There are few songs, at least in modern times that evoke as much feel for the Irish than the great Pete St John’s “Rare old times”. The line that strikes at the core is the iconic “Raised on songs and stories” I think it is what separates a true Irishman from the rest.
This Saturday night last I went to the local Irish Cultural Center in Canton Ma. to hear a young girl and her acoustic guitar play a few tunes. The bar was full of Rugby players fresh off the pitch and some aspiring footballers taking in some pre season practice. The songs she sang were mainly American country songs with a few pop hits thrown in. I know, I know, what does this have to do with Raised on songs and stories? Be patient I’ll get there.
When the boys are fresh off a match, or watching a match, the discussions and attentions in the pub afterwards are about the match. The music is an after thought, a nice after thought, but not the main attraction.
The young lady did know one Irish traditional song, and with a slight introduction that it was her father’s favorite song and hoped she did it the justice it deserved she belted out her version of “Grace”. Well you know those Rugby players all stopped their banter as a really nice, passionate, version of “Grace” caught them. At the songs conclusion, a round of applause from all, a bless his soul for Jim McCann for he has recently passed, and did she know any Luke Kelly.
Raised on songs and stories, The songs about Irish heroes forever retold in music, forever appreciated by generations young and old. The telling of the story is important, the singing of the song is important, that doing the song the respect it deserves is of utmost importance. I suppose that’s what Pete ST. John instinctively knew when he wrote that line, that all Irish are held together with a thread of story and song.
Not a bad way to be raised at all, I can think of no better,
I was sitting around in a local pub with a musician friend of mine and we got discussing some music he was thinking of putting down on a cd. Now I love discussing the ins and outs of what goes through an artists head, musically that is, but the thing he was most interested in was a poem he wanted to include. So this got me thinking of some famous Irish songs that include Irish poetry and the massive impact Irish poetry has on the feel of the song or cd.
Irish poetry in Irish Song
The first song that comes to mind is the song about Irish Patriot Michael Collins appropriately titled “Michael” by Johnny McEvoy which has a moving set of prose to add power to an already powerful rebel song. I once heard an Irish born rugby player belt this out from the bar, intro and song done flawlessly, and to put it in American form, He was awesome.
One of my favorite pieces of Irish music is the the Lonely Boatman by Finbar Furey and the Furey Brothers. I’m not sure if its the Irish poetry, the sea, the ship, or the boatman that captures my heart. Now that I think of it, the more likely reason I love this song is that I’m a sucker for a slow air.
There are times when an artist recites a poem and you would swear he is singing especially when he is a legend of Irish music Luke Kelly. Thank God for youtube and this rendition of Luke Kelly’s Irish Poetry.
For What Died the Sons of Róisín
My favorite version of the parting glass which includes the poem “Forever in your debt” by Kirk Jones, a beautiful haunting, yet hopeful tune.
For those not conversant in the Irish language here is the English translation;
With thanks to those who blew the wind
and those who sailed the ship,
We sailed it tight against the tide
and I shall be forever in your debt.
And as it is the day after election day in my part of the world we’ll end with a poetic rendition from the Woletones and their tribute to the founding fathers and patriots who fought and died for the independence of The United States.
Please add your favorite song that has Irish poetry included, or perhaps a favorite verse of an Irish poem that has been put to music and let others know the richness of Irish poetry.
Though I love Irish traditional music there are times when I need a less ancient form of Irish music for fun. I use to call this modern music but my kids would call them golden oldies, but I needed a pick me up so here goes.
As my friend Richie Schoal would say Elvis is King, can’t really argue with him, and yes I know Elvis is a Brit, but of Irish descent of course.
For those of you who wish their Irish music straight from the shores of old Erin I’ll go back to another classic Irish band and one of my favorite less known songs.
Especially like this live version, Really can’t beat Philip Lynott of Thin Lizzy fame.
What do you get when you combine the greatest Irish traditional group with the most prolific Irish singer of modern times, you get the heartbeat of Ireland.
If you ever need to just kick back and lose yourself in the music well Van Morrison is your man and combine him the Chieftains and life just gets better.
From the kings of Irish music to Irish music for us working stiffs, A nice little ditty from the Boomtown Rats.
