RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSY was learned from the late John Reilly, a travelling man from Roscommon, who died there a few years ago in poverty. The song is followed by TABHAIR DOM DO LÃMH (Give Me Your Hand), an old harp tune composed by the 17 th century Derry harper, Rory Dall O Cathãin.
ARTHUR McBRIDE is an anti-recruiting song from Donegal. This version was collected by P.W. Joyce in his native Co. Limerick in the early 19 th century and printed by him in his collection.
PLANXTY IRWIN is another harp tune composed by the most famous of the travelling harpers, Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). Nobody can be sure where the word "Planxty" originated but the late Sean O Riada was of the opinion that it was a corruption of the Irish word "sláinte" meaning "good health". This particular Planxty was composed in honour of a Colonel John Irwin of Sligo.
SWEET THAMES was composed by Ewan McColl for a radio play about a London-based Romeo and Juliet. Two reels follow-JUNIOR CREHAN'S FAVOURITE and CORNEY IS COMING, both learned from two great, living Co. Clare musicians. The first from the fiddle playing of Junior Crehan who lived just outside Milltown Malbay, and the second one, a fine piping reel, from Willie Clancy also of Milltown Malbay.
The first side closes with THE WEST COAST OF CLARE a song in search of times past, inspired by memories of Milltown Malbay.
It has been suggestedd that the hero of THE JOLLY BEGGAR wit In fact King James V of Scotland, who was in the habit of wandering the countryside dressed as a beggar, This followed by a reel learned from Sean Keane. The name of the reel seems to have been lost. Sean didn't know it and extensive research has proved fruitless.
ONLY OUR RIVERS was composed by Michael MacConnell of Ennlsklllen Co. Fermanagh In 1964, and Sí BHEAG, Sí MHÓR (The Little Fairy Hill and the Big Fairy Hill) is reputedly the first piece composed by O'Carolam. It depicts a legendary battle fought by the inhabitants of two fairy hills in Co. Leitrim.
In 1580, in the lonely pass of Glen Malure in Co. Wicklow, Flach McHugh O'Byrne completely overthrew the forces of the Crown under Lord Grey de Wilton. The victory is commemorated in this stirring FOLLOW ME UP TO CARLOW.
MERRILY KISSED THE QUAKER is a single jig or slide, as they are called in Kerry, where they are used for dancing their unique Kerry "sets". This version was learned from Willie Clancy.
THE BLACKSMITH is a well known song from the South of England and relates to the slighting of a young lady by "the lusty "smith".