Wild Mountain Thyme

Posted by on Oct 22, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

Wild Mountain Thyme” (AKA “Purple Heather” or “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?“) is a folk song written by Francis McPeake. The lyrics and melody are a variant of the song “The Braes of Balquhither” by Scottish poet Robert Tannahill.

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Wild Colonial Boy

Posted by on Oct 15, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

A young Robin Hood-esque Irishman who heads to Australia to steal from the rich to feed the poor, only to be taken down by a shot to the heart by a band of troopers.

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Whiskey in the Jar

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

Drawn pistols, sword fights, stolen treasure, betrayal, revenge… It’s no wonder this song has repeatedly popped up in the charts over the years and is one of the most widely performed Irish pub songs these days.

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When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

No description necessary if you’ve ever seen an Irish person in a good mood. I also believe this is the tune that the mother used to sing in the song Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral.

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The Wild Rover

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

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.

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The Fields of Athenry

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

A somber ballad by Pete St. John about a man named Michael who was sent off on a prison ship for stealing some corn to feed his children during The Great Hunger. Makes you want to go back in time just to wring Charles Trevelyan’s neck.

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The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

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!

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Big Strong Man

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

Some might say that the Irish bards are prone to embellishing the tales they tell. If anyone states the contrary, just show them this song.

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I’ll Tell Me Ma

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

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.

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Kathleen Mavourneen

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Lead Sheets | No Comments

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.

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