This is the only "Abbey Tavern Singers" in my collection that does not credit the performers, with the exception of the vocals by Margaret Monks, Michael Brookes & Tess Nolan. The cover photo is clearly from the same session as " Off to Dublin…”, from a different angle. I am assuming that Bill Powers (banjo-mandolin), Tommy Rick (Reck) (Illin [ sic] pipes), Joe O'Leary (fiddle), Seamus Gallagher (fiddle) & Paddy Joseph "P.J." Downes (spoons) also appear on this album. All appeared on the previous 2 albums, and all but Joe O'Leary appear on the next album, " The Abbey Tavern Singers On Tour".
There is an ideal spot to spend an evening in the genuine atmosphere of old Ireland. It's the charming Abbey Tavern, nestled against the ancient ruins of Howth Abbey, amid picturesque scenery of mountain and sea.
There, as the world renowned ABBEY TAVERN SINGERS sing their songs, the magic that is Ireland will beckon you away from the stresses of daily life to the land where the heart is always young and the dream and reality forever intertwined.
At the Tavern, a host of friendly Dubliners is always to be found, and many international visitors as well. Minnie, (Mrs. Scott-Lennon) the proprietor is there too. Close at hand, she ensures each guest is comfortable and content, a gracious concern that has caused the Tavern to become a "mecca" for overseas visitors.
Do come with us to Ireland, to the Abbey Tavern. Settle back and let the persuasiveness of recorded music whisk you there in a twinkling as you sit easy in your favourite chair.
On this recording a performance by the Singers is just beginning in the Ballads Room of the Tavern. The Singers are right in the middle of a rousing song KEEP THAT WHEEL A'TURNING and as the program unfolds we're sure the musicians will make your heart lilt with the rhythm of the dance, and the Singers beguile you with songs gay and sad and with ballads of a past already fading into heroic legend.
There's raucous humour to delight you also. JOHNSTON'S MOTOR CAR, a rollicking ditty describing the exploits of a band of IRA Stalwarts who steal an Englishman's auto intending to use it on a bombing raid is a fine example. In truth, we should mention that the spirit in which this jaunty, Up-The-Republic piece was received one evening by an audience comprised largely of English visitors to the Abbey Tavern, was instrumental in our dubbing this album - YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE IRISH. It was suggested (with a wink) by the Singers that the song might prove offensive to some. The English visitors, to whom the remark was obviously directed, not only insisted on hearing it but joined in the jubilant chorus with great gusto.
You really do not have to be Irish to enjoy the ABBEY TAVERN SINGERS. Their unique sound - the voices, the Illin [sic] pipes, the fiddle, the banjo-mandolin and of course the Rhythmic Spoons - is infectious, all who hear are enthralled.
The ABBEY TAVERN SINGERS were formed in 1962 when Mrs. Scott-Lennon of the Tavern decided that musicians and balladeers performing in a relaxed sing-along manner would be popular. Within a short time the Singers were drawing capacity crowds into the Howth establishment. In 1966 a solid Irish rouser WE'RE OFF TO DUBLIN IN THE GREEN featuring the Singers was released on TV as a beer advertisement. This ad, created by Carlings Breweries Ltd., increased the group's popularity many times over and, indeed, in Canada listening to the ABBEY TAVERN SINGERS fast became a national pastime. This song-come-jingle was then released on record by the Singers and became an international hit.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE IRISH is the Singers second album. Their first was of course WE'RE OFF TO DUBLIN IN THE GREEN, a most popular recording. On this second album we have attempted to present a typical evening's program at the Tavern including instrumental and solo ballads. We hope it will allow many listeners to relive, and many more to experience for the first time a delightful evening at the ABBEY TAVERN.
Remember, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE IRISH. Enjoy the ABBEY TAVERN SINGERS.