And we’ll end this little break form the world, this mulligan for mental health, this lemonade and easy chair respite from reality with a nice Irish pop band.
Hope you had a bit of fun remembering and listening to some of the music Ireland is responsible for. There are plenty more bands and songs that could have been added to this collection, and in the end you have to choose what gets you in the mood.
Well maybe one more, a little more on the rocker side of the spectrum but perfect for that last summer day on the beach.
I think I’m becoming a broken record, for those of you who can remember what a record is, that is. I recieved a video in my comment section with new Irish voices singing an old Irish Folk song, which is why I love having this blog don’t you know. Polly Vaughn is the song and surprisingly is about the tragic accidental shooting of Polly Vaughn or Molly Vaughn, the true love of the shooter, I know how shocking that a traditional Irish folk song can be about such a tragic event. The singer on the video is called “Sive” but I kinda like her given name of Sadhbh O’Sullivan, and she has a haunting beautiful voice, I wished she focused on Trad or Seanos because she would be absolutely brilliant at it. The Pandy corporation (the instrumental to the video) experiments musically kinda of the next Alan Parsons which is great if you are into the electro vibe shake and jiggle sort of thing. Give her a look/listen.
So as is my way, a little googling and seems as miss O’Sullivan is quite accomplished and quite at the start of the musical journey. What I found reveals a beautiful voice with a jazz feel and a natural soul, ready to take on the world, the next new Irish star.
It does my heart good to see/hear the next wave attacking the music world, and I’m sure ending up on top.
The other nice thing about checking out new personas is they always have friends who are remarkably talented. In this case Janet Grogan another Dublin native.
watch out world WOW, my only regret is that the main stream music world will end up with these two new Irish voices, my hope is that after they conquer the world they may throw a good Irish folk song in.
The songs and videos do more justice to their talent than this humble blogger could ever do, so if you happen to see a marquee with the names O’Sullvan and Grogan, or Sive and Grogan, at some small club or pub somewhere go in and see the next big thing, while they are still undiscovered.
The nice thing about having a blog and exploring interesting things (Irish) on the web is sometimes the story comes to you. Todays post is just such an occurrence. We all know the internet is used to get out your message, all the different blogs, sites, stores, are busy spreading their own story, trying to build traffic, steal a little “link” juice, trying to get to the level where their sites make them some “easy” cash. To which I say “God Bless them”. One of the comments made to yours truly, I’m sure, was in an effort to get some traction going for a Dublin Artist, singer, songwriter, Bill Treacy. I am glad Bill still had the energy to post a comment or two to the site, as the song he is promoting was pretty damn good, and probably a bit focused on todays Ireland and her current financial conditions.
The Music industry is a tough nut to crack, and most overnight success stories are usually preceded by years of thankless, payless, days of struggling and self doubt. But the will to prevail runs strong in those brave few who persist, attain, and overcome. To this, I thought I owed a little bit of space to Bill. If you believe in helping talented folk singers download Mr. Treacy’s mp3 or upcoming Cd. and let the modern Irish bard be heard. If you happen to be a Dub you already know Bill plays around town, but if you’re visiting here’s a bit of an inside tip. From a comment Bill left on the Blog sometime ago
*Next time you’re in Dublin to pop into The Ha’Penny Bridge Inn on a Sunday night.
I play with my band The Ha’Penny Heads a load of Folk and Ballads with Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Fiddle and Harmonica. The Punters all join in and Atmosphere is Electric. It’s really old school with Locals and Tourists. Judging by your website I know you’d love it.
Hope to see you soon”
What do you get when you take a couple of Irish fellas, mix in some veteran American country guitarist, add an Irish trad player, and a Cambridge cop? You get Devri’s newest CD “Broad Street”. Declan and the crew have put together an Irish American story, anchored by “Leaving Ireland” written by Declan Houton that tells the story of the dual loves of our Boston Irish. Landmark music venues of Mr Dooleys and Paddy Barrys bring the local flavor thats easy to taste for anyone from the Boston area.
Larry Flint gets to show off his down home vocals and homestyle guitar work in a nice mood setting rendition of “Junior” This CD walks the tightrope between Traditional Irish Folk songs and American city tributes with an Irish trad beat. The songs represent the band in so many ways, Proud of Ireland and Love of America, their songs represent both, class.
