Bould Thady Quill: Irish Music Appreciation Thread

As I previously mentioned in this Pit thread , I was listening to the Clancy Brothers last night, and was inspired to open this thread in praise of Irish folk music in general.

A particular current favorite of mine from that disc is the ballad mentioned in the thread title. (Complete lyrics here. )

For ramblin’, for rovin’, for football or courtin’,
For drinkin’ black porter as fast as you’d fill,
In all your days rovin, you’d find none so jovial,
As the Muskerry sportsman the Bould Thady Quill.

Of course, there are a great many wonderful songs. We need not limit ouselves to that one… There’s martial glory of songs like The Rising of the Moon and The Foggy Dew; the rollicking fun of Finnegan’s Wake, The Beggarman or Navvy Boots; the wonderful melancholy of songs such as Rosin the Bow and The Parting Glass…Just for starters.:smiley: (<—Irish smilie)

Anyway, this is the thread in which to lift a glass of Guinness and talk about your favorite Irish ditties.


crickets shirping

Hmm…okay, it could be that no Dopers like Irish music. I find that hard to believe.

It could me that my OP was so crushingly lame that no one wants to be associated with it…

Nah, I’m going to assume that it’s just that the title is too obscure. Perhaps a friendly moderator could change it to something a little more descriptive? Perhaps “Bould Thady Quill: The Irish Music Appreciation Thread”? Ike?

The Foggy Dew will always be one of my favorites. I have the recent Cheiftains album (along with several others of theirs) with them performing it with Sinead O’Connor. When she ain’t screaming, she has a haunting voice and it does incredible things with this song.

I’m a huge fan of Irish and Scottish music, so you’re not completely alone here.

Let’s not get too impatient about this. It is Friday, after all. Give us a chance to gather what few wits we have left and respond. While hardly Irish, and in fact coming from a family that once owed allegence to the House of Orange, I am an aficionado of Irish/Celtic music. I am addicted to the Thistle and Shamrock program on NPR and the Celtic music program out of the U of Southern Illinois. I drive my family nuts with tin whistle and pipes on the car CD player. If my wife and children will put up with it (because I expect to predecease them) I want "The Parting Glass"sung at my funeral:

And so it falls unto my lot
That I should go and you should not,
Then raise to me the parting glass
Farewell and joy be to you all.

With that they can drag my rotting corpse to the bone yard.

Hang tight, Ferrous, the troops will be in pretty quick, as soon as the bars close.

The Clancy Brothers are okay…I was delighted when they showed up at the Bob Dylan 30th anniversary concert to sing “When the Ship Comes In”…and I’ve always been partial to their version of “The Work of the Weavers.”

For my money, though, it’s hard to beat the Wolfe Tones. They add tradition Irish instrumentation – fiddles, guitars, banjos, wood flutes, tin whistles, etc. – to the vocal mix, and tend to be MUCH more political than the Clancys…who left off the verse about beating up Englishmen in their version of “The Bould Thady Quill,” after all.

Their rendition of “The Rifles of the IRA” is choice, with the acidic lyrics about the Black and Tans (“They slaughtered wives and children/in their own heroic way”) and the joyful chorus (“And the Black and Tans/Like lightning ran/from the rifles of the IRAAAAAAA!!!”).

I also like their very pretty “Ships in Full Sail,” and their boisterous “Big Strong Man,” a tall tale about “Me brudder Sylvest…a row of 40 medals on his chest…takes all the army and the navy, to put the wind up Sylvest!”

Whilst travelling in the western counties of Ireland I came across (in addition to countless pubs with astounding live music) a nice little shop and record company in Doolin, county Clare. Check out their website for the Real Trad Schtuff:

My favourite Irish song is “Joe McDonnell”, a ballad about one of the hunger strikers who died in Long Kesh in 1981. The lyrics and a recording can be found here (it’s not the best recording I’ve ever heard, but the point gets across). An incredibly powerful song that never fails to affect me, no matter how many times I listen to it. And you brought this reign of terror to my land …

Of the faster rebel songs my favourite is Come Out You Black & Tans (again, this is the best mp3 I can find of this song, it’s not a particularly good version either).

There are a whole slew of modern rebel bands continuing in the Wolfe Tones tradition: The Irish Brigade, Shebeen, Charlie & The Bhoys, The Blarney Pilgrims to name just a few. There’s no general distribution of their CDs outside republican circles, though.

