Listen Back: 16th Apr 2017 – RTE Radio 1 – The History Show (Easter Sunday)

The History Show

A special Easter Sunday programme looking at Ireland in 1917 – a year on from the Rising, with historian Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh; playwright Philip Orr; and poet Dermot Bolger.

Andy Featured on the History Show singing a song written in 1917 "That's the Stuff to Give 'Em". 
Unfortunately the songs has been intentionally excluded from the podcast. 
You can listen back to the show to hear a background to the song anyway which is rather interesting none the less.

 A year on from the Easter Rising

In the programme, we look at life in Ireland in 1917 – a year on from the Easter Rising.  Myles is joined by Galway historian, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh; Belfast playwright Philip Orr; by Katherine McSharry from the National Library; and Mark Duncan from Century Ireland.  There’s also music from Andy Irvine and Kate O’Callaghan; a poetry reading by actor, Barry McGovern; and a reflection by writer, Dermot Bolger.

About The Show

Bringing the past to life! Discover how our world was shaped as Myles Dungan and guests explore events ranging from medieval times to the recent past.

We want to help explain ourselves to ourselves. We will search out fresh angles on familiar topics, seek out the unfamiliar and will not shy away from bizarre or controversial issues. Our ultimate goal is to make The History Show the primary port of call for those with an intense or even a modest interest in the subject. We want to entice the casual and the curious to join us in celebrating the past.

Our aim is to create informative, reflective, stimulating and above all, entertaining radio.

Join us on Sundays from 6.05pm for The History Show with Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio 1.



I’m always fond of company; I’m always fond of noise
And never so delighted as when with the Khaki boys
To try and make our Tommies smile of songs I’ve sung a few
It’s grand to hear them on the march and don’t they sing ’em too.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
There’s nothing beats the cheery song
To help our gallant boys along
Never mind about the words
Blow the bloomin’ rhythm
But a nice little girl with a saucy curl
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

They do say half a dozen women round a pot of tea
Will talk for hours and hours of things they never see
But if you’d like to hear the spicy stories they can spin
Just place that same old half a dozen round a drop of gin.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
A drop of Mother’s ruin neat
They soon begin to feel their feet
When their tongues begin to wag
There’s nothing in it with ’em
And to open a school for scandal, whoa
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

When nice and cosy in your bed you can’t say it’s a treat
When wifey dabs into your back a pair of icy feet
And when the twins begin to cry then off will go the clothes
For safety pins and dummies, well you bet that Mother knows.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
And when the twins begin to shout,
You shouldn’t put yourselves about
Mother knows just what to do
As soon as she gets with ’em
Oh, a tickling up with the powder puff
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

You often hear a fellow say he’s tired of married life
Well, that’s because he knows not how to treat his darling wife
But I’ve invented something that will please each little dear
It isn’t much but I can guarantee what I’ve got here.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
When wifey dear begins to jaw
Why, don’t go out and slam the door
Never argue, never shout,
Or say that you’ll forgive ’em
But a nice little tap on the top of the nap
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

Written and composed by Harry Freeman & George Grant – 1917
Performed by Harry Freeman (1858-1922)



Andy & Luke on ABC Radio National’s The Music Show


Andy Irvine was born in London of Irish roots. His career has taken him from traditional Irish and English folk songs to traditional music of Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary and the latter changed his output forever. From his early Irish folk days with Christy Moore, Paul Brady and Donal Lunny, Andy’s helped turn the sound of folk music from an unaccompanied form to include bazouki’s, gaida’s and the kaval, but always resisting drum kits and bass guitar. He’s in for a live set with mandolinist Luke Plumb.

Music played live in this segment:
Farewell to Kellswater (Trad. Sam Henry collection)
Frank Ryan (comp. Irvine)

abc-radio-melbourne-andy-lukePerformed on bass mandola and mandolins by Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb

Producer: Penny Lomax


Planxty – The Peel Sessions

The legendary DJ John Peel was the first to play them on UK radio and he remained a lifelong supporter of their music.

Peel was impressed enough by Planxty to have them do three sessions for his shows in 1972-73. They also did many folk shows for the BBC and the B-side of their first single, the instrumental “Sí Beag, Sí Mór”, became a lasting favourite of Bob Harris. Like the Chieftains, they were an influence on the many Irish folk bands who emerged in the 1970s, some of whom did sessions for Peel. There were also session appearances by Paul Brady (as a solo artist) and Matt Molloy and Dónal Lunny (with the Bothy Band).

The most famous former member of Planxty is Christy Moore, who has enjoyed a long and successful solo career, although he never did a solo session for Peel. However, during a concert in April 2016 he paid tribute to the DJ, and to his colleague Terry Wogan :

“That’s our new single and you’ll be lucky to hear that on the radio as no one would play that nowadays as Terry Wogan is no longer around. The other one who would have played it was John Peel. When no one was taking any notice of Planxty he played our songs and then he asked us in for a session in 1972 and then it all went mad! So three Hail Marys for John Peel and God bless Terry Wogan.”



Three sessions. No known commercial release.

Dates below for #2 session taken from Ken Garner The Peel Sessions, sessionography, p319, but do not appear to match 1973 show listings on p213-4.


24/07/1972 – Planxty

  • TX- 08/08/1972
  • Producer- John Walters
  • Engineer -Unknown
  • Studio- Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue

Recorded: 1972-07-DD. First broadcast: 08 August 1972. Repeated:

  • Planxty Irwin
  • Merrily Kiss The Quaker
  • West Coast Of Clare
  • The Raggle Taggle Gypsy
  • Christy Moore (Guitar, Vocals, Harmonium, Bodhran)
  • Donal Lunny (Bouzouki)
  • Liam Og Flynn (Pipes)
  • Andy Irvine (Mandolin, Vocals)

28/02/1973 – Planxty

  • TX- 12/03/1973
  • Producer- Pete Ritzema
  • Engineer -Unknown
  • Studio- Langham 1

Recorded: 1973-02-28. First broadcast: 12 March 1973. Repeated: 14 May 1973.

  • Cunla
  • Bean Phaidin
  • The Hare In The Corn
  • The Rambles Of Kitty
  • & Two Reels (first broadcast 14/5/73 repeat)
  • Christy Moore (Guitar, Vocals, Harmonium, Bodhran)
  • Donal Lunny (Bouzouki)
  • Liam Og Flynn (Pipes)
  • Andy Irvine (Mandolin, Vocals)

15/10/1973 – Planxty

  • TX- 06/11/1973
  • Producer- John Walters
  • Engineer -Unknown
  • Studio- Studio T1, Transcription Service, Kensington House, Shepherd’s Bush

Recorded: 1973-10-15. First broadcast: 06 November 1973. Repeated:

  • Bean Phaidin
  • Kid On The Mountain/Fishbuck
  • As I Rowed Out (1)
  • As I Rowed Out (2)
  • Christy Moore (Guitar, Vocals, Harmonium, Bodhran)
  • Donal Lunny (Bouzouki)
  • Liam Og Flynn (Pipes)
  • Andy Irvine (Mandolin, Vocals)

Other Shows Played

(This list is incomplete – please add any missing info)