The Girls come front and center on “Ride On” a show stopper and must hear whenever Pauline and Devri get together. Pauline Wells’ dynamic voice set off by Caroline O’Shea’s haunting low whistle provide one of the best versions of this song as you are going to find. Slow and haunting to start then they crank it up and Pauline brings it back home as the band lets loose.
For those that are loyal Devri followers this CD is a welcome representation of the band, for those still new to the band the CD represents a definite Irish tradition with American country touches. But this is an Irish Cd with classics, Black and Tans, Flight of Earls, Tell me Ma, Lovely Irish Rose, Ride On, Mountains of Mourne, and a nice 6:16 of trad/fusion music to wrap it up.
Devri CD release Cruise Boston Harbor June 15 2013 to support Lucy’s Love Bus
On Saturday, June 15th, 2-5PM: Join Devri and special guests on board the ‘MV Freedom’ as they celebrate the launch of their new CD, ‘Broad Street’ ! We will be sailing from Rowes Wharf in Downtown Boston for a 3-hour Cruise of Music & Craic. Devri is a proud member of Lucys Love Corps, and is delighted to announce that a portion of The Cruise’s profits will be donated to Lucy’s Love Bus. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling Declan at 617-347-1260, or by emailing email@example.com. Or pick them up at The Old Court Pub in Lowell at 29 Central Street
If you can’t get your hands on a CD or you like living in the cyber world you can order downloads @http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/devri
Irish music is a good way to spend a day, a night, an afternoon, or an evening, and it’s a nice way to remember the good days of old and those to come. The joke about Irish folk music is that every song has to do with some tragic event, rebellion, lost love, or eviction, but there are plenty of uplifting Inspiring irish folk songs to pep up your spirits.
A few positive uplifting Irish songs and Irish music.
Cliffs of Donneen, after all it’s a nice place to be on a warms summer day, my favorite Irish music version is sung by Paddy Rielly.
Song for Ireland, best sung in old pubs where fiddlers like to play.
Irish rover, except for the poor old dog being drown it’s a pretty upbeat lively Irish folk song and you never know when you might need some nanny goat tails.
The Jug of Punch, Especially nice on a pleasant evening in the month of May.
The Hills of Connemara, Running moonshine or more accurately poteen and sharing same with your local priest just has an uplifting effect.
I’ll Tell me Ma, except for maybe some young fellow getting a talking to, it’s a really a popular lively song.
So when you need to sing a happy tune or at least listen to one there’s no reason why that song shouldn’t be an Irish one. When the news of the day gets a bit overwhelming, and you just need a break from the everyday doldrums, maybe it’s time to learn a few pleasant Irish songs. In the famous words of Seamus Moore ” Lighten up when you still can”
Now to my fellow Tourists you should know that country music is just a wildly liked in Ireland as it is back home, my favorite being the humorous Irishman genius Seamus Moore.
So taking Seamus’s advice I’ll try to steer clear of the politics for a while and get back to what is good in the world, Irish music, Irish food, and Irish fun.
This is the weekend that exhausts all Irish musicians, they are in high demand to play that great Irish music we all want to hear for Paddy’s day. When you attend a concert or listen to some good Irish pub music support your local musicians. Find your favorite Irish music.
Local Favorite Irish Music
DEVRI. Quincy ma. based band led by Donegal born American citizen musical power house Declan Houtan. DEVRI is the best Irish/folk/country band around. If you love guitar riffs you’ll enjoy music legend Chuck Parish as he masterfully impresses all. Kerry is represented by drummer Stevie O’Callahan and the Big man on Bass and vocals Larry Flint. DEVRI’s new Cd can be purchased off their website DEVRIband.com . Larry’s personal Cd Ghost on the railroad is classic American country. Check out larryflintmusic.com
This clip includes Kevin Doherty also born in Donegal, and whistle player Caroline O’Shea.
PAULINE WELLS. Cambridge lieutenant and vocalist Pauline has performed concerts at the Wilbur theater, Norwood Theater, Fenway park, all in the cause of raising cash for kids with cancer charities. You’ll notice the back up band for pauline is Devri.
