The Wolfe Tones   •   A Sense of Freedom

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  • A Sense of Freedom
    • 1983 - Triskel TRL 1012 LP (IRL)
  • Side One
    1. Merman (B. Warfield)
    2. Sergeant William Bailey (Trad. D. Warfield)
    3. Farewell to Dublin (B. Warfield)
    4. Admiral William Brown (D. Warfield)
    5. Catalpa (D. Warfield)
    6. Irish Eyes (B. Warfield)
  • Side Two
    1. Flower of Scotland (Roy Williamson)
    2. Michael Collins (D. Warfield)
    3. Slainte Dana no Baird (Health to the Bards), Cailin O Chois tSiuire Me, Planxty McGuire (Trad. Arr. Wolfe Tones)
    4. Galtee Mountain Boy (Trad. Arr. Wolfe Tones)
    5. The Piper that Played Before Moses (D. Warfield)
    6. Let the People Sing (B. Warfield)
    7. Joe McDonnell (B. Warfield)

  • The Wolfe Tones
    • Derek Warfield, Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle & Tommy Byrne
  • Musicians
    • Bass Guitar: Pat Keohane
  • Credits
    • Producer: Bill Somerville-Large
    • Photography: The Silver Grain Co.
    • Engineer: Fred Meijer
    • Design: Tom Meagher

Sleve Notes

I sat down in my best armchair and asked one of my youngfellas to put on a few records. I think I heard him cursing under his breath. "Now, look'it" I said, when I was a chisseller I had'to keep winding the handle of the Old Masters Voice type gramaphone all night long for my Ma. What's more, I said, I had to change the needle after each song". Now it's all automatic, a flick of the switch and the ES.B. does the winding and the needle has more lives than a cat".

Well, fair play to the youngfella, he put the record on the stereo and I sat back to listen to the Brave Wolfe Tones The whole bakers dozen of songs and music came sweeping over me, one after the other. I think this record is one of their best, if not their very best The music is sweet and lively to make your feet tap and the songs are sung with great gusto and love. Among the thirteen songs there is a wide variety to suit every taste and the Flower of Scotland that you can nearly smell. Here we have Planxty, Galtee Mountain Boy, Mick Collins, Let the People Sing and a host of others The songs my young lad liked best were Irish Eyes, The Piper, The Merman with the fishy tail and the beautiful Mermaids. He said there was a right bit of a beat to the Songs Sergeant William Bailey and Admiral William Brown.

I must admit that the songs Farewell To Dublin, The Good Ship Catalpa and Joe McDonnell are my favourites I'm a sucker for Dublin cobblestones The sound of the magical names of James Joyce, Molly Bloom, Bang Bang, Johnny Forty Coats and Zozimus nearly lifted me out of my armchair. I got the sudden urge to walk down Eccles Street in the footsteps of Molly Bloom. Then I wanted to stand at Bridgefoot Street corner where I often stood talking to Johnny Forty Coats. Maybe, I will go down and kiss the sea horses on Essex Bridge where Zozimus recited and drop in for a visit to Clonturk House, Drumcondra, where Bang Bang died. But sure I had to stay to listen to the rest of the songs. The Good Ship Catalpa reminds me of bold Fenian men and Joe Clarke. Joe, the hero of the battle of Mount Street Bridge 1916, was the first man I know of to make the name Catalpa a household word. In the year 1960, Joe published at his own expense a small booklet The story of the Catalpa. A few years later Joe presented "The Catalpa Flag" to the National Museum. Joe Clarke was our link with the Fenians He was a friend of Rossa, Devoy and Stephens who in turn were a link with the Young Irelanders of 1848 that's what you call tradition!

When ever I think of Joe McDonnell, Bobby Sands, Patsy O'Hara or the other seven men who died for Ireland on hunger strike in the 'H' Blocks, I always bring to mind a prayer, now a song, and the words of Mickey Devine, who also made the supreme sacrifice "There is nothing that any human being values more than life. Every man clings to it with every ounce of strength of his being. To willingly surrender it is acknowledged as the greatest sacrifice any man can make".

Eamonn Mac Thomais