Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Andy M. Stewart

"Man in the Moon" 1993

The Echo Mocks The Corncrake
(Trad./Arr. Stewart/O'Beirne)
The corncrake is a bird whose mechanical-sounding call was once a common sound throughout rural Scotland, but is now found only in parts of the Western Isles. Andy M. first heard this song at family ceilidhs when he was a child and loved its spirit. It extols the virtue and worth of a simple life close to nature and the land.

Island of Sorrows
(Words: Thomas Moore (1780-1852); Music Gerry O'Beirne/Andy M. Stewart)
This song refers to Sarah Curran who was engaged to the Irish patriot Robert Emmet. Emmet was captured and hanged in Dublin for his part in the failed insurrection against the English in 1803. Sarah Curran later became the wife of an officer who took her to Sicily hoping that travel would restore her spirits. Alas, her grief for the martyred Emmet was so great she died of broken heart.

The Gaberlunzieman
(Words: King James V (1512-1542); Music: Trad./Arr. with additional lyrics by Andy M. Stewart)
This delightful old song is said to have been penned by the "Merry Monarch", King James V, father of Marry Queen of the Scots. It is said that he would disguise himself as a poor man and go out amongst the common people. He was reputed to be a skillful musician and prolific poet although the Gaberlunzieman may be all that survived of his writings. A gaberlunzieman, or traveling mechanic, would mend and make articles of everyday necessity for the people he encountered as he traveled the country.

The Man in the Moon
(Words: Bill Dickson; Music: Kathy Stewart)
This song, a recent composition, is extremely moving in the way that it interconnects the human spirit, the land, and the seasons.

Kathy-Anne's Waltz
(Andy M. Stewart)
This tune is for Kathy Stewart.

Listen to the People
(Andy M. Stewart)
Have you ever wondered if politicians carry out the will of the people or carry out their own agenda despite it?

Sweet King Williams Town
(Trad./Arr. Andy M. Stewart/Gerry O'Beirne)
Andy learned this song from the singing of Cára Dillon, a great young singer from Northern Ireland. It is an emigration ballad which, in common with the genre, is at once poignant, sad and beautiful. King Williams Town is now known as Ballydesmond in County Cork, Ireland.

The Errant Apprentice (ABC notation)
(Words: Bill Watkins; Music: Andy M. Stewart/Gerry O'Beirne)
This bizarre tale was written by Andy M. Stewart's old pal and sparring partner, Bill Watkins.

MacGregor's Gathering
(Words: Sir Walter Scott; Music: Andy M. Stewart; Arr. Stewart/O'Beirne)
Much has been written on the trials, tribulations, heroes and history of this ancient clan. This song deals with the family's darkest hour during their "proscription" by the government. Proscription meant that it was a capital crime merely to admit to having the surname MacGregor. In addition, lands held by the clan for many generations were forfeited to the government. This song is dedicated to Andy M. Stewart's mother.

The Lakes of Pontchartrain
(Trad./Arr. Stewart/O'Beirne)
Lake Pontchartrain is in Lousiana, USA, just to the north of New Orleans. This song, which I believe dates from the time of the American Civil War, has long been a favorite of Andy M. Stewart.

The Land O' The Leal
(Words: Lady Nairne; Music: Trad./Arr. Stewart/Cunningham)
For many years this song was mistakenly thought to be the work of Robert Burns intil it finally emerged that it was written by Lady Nairne. Lady Nairne was descended from an old Jacobite family from Perthshire and had written many fine songs in favour of the exiled Stuarts. She was extremely modest and preferred to publish her songs anonymously. The "Land O' the Leal" in the context of this song, means Heaven.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely album, thanks!

10 April, 2008 04:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a treat to find some Andy M. Stewart that I've not seen before. I got a chance to see him live, with Donal Lunny, in the Dayton, OH, area in 1990. Wonderful show. Not long after, I split up with the ex-girlfriend who'd gotten the tickets, and she took with her all the Green Linnet LPs we'd collected together. As a result, I've spent years trying, unsuccessfully, to find some of those items. In addition to the pub concert above, we'd also attended a show in Columbus by Relativity, which was amde up of John & Phil Cunningham, Michael O'Domhnaill, and his sister Tricia Ni Domhnaill (not sure of the spelling there). There was some incredible fiddle wizardry that night, which I've never seen duplicated since -- and don't expect to, in this world. Any chance of posting some Relativity (they released only 2 LPs, I think), Cunningham brothers, or other Green Linnet releases from the late 80s/early 90s? Sure would be welcome after all these years -- smitty123

10 April, 2008 05:53  
Blogger urijenny said...


Marvilloso disco, muchas gracias.

Hace años que trataba de conseguir este trabajo de Andy M. Stewart (desde que lo escuché por primera vez en la compilación de Putumayo "A celtic collection"; allí se encuentra su tema "The gaberlunzieman", un temazo espectacular).

Ayer descargué el disco y lo escuché esta mañana. He disfrutado mucho los discos que me ido bajando del blog desde que lo encontré hace realtivamente poco tiempo, pero ecuchar este disco ha sido particularmente agradable.

De nuevo muchas gracias y un cordial saludo desde Mendoza en la República Argentina.

Si bien hace poco que frecuento este blog, ya es uno de mis blogs de música favoritos.

10 April, 2008 23:19  

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