How America Saved Irish Music

by Marc Gunn & Jamie Haeuser

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1.
A stor mo chroi when you're far away From the home you will soon be leaving It's many's the time by night and by day When your heart will be sorely grieving For the stranger's land may be bright and fair Rich in it's treasures golden But you'll pine I know for days long long ago And the one that is never olden A stor mo chroi in the stranger's land There is plenty of wealth and wailing Where gems adorn the great and the grand Where the faces with hunger paling When the road it is tiresome and hard to tread And the lights of their cities blind you Oh turn a stor to Erin's shore And the one that you leave behind you A stor mo chroi when the evening mist Over mountain and sea is falling Oh turn a stor and then you list And maybe you will hear me calling For the sound of a voice you will surely miss Somebody speedily returning A rune a rune won't you come back soon To the one that will always love you
2.
Near to Banbridge Town, in the County Down One morning last July, Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen, And she smiled as she passed me by; Well, she looked so sweet from her two bare feet To the sheen of her nut-brown hair; Such a coaxing elf, sure I shook myself To make sure I was really there. From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay, And from Galway to Dublin town, No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen That I met in the County Down. As she onward sped, sure I shook my head And I looked with a feeling rare. Then I said, says I, to a passer-by, "Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?" Well, he smiled at me, and with pride says he, "That's the gem of old Ireland's crown, She's young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann, She's the Star of the County Down." Well I've traveled a bit, but ne'er was hit Since my roving career began; Then fair and square I surrendered there To the charms of young Rose McCann. I'd a heart to let and no tenant yet Did I see in shawl or gown, But in she went and I asked no rent From the Star of the County Down. At the harvest fair, I'll be surely there And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes With my shoes shone bright, and my hat cocked right For a smile from my nut-brown Rose. No pipe I'll smoke, and no horse I'll yoke Though with rust my plow turns brown, Till a smiling bride by my own fireside Sits the Star of the County Down.
3.
03:19
A gypsy rover came over the hill Down through the valley so shady. He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang And he won the heart of a lady. Ah-dee-doo-ah-dee-doo-dah-day Ah-dee-doo-ah-dee-day-dee He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang And he won the heart of a lady. She left her father's castle gate. She left her own fine lover. She left her servants and her state To follow her gypsy rover. She left behind her velvet gown And shoes of Spanish leather They whistled and they sang 'till the green woods rang As they rode off together Last night, she slept on a goose feather bed With silken sheets for cover Tonight she'll sleep on the cold, cold ground Beside her gyspy lover Her father saddled up his fastest stead And roamed the valley all over. Sought his daughter at great speed And the whistlin' gypsy rover. He came at last to a mansion fine Down by the river Claydee. And there was music and there was wine For the gypsy and his lady. "He is no gypsy, my Father," she cried "but Lord of these lands all over. And I shall stay 'til my dying day with my whistlin' gypsy rover."
4.
We came to find a bit of land Land our fathers never had No land we found but only death From fever, the yellow jack The yellow jack, one day you’re up The next you’re in the grave A grave they call New Basin Canal For us six miles of pain Chorus: Heave ho, boyo, it’s dig and death Heave ho, God help us all O‘Hanlan was the first to fall Then down went Mike O’Shea The boss called up and down the line For men to bear away The men who fell, hundreds a day Shakin’ like a Mayo gale Too few there were to dig the trench Too few to bear away. Why is it Erin’s sons are called When slaves they cannot spare When earth and water must be moved To make the rich man’s share From lake to river to move the goods That make the rich men more we fall, we fall time and again And none to hear our prayer But we will rise, somehow, sometime To rule those who rule us We’ll fight to o’ercome the loss so many of Ireland’s best Many will die but most will live Will live to make our mark New Orleans own of Ireland born Men of New Basin Canal
5.
Oh, Michael, please don’t go today You’re shakin’ like a leaf We will make do, o stor, maron We will make do somehow I’ve washing in, I can do more Just don’t go back, I pray It’s death my darlin’ one, I know It’s death in that new canal I pray, in holy Bridget’s name I pray, God help us all My babies need their father here My babies need you so Please don’t go back, I know that you Will fall if go you do I can find work, I’ll sew and wash ‘Till bloody my fingers are Just don’t go back, oh, stor maron It’s death in that new canal Oh, Michael love, I cannot live Without you, dearest heart Find other work, I care not what Find anything but that I cannot stand to see you fall Like our friends before have done Too many widows made too young It’s death in that new canal
6.
7.
In a neat little town they call Belfast Apprenticed in trade I was bound And many's the hour of sweet happiness I spent in that neat little town Till bad misfortune befell me That caused me to stray from the land Far away from my friends and relations To follow the black velvet band Her eyes they shone like the diamond You'd think she was queen of the land And her hair hung over her shoulder Tied up with a black velvet band As I was out strolling down broadway Not intending to go very far I met with a frolicksome damsel Applying her trade in a bar Well a watch she took from a customer And she slipped it right into my hand Then the Watch came and put me in prison Bad luck to the black velvet band Before judge and jury next morning For our trial I had to appear The judge, he said, "My young fellow, The case against you is quite clear. Well seven years is your sentence. You're going to Van Dieman's Land. Far away from your friends and relations To follow the black velvet band." So come all you jolly young fellows I'd have you take warning by me Whenever you're out on the liquor Beware of the pretty colleen For she'll fill you with whiskey and porter Until You're not able to stand And the very next thing that you notice You've landed in Van Dieman's Land
8.
9.
