Happy Songs of Death

by Marc Gunn

/
  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price

    You own this

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    It's Irish. A joyful juxtaposition of the morbid and the comic that celebrates murder ballads, the Black Death and life through death.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Happy Songs of Death via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 14 days

      $2.95 USD or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Full Digital Discography Full Digital Discography

    Get all 24 Marc Gunn releases available on Bandcamp and save 10%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Firefly Drinking Songs, Going for Brogue: Irish Pub Songs and Sea Shanties with an Accent, Live At the Cactus Cafe: Cat Songs and Celtic Music, Heart's Ease, What Color Is Your Dragon?, Soul of a Harper, A Tribute to Love, Celtic Geek, and 16 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      $110.70 USD or more (10% OFF)

    You own this

     

1.
Look at the coffin with golden handles Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead? Let's not have a sniffle, Let's have a bloody good cry And always remember the longer you live, The sooner you'll bloody well die Look at the preacher, bloody well santified (bloody sanctimonious) Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead? Look at the choir boys, bloody castrati Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead? Look at the widow, bloody great female Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead? Look at the mourners, bloody great hippocrites Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead? Look at the flowers, all bloody wilted Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead? Look at the tombstone, bloody great boulder Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead? Look at the whiskey, in buckets and bottles Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead?
2.
I left my ship with storms on my mind, High wind and tossing seas. I sought a maid with soft green eyes To take my mind off me. Hai diddle-dai-dum Ba du diddle-dai-dum Ba du diddle-dai diddle-dai dee Hai diddle-dai-dum Ba du diddle-dai-dum Won't you come with me? I met a maid by waterside Gutting the herring clean. She took my hand, laid down her knife. Then we walked along the beach. Singing... She set herself down on a rock And bade me sit at her feet. The sun settled down and the wind did blow The curlets across her cheek. We sang... I took her gently in my arms Our bodies rolling in the sand. When she pulled the knife out of my side My body stopped lurching at last.
3.
Twa Corbies 03:04
As I was walking all alane, I heard twa corbies making a mane; The tane unto the t’ither say, ‘Where sall we gang and dine today-o?’ ‘In behint yon auld fail dyke, I wot there lies a new slain knight; And naebody kens that he lies there, But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair. ‘His hound is to the hunting game, His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame, His lady’s taken another mate, So we shall mak our dinner sweet. ‘Ye’ll sit on his white hause-bane, And I’ll pike out his bonny blue een; Wi ae lock o his gowden hair We’ll, theek our nest when it grows bare. ‘Mony a one for him makes mane, But nane sall ken where he is gane; Oer his white banes, when they we bare, The wind sall blaw for evermair.’
4.
Clementine In a cavern, in a canyon, Excavating for a mine, Dwelt a miner, forty-niner And his daughter Clementine. Oh my darling, oh my darling Oh my darling, Clementine Thou art lost and gone forever, Dreadful sorry, Clementine. Light she was and like a fairy, And her shoes were number nine, Herring boxes without topses Sandals were for Clementine Drove she ducklings to the water Every morning just at nine, Hit her foot against a splinter Fell into the foaming brine. Ruby lips above the water, Blowing bubbles soft and fine, But alas, I was no swimmer, So I lost my Clementine. In my dreams she still doth haunt me, Robed in garments soaked in brine; Though in life I used to love her, Now she's dead, I draw the line.
5.
I'll tell you a story that happened to me One day as I went down to Yore by the sea The sun it was hot and the day it was warm, Says I a quiet pint wouldn't do me no harm I went in and I called for a bottle of stout Says the barman, I'm sorry, all the beer is sold out Try whiskey or paddy, ten years in the wood Says I, I'll try cider, I've heard it was good. Oh never, Oh never, Oh never again If I live to be a hundred or a hundred and ten I fell to the ground and I couldn't get up After drinking a quart of the Johnny Jump Up After downing the third I went out to the yard Where I bumped into Brody, the big civic guard Come here to me boy, don't you know I'm the law? Well, I up with me fist and I shattered his jaw He fell to the ground with his knees doubled up But it wasn't I hit him, 'twas Johnny Jump Up The next thing I remember down in Cork by the sea Was a cripple on crutches and says he to me I'm afraid of me life I'll be hit by a car Won't you help me across to the Celtic Knot Bar? After downing a quart of that cider so sweet He threw down