1. “The Dunbrody”
was a three-masted barque operated by merchants from New Ross in Wexford, Ireland. Between 1845 to 1851, passengers were carried on the outward leg to North America. Taking passengers who were desperate to escape the potato famine in Ireland. The conditions for steerage passengers were tough and not all survived the long arduous voyage.
Going to Australia
2. “Going to Australia”
My Great-grandfather went to Australia and prospected for gold at
Silver Spring Creek but died there in 1858, my Great-Grandmother
returning to Wexford with my Grandfather and his 2 brothers.
On return from Australia my Great-grandmother reputedly purchased the Ballymacar farm near New Ross with some the gold nuggets they had gathered.
4. “The Keys To The Kingdom”
I had included this song on my previous album “Ballads and Songs”. However it completely fits with the themes of this one so I have cheekily added it.
Colliebeag was a wee collie dog belonging to John Sweeny – a Donegal farmer
I had been playing music with Reg Desborough, who had been dabbling with Balkan and middle eastern tunes, and in the planning of this album this little tune came to me.
7.” Penny in the Pinny”
Hard times and large families were the lot of the rural Irish population. The pennies had to stretch!
8. Nora McGlynn
This tune is in honour of family friend and Mountain woman from Donegal. Nora was the sister of the aforementioned John Sweeny.
9. “The Narrows”
The Narrows are the entrance to St John’s Harbour in Newfoundland. Accounts exist that members of my family
fled there seeking safe passage in the early 19th century.
Musicians on these recordings: Reg Desborough – Flute and Bouzouki; John Wippell-Melodeon and Harmonica; Clive Cunningham – Banjo,Fiddle and Vocal;Sean Mychal Rice – Guitar and Vocals; Lesley Rice – backing vocals