IVY LEAF. This young traditional Irish band is among the best around. Lindsay Straw, Armand Aromin, Caroline O’Shea, and Dan Accardi, stay true the traditional Irish music style. Next time you are in the Boston area do youself a favor and check them out. You can buy CDs or download mp3 tunes from the ivyleafmusic.com
Enjoy your favorite Irish music, go to a show, buy their CDs, support you local Irish musician.
Do you have a favorite local band? give them some publicity on the Comment page
I feel a little screaming is in order for a band that has been kicking out Irish music and their own take on Irish music for twenty years.
The Orthodox Celts put out high energy traditional Irish folk tunes. I get upset when I read comments on other forums from people who have never listened to these folks play. They question their authenticity. This band would be kicking butt all over the world, if they were from the west.
Lead singer Alexander Petrovic aka “Aca Celtic” takes his growly thick voice and combines it with pure enthusiasm. He gives respect to the Irish traditional music. Rumor has it that the band will be heading west in 2013. If so I’ll be the old guy screaming in the front row.
Ana Dokic, the pretty fiddle player does pure justice to the tunes she blazes out. The River Dance blurb in the middle of “the Rocky Road to Dublin” is brilliant. Combined with the beautiful low whistle, this version of “Down the Rocky Road” is an Ireland favorites, favorite.
In 2009 Ana Dokic left the band and was replaced by Nikola Stanojevic. Not much more info about her, she is missed.
The Orthodox Celts are:
Aleksandar Petrović – Lead Vocal
Dejan Lalić – Octave Mandola, Mandolin, Back Vocals
Nikola Stanojević – Violin Bojan Petrović – Whistles, Back Vocals
Vladan Jovković – Acc. Guitar, Back Vocals
Dejan Grujić – Bass, Back Vocals
Dušan Živanović – Drums, Bodhran
Belgrade rocks with an Irish accent every St Patricks Day as the Orthodox Celts play their annual gala celebrating Irelands Patron Saint.
A few interesting tid bits.
they sing all their songs in english, determined to keep the faith with the Irish tradition.
When you look up comments you get a mixed bag, as sometimes you’ll find them all in Serbian.
Other times you’ll find them in punk rock rudity.
As the early Celts were rooted in Serbia, now modern Irish rock, folk, music spreads its branches through the hard work, dedication, and joy that is the Orthodox Celts.
I was all set to write some nice little piece on Irish sayings and just couldn’t get into the groove. As I stared at the screen and tried to get witty, one of my daughters needed a lift to a charity Irish concert. Taking any chance to procrastinate, allowed me to do two things;
get out of the house,
drop into a singers session to maybe hear an Irish song or ballad.
O.K. a pint of guinness was part of the plan also.
So I pop into this singers session which had been struggling a bit to see some old faces. This session is handicapped by the head of the group as he uses it to self promote and loses most that have any understanding of session rules. But this night was different, some box players came and were highjacked by some set dancers, who in turn hijacked the session. The hapless leader was a bit flummoxed (which was fun to watch) and this also gave the opportunity to call for a song or two. This long set up does have a point.
I know some of the shy singers, the fearful singers, the ones that sing their Irish song over and over in preparation but never quite get it out. We ask the box players if there is room for a song, (which they are grateful for since they have played non stop for forty minutes). I manage to get the first fearful, excited singers to give it a try,This is what made the night so fun. You know he does a nice job of Carrickfergus, a tough song really. I now nudge another fellow to give us his song when the inevitable happens. He turns the tables and wants to know where my Irish song is.
In the best I’ll show you mine if you show me yours first, I’m forced to sing up or shut up. This is where you need not be afraid. Only three things can happen and two of them are good.
You sing a really good Irish song as well as you can.
You sing a really good Irish song poorly.
Or the one bad thing, you forget the words and give up.
On this night I was lucky and the first choice won out, and a few jokes were thrown about. The really nice result was others who don’t normally sing, gave it a try. It is not easy getting up in front of a room full of people and maybe not doing so well, the trick is to believe in yourself whether you are on that night or not. So don’t be afraid, sing your Irish song. Oh and one more thing, the box players retook control and the set dancers were a joy to watch.