Over the thirty years that spent traveling around the world as the leader of The Irish Rovers, I learned that everyone knows an Irish melody. Those hardy old Celts over the last couple of centuries carried their music and culture all over the world. I am very grateful that I grew up in a musical family in Ireland. The music that I learned around those Irish street corners has been very good to me, for it gave me a recording career that goes back thirty and more years, with a few very successful songs like "The Unicorn" and "Wasn't That A Party"—both of which, were not born in Ireland at all.
Apart from my recording life with The Irish Rovers (over 31 albums), I created a series of instrumental recordings of which I am very proud: The Lark in the Clear Aire, Celtic Reverie, and most recently, Celtic Seasons of Enchantment. They are comprised of mostly traditional Irish music and are guaranteed "medicine for the soul."
For years, I avoided recording the commercial vaudeville Irish songs, until I realized that a lot of these popular Irish tunes that we hear played once a year around March 17th on old recordings by people like Bing Crosby, were melodies that are near and dear to the hearts of a multitude of homesick Irish; old melodies that they carry with them and remind them of home. Heart Songs that later became part of the culture and the memories of their children, growing up in the new lands.
Even though a lot of these melodies became popular in America, I remember uncles and aunts and grannies, sitting at parties in the countryside in Ireland, singing or playing old tunes like "Galway Bay," "Danny Boy" or "The Mountains of Mourne" and shedding a tear for their departed friends and loved ones. These old songs and melodies will live forever, wherever there is a piano and St. Patrick's Day.
These popular old melodies have lived in Irish Hearts for over a hundred years. They have earned their place alongside the jigs and reels and multitude of pub and street ballads. They will take you to a peaceful place that was born out of dreaming about home. A place, perhaps that only exists in our imagination, where love of the land and the fair Colleens are all that matter; a place of brave men and patriotism, of old friends and strong, smooth whiskey to warn the mind and conjure up in this collection of Irish Gold—the best-loved melodies that the Irish gave the world.
I decided to present the melodies in their pure form, played on acoustic instruments, like the Irish Uilleann pipes, Celtic harp and tin whistles—without any vocals or lyrics to get in the way of the fine old tunes. You can add your own voice to this recording…for I know you will find it difficult to let the melodies pass without singing along.
Here's to happy memories and sweet dreams of home.