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Dé Danann
(De Dannan)

De Dannan: Ballroom

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  • Ballroom
    • 1987 - WEA DD LP 1 LP
  • Side One
    1. Hornpipes: The Rights Of Man/The Pride Of Petravore
    2. Teddy O'Neill
    3. John Kimmel's Jigs: Haley's Favourite/Kitty Come Over; Reels: Mullins' Fancy/The Opera Reel
    4. The Sweet Forget-Me-Not
    5. Hornpipe: Eleanor Neary's; Reel: The Miller Of Drohan
  • Side Two
    1. Jigs: The Smiling Bride/The Handsome Young Maids
    2. Far Away In Australia
    3. Two Jewish Reels: A Shepherd's Dream/Onga Bucharesti
    4. All The Fine Young Men
    5. Waltzes: The Stone Outside Dan Murphy's Door/Palm Trees Wave On High/Boulavogue/Pull Down The Blind/A Mother's Love Is A Blessing

  • De Dannan
    • Alec Finn: Bouzouki, Guitars & Harmonica
    • Dolores Keane: Vocals
    • Frankie Gavin: Fiddle, Viola, Flute, Tin Whistle & Piano
    • Martin O'Connor: Accordion
    • Johnny (Ringo) McDonnagh: Bodhrán, Bones & Triangles
    • Caroline Lavelle: Cello & Second Vocals
  • Musicians
    • John Faulkner: Guitar & Harmony Vocals
    • Brian Bourke: Support Vocals
  • Credits
    • All Tracks Produced by De Dannan
    • Engineer: Andrew Boland
    • Assistant Engineer: Catherine Considine
    • Recorded at Lansdowne Studios, Dublin
    • Sleeve Design: Alec Finn
    • Photography: Brenda Fitzsimons
    • Sleeve Notes: Frankie Gavin and John Faulkner

De Dannan would like to thank: Hughes pub, Spideal, Co. Galway, for the use of the premises for rehearsals and liquid refreshment; Terry and Breda Connaughton for their hospitality in Dublin; Mr. Michael McHale of Doreen Ross, Co. Mayo, for the loan of his bicycle; Kitty O'Shea's pub, Dublin; and a special thanks to Clive Hudson of WEA Records for his encouragement.


Sleeve Notes

Hornpipes: The Rights of Man (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music
The Pride of Petravure (Percy French) A.J. Potter

The Rights of Man is a well known and beautiful tune that takes its name from Tom Paine's famous gospel of democracy published in 1791. It is followed by the air of one of Percy French's songs 'Eileen Oge'.

Frankie Gavin: Fiddle, piano
Martin O'Connor: Accordion
Alec Finn: Bouzouki
Johnny McDonagh: Bodhrán, bones


Teddy O'Neill (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music

Dolores learnt this from the singing of Brendan Burke from Tuam, Co. Galway. It is in the age of the old tradition of emigration songs.

Dolores Keane: Vocals
Alec Finn: Guitar
Caroline Lavelle: Cello
Frankie Gavin: Fiddle

I dreamt all last night, Oh bad cess to my dreaming,
I'd die if I thought 'twould come surely to pass,
That Teddy was a'courting another fair lass.
And didn't I wake with a weeping and wailing,
The pain in my heart was too deep to conceal.
My mother cried "Nora dear, what is your railing?"
But all I could answer was "Teddy O'Neill".

I've seen the old cabin beyond the wee boreen,
I've seen the old crossroads where we used to dance,
I've rambled the lane where he called me his storeen,
And my girlish heart felt the thrill of romance.
But now all around me is so sad and so dreary,
All dark and all silent, no piper, no reel.
Not even the sun through the casement shines cheery,
Since I left my darling boy Teddy O'Neill.

Shall I ever forget when the big ship was ready,
And the time it was come for my love to depart.
How I cried like a child, "Oh, goodbye to you, Teddy,"
With a tear on my cheek and a stone in my heart.
He said 'twas better his fate he went roving,
But what would be gold to the joy I would feel
If he'd only come back to me tender and loving
Yet poor, but my own darling Teddy O'Neill.


