Boys Of The Lough

Irish/Scottish instrumental band, playing mainly traditional Irish and Scottish tunes. 

Liner notes to "Farewell and Remember Me".

1. Sean But/ Tommy People's/ The Lark in the Morning

Three jigs well suited to the pipes. The first is found in O'Neill's "Music of Ireland". The second came from the playing of Tommy Peoples, the outstanding Donegal fiddle player, with whom Cathal spent a lot of time playing music in the late 60's and early 70's. The Lark in the Morning" is a version from Willie Clancy's mother which Christy learned from Pat Mitchell's Playing.

2. The Leitram Queen

Cathal learned this love song direct from Tommy McGovern of Derrylinn, county Fermanagh in 1963 and passed it on to Christy who sings it here with accompaniment from John.

3. Lucky Can Du Link Ony/ Pottinger's/ Billy Nicholson

Three Shetland reels, led by Lerwick fiddler Aly Bain who provides second fiddle to himself. In the old-time way, on the first tune, and old one. "Pottinger's" comes from the fertile imagination of Tom Anderson, the "grand old man" of Shetland fiddle music and celebrates Willie Pottinger - a boat carpenter and very good fiddle player. Tom attempted to capture his unique style in the syncopated part of the second tuning of the tune, in Willie's favourite of F.

4. Farewell and Remember Me

The song was recorded some time ago by Mrs Makem, mother of Tommy Makem. Cathal enlisted the help of Ron Shaw, an Edinburgh musician, for accompaniment on cello - an instrument which has associations with Scottish traditional music dating back to Niel Gow (1727 - 1807) and his brother Donald.

5. Angus Polka No 1/ Angus Polka No 2/ Donegal Barn Dance

. We learned these two polkas from a recording by the Cameron brothers of Kirriemuir, Angus, who were active in fiddle music in that area in the 1920's and 1930's. The barn dance came from Tralee musicians Siobhan and Maire O'Keefe although we think it is a Northern tune.

6. An Spailpin Fanach/ The One-Horned Buck

A song in Irish from Christy. This Connemara version derives from Sean 'ac Dhonncha and dates back to around 1790. It is enlivened by bursts of the reel which Cathal learned from Eddie Duffy in 1974.

7. Valentia Harbour/ The Jug of Punch/ MacArthur Road

This beautiful air was composed by a schoolmaster by the name of Riordan, who, while changing schools, lost his books during their transfer by boat between Valentia Island and the mainland. It carries words in Irish and was known also as "The Story of the books". We follow it with a slowed down version of a Galway fiddle reel normally played in D minor. The last reel is another of Dave's own tunes, in E major. It is named for our longstanding friends John and Margaret MacArthur of Marlboro, Vermont, and their extended family, who have provided down home hospitality, support and encouragement on many occasions.

8. Lovely Ann

Sean Corcoran recently collected this song from Mrs Rose Johnson of Ardgart, Fermanagh and published it in "Here's Health" (1986, Arts Council of Northern Ireland), together with a tape. He notes how the patterns of internal and cross-rhyme reflect those of Irish language poetry. Local singers ascribe the song to Peter Magennis, a nineteenth-century school-master-bard who wrote in this style, although the song also appears in early ballad sheets. Cathal chose to adhere to Fermanagh tradition on this one and sings it unaccompanied - yet not adorned.

9. The Holly Bush/ The New Ships are Sailing

(flute and uilleann pipes). With Cathal on flute, Christy plays these tunes on the pipes that once belonged to William F Hanafin, a fellow Kerryman (see the historical notes). "The Holly Bush" comes from Finbar Dwyer's accordion playing and the second reel from late Eddie Duffy - the great flute player and repository of tunes from Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh, from Cathal learned so much.

10. The Waterford Waltz/ The Stronsay Waltz

The first of these waltzes has a long association with the pipes, appearing in Volume 4 of O'Farrell's "Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes", published in London between 1801 and 1810. A New Year visit to Stromness, Orkney, at the end of 1977 gave us "The Stronsay Waltz". Dave heard Bill Halcro play it on his piano accordion as they went first-footing around the houses and was immediately taken with it.

Last updated on 07/02/2011