The world has seen some terrible things over the past year, and the Irish way of family and friends, and share some laughter and music. This new batch of songs has no more importance than trying to please or perhaps soothe one's senses, if only for a wee while. Come and join us for "Another Round"…
Slàinte George Millar
The Roving Trade — What better way to start off than with a toast to the night, the music, the lassies and of course the whiskey. The "roving trade" has served us well over the years and when someone recently asked us how long would we keep going, the answer was, "til we get it right." — Which knowing us, will be a good while yet!
The Rake — This is an old Munster ballad from the 18th century called "The Limerick Rake." It tells the story of a young fellow who has a lust for life — the women, the whiskey and song, much to his parent's chagrin. Times haven't changed too much, have they? We've given it a northern touch and added a chorus. The gaelic phrase, "agus fagaimid siud mar ata se," roughly translates to, "leave it as it is, — enough said about it."
Glenarm Bay — One of the famous glens of Antrim is Glenarm, a conservation village on the north Antrim coast. In the 17th century, Glenarm has the seat of the MacDonnell clan who dominated the coast line. This love song is from the Len Graham collection, "it's of my rambles..."
I'm a Rover — This is one of the old Scottish Bothy-ballads originally called "the night visiting song," or "a health to all true lovers." It's got a great chorus for joining in, so go ahead, don't be shy.
Don't Call Me Early in The Morning — We got this song from Tommy Sands, writer and entertainer from Belfast. We've recorded several of Tommy's songs over the years and are happy to add this one to our repertoire. Anyone who has tried unsuccessfully to lie in on a Saturday morning will identify with this one.
Planxty Morgan Magan & The Morning Dew — The first piece of music was composed by Turlough O'Carolan, the blind Irish harper who was born in Nobber Co. Meath in 1670. He was considered the last of the great Irish bards and thankfully over 200 of his melodies have survived. The morning dew is a traditional reel that was first recorded in 1927, by fiddler Michael Coleman. It's also known as The Hare in The Heather.
The Wee Lass on The Brae — Here's a tuneful little love song, who's author and origins are rather misty as many of the older Irish ballads are. It's thought to be from the County Tyrone. In the North of Ireland, a brae is a hillside
The Jolly Roving Tar — The old-time sailors or "tars" as they were called, were a hardy bunch of men who routinely faced raging seas and howling winds. The work was hard, the hours were long, and the pay was little. Yes, they worked hard and when they were ashore, they played hard. It was a dirty job …
The Pride of Portrush Town — Portrush is a colourful little seaside resort tow n on the North Antrim coast, famous for its white fossil-rich cliffs and wide sandy beaches, and of course beautiful colleens.
The Giant's Causeway Tram — This was the first hydro-electric tramway system in the world, but since it was powered by water from the bush river, the tram was inclined to run a bit slow when the river was low in summer. Apparently during a church excursion one time, a wee boy asked the clergyman if god had made the tram, whereupon he replied, "of course son, sure didn't he make all creeping things?" My sister Josephine remembers singing this song in school and was able to supply some of the verses. Ballad singer and collector Len Graham gave us the rest, and we added the chorus to round it out.
The Goodship Rover — In the mid 1800's, before the plodding steamship was born, the tall clipper ships ruled the oceans of the world. They were fast and sleek and carried cargo and passengers across the Atlantic to Boston and New York, and onto the gold fields of California. Others plied their trade to the orient, the east indies and Australia. Back in those days a three-week crossing of the Atlantic was considered good time, — not to be confused with "having a good time".
Down Among the Bushes of Jerusalem — Here's another song from Tommy Sands of Belfast. It's a rebel song from Ireland but it's written about the middle east, and a young rebel who lived there over 2000 years ago.
The Best of Friends Must Part — Anyone who travels a bit knows that the rigours of the road and scheduling problems seldom allow much time for friends and family in different cities and towns. Here's a song remembering them.
The Dark Island — This haunting melody was written by Iain McLachlan of Benbecula on the Western Isles of Scotland, for a 1963 BBC drama called the dark island.