We dedicate this recording to the memory of our dear friend and musical partner of 33 years, James Francis Ferguson.
The Shores of Botany Bay — Lead Vocals: John Reynolds & George Millar
Most Irishmen who sailed to Australia in the 1800's didn't go of their own choosing. Usually they were transported on rickety sailing ships to the prison colonies there. This Irishmen decides on his own to go to Australia and look for gold and the easy life. We like to think he found it!
Kitty the Rose of Kilrea — Lead Vocals: George Millar
Kilrea is a neat wee town just over the Bann River from County Antrim in the County Derry. The young fellow in this song led a carefree life until he was smitten by the lovely Kitty. Often this type of song has the girl going off with someone else leaving our hero broken hearted, hut fear not — 'tis a happy ending.
Bonnie Labouring Boy — Lead Vocals: Joe Millar
There's not a Prince or King could take the place of the working man in this young girl's life.
Reels: Tie the Bonnet, Scotch Mary, The Mountain Road, Maud Millar & The Humours of Tulla
Here's Wilcil with five high-spirited reels that'll warm the cockles of your heart. If any of you budding Irish Dancers can keep up with his tempo, then you're ready to join the Riverdance!
Lincoln's Army — Lead Vocals: John Reynolds
Many immigrants to "Amerikay" found little hospitality and few job opportunities when they landed. The army at least offered comradeship, a dollar a day and a horse. A great anti-war song written by Johnny McEvoy.
Green Grows the Laurel — Lead Vocals: George Millar
This song was popular with the Irish soldiers who fought in the Mexican American war of 1846-1848. Speculation has it that the Mexican word "Gringo" which they called the Americans, actually came from the words "Green Grows" which the Irish were singing. Other versions of this song exist with titles like Green Grow the Rushes and Green Grow the Lilacs. We learned this from one of Ireland's best traditional singers, Len Graham.
Little Brigid Flynn — Lead Vocals: Joe Millar & Len Graham
Percy French from County Roscommon was one of Ireland's best writers and performers. He travelled through Ireland and North America in the late 1860's playing banjo and whistle and singing the songs he had written about Irish life. They include Phil the Fluther's Ball, Eileen Oge and the Mountains of Mourne. Here's Joe with the help of our friend Len Graham to sing one of his nicer wee songs.
Will You Come and Marry Me?
Ah — true love … or is it?
The Tinker — Lead Vocals: John Reynolds
The Gypsies or travelling people as they're also called, have a long rich tradition in Ireland's history. Their stories and music can still be heard today as they roam the back roads of Ireland. This is a great new song from the pen of our own John Reynolds.
Ballintoy Farmer — Lead Vocals: George Millar
There used to be "hiring fairs" all over Ireland where a young man would hire himself out to a farmer during the harvest season. The work was hard, the hours were long the pay was low and there was more than a good chance you'd end up working for the "farmer from hell." This is our northern version of the song Darby O'Leary.
Jigs: Sweet Biddy Daly, Tatter Jack Walsh, The Rakes of Kildare & The Rambling Pitchfork
Wilcil and his friend Morris Crumb have put together four of the liveliest jigs you'll ever hear. Go ahead and dance if you like.
All of It
As the old saying goes, "you can never get enough of a good thing" — or was that "you can get too much of a good thing?"
Come Fill Up Your Glasses — Lead Vocals: George Millar
A gentle song celebrating life and hope.
A Little Bit More — Lead Vocals: Jim Ferguson
This is Jimmy's Last song, and the words couldn't be more prophetic. It in fact closes a chapter in Irish Rover history with his passing on October 8,1997. Ever jovial to the end, he had a grand time recording this one. Luckily, he's left us a great legacy of songs and stories to remember him by.