This recording is a milestone for me. It's a sort of musical scrapbook, looking back over 25 years in the music business as a songwriter, a record producer and a musician. It has given me the perfect opportunity to play some tunes that have meant something to me through the years and, for the first time on record, to sing the most important of my own songs.
If each piece of music is special to me, then each of my guests is equally special. I am overwhelmed by the genuine enthusiasm of all of them for the project and immensely proud to have them join me in this celebration. I am deeply in their debt. Thank you Suzanne, Liam, Ralph, Rory, Ronnie, John, Barney and Eamonn.
This album is for my friends, my family and my loved ones, who for all these years have sustained me through the highs and suffered me through the lows!
Grateful thanks to all of my team who put so much into this recording. On the musical side; Frank Gallagher, Dave Leonard, Paul Crew, Phil Hopkins, Alan Prosser, Diana Mitchell, Gerry Richards and all the musicians. On the technical side; my engineer Tony Harris. On the administrative side; Kate Anderson, Maurice Cassidy, Liz Reeves, Brian O'Brien and Graham Williams.
WILL YE GO LASSIE GO? — This is one of the first songs I ever learned. I never thought that one day I'd record a version of it featuring a legendary guitar hero like Rory Gallagher. His style and technique are world famous, but 1 am lost in admiration for the sensitivity of his playing on this track, on both acoustic and electric guitars.
STEAL AWAY — I must say I've developed a soft spot for this song, which I wrote for the Fureys in 1983. It's a very simple tune, but it has proved a great favourite with audiences from Strabane to San Diego!
I LOVED THE GROUND — Ralph McTell is one of the finest singer/songwriters in contemporary folk music and I'm very proud of this song, which we wrote together. It's been recorded by a number of singers, but I love this version by the man himself.
TAKE ME HOME — I have a long association with the Dubliners, having been involved as songwriter and record producer through the Seventies. It was great fun recording with them again and I got a real kick from seeing Ronnie singing in front of an orchestra!
THE OLD MAN — Of all the songs I've written through the years, only a handful are still important to me today This is certainly one of them, a very personal song, written from the heart.
SCORN NOT HIS SIMPLICITY — Another one of those important songs, originally written for the great Luke Kelly and subsequently recorded and performed by a a host of artistes at home and abroad (from Paddy Reilly and Dickie Rock to Mary O'Hara and The New Seekers). Suzanne Murphy is universally regarded as one of the finest sopranos in the world. Her haunting version gives the song with a whole new quality.
HOME FROM THE SEA — This new song, written to draw attention to the work of lifeboats, enjoyed great chart success earlier this year. It's a story song and there just isn't anyone better at telling a story in song than Liam Clancy.
THE TOWN I LOVED SO WELL — This is the song I'd like to be remembered for.