As I walked out in the streets of Laredo As I walked out in Laredo one day, I spied a poor cowboy, all wrapped in white linen All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay. "I see by your outfit, that you are a cowboy." These words he did say as I slowly passed by. "Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story, For I'm shot in the chest, and today I must die." "'Twas once in the saddle I used to go dashing, 'Twas once in the saddle I used to go gay. First down to Rosie's, and then to the card-house, Got shot in the chest, and I'm dying today." "Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly, And play the dead march as you carry me along; Take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o'er me, For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong." Oh list' to the tale of a poor Irish harper, And scorn not the strains of his old withered hands, But remember those fingers, they once could move sharper, To raise up the memory of his dear native land. At a fair or a wake I could twist my shillelagh, Or trip through a jig with my brogues bound with straw. And all the pretty colleen around me assembled, Loved bold Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh. And when Sergeant Death with his cold arms embrace me, And lulls me to sleep with sweet 'Erin-go-Bragh', By the side of my Kathleen, my young wife, oh, place me, Then forget Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh.
10.
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
11.
Who's gonna shoe your pretty little foot? Who's gonna glove your hand? Who's gonna kiss your red ruby lips? Who's gonna be your man? Papa's gonna shoe my pretty little foot, Mama's gonna glove my hand, Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips, I don't need no man. I don't need no man, I don't need no man, Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips, I don't need no man. The longest train I ever did ride, Was a hundred coaches long, And the only woman I ever did love, Was on that train and gone. On that train and gone, boys, On that train and gone, The only woman I ever did love, Is on that train and gone.
12.
03:09
"Oh, Mrs. McGraw", the captain said, "Would you like to make a pirate out of your son, Ted? With a scarlet cloak and a fine cocked hat, Oh, Mrs. McGraw wouldn't you like that?" With me too-rye-yaah Foddle-diddle-daah Too-rye, oh-rye, oh-rye-yaah With me too-rye-yaah Foddle-diddle-daah Too-rye, oh-rye, oh-rye-yaah Now Mrs. McGraw lived on the seashore, for the space of seven long years or more, When she spied a ship sailing into the bay, "It's my son Teddy, would you clear the way." "Now my dear captain, where have you been? Have you been out sailin' on the Medit-ter-in? Have you any news of my son Ted? Is the poor boy livin' or is he dead?" Then up the steps Ted, without any legs, And in their place, there were two wooden pegs. She kissed him a dozen times or two, Crying "Holy Moses, it couldn't be you!" "Now was ya drunk, or was ya blind, When you left your two fine legs behind? Or was it out walking upon the sea, That tore your legs, from the knees away?" "No, I wasn't drunk, no I wasn't blind, When I left my two fine legs behind. But a big cannonball on the fifth of May, Tore my two fine legs from my knees away." "Now Teddy, me boy", the old widow cried, Your two fine legs were your mommy's pride. The stumps of a tree won't do at all, Why didn't you run from that big cannonball?" "All foreign wars, I do profane, Between Don John and the King of Spain. I'd rather have my Teddy as he used to be, Than the King of France and his whole navy!"
13.
Fare thee well to you, my own true love, there were many fare thee wells. I am bound for California, a place that I know right well. So fare the well, my own true love, when I return united we will be. It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me, but my darling when I think of thee. I am bound on a yankee clipper ship, Davy Crockett is her name. And her captain’s name it is Burgess, and they say that she’s a floating shame. I sailed with Burgess once before, and I think I know him well, If a man’s a sailor he will get along, if he’s not then he’s sure in Hell. The ship is in the harbor, love, and you know I can’t remain, I know it will be a long long time before I see you again. So fare thee well, my own true love, when I return united we will be. It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me, but my darling when I think of thee. So fare thee well, my own true love, when I return united we will be. It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me, but my darling when I think of thee
14.
While on the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo While on the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo While on the road to sweet Athy A stick in me hand and a drop in me eye A doleful damsel I heard cry, Johnny I hardly knew ye. With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo With your drums and guns and drums and guns The enemy nearly slew ye Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer Johnny I hardly knew ye. Where are your eyes that look so mild, hurroo, hurroo Where are your eyes that look so mild, hurroo, hurroo Where are your eyes that look so mild When my poor heart you first beguiled Why did ye run from me and the child Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye. Where are your legs with which ye run, hurroo, hurroo Where are your legs with which ye run, hurroo, hurroo Where are your legs with which ye run When first you learned to carry a gun Indeed your dancing days are done Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye. I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo I'm happy for to see ye home All from the island of Sulloon So low in flesh, so high in bone Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye. Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg Ye're an armless, boneless, chickenless egg Ye'll be having to put a bowl to beg Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye. I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo I'm happy for to see ye home All from the island of Ceylon; So low in the flesh, so high in the boon. Johnny I hardly knew ye. Extra lyrics I found: They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo They're rolling out the guns again But they never will take our sons again No they never will take our sons again Johnny I'm swearing to ye.

about

The Irish diaspora of the 19th century sent millions of Irish families to America. Settling in New York, Boston and New Orleans, the immigrants brought Irish music with them. Combining with other folk traditions and sustained by Irish cultural organizations across the country, Irish and Celtic music thrives in America.

Two original songs are based on the construction of the New Basin Canal in New Orleans, where something between 5,000 and 20,000 Irish workers dies of yellow fever. “Leaving of Liverpool” references the fact that the cheapest way to get to America was on a ship that brought cotton to England, and immigrants back to New Orleans. “Stor Mo Chroi” refers to the pattern of Irish men finding work abroad, leaving families behind. Other songs reflect Gunns and Drums’ bluesy spin on everything from anti-war songs to folk songs from Provence.

credits

released January 22, 2014

Marc Gunn: autoharp and vocals; Jamie Haeuser: vocals and bodhran

We would like to offer special thanks to the following people for the incredible generosity for making this album happen: Bryan Muller, Kris Dobie, Stanley Berry, Bob Withers

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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.
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  • Sep 24
  • Oct 01
  • Oct 08

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