If you pick up this record in a record shop, I would advise you to play the second side first — after all, it is an Irish record! Though it doesn't really matter which side you play since Dominic, the hero of the piece, appears on both sides.
In fact, he appears as the hero in every song I have ever heard him sing. I've seen him rise from our front room carpet as Tim Finnegan from the dead, I've seen him as Master McGraw, shouting. Long Live the Republic and I've had breakfast, which is no time for heroics, with a Little Tin Soldier that "cost one and nine".
This is not supreme conceit on Dominic's part,, but confidence and understanding in his singing.' If he didn't have that then he would have no right to singon either side of this record or anywhere else — but, believe me, he has it.
It is essential for a ballad singer to get'inside'the ballad. He or she must believe the story and tell it as a personal experience or at least as a witness. Dominic is a poor witness because from The Zoological Gardens through the other ballads to Love is Pleasing, it has all happened to him.
The Zoological Gardens a good Dublin song with one of the greatest tunes in any language. It will probably remain in the folk top twenty for a long time. The Blind Man He Could See is a dose of Irish nonsense that outdoes Ogden Nash for poetic acrobatics. Good luck to anyone that attempts to sing it. The Blind Man and Love is Pleasing are the two best songs on this record. I had heard only the Scottish versions of these songs before Dominic sang them. The Blind Man is as humorous as Love is Pleasing is pensive — they are both pleasing.