I would heartily suggest that you take a stroll over to give a listen to The Clumsy Lovers.

These guys are great.

While I do like the Clancy Bros, I’m a huge fan of Connie Dover. It’s not all traditional Irish, she does some more universal folk too. My personal favorites are Fear an Bhata (The Boatman) and In Aimsir Bhaint an Fheir (At Hay Cutting Time). I also really enjoy a band called Beyond the Pale. They’re a local band from Tyler, TX. Last I heard, they’d quit their jobs to play full-time.

What, an Irish folk music thread with no mention of Tommy Makem? For shame!

My favorite, when I’m in the right mood for it, is “The Liar”. I don’t know who originally did it, but I’ve heard versions by the Clancy brothers and by Makem.

It goes on to relate the narrator’s role in the Garden of Eden and other biblical stories, the Napoleonic Wars, etc.

And “Willy McBride” and “Killkelly, Ireland” never fail to bring a tear to my eye. “The Town I Loved so Well” has a similar effect.

:: newbie lurker slinks into thread::

Hi! I have lurked for years but this thread has forced me to actually register so I can post… darn it , Ferrous .

I’ve been a fan of Irish music for years. You name it, I’ll listen to it.
Some of my favourites:
Black 47 -“Funky Ceili” (sp?)
Muck Brothers- local Chgo. band do a great
cover “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”
Sharon Shannon - anything
Chieftains - “the Long Black Veil” entire album
U2 - Had to slip that in
Clancy Bros./Makem - naturally
The Wolf Tones- Fantastic stuff
Pierce Turner/Ger Busher - Wexford musicians
The Waterboys - “Fisherman’s Blues” album

Songs I love: “Patriot Game” “A Nation Once Again” “Boolavogue” “Boys of Wexford” “Four Green Fields” “Foggy Dew” You’ve probably guessed I’m into alot of the rebel stuff.
My kids love the music as well. They can’t go to sleep without their CD of Gaelic lullabys playing.
::minor hijack::
I’m particularly fond of the pipe bands at the St. Patrick’s Day parades. Cute guys in kilts. Oh my. I had to send the hubby for a beer so I could cool off.
::end minor hijack:

I never miss a Thistle and Shamrock show. My favorite contemporary group is Clannad: that sound they make gives me shivers. Give credit to Loreena McKennitt for some topnotch Irish songs too.

I got into the Chieftains phenomenon on the ground floor, back in the 1970s. Back when their first albums were numbered. I dug Chieftains 1, Chieftains 2, Chieftains 3, and the best of all, Chieftains 4! I taught myself some of the fiddle tunes (back when I had a fiddle). Some of my favorites to play were “Comb Your Hair and Curl It” (off of Chieftains 1) and “Brian Boru’s March” (from Chieftains 4). I also got into drugs the same time, and realized that listening to the “lilter” vocalist Pat McDuff on Chieftains 3 while stoned could seriously drive your mind around the bend. (He did a rapid Gaelic scat singing which they call “lilting.”) This stuff was meant for alcoholized states of mind, after all, not psychedelic.

In other words, I knew them “when”. Before they went all pop and everything.

When I was just a wee laddie in the 1960s, my mom had all the Irish Rovers records. Is it totally déclassé to mention the Irish Rovers here? Most folks only heard of them through their hit song for kids, “The Unicorn.” But they had a few good songs in them. “Up Among the Heather” was my favorite. And forget “Tura Lura” — the Rovers’ “O You Are a Mucky Kid” was the real Irish lullaby! I guess the Rovers were out to capitalize on the popularity of the Clancy Brothers.

Nobody has mentioned the sticky-gooey sentimental stuff that once passed for Irish music. The less said, the better, I guess. I learned of the Chieftains from a 1975 review in Time that said most people’s idea of Irish music is either sentimental weepy stuff like “Mother Machree” or the Clancy Brothers’ beery ballads, but the Chieftains played the original Irish roots music or something like that.

BTW, I came up with a riddle that you would have to know Irish, Hindustani, and Tolkien to understand: who is Mother makRî?

Hint: makRî is Hindustani for ‘spider’

I won’t tease you. I have their Xmas album, and I love “Miss Fogerty’s Christmas Cake,” a vaudeville-like representation of Irishry if ever there was one.