his crutches and danced on his feet I went up the lee road, a friend for to see They call it the madhouse in Cork by the Sea Butl when I got there, sure the truth I will tell, They had this poor bugger locked up in a cell Said the guard, testing him, say these words if you can, "Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran" Tell him I'm not crazy, tell him I'm not mad It was only a sip of the bottle I had Well, a man died in the mines by the name of McNabb They washed him and laid him outside on the slab And after the parlors measurements did take His wife brought him home to a bloody fine wake Twas about 12 o'clock and the beer was high The corpse sits up and says with a sigh I can't get to heaven, they won't let me up Til I bring them a quart of the Johnny Jump Up So if ever you go down to Cork by the sea Stay out of the ale house and take it from me If you want to stay sane don't you dare take a sup Of that devil drink cider called Johnny Jump Up
6.
Jug of Punch 02:23
One evening in the month of June As I was sitting in my room A small bird sat on an ivy bunch And the song he sang was "The Jug Of Punch." Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay, too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay A small bird sat on an ivy bunch And the song he sang was "The Jug Of Punch." What more diversion can a man desire? Than to sit him down by an alehouse fire Upon his knee a pretty wench And upon the table a jug of punch. Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay, too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay Upon his knee a pretty wench And on the table a jug of punch. Let the doctors come with all their art They'll make no impression upon my heart Even a cripple forgets his hunch When he's snug outside of a jug of punch. Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay, T too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay Even a cripple forgets his hunch When he's snug outside of a jug of punch. And if I get drunk, well, me money's me own And them don't like me they can leave me alone I'll chune me fiddle and I'll rosin me bow And I'll be welcome wherever I go. Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay, T oo ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay I'll chune me fiddle and I'll rosin me bow And I'll be welcome wherever I go. And when I'm dead and in my grave No costly tombstone will I crave Just lay me down in my native peat With a jug of punch at my head and feet. Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay, Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay Just lay me down in my native peat With a jug of punch at my head and feet.
7.
Red, red and black Your Father's lying on his back Dining with his friends in Paradise. Run, run, run, Or the Devil will take your son. Your brother's family got it twice. Red, red and black Take a whip to you back Purge all the sins from your soul Jump up and down Drive the Devil out of town Fire burns away the blackened coal. Red, red and black Now you're lying on your back Eyes on your Father in Paradise Burn, burn, burn, Well, I guess it is your turn. At least, Death won't visit you twice.
8.
Whiskey you're the devil. You're leading me astray Over hills and mountains and to Amerikay You’re sweeter, stronger, decenter, you’re spunkier than tea, Oh, whiskey you’re me darlin’, drunk or so-ber Oh now brave boys we’re on the march Off to Portugal and Spain The drums a-beating, the banners flying The devil a-home will come tonight Bridge: Love fare thee well With a tither-y-eye, the diddlum the dah Me tither-y-eye, the diddlum the dah Me right fol tur-a ladee Oh, there’s whiskey in the jar Said the mother, “Do not wrong me Don’t take me daughter from me For if you do, I will torment you And after death the ghost will haunt you” The French are fighting boldly Men dying hot and coldly Give every man a flask of powder A firelock upon his shoulder
9.
And sing high Jeannie high, Sing low Jeannie low You can never make a singing bird Out of a hoodie crow My father was a gentleman, and a gentleman was he But he’s wed me to an old man of three score years and three Before I’d have an old man with thirty plows and land I’d rather have a young man with only hat in hand For when we go to bed at night he turns o’er to the wall And never lays a hand on me till morning light dawns Now some neighbors have advised me to drown him in a well Some others have advised me to grind him in a mill But I have taken my own advice and borne him to a plain And I’ve tied him to a windmill, and he’ll never come back again
10.
