Saturday, December 15, 2007

Andy M. Stewart, Phil Cunningham, Manus Lunny

"Fire in the Glen" 1991

Andy M. Stewart: lead vocals, tenor banjo
Phil Cunningham: accordion, synthesizers, acoustic piano, whistles, backing vocals
Mánus Lunny: acoustic guitar, bouzouki, lead vocal
(Track 5), backing vocals

Chivalry Music price: $14 Buy it now!

Interesting facts -- Wizard-o-philes may be interested to know that the Bill Watkins of the "Wee Red Whiskers" who taught Andy the song "Brighidin Ban Mo Store" among others, was an original member of Silly Wizard before they started recording, and he is also the Bill Watkins who wrote "The Errant Apprentice", which Andy recorded on Man in the Moon. Watkins has since written two terrific books, A Celtic Childhood and Scotland is Not for the Squeamish. You can read about them on his web site:

Tracks & notes

"Treorachadh" (Phil Cunningham)
This introducing Pibroch style melody leading into the "I Mourn For The Highlands" song was written by Phil, and the title, Treorachadh, is the Gaelic word meaning simply, Introduction.

"I Mourn For The Highlands"
(Words: Traditional, Music: Andy M. Stewart)
The beautiful evocative poetry in this song conjures up a series of vivid images of the devastating effect the Highland Clearances had on the North of Scotland. It strongly condemns those landowners who cleared the glens of families who had lived there for generations. They did this in order to turn the land over to the more profitable pursuits of large scale sheep farming and as a haven for rich sportsmen who wished to hunt the Red Deer, or fish for Salmon.

"The Gold Claddagh Ring"
(Words and Music: Andy M. Stewart)
The Claddagh ring originated in an area known as The Claddagh near Galway City in the West of Ireland. The ring has a unique design, that of a heart being encircled by a pair of delicate hands. In this song, the young man's heart is well and truly in the hands of the girl he admires from afar. On getting to know her better, he falls falls victim to a clever ploy.

"Fire In The Glen"
(Words and Music: Andy M. Stewart)
A song of a man who has become tired of fighting for other people's causes, finally realizing that whoever is king or master over him matters little in term of his own happiness and well-being. The sight of "fire in the glen" - the deliberate burning of the crofters' homes by the landlords in order to enforce eviction notices, proves to be the last straw fro him. He elects to head for America, a republic which boasts equality and "allegiance to no crown".

"The Spare Shillin' "
(Manus Lunny)
"The Viszla's Rambles"
(Phil Cunningham)
"The Lying Dew"
(Phil Cunningham)
"NIL SO I nGRA" (She's Not In Love)
(Words and Music: Manus Lunny)
The young man in this song has been forced into marriage by social and family pressures rather than for love. His only consolation is that his wife also feels the same way, enabling them to part without animosity. The translation of the third verse from the Irish is as follows:
But now I am happy
And I have no hatred in my heart
For this trick that was played on my mind
Is gone like the morning mist

"Watkins' Wee Red Whiskers"
(Words and Music: Andy M. Stewart)
This song was written by Andy for Bill Watkins.
All Hail To Mevagissey
(Phil Cunningham1)
Phil wrote this for the fine people of The Plymouth Folk Club who looked after him so well on a recent visit.
The Girls At Martinfields
(Phil Cunningham1)
Phil wrote this for his three adopted aunties on The Isle of Skye.

"Young Jimmy In Flanders"
(Words and Music: Andy M. Stewart)
Andy wrote this song for his grandfather, who, as young piper, was forced to endure the horror and lunacy that was the First World War. Somehow, thankfully, he survived. The song is in the form of a conversation between the recruiting officer, the piper, and his wife. It was inspired by the traditional song, Will Ye Go To Flanders?

"Brighidin Ban Mo Store"
(Words: Tradional/Music: Andy M. Stewart)
It would be difficult to find a song that expresses more love, hope, and expectation than this one. This song was given to Andy by Bill Watkins who remembers it being sung in his grandmother's house in Limerick in the 1950's. Brighidin Ban Mo Store was translated from the Irish by Edward Walsh (1805-1850) who made the following notes: "The proper name Brighit or Bride signifies a fiery dart, and was the name given to the Goddess of Poetry in Pagan Ireland." A more flowery version of the song appears in The Cabinet of Irish Literature, Vol. III, 1879.

"Ferry Me Over"
(Words and Music: Andy M. Stewart)
When going home has become overdue, it can produce some pretty strong emotions. This song is a celebration of returning home. The instrumental break is actually the first half of a tune written by Phil, entitled, The Spring Moon Over Gairloch. It was pure coincidence that this tune worked as a counterpoint to Andy's song, as the two pieces were written independently of each other.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lizardson I just want to thank you, cause you have a great blog of this music, which is very difficult to find into another place.

I'm looking for two French folk bands Chalibaude les noces du papillon and Sourdeline la reine blanche, I think this album were released in 1976, if I'm not mistaken.

Ps Don't tell me to download this stuff at ezhevika fields, cause the links of both albums are not ok.

See you.

Greetings from Mexico city.

15 December, 2007 09:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Lizardson,
Time has told me this blog is my favourite... :-)
Every now and again I come across a must-have!
Thank you for your efforts to make these gems available for all.
I should have expressed these words of thanks earlier, so to make up I offer you (and anonymous) a link to Sourdeline's "La Reine Blanche". Here you go:
It's not my rip, but I edited track 3 which is now quite listenable.
Greetings from Holland,

16 December, 2007 10:14  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you, thank you so much, Lizardson for this wonderful music! Without you I would never have been introduced to it. It made my day on this late Easter afternoon.
Greetings from Berlin


24 March, 2008 04:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please Re-Up...
Love this site so much.
Keep it up

18 June, 2008 05:48  
Blogger Jamie said...

Please re-up this one...
I love this site to bits..
Keep it up.

18 June, 2008 05:49  
Blogger Jamie said...

Please re-up this one...
I love this site to bits..
Keep it up.

18 June, 2008 05:50  
Blogger Jamie said...

oops sorry for the repeat posting.... didnt read the top of the page..

18 June, 2008 05:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to be a dead link.
Any chance for a re-up ?

Thanks, so much.


28 June, 2008 21:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a good link for this one

20 November, 2008 13:27  

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