We Irish are a peculiar race altogether and we don't mind admitting it (but dare an outsider presume to make such a remark!). We spend half of our lives laughing, loving, fighting and feuding — and the other half singing about it.
Take Pat McGuigan as an example — the British Army did during the Ulster riots. Pat is, by profession, a writer and singer of songs. So when a certain government decided he needed a rest at one of their exclusive holiday camps ('every day's a fun day at Magilligan folks'), what did he do"' He wrote a song about it of course.
The cheerful, ever-smiling holiday-camp hosts in their smart khaki uniforms, figured a breath of sea-air would improve his concentration, so Pat was treated to a spell on board the fun-steamer Maidstone. Now somewhere along the line he managed to send the words and music of "THE MEN BEHIND THE WIRE" to his friends, THE BARLEY CORN.
They had been a quartet, but with the bould Pat on his camping and cruising vacation, they were reduced to a trio. To let him know they harboured no grudge over his failure to send them a 'wish you were here' picture postcard from Magilligan, the lads popped into a studio and recorded his song.
It went straight to No. 1 in the Irish charts, was featured on coast-to-coast networked TV shows in America — and the Barleycorn were suddenly being mobbed, pulled, torn and screamed at wherever they appeared (a home away from home, in fact).
When the genial Mr. Whitelaw took up residence in the Northern corner of our little island, he took one listen to "THE MEN BEHIND THE WIRE"-and promptly set Pat McGuigan free to go back from whence he came. The man obviously realised how badly the group needed their rhythm guitar-player.'
In the Spring of 1972, the foursome made a live appearance at The Embankment in Dublin. So great was the crowd in the cabaret room, the Barley Corn had to pose on the roof for the picture which graces the cover of this album (the idea of taking some indoor shots was abandoned when a well-lubricated customer drank the camera!). Anyway, our man was there with his little microphone, poking it into the most unlikely of places, and the results are splendidly captured here for your entertainment. Oops, better not mention that word 'captured' — Pat McGuigan doesn't like it for some reason!