I’ve traveled this wide world all over And now to another I go. And I know the good quarters are waiting To welcome old Rosin the Bow. To welcome old Rosin the Bow. (x2) And I know the good quarters are waiting To welcome old Rosin the Bow. When I’m dead and laid out on the counter A voice you will hear from below, Saying “Send down a hogshead of whisky To drink with old Rosin the Bow. To drink with old Rosin the Bow”. (x2) Saying “Send down a hogshead of whisky To drink with old Rosin the Bow”. Then get a half dozen stout fellows And line them all up in a row Let them drink out of half gallon bottles To the memory of Rosin the Bow To the memory of Rosin the Bow (x2) Let them drink out of half gallon bottles To the memory of Rosin the Bow Then get a half dozen stout fellows And line them all stagger and go And let ’em dig a great hole in the meadow And in it put Rosin the Bow. And in it put Rosin the Bow. (x2) Let ’em dig a great hole in the meadow And in it put Rosin the Bow. Then get ye a couple of bottles. Put one at me head and me toe. With a diamond ring scratched upon ’em The name of old Rosin the Bow. The name of old Rosin the Bow. (x2) With a diamond ring scratched upon ’em The name of old Rosin the Bow. I feel that grim reaper approaching, That cruel remorseless old foe, And I lift up me glass in his honour. Take a drink with old Rosin the Bow. Take a drink with old Rosin the Bow. (x2) And I lift up me glass in his honour. Take a drink with old Rosin the Bow.
11.
Foggy Dew 04:01
'Twas down the glen one Easter morn To a city fair rode I. When armed line of marching men In squadrons passed me by. No pipes did hum, no battle drum Did sound its loud tattoo But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey's swell Rang out in the foggy dew. Right proudly high over Dublin town They hung out a flag of war. 'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar. And from the plains of Royal Meath Strong men came hurrying through; While Brittania's huns with their great big guns Sailed in through the foggy dew. O' the night fell black and the rifles' crack Made "Perfidious Abion" reel 'Mid the leaden rail, seven tongues of flame Did shine o'er the lines of steel. By each shining blade a prayer was siad That to Ireland her sons be true, And when morning broke still the war flag shook Out its fold in the foggy dew 'Twas England bade our wild geese go That small nations might be free. But their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves On the fringe of the gray North Sea. But had they died by Pearse's side Or fought with Cathal Brugha, Their names we'd keep where the Fenians sleep 'Neath the shroud of the foggy dew. The bravest fell, and the solemn bell Rang mournfully and clear For those who died that Watertide In the springing of the year. And the world did gaze with deep amaze At those fearless men, but few Who bore the fight that freedom's light Might shine through the foggy dew. Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more. But to and fro in my dreams I go and I'd kneel and pray for you, For slavery fled, O glorious dead, when you fell in the foggy dew.
12.
Says my auld one to your auld one Will you go to the Waxie’s dargle Says your auld one to my auld one Sure I haven’t got a farthing I’ve went down to Monto town To see Uncle McArdle But he wouldn’t lend me a half a crown To go to the Waxie’s dargle Chorus: What’ll you have, will you have a pint Yes, I’ll have a pint with you, sir And if one of us doesn’t order soon We’ll be thrown out of the boozer Says my auld one to your auld one Will you go to the Galway races Says your auld one to my auld one For the price of my auld lad’s braces I went down to Chapel Street To the Jew man money lender But he wouldn’t give me a couple bob On my auld lad’s red suspenders Says my auld one to your auld one We’ve got no beef nor mutton Says your auld one to my auld one I’ll tell where you get it for nothin’ Here’s a nice piece of advice I got from an auld fish monger When the food is scarce and you see the hearse You’ll know that you died of hunger
13.
Johnny awoke with an ache in his head. Bad dreams had made him ill. And he grumbled as he dressed despite his duress As he made his way to the mill. Oh he never wanted to work that day, But the foreman had himself clear. So Johnny dreamed of the eve to come When he’d drink him beer after beer, Singing… “I’ll drink from dusk till dawn I’ll drink a toast to day’s end. Yes, I’ll drink from dusk till dawn And I’ll drink to the health of me friends.” It was a chilly morning, went straight to his bones Oh, he wished that he had him some ale. Just one fine glass of stout Guiness Would hold him till the end of the trail. Oh his mouth watered with the thought of ale By the time he arrived he’d decide That not even Death could keep him away From his friends and their favorite dive. They’d sing… Johnny worked hard all the day His mind away drinking alone And he told his friends of the pledge he’d made And the fantasy that kept him afloat. “Come hell or high water I’ll drink with you Nothing could keep me away.” When the day came to end, he left with a friend Together they walked and they sang… On the road they came to a bridge of rope And there they met with a man With a scythe in his hand and an evil grin Tw’as Old Death who cut Johnny down. Johnny’s friend crossed himself, swore it’was the truth As he retold the scene to the bar And they all recalled Johnny’s last words, “I’ll drink come hell or high water!” He sang… Well, the door swung open, a cold wind blew in. And there stood a man unafraid. He called for a beer. They realized when near. It was Johnny come back from the grave. He said, “You could keep me away from work. For there’s nothing I live for there. But I told you today of the pledge I made You can’t keep a man from his beer,”

