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"Strange Sweethearts"- expanded liner notes

Page history last edited by Sarah Underhill 3 years, 1 month ago

This recording follows the path of the song and the singer from the Old World to the New

 

Notes on the Songs:

1. Bonelace Weaver- a song of the working girl, from 1650. Learned from Bette Minervini, who brought a recording of it back from New Zealand

 

2. Lagan Love- learned from an old Finbar & Eddie Furey album. Luscious guitar accompaniment by Steve Stanne, of "Betty & the Baby Boomers"

 

3. Newry Highwayman- in the best tradition of all highwaymen, who rob from the rich and give to the poor. Learned from a Solas recording of Karan Casey, thanks to Steve O'Shea

 

4. Snows They Melt the Soonest- classic trad Love song. learned from a recording by Dick Gaughan

 

5. Plains of Kildare- the original "Old Stewball". Learned from Andy Irvine.

 

6. Huey the Graeme- the Outlaw, take 2. Lead vocals by Ian Worpole, who learned the song from the singing of Robin Williamson 

 

7. Whistling Thief- humorous a capella courtship song, a conversation between mother and daughter in jig time re the boyfriend, who is hiding outside. Learned from a fellow student at Catskills Irish Arts Week [a fellow from the west coast...sorry I didn't get your name!]  and found on a recording called "Lark in the Morning" of the Clancy/Makem Family & Friends. Bodhran by Paul Rubeo

 

8. I Am A Youth Inclined to Ramble- eponymous line from this song: "For you'll find STRANGE SWEETHEARTS in Amerikay..." Learned from Shaina Kapeluck, from the singing of Paul Brady

 

9. Sweet King Williamstown- an Emigrant's farewell to his home. According to Mick Moloney, the author sailed on the Titanic and survived, but suffered public disgrace when it was found he had been hidden in a lifeboat with the women.

 

10. Adieu to Old Ireland- a cautionary tale of a "wicked career". Learned from Dan & Bonnie Milner. A capella except for Robert Bard's bowed bass

 

11. Rich Irish Lady- Appalachian ballad of love gone wrong, learned from a Folkways album, "American Folk Songs sung by the Seegers", 1957, with Penny, Peggy, Michael and Barbara Seeger, which I listened to extensively at about the age of 5 or 6

 

12. Fair Ellender- the jauntiest murder ballad I know. An Appalachian treatment of the Child Ballad "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender", learned from the same source as #11

 

13. Come All Ye Fair & Tender Ladies/Silver Dagger- learned from the singing of Joan Baez

 

14. Nelly Bly- classic Stephen Foster song which mentions banjos, pumpkins, cornmeal mush, and sweet potatoes as well as true love. Learned from an old cassette of hobo songs given to my family by Reid Beilenberg

 

15. Sweet Bann Water- a Night Visiting song I learned from the singing of Joe Holmes and Len Graham

 

16. From the Prison- I wrote this song after driving past our local maximum security prison with my then 3-year old son Davy, who asked me the classic kid question, why, as I  grumbled aloud about the racial inequality I observed in the prison yard. Friends have pointed out to me that I  have  borrowed and melded the melodies of "House of the Rising Sun" and "L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore";  "Midnight Special" also gets folded in to the story

 

17. Manitou Bound- Pat Humphries wrote this song on the decks of the "Clearwater", but has yet to record it. Manitou Point is on the Hudson, south of Bear Mountain, and is of course also a name for the Native American Deity  [a coincidence which Pat did not know about  at the time]. Backup vocals by Betty & the Baby Boomers

 

18. Where Go the Boats- Robert Louis Stevenson's "Child's Garden of Verses" poem, put to music by Ruth Bernz, Mom of musician/songwriter and friend David Bernz, who joins me with guitar and harmony vocals

 

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