On foot of the success of Old Dog Long Road – volume 1, we now bring you
- As I Roved Out (Trad. Arr. Irvine/Brady/O’Flynn/Moynihan) Andy Irvine: hurdy gurdy & vocal / Liam O’Flynn: tin whistle / Paul Brady: guitar / Johnny Moynihan: harmonium
Recorded by Planxty, somewhere in Germany in 1975, I think. I had learned this song some years earlier from a recording made for the BBC in 1952 by Brigid Tunney, who was then living on the border in Co. Fermanagh, though she was originally from Co. Donegal. She was one of the best singers I ever heard.
Recorded in Germany in 1975.
- John Barlow (Trad. Arr. Irvine) Andy: bouzouki, drone & vocal
Learned from another of my favourite singers, Robert Cinnamond from Balinderry, Co. Antrim. He called this song “The
Rich Shipowner’s Daughter”. I had recorded a different version of this song back in 1967 with Sweeney’s Men, called “Willy
of Winsbury”. Child Ballad #100.
Recorded by Steve Cooney at his studio in West Kerry in 1995.
- Love To Be With You (Andy Irvine) Andy Irvine: bouzouki & vocal
This started its life as a love song back in Ljubljana in 1968 and was converted into its present state for my album “Rude Awakening” in 1991. I left the chorus as it was but introduced elements of Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition of 1911-1913 with its tragic end for the South Polar party.
Recorded at Ray Barron’s studio, Cork City in 2005.
- Jigs: Contentment Is Wealth / The Shores Of Lough Gowna (Trad. Arr. Irvine) Andy Irvine: bouzouki & drone
Two jigs that we used to play in the band, Patrick Street. Recorded somewhere in Germany using a guitar tuner through an octave divider to provide the drone underneath the bouzouki.
Recorded in Germany 1984.
- The Blind Harper (Trad. Arr. Irvine) Andy Irvine: Greek bouzouki & vocal / Dónal Lunny: bouzouki
Another Child Ballad #192. I was on a solo tour in Britain in 1970 when I first heard Nic Jones. I was immediately captivated by his singing and guitar playing and, in 1973, Planxty invited him to open the show for us at the Carlton Cinema in Dublin. Later again, in 1976, Nic and I went on tour, together with others, to accompany Maddy Prior and June Tabor on their “Silly Sisters” tour. This was one of Nic’s great songs and my accompaniment is largely as he played it.
Recorded at Barethread Folk Club, Tailor’s Hall, Dublin in February 1978.
- Hobo’s Lullaby (Trad. Arr. Irvine) Andy Irvine: guitar & vocal
Recorded on my ‘Baird’ reel to reel tape recorder in 1961, four days before my 19th birthday! My devotion to Woody Guthrie made me want to sound as much like him as I could and I think I got pretty close here! The recording even sounds like an old 78!
Recorded at St John’s Wood, London on 10th June 1961.
- Three Huntsmen (Trad. Arr. Irvine) Andy Irvine: bass bouzouki & vocal
A song of murder and deceit. Recorded by Sweeney’s Men under the title “Johnston” in 1968 with Johnny Moynihan at the helm. I don’t remember where we got the song.
Recorded at Cobblers, Germering, Germany on 19th October 2002.
- Rude Awakening (Andy Irvine) Andy Irvine: mandola & vocal / Rens van der Zalm: fiddle
Yet another song with Antarctic connotations. Shackleton’s expedition in 1915 to cross the Antarctic from one side to the other required two ships. The story of the ship Endurance, carrying Shackleton and his Trans-Antarctic party is well known as is the fact that his journey across Antarctica never even started. The other ship – Aurora – sailing with a support party to the opposite side to lay depots for Shackleton on the latter part of his long journey is not so well known. The officer in charge, Aeneas Mackintosh, made many mistakes, culminating in his ill advised decision to cross the sea ice before it had become stable. A blizzard blew up after he and a companion had started, blowing the ice out to sea and, in spite of
subsequent searches, they were never seen again. I had an alternative couplet which I don’t sing here: –
“What a beautiful dish we will make for the fish
As we’re eaten alive by the sharks around us.”
One can only hope that they drowned before that happened.
Recorded at The Iron Horse, Northampton MA, USA on 6th
- Sergeant Small (Trad. Arr. Irvine) Andy Irvine: bouzouki, harmonica & vocal
Learned from my dear friend Seamus Gill in Canberra. In the 1930s depression years in Australia, many out of work men had to travel to find a job. Not having the money for normal travel expenses they would jump goods trains, much to the annoyance of the railway companies who often employed the state police to stop and search these trains. Sergeant Small
was a real person who would dress himself up as a ‘swagman’, jump a freight and catch the illegal travellers red handed. In 1938 a country and western singer named Tex Morton wrote a song about Sergeant Small which got a lot of radio airplay. The sergeant heard it and threatened to sue. Later on, Brad Tate took Morton’s song and changed it into a folk
song, which is what it is today.
Recorded at Tressler’s Barn CT, USA on 24th June 2008.
- The Royal Forester (Trad. Arr. Irvine) Andy Irvine: mandola & vocal
Learned from the singing of John Strachan of Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. This is a Child Ballad #110. John Strachan’s recorded version has the audience laughing at the last couplet, where it’s revealed that the King’s high forester is actually a Blacksmith’s son and the lowly maid he has seduced but refuses to marry is the Earl of Airlie’s daughter.
Recorded in Donnybrook, Dublin in 1978.
- The Wind Blows Over The Danube (Andy Irvine)
Mozaik – Andy Irvine, Dónal Lunny, Bruce Molsky, Rens van der Zalm, Nikola Parov
I spent a lot of time in Hungary in the early eighties. A lot of young people in Budapest had ‘discovered’ their traditional music and dance in much the same way as happened in Dublin. I became good friends with Márta Sebestyén and the band, Muzsikás, as well as many other musicians there. It was an exciting time for me, and friendship, music and romance filled the air. The tune here is based on a popular Hungarian song, collected by Béla Bartók in 1907, called Dúnarol fuj a Szél (The wind blows from the Danube).
Recorded at Tom-Tom studios, Budapest, Hungary in October 2005.
- You Fascists Bound To Lose (Andy Irvine) Andy Irvine: mandolin & vocal
I started writing songs when I was hitchhiking in Eastern Europe in 1968. They were usually personal songs like “West Coast of Clare” or “Autumn Gold”. But here’s one I wrote as fascism reared its ugly head. I sang this on a TV programme I had in Ljubljana. Yugoslavia had no diplomatic relations with Spain or Portugal so I was able to have a go at Salazar and Franco without fear of creating an international incident!!
On another occasion, Joe Dolan and I sang the chorus as we walked out of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich after watching the bouncers physically eject a bunch of innocent but over excited Australians, one of whom was a cripple.
Recorded in Dublin 1969.