about

It's Irish. A joyful juxtaposition of the morbid and the comic that celebrates murder ballads, the Black Death and life through death.


Album Notes
In memory of Michael Younger.

"Happy Songs of Death" is a joyful juxtaposition of the morbid and the comic that celebrates murder ballads, the Black Death and starving to death. Celtic songs, American songs - and notably several of Marc Gunn's original compositions all affirm that death is just the other side of life! Artists through the centuries have found inspiration in these same themes. Join Marc Gunn in a fresh look at all things mortal.
"Life does not cease to be funny when people die anymore than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." - G. B. Shaw
This album began many years ago when I was introduced to the music of Italian musician Angelo Branduardi. He had a delightful little song called "La Pulce D'Acqua". One day, I decided to translate it and found out the title meant "the flea of the water". Intriguing, I thought. So I tried translating more and a wild idea came to me. This song was about the Black Death!

In fact, it wasn't, according to some Italian friends who actually understood the meaning of it. I was disappointed by that, but thought it would be cool to write an upbeat song about death. Then while chatting with Andrew McKee, my former bandmate with the Brobdingnagian Bards, the title arose--Happy Songs of Death. It took me four years or so for the album to come about, but here it is.

The songs are an upbeat mix of traditional folk songs and original songs about death. There are murder ballads, people rising from the dead, war, my own song inspired by the Black Death, and a general celebration of the dead.

I was so excited about this album that I had TWO CD covers designed for it. One by Ingrid Houwers who desiged by Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers CDs and the other by Nikki O'Shea who designed my What Color Is Your Dragon? CD and the Bards Comic.

credits

released August 20, 2009

Produced by Ari Koinuma, www.hashimusic.com
Graphics by Ingrid Houwers, www.imbascreations.com
and Nikki O'Shea, www.dragonpressgraphics.com

license

tags

about

Marc Gunn Atlanta, Georgia

Marc Gunn is a rhythm and folk musician inspired by Celtic culture, science fiction, fantasy, and cats--Sci F'Irish music.

He breathes new life into the autoharp, which continues to surprise musical veterans and fans alike for its unique sound and spirited energy. It’s like a satirical jam session between The Clancy Brothers and Weird Al Yankovic.
... more

shows

  • Oct 23
  • Oct 29
  • Nov 05
  • Nov 12
  • Nov 19

contact / help

Contact Marc Gunn

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account