A word from us to you: yes Virginia, we are indeed still rovin' after all these years, forty and more and still counting. If we keep this up sure we'll soon be as old as the songs we're singing. The roving has led us down many a road over the years, some rocky, some smooth but always interesting. Not counting the numerous compilation records, this will be our 30th album or CD for you youngsters out there. We've recorded 15 tracks ranging from roving to unrequited love, to forced immigration and what else? — but back to the roving again. We hope they'll induce a smile or chuckle or maybe even a tear or two — from the songs that is, and not the singing! If you're reading this it means that you've downloaded the whole album instead of just a tune. So in this busy world of computers and "high tech" confusion, we invite you to take a journey back with us to simpler times in Ireland, when "men were men and sheep were scared!" So please enjoy our latest "labour of love", and incidentally a glass of Bushmills or your favourite jar would not be out of order.
Sláinte, George Millar — August, 2007
The Rambling Boys of Pleasure (George Millar)
This is the title of an old northern Irish ballad found in the Len Graham collection, "it's of my rambles" … but this one is more of a rousing, pint swilling, fond of a good time sort of song.
Up Among The Heather (Traditional — Arr. & Adpt. by George Millar & Wilcil McDowell)
A little Scottish gem we learned from Pat, Eugene and Brendan Clancy — the Irish ramblers from Co. Armagh — a great Irish band from the 60's. If Robby Burns didn't write this one, he should have.
The Dear Little Shamrock Shore (George Millar)
The potato famine of the mid 1800's decimated the population of Ireland. Countless numbers perished while legions more were forced to immigrate to foreign shores, leaving their friends and families behind. A song to remember them by.
Jigs (Traditional — Arr. & Adpt. by Wilcil McDowell)
Wilcil has put together some lively jigs to lift the spirits:
1. Father Kelly's Jig
2. Langstrom's Pony
3. The Lark In The Morning
Brady Of Strabane (Traditional — Arr. & Adpt. by George Millar & Wilcil McDowell)
Hiring fairs at one time in Ireland, were popular places for farmers to hire seasonal help. It was back breaking work and ill-paying, and your only salvation was a decent, humane boss. Brady wasn't one of them.
Let The Toast Go Round (George Millar)
A happy irreverent song about a bunch of happy irreverent revelers.
I Will Go A-Rovin' (Words: George Millar/Tune: Traditional)
The freedom to ramble is a reoccurring theme in Irish music. Here's a new one for you to learn. Sing out why don't you?
Mary From Dungloe (Traditional — Arr. & Adpt. by George Millar & Wilcil McDowell)
A beautiful love song from Donegal concerning a young man forced to leave his love, and seek his fortune in America.
The Farmer's Young Wife (Words: George Millar/Tune: Traditional)
She was nice to look at but she wasn't too interested in farming, or any other work for that matter.
The Gypsy (David McWilliams)
David McWilliams was a singer/songwriter from Belfast who grew up in Ballymena, where some of us are from. He wrote many great songs, and here's one of his earlier ones:
Rory Murphy (Traditional — Arr. & Adpt. by George Millar)
Here's one for the scots, learnt from Robin Hall and Jimmy Mcgregor. A wee song about a champion piper.
Sweet Lovely Joan (George Millar)
A song of love and longing, but unfortunately one-sided. Some relationships are not meant ot be it seems.
Reels (Traditional — Arr. & Adpt. by Wilcil McDowell)
A collection of boisterous tunes guaranteed to set the toes a-tapping.
1. The Plough And The Stars
2. Sheehan's Reel 3.
The Boys Of Malin
Forty Years A-Rovin' (George Millar)
When people ask us when we're going to retire, I like to quote our old friend Tommy Makem who said, “sure I retire every night. So onward boys for a while yet.
Boolevogue (Traditional — Arr. & Adpt. by George Millar & Wilcil McDowell)
This ancient irish air Called Youghal Harbour is better known as the tune used for the song Boolevogue, which is a town in the Co. Wexford. The united Irishmen fought the british here in 1798, led by the parish priest, Father Murphy.
We'd like to thank all the musicians who gave of their time and ideas for this project, with a special thanks to Patrick Davey and Davy Sloan for their non-stop parade of jokes which kept us all in stitches. No one enjoyed it more than Martin, the studio owner, as he calculated with glee, the hours piling up!