Monday’s #MorningMusic Wrap-Up – March 16 – 22, 2015

March 16th

It’s down to the cellar
if the fire’s not there
we’ll have a grand old spree

from “The Old Dun Cow” by John Ickes

This is one of the many “traditional” Irish drinking songs.  It’s good fun.  The version I was listening to was by John Ickes, who I used to hear playing live in a bar.  He now performs with a group out of Virginia Beach called Celtica.


March 17th

And my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men
Whom I never shall see n’more.

from “The Foggy Dew” by The Chieftains with Sinead O’Connor

Sinead sings this with such a haunted voice that I get chills when I listen to it.


March 18th

But I won’t heed the battle call
It puts my back up
Puts my back up against the wall

from “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2

Remember when U2 was just an upstart political band with catchy tunes that most people hadn’t heard of?


March 19th

Of all the money that e’er I spent
I’ve spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I did
Alas it was to none but me

from “The Parting Glass” by Makem and Clancey

The first time I recall hearing this was a couple years ago in a show at an amusement park.  It’s a popular song to sing at the end of a gathering in Scotland and Ireland.


March 20th

no lyrics…I was listening to James Galway’s “The Celtic Minstrel”

The video is really nothing more than a picture of an album cover, but the song, “The Dark Island”, is one of my favorite tunes by him.

Music Monday – Erin go bragh

Next Monday will be the day after St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to make this week’s Music Monday about Irish music to get you in the mood for this coming Sunday’s shenanigans.  This collection has a couple ballads about dear old Erin and a few drinking songs, because a collection of songs for St. Paddy’s Day wouldn’t be complete without them.

The Foggy Dew by The Chieftains with Sinead O’Connor

(released 1995)

But the bravest fell and the requiem knell,
Rang out mournfully and clear,
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springtime of the year.
While the world did gaze with deep amaze,
At those fearless men and few,
Who bore the fight that freedom’s light,
Might shine through the foggy dew.

The Foggy Dew” is probably my favorite Irish song.  As such, it’s not much of a surprise that it’s on my post about St. Patrick’s Day for the second year in a row…and will likely be here every year.  This Irish ballad about the Easter Rising of 1916 is sung so powerfully and mournfully by Sinead O’Connor, that it stirs my emotions every time I hear it.

Song for Ireland by Mary Black

(released 1998)

Talking all the day with true friends, who try to make you stay
Telling jokes and news, singing songs to pass the night away
Watched the Galway salmon run like silver dancing darting in the sun
Living on your western shore saw summer sunsets, asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea and sang a song for Ireland

This is a beautiful song and Mary Black sings it wonderfully.

The Irish Rover by The Dubliners with The Pogues

(released 1987, peaked: #1 Irish Singles, #8 UK Singles)

With his smart witty talk
He was cock of the walk
As he rolled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance
When he took up his stance
That he sailed in The Irish Rover

The Irish Rover” is a traditional folk song and has been performed by many artists over the years, including The Dubliners and The Pogues, two very popular bands.  It was a no-brainer to post the video of these two bands singing this well-known song together.

Whiskey in the Jar by Sin e Ri Ra

(Irish traditional song)

Musha rin du-rum do du-rum da, Whack for my daddy-o,
Whack for my daddy-o, There’s whiskey in the jar.

Whiskey in the Jar” has been performed by many well-known bands, but I posted this one because this band can jam.  While they sound good like this…what sounds like them in a studio…is good, they are incredible at home, rockin’ Nine Fine Irishmen, the Irish pub in the New York New York casino in Las Vegas.  Their sound and energy turn the intimate setting of the pub into a raucous affair which gets the crowd going and keeps it up all night.

The Old Dun Cow by The Futureheads

“On fire!” says Brown, “What a bit of luck.
Everybody follow me.
Down in the cellar,
Where the fire isn’t there,
We will have a gay old spree.”
So we all went down with good old Brown,
The beer we could not miss,
And we hadn’t been but ten minutes there,
‘Til we were bloody pissed.

I’m not exactly sure what it is about this traditional folk song that I like so much.  I think it may be a combination of the fast pace with the comedic lyrics. I’d never heard of The Futureheads before finding this video, but I like this version of the song.

Have a safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Erin go bragh!

On St. Patrick’s Day…

This is going to be a smattering of thoughts and proverbs and songs about/by the Irish.  Some more well-known than others.

I’ll start with one of the most well-known Irish Blessings:
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand


Now, on with the St. Paddy’s Day party…here’s a really popular drinking song…”The Wild Rover” as performed by The Pogues


Here’s a saying I once saw on a bumper sticker:

God invented whiskey to keep the Irish from ruling the world


It did manage to keep poor Tim Finnegan from ruling the world…


Somehow, we did manage to keep reading and writing and religion alive during the Dark Ages, though, according to Thomas Cahill.  You can read about it in his book “How the Irish Saved Civilization.”  It’s a very interesting read.  As for it’s accuracy and veracity, I’ll leave you to do your own research.

On the subject of history, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include The Chieftains in this post.  Widely credited with being THE group responsible for the popularity of Irish music worldwide, The Chieftains have worked with lots of artists, including Sinead O’Connor on “The Foggy Dew“, a wonderfully sad and powerful song that describes the Easter Rising of 1916.


Here’s another nice blessing.  It would be great if it were this easy, right?

“May those who love us, love us; and those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping.”


And now, it’s time to close.  “Good night and joy be with you all.”  Slainte!

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