Free lead sheets for those looking for something to play.
This traditional Irish drinking song tells of the return of a gallivanting young man who returns home to settle down and finds that everyone he might have slighted back in the old days when he was a more unscrupulous person is more than willing to forgive him his offenses now that he’s rich. Good thing he had the good sense to earn some money after reforming himself; we all know what would have happened if he had gone back a penniless decent human being.
Finally, a Scottish song! I ran across this version while binging on The Corries and fell in love with it.
There are many theories about the meaning of the song, most of which are connected to the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. One interpretation based on the lyrics is that the song is sung by the lover of a captured Jacobite rebel set to be executed in London following a show trial. The heads of the executed rebels were then set upon pikes and exhibited in all of the towns between London and Edinburgh in a procession along the “high road” (the most important road), while the relatives of the rebels walked back along the “low road” (the ordinary road travelled by peasants and commoners).
Happy, happy, joy, joy!
Also know as “The Wind” or “The Belle of Belfast City”, this is a popular childrens’ song in Ireland, usually accompanied by a game in which children hold hands forming a circle around another child. At the end of the chorus, when they ask “Please won’t you tell me who they be?”, the one in the center says the initials of another in the group and he or she takes the place at the center of the ring as the rest start the song again.
It’s early morning, a lad is about to set off on a journey that will keep him away from his home and his love Kathleen for years and maybe even forever… and she’s sound asleep, apparently not losing any sleep over his imminent departure. I personally think she’s just fake snoring and waiting for him to finally stop singing and take off once and for all.
The Irish Rover is the name of a fabled ship, 27 in masts and with enough storage to a few million hogs, dogs, barrels of porter and, of course, eight million balls of old nanny-goats’ tails. Although enormous in size, it was taken down by a bout of the measels, some fog and a rock. Only the singer survived.
Another song about Irish emigrating to the United States, but a bit more on the livelier side than Danny Boy. Originally called Mursheen Durkin, but this is based in the Irish Rovers’ version of the song called Goodbye Mrs. Durkin. The melody is taken from a popular 19th century reel, “Cailíní deasa Mhuigheo”, which means “Pretty Girls of Mayo”.