John Kimmel's Jigs : Haley's Favourite/Kitty Come Over (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music
Reels: Mullins' Fancy/The Opera Reel (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music

John J. Kinmel was the first melodeon player to record Irish music in America. He made numerous recordings between the years 1904 and 1929. Martin learnt this first jig from one of these recordings. The second jig comes from the playing of Frank Murphy, a melodeon player from Co. Mayo, who recorded it in New York in 1928. The set of four finishes with a brace of reels - Mullins Fancy and The Opera Reel.

Frankie Gavin: Fiddle, piano
Martin O'Connor: Accordion
Alec Finn: Bouzouki
Johnny McDonagh: Bodhrán, bones


The Sweet Forget-me-Not (Trad. arr. Keane/Faulkner/De Dannan) De Dannan Music

Dolores learnt this song some years ago in Newfoundland, where it is so popular it's almost a second national anthem. In fact it is an American song, collected in the late nineteenth century in Ohio, but it has only survived in oral tradition in Newfoundland.

Dolores Keane: Vocals
Alec Finn: Guitars, bouzouki
Frankie Gavin: Fiddle
Martin O'Connor: Accordian
Johnny McDonagh: Triangle
John Faulkner & Caroline Lavelle: Harmony vocals

Fancy brings a thought to mind of a flower that's bright and fair,
Its grace and beauty both combine a brighter jewel more rare.
Just like a maiden that I know, who shared my nappy lot,
She whispered when we parted last, "Oh, you'll forget me not".

She's graceful and she's charming like the lily in the pond,
Time is flying swiftly by, of her I am so fond.
The roses and the daisies are blooming round the spot
Where we parted, when she whispered "You'll forget me not".

We met, I really don't know where, but still it's just the same,
For love grows in the city streets as well as in the lane.
I gently clasped her tiny hand, one glance at me she shot,
She dropped her flower, I picked it up, 'twas the sweet forget-me-not.

And then there came a happy time when something that I said
Caused her lips to murmur "Yes," and shortly we were wed.
There is a cott' down in the land, and a tiny garden plot
Where grows a flower, I know it well, it's the sweet forget-me-not.


Hornpipe: Eleanor Neary's (Eleanor Neary) Cop. Con
Reel: "The Miller of Drohan (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music

Eleanor Neary was one of the outstanding Irish musicians in Chicago in the 1930's. She played the piano with many of the great players of the period, and was responsible for many unusual and beautiful settings of tunes, and sane original compositions. Frankie and Martin learnt this from a recent tape recording of Eleanor, (who is now in her eighties), made by Mick Maloney of Philadelphia. Martin learnt The Miller of, Droghan from the playing of Dermy and Tara Diamond of Belfast, but we think it originally cane from Tommy Gunn, a fine fiddler from Co. Fermanagh. The reel is probably of Scottish origin.

Frankie Gavin: Fiddle, piano, viola
Caroline Lavelle: Cello
Martin O'Connor: Accordion
Johnny McDonagh: Bodhrán
Alec Finn: Bouzoukis


Jigs: The Shilling Bride (Charlie Lennon) Cop. Con
The Handsome Young Maids (Charlie Lennon) Cop. Con

These two jigs were written by Charlie for De Dannan as part of a complete collection of tunes entitled 'An Island Wedding'. The work was sponsored by The Arts Council of Ireland in 1986.

Frankie Gavin: Fiddle
Martin O'Connor: Accordion
Alec Finn: Bouzouki
Johnny McDonagh: Bodhrán


Far Away in Australia (Warfield/Byrne) Skin Music

Surprisingly emigration to Australia is not the subject of many Irish songs. Maybe now, with Australia becoming so popular with Ireland's new wave of emigrants, there will be more songs. Dolores learnt this from Christy Hennessey.

Dolores Keane: Vocals
Alec Finn: Guitar, bouzouki
Frankie Gavin: Whistles
Martin O'Connor: Accordion
Caroline Lavelle: Cello

Sweetheart I'm bidding you fond farewell,
I will be yours some day.
I'm bound for a new land, my fortune to try,
And I'm ready to sail away.

