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The Wolfe Tones: The Greatest Hits

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  • The Greatest Hits
    • 1986 - K-Tel records ONE 1326 LP
    • 2000 - Erin ERIN 15087 CD
    • 2000 - Valley Entertainment Valley VE 15087 CD
    • 2000 - TARA PXNARCD002 CD
  • The Very Best of the Wolfe Tones
    • 1999 – Celtic Collections CTCCD012 CD
  • Side One
    1. My Heart Is In Ireland
    2. Streets Of New York
    3. Dreams Of Home
    4. Only Our Rivers Run Free
    5. Quare Things In Dublin
    6. Padraic Pearse
    7. On The One Road
    8. God Save Ireland
  • Side Two
    1. Irish Eyes
    2. Song Of Liberty
    3. Uncle Nobby's Steamboat
    4. Spancil Hill
    5. Paddle Your Canoe
    6. Some Say The Devil Is Dead
    7. Let The People Sing
    8. Nation Once Again

  • The Wolfe Tones
    • Derek Warfield
    • Brian Warfield
    • Noel Nagle
    • Tommy Byrne
  • Credits
    • Photography: Trevor Rogers


Sleeve Notes

MY HEART IS IN IRELANDBrian Warfield © 1985
We'd like to dedicate this song to all the Irish in Britain, their sons and daughters and many friends. It was on one of our many tours of Britain that I was asked by many of the young English. Scots and Welsh — born Irish to write a song for them, so this is the result. It was soon to become the best selling single record in 1985. So, can I ask you a question? "Where's your heart?"

STREETS OF NEW YORKLiam Reilly © 1981
Well the Irish are spread right throughout the world, and this story is about one of our many emigrants to the US. He leaves his rural background behind at the young age of 18 and becomes a cop in New York but he suffers many domestic tragedies along that path. So for all our many friends in New York and in the U.S., this I know is one of your favourites. It was No 1 in Ireland for many weeks.

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DREAMS OF HOMEBrian Warfield © 1986
A stranger in my own home town. This was the original title to the song and I think it's the way a lot of people feel when they come home after spending some time away. I think it could apply to anyone anywhere in this world.

So for all the boys and girls divided by the curse of emigration, "may you find peace, love and happiness wherever you might be".

ONLY OUR RIVERS RUN FREEMichael McConnell © 1981
When apples still grow in December, when blossoms still grow on each tree, when the leaves are still green in November, it's then that our land will be free. One of our favourite songs and a great classic from the current Irish Folk scene, it describes the Irish situation beautifully, and only our rivers run free.

QUARE THINGS IN DUBLINBrian Warfield © 1978
This is a novel song with a bit of Dublin wit and humour, and a bit of philosophy thrown in for good measure. There's quare things in Dublin between Howth and Crumlin — down in Ringsend there's a five legged cat and a three legged donkey, a two headed monkey — but there's nothing as quare as this four faced oul clock. The moral of the story is "don't trust anyone with more than one face".

PADRAIC PEARSEBrian Warfield © 1981
This song was written for the hundreth anniversary of his birth. It was the cause of great controversy when it was released first in 1979. The Group were accused of insulting his memory by mis-spelling his name "Padraic" but it turned out we had the homework researched and a lot of people were caught on the wrong foot. It was the best selling record of that year.

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ON THE ONE ROADF. 0'Donovan © 1986
This song is synonymous with the Wolfe Tones. It's been part of our repertoire since the beginnings of time, and indeed it is a great favourite with our audiences from Iceland to France — from Australia to Canada. All have been united with the Wolfe Tones at one stage or another to the strains of this song. "Sure we're together now who cares", let's hear you sing,

GOD SAVE IRELANDTrad. Arr. Wolfe Tones © 1986
A noble thought to finish side one. So join in the chorus and prepare for side two.

IRISH EYESBrian Warfield © 1983
Irish Eyes has become one of the most popular songs in Ireland recent years. It was a huge success for the Tones in 1963. It has lifted the hearts of people from Siamsa Cois Laoi in Cork to Carnegie Hall in New York — from Dublin to Melbourne. So tor all the Irish and their friends all over the world "Irish Eyes are smiling, Irish Eyes beguiling eyes that gleam with love my dear could light the skies above".

SONG OF LIBERTYTrad. Arr. Wolfe Tones © 1986
This song was also a big hit for the Wolfe Tones in 1984. "For I hate to hear children crying" is the line in this song that means the most to me. We believe the song has great international meaning for there are many peoples caught in the middle of conflicts not of their own making. So the wish and sentiment of this song is that there should be peace and liberty for all the citizens of this planet. "Stand beside me for Peace and Liberty."

UNCLE NOBBY'S STEAMBOATBrian Warfield © 1986
This song goes back to the sixties. It was written in San Francisco, and was a reaction to the drug scene at that time. We were invited to a party which consisted of people lying spaced out all over the floor oblivious to their surroundings. It was not a party to us, we were used to a couple of pints — a sing song and the crack, but it was not the way for those on drugs. "Where oblivion takes a mind's reality and reality fades into a memory" our advice to all is — get high on life not on drugs.

SPANCIL HILLTrad. Arr., T. Byrne, D. Warfield, B. Warfield. N. Nagle © 1979
This is one of the great dream songs of Ireland. Aishling, the poor fellow, arrived home, walked through the streets of his town, met all his friends, only to find it was all a dream. "For he awoke in California many miles from Spancil Hill."

PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOET. Byrne, D. Warfield, B. Warfield, N. Nagle © 1981
A good oul Kerry slide this time with a bit of Kerry philosophy. "So love everybody, trust only the few, as the world you go travelling through, and never sit down with a tear nor a frown but paddle your own canoe." And why not? No one else will paddle it for you. This song has been an all time favourite.

SOME SAY THE DEVIL IS DEADS. McCarthy, D. Warfield © 1980
Another great evergreen. This time some say the devil is dead and buried in Killarney. Sure no place could be nearer to heaven and further from hell, but don't worry, he ends up in a different place altogether.

LET THE PEOPLE SINGBrian Warfield © 1983
It explains what the Tones are all about. We always invite the people to join in and sing along with us. Let the people sing.

A NATION ONCE AGAINTrad. Arr., Wolfe Tones © 1986
This song is an appropriate way to finish this album "The Greatest Hits" for it is surely the dream of most Irish people throughout the world and there are many — 40 million in the US., 6 million in Britain — and many more in Australia. New Zealand. Canada and many spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world. We live on a small little island in a great big world. It is our wish that we can live on it in peace and as one and cherish all the people on this little island.


  • Notes
    • This is a compilation of all previously released material.