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Christy Moore: The Iron Behind the Velvet

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  • The Iron Behind the Velvet
    • 1978 - TARA 2002 LP
    • 1995 - TARA 2002 CD
  • Side One
    1. St Patrick Gentleman
    2. Sun is Burning (Ian Campbell)
    3. Morrisey and Russian Sailor
    4. Foxy Devil (Joe Dolan)
    5. Three Reels
    6. Trip to Jerusalem (Joe Dolan)
  • Side Two
    1. Three Reels
    2. Patricks Arrival
    3. Gabriel McKeons
    4. Dunlavin Green
    5. Joe McCann (Eamon O'Doherty)

  • Musicians
    • Christy Moore: Vocals, Guitar, Bouzouki, bodhràn
    • Andy Irvine: Mandolin, Harmonica, Valdolin, Dulcimer, Bouzouki and Vocals
    • Barry Moore: Guitar and Vocals
    • Noel Hill: Concertinas (C/G and Bb/F Systems)
    • Tony Linnane: Fiddle
    • Gabriel McKeon: Uileann Pipes (Concert set and C set)
      • Concert set made by Bruce Duvé from Spiddal. C set made by Coyne (Circa 1800) and obtained from Matt Kiernan of Dublin.
    • Jimmy Faulkner: Electric, Acoustic and Slide Guitars
    • Rosemary Flanagan: Cello
  • Credits
    • Produced by Brian Masterson and Christy Moore
    • Recorded and mixed in Ireland at Lombard and Keystone Studios, Dublin
    • Engineered by Brian Masterson
    • Cover Design, Artwork and Photography by Willy Matthews

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Sleeve Notes

Patrick Was A Gentleman was adapted to suit this common air, it is followed by a polka which was suggested by Andy, who had no knowledge of its title or source.

The Sun Is Burning: This song was written by Ian Campbell — of Aberdeen in the early sixties but is more significant in the seventies. I first heard Luke Kelly sing this song and more recently, learned the words from Andy Turner, Glasgow.

Morrissey And The Russian Sailor was learned from the Bard of Dalymount, Johnny Moynihan. The song has been previously recorded by Joe Heany, Johnny McDonagh and Frank Harte.

The Foxy Devil was written by Joe Dolan, one of the founder members of Sweeney's Men with Andy and Johnny Moynihan. He wrote the following Sleeve Note: "A hymn to the Celtic representative of Bacchus — written in appeasement on a summer's morning when threatened with the dreaded head-staggers. The term "Foxy Devil" is apparently an old one conceived no doubt by some other unfortunate who had felt the iron behind the velvet.

3 Reels: "The newly Mowed Meadow" was the first tune Noel ever learned. It was played on Concertina by his mother, Margaret Hill of Lissycasey, Co. Clare. It is often associated with "The Silver Spear".

"Farrell O Gara's Reel" was learned by Tony from his father, Pat Linnane of Corofin (R.I.P.). The Third Reel was learned from an early recording of Sean Keane. We have no name for it.

The Trip To Jerusalem was also written by Joe Dolan who wrote the following: "I wrote this song in my salad days (back in 1965) when I worked on an archaeological expedition to Masada in the Negev desert. I was on general duty on top of the mountain with a walkie-talkie as a weapon and the temperature around 120 degrees in the shade. I was thinking of bow I'd got there".

The following Reels are: "The Mullingar Races" which was learned from the late Larry Redigan, a fiddle player and composer of many great tunes. He lived in America and died there, while playing on stage, in Long Island, New York.

"The Crooked Road", we have heard previously from John Kelly on Concertina, John Regan on Accordion and Paddy Glackin on Fiddle.

3 Reels: "Tommy Coen's" has a more common version which is known as "The Castle Reel" in Co. Clare. This version -was taken from that originally composed by Tommy Coen (R.I.P.) who lived the last years of his life in Salthill, Co. Galway. Tony learned "The Youngest Daughter" from Paul Brock, an accordion player from Athlone. It was originally learned from the fiddle playing of the legendary Paddy Canny who lives near Tulla, Co. Clare.

The "Flax in Bloom" came to Noel from Paddy Murphy, the great concertina player from Connolly, Co. Clare, and is always associated with that part of the Country.

Patrick's Arrival: I used to hear Andy Rynne of Prosperous sing "The Night Before Larry was Stretched" and adapted the air to suit.

Gabriel McKeon's: "Cailin Deas Cruaite Na mBo" was learned from Leo Rowsome (R.I.P.) who was Gabriel's first tutor.

"Gilbert Clancy's" was learned from Willie Clancy (R.I.P.) and is sometimes called "The West Wind".

Dunlavin Green: I have known this song for many years but cannot recall who taught it to me. This is a version from one of Colm O'Lochlainn's books and it has been recorded by Gay and Terry Woods.

Joe McCann was written by Eamon O'Doherty of Derry who wrote the following note: "Joe McCann was shot dead by British Paratroops in April 1972. He was alone and unarmed. He had worked tirelessly to politicize Protestants and Catholics and unite them in their recognition of the common oppressors, imperialism and class. His killing was seen by many as a calculated move to remove the leadership of the Official Republican Movement, viewing their policies as potentially more dangerous to the establishment than the more violent Provisional I.R.A."


There are many indirectly associated with the making of this album. I would like to specially thank Gerry Joyce for singing "Trip to Jerusalem" in Spiddal, Andrew Robinson for making my Bouzouki, Joe Kelly of "The Brow" for making my tambourine, John Munnis and Paul for being patient on the tour, and Val and Andy for being always patient.