There’s a rather obscure Irish musician I’m wondering if anyone else has heard of…Padraic O’Reilly, of county Clare, a young man who plays trad on the piano, of all things.

I heard some of his stuff, a reel called “The Land of Sunshine,” on the car radio in Ireland and carefully wrote down the title of his most recent album, Down the Ivory Stairs, recorded in Limerick and Ennis in 2001.

I looked for it all over west Ireland, from Cork to Sligo, and met with dozens of blank stares from record-shopkeepers (“Irish traditional? On the PIANO???”). Unfortunately forgot to stop in Ennis, where they might have stocked the hometown boy.

On the last morning in Ireland I cut across to the Tower Records just off Grafton Street and grabbed up the last copy in stock. The cabdriver who took us to the airport got interested when I told him about finding it, and we put it on his car stereo (he approved, a great relief to me that an actual Irish person liked the stuff too).

O’Reilly’s got a website with ordering info and tour dates, according to the liner notes, but I can’t seem to access it on either of my servers.

i like altan and clannad.

“she moved through the fair” is my goose-bump favourite.

Another vote for “She Moved Through the Fair.”

Also a big vote for Black 47, who desere more recognition (but not for Funky Ceili, because it’s a lot like several other songs of theirs.) I prefer Walk All the Days, James Connolly and Patriot Game- kind of a fan of political stuff.

also fond of “Star of the County Down”

Am very fond of many of the other bands mentioned. Grew up on the Clancys/Makem.

Probably my favorite traditional Irish song is Fiddler’s Green, the one about the old sailor: “wrap me up in me oilskins and jumper, no more on the docks I’ll be seen.” A close second is Arthur McBride, another old traditional, its lyrics are often erroneously credited to Bob Dylan.

Anyone familiar with Green Linnet Records? They have introduced me to Patrick Street, Caipercaillie,Andy Stewart, Cherish the Ladies,Phil/John Cunningham, Wolfestone, Namh Parsons, and many, many more.

I have to agree that “Funky Ceili” is very similar to some of Black 47’s other songs. (Sorry, Larry!) However, I feel it is one example (of many already listed) of an Irish band/song that is definitely not “Oirish.” You know, leprechaun chasing, potcheen drinking, bog trotting, superstitious, fighting, stage “Oirish.” I have come across way too many people who believe that this is a fair representation of the Irish as a whole.:rolleyes: Unfortunately, a rather large percentage of them happen to be Irish-American.:mad: I honestly think that it is the last socially acceptable stereotype. The whole green beer/ face paint/ condoms etc. gig that rolls around before St. Patrick’s Day has been known to get on my last raw nerve.

I like this song so much I started a GQ thread about it several months back, trying to dig into the background of the narrative. Another excellent “Let’s beat the crap out of some Englishmen!” tune.

It’s erroneously attributed to Dylan because he covered it on his early-1990s album of old traditional songs, GOOD AS I BEEN TO YOU. He leanred it from the recordings made by Paul Brady, the Irish pop musician, and used Brady’s version of the lyric.

John Kirkpatrick has done a particularly nice recording of “Arthur McBride,” accompanying himself on the hurdy-gurdy.

Well, I like belting out “vaudeville Irish” songs, mostly written by Jews on West 23rd Street. “Has Anybody here Seen Kelly?,” “Down Went McGinty,” “Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley-Hooley,” etc.

I can legitimately say I’m as Irish as Nora Bayes, since Nora Bayes’ real name was Leonora Goldberg . . .

May I recommend Planxty and Moving Hearts, for those who havent heard of them before.
Also, Horselips, for Irish music played electric. classic.

Can I also throw The Fureys featuring Davey Arthur for “When you were Sweet 16” and “Grace”

“Grace” is simply one of the most beauytiful songs ever written, and quite possibly the greatest Rebel Love song.
The chorus goes like this

“Oh Grace, just hold me in your arms
And let this moment linger,
They’ll take me out at dawn, and I will die,
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger,
There won’t be time to share our love,
So we must say goodbye”

'Course I know “Oirish”. Ha. I mostly lurk on the Black 47 message boards and have been known to heckle bagpipers playing Danny Boy. God, I hate that song. It makes my skin crawl. Even with the extra verse that gets tacked on occaisionally. Actually, St. Pat’s in general pisses me off and I only go out because my usual is half price then.

Granuaile’s not a bad song either. If you like pirate queens.