Far away in Australia, soon will fate be kind,
And I will be ready to welcome at last the girl I left behind.

"Oh, you can't leave me," this poor maiden said,
"I will not let you go."
"But I must leave you," he gently replied,
"If for only a while, you know.

"Now if in success or in failure
I will always be true,
And proudly each day in the land far away
I'll be building a home for you."

Daily she waits at the old cottage gate,
Watching the whole day through.
Then one day a message from over the sea,
And I'm hoping these words are true.

Far way in Australia, now has come the time,
When I am ready to welcome at last the girl I left behind.


Two Jewish Reels: A Shepherd's Dream (Trad. arr. Andy Statman & De Dannan) De Dannan Music
Onga Burcharesti (Trad. arr. Andy Statman & De Dannan) De Dannan Music

De Dannan learnt these two tunes from Andy Statman, the famous New York Klezmer musician. Klezmer music is the end product of a musical synthesis, based in Jewish religious music and influenced by the traditional dance tunes of the many countries in which Jewish people have settled. The strong Eastern European and gypsy elements are evident in these two tunes. Andy Statman's Klezmer Orchestra and De Dannan combined together in 1986 to do a series of concerts in New York and Philadelphia, which were received with enormous enthusiasm, thereby creating yet another synthesis.

Frankie Gavin: Fiddle
Martin O'Connor: Accordion
Alec Finn: Bouzouki
Caroline Lavelle: Cello


All The Fine Young Men (Eric Bogle) Cop. Con.

This is one of Eric's latest songs, and it was commissioned by ABC in Australia. It follows in the tradition of "The Band played Waltzing Matilda" and "The Green Fields of France". Eric himself says it's the last anti-war song he intends to write. We think it says almost all there is to say against war.

Dolores Keane Vocals
John Faulkner Guitar
Caroline Lavelle 'Cello, harmony vocals
Alec Finn Harmonica

They told all the fine young men of when this war is over.
There will be peace, and the peace will last forever.
In Flanders field, at Lonepine and Beersheba
For king and country, for honour and duty
The young men fought, and cursed, and wept and died.

They told all the fine young men of when this war is over.
In your country's grateful heart we will cherish you forever.
At Tobruk and Alamein, at Bhuna and Kokoda,
Like their fathers before, in a world mad with war
The young men fought, and cursed, and wept and died.

For many of those fine young men all the wars are over.
They have found peace, it's the peace that lasts forever.
When the call comes again they will not answer.
They're just forgotten bones lying far from their homes,
As forgotten as the cause for which they died.
Ah, young men, can you see now why they lied?


Waltzes: The stone outside Dan Murphy's door (J. Patterson)
Palm trees wave on high (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music
Boulavogue (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music
Pull down the blind (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music
A mother's love is a blessing (Trad. arr. De Dannan) De Dannan Music

Here is a medley of five waltzes, familiar to any couple who ever stepped it out at a crossroads dance or graced the floor of an Irish country ballroom. Alas, on long summer evenings the crossroads have lost the sweet music of fiddle and flute, the bikes are now rusty, and the ballrooms are empty and decaying. Fortunately the waltzes live on.

Frankie Gavin: Fiddle, flute
Martin O'Connor: Accordion
Alec Finn: Bouzouki, guitars
Johnny McDonnagh: Bodhrán
Briain Bourke (famous artist): Support vocals
Caroline Lavelle: Support vocals

An Irish boy was leaving, leaving his native home,
Crossing the broad Atlantic, where once more he wished to roam.
And as he was leaving his mother, whilst walking over the quay,
She threw her arms around his neck, and these were the words she did say.

A mother's love is a blessing
No matter where you roam,
Keep her whilst she's living,
You'll miss her when she's gone.
Love her as in childhood,
Though feeble, old and grey.
You'll never miss a mother's love,
Till she's buried beneath the clay.

And as the years go onward, I'll settle down in life,
I'll find a nice young Irish girl and take her for my wife.
And as the kids grow older, and climb about my knee,
I will teach them the very same lesson that my mother taught to me.


  • Notes
    • This is the album when the spelling was changed to "De Dannan".