireland, we all pray that It lasts forever. The poor fellow in this song needed a great sense of humour to deal with his dilemma — a Catholic mother & Protestant father.
Glencoe — Lead Vocal: Wallace
Scottish history is marred by bloody battles and fierce fighting. Perhaps the most inhumane & cold-blooded incident occurred one snowy night in the Highlands on February 13,1692, when the Campbell clan under orders from King William slaughtered their hosts, the MacDonalds of Glencoe.
We dare you to try and sit still while Wilcil and Wallace play Three Reels for you. — Andy McGann's, The Congress and Jackie Coleman's. — impossible!
Let Mr. McGuire Sit Down — Lead Vocal: John
A song whose message Is timeless. Don't fall out with the Mother-in-Law.
Bonnie Lassie-O — Lead Vocal: Joe
A wee gem of a Scottish song about lost love. No one sings them better than my cousin Joe.
Belle of Belfast City — Lead Vocal: John
Perhaps the best-known children's song from the streets of Belfast.
The Unicorn — Lead Vocal: George
Mythical creature? Perhaps, — but everyone in this band believes in them.
Good Luck to the Barleymow
Here's a song naming all the old drink measurements. We learned this one from our friends at the Vancouver Folk Society. If you're wondering about the words to the chorus, here they are: "Pint pot, half a pint, gill, half a gill, quarter gill, nipperkin and a round bowl." Of course, each verse gets longer. Sing along — it's easy!
The Braes O'Killicrankie
This wooded pass through which the river Garry flows is in central Scotland, near Pitlochry. In 1689 it was the scene of a fierce battle when Jacobite Highlanders outnumbered two to one, defeated King William's troops. It was an empty victory however as their young leader Bonnie Dundee was killed. It was the last time the clans would unite in strength for 25 years.
Come by The Hills
Scottish writer Gordon Smith added these words of invitation to an old traditional Irish Melody called "Buachaill On Eirne."
More wizardry from Wilcil and Wallace in the form of three jigs. The Lilting Fisherman, the Cliffs of Moher and the Knights of St. Patrick. Wilcil and Wallace were once asked why they play these tunes so fast? Their answer was, "Because we can".
Darlin' Sporting Jenny
There are several different versions of this song, but they all share the same message. If you're a highwayman you'd best beware of your own "true love". Nine times out of ten, she'll turn you in.
The Bonnets of Bonnie Dundee — Lead Vocal: Wallace
John Graham of Claverhouse first Viscount, was the Scottish soldier known as Bonnie Dundee. He mustered the Highland Clans to help James 2nd repel Government troops.
Dublin O'Shea — Lead Vocal: Jim
From the pen of our old friend Lonnie Donegan, The "King of Skiffle Music." Every good Irish pub has a loveable rogue like the hard as nails Dublin O'Shea.
Rolling Home to Ireland — Lead Vocal: George
There's not a race of people more stricken with wander lust than the Irish. There's also none worse for missing their home land.
Wasn't That A Party — Lead Vocal: Jim
Our traditional show-ending song was written for us by Tom Paxton. Tom spent a week with us in Chicago a few years back and insists that he wrote this song after one of our parties. Now, I do recall Jimmy explaining the rules of hockey to a cat, and Joe might have been wearing a grapefruit as a hat and come to think of it we probably did cut someone's tree down looking for firewood, and — well enough said!