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North America

Ryan's Fancy
Fergus O'Byrne

Ryan's Fancy: Solo Releases
Fergus O'Byrne


Wave Over Wave
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  • Wave Over Wave
    • 1995 - Tidemark POCD 101 CD
      • with Jim Payne

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  • Track List:
    1. Heave Away
    2. Net Hauling Song
    3. Rig Worker's Alphabet (Jim Payne)
    4. My Loving Little Sailor Boy
    5. Cape Breton Silver (Allister MacGillivary)
    6. Double Sledder Lad
    7. Jolly Rovin' Tar
    8. Wave Over Wave (Jim Payne & Janis Spence)
    9. Big Bow Wow
    10. Peter Emberly
    11. Duffy's Hotel
    12. Bound for St. Peter's

  • Musicians
    • Fergus O'Byrne: Vocals, Banjo, Bodhrán, Concertina, Guitar, Tin Whistle
    • Jim Payne: Vocals, Accordion, Fiddle, Guitar, Tin Whistle
  • Credits
    • Produced & Arranged by Jim Payne & Fergus O'Byrne
    • Layout & Design: Robert Buck
    • Recorded at Audio Garden May-June, 1995
    • Engineer: Rick Hollett
    • Maps Courtesy of The Center for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland
    • Photos: Justin Hall
    • Cover Concept: Jim Payne & Fergus O'Byrne
    • All Songs Traditional unless otherwise noted.

Sleeve Notes

This recording started with a set we did at the 1994 Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, when Graham Stairs of Latitude Records suggested we record a collection of old and new songs based on shared vocals and the traditional lifestyles and industries of Atlantic Canada. It seemed like a good idea and this is the result. We included the Net Hauling Song because it fits the concept of the album, it's a great song and Fergus already knew it. Same goes for the Rig Workers Alphabet, a contemporary addition to the ABC's of work. We had great fun recording it, so we hope you sing along and enjoy it.

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Battery Included
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  • Battery Included
    • 1998 - Landwash 02 50750 CD
      • with Tickle Harbour

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  • Track List:
    1. Reels: Teetotalers/The Ships are Sailing
    2. Song: Maurice Kelly
    3. Waltz: The Reunion
    4. Polkas: I Didn't Drink The Rum/Jim Keefe's/Gortnatubrid
    5. Song: The Banks of Newfoundland
    6. Jigs: Paddy Fahey's/The White Petticoat
    7. Song: The Warlike Lads of Russia
    8. Jigs: Water Street Jigs
    9. Song: The Pretty Ploughboy
    10. March/Jig: Prince Rupert's March/Trippin' Up Samaria
    11. Song: The Valley of Kilbride
    12. Reels: Julia Delaney/Farewell to Erin

  • Tickle Harbour
    • Vonnie Barron: Vocals
    • Patrick Moran: Fiddle
    • Fergus O'Byrne: Vocals, Bodhrán, Concertina
    • Gerry Strong: Tin Whistle, Flute
    • Francesca Swann: Cello, backing vocals
    • Don Walsh: Guitar, Bouzouki
  • Musicians
    • Patrick Boyle: Trumpet (Tracks: 4, 10)
    • Seamus Creagh: Fiddle (Tracks: 6)
    • Jim Fidler: Percussion (Track: 10)
    • Rick Hollett: Saxophone (Track: 4, 10)
    • Paddy Keenan: Uilleann pipes (Track: 12)
    • Frank Maher: Accordion (Track: 1)
  • Credits
    • Produced by Don Walsh
    • Engineered by Don Walsh
    • Mixed by Neil Bishop
    • Recorded, Mixed and Digitally Mastered at Dadyeen Studios, St. John's, Newfoundland
    • All tracks arranged by Don Walsh except "The Banks of Newfoundland" arranged by O'Byrne/Walsh.
    • All tracks traditional except "The Reunion" written by Don Walsh, Gortnatubrid written by Seamus Creagh and Trippin' Up Samaria written by O'Byrne/Walsh.
    • All songs registered with SOCAN except Gortnatubrid registered with EMRO.

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We Will Remain: Patriotic Songs Of Newfoundland
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  • We Will Remain: Patriotic Songs Of Newfoundland
    • 1998 - Singsong (Landwash) SS 9803 CD
      • various artists

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  • Track List:
    1. The Ode to Newfoundland - Jane Moran, Michelle Smith
    2. Quote from William Carson - Steve Delaney
    3. And We Were Sailors - Fergus O'Byrne
    4. The Anti-Confederate Song of 1869 - Art O'Brien
    5. The "Antis" of Plate Cove - Fergus O'Byrne
    6. The Flag of Newfoundland - Glen Hiscock
    7. Tribute to Bond - Jason Whelan
    8. Song of Freedom - Fergus O'Byrne
    9. Quote from National Convention - Pierce Fudge
    10. Don't Vote Confederation - Jean Hewson
    11. Quote from National Convention - Peter Cashin
    12. '49 - Jason Whelan
    13. Whispering Wave - Jim Payne
    14. Come All Ye - Tommy Nemec
    15. Republican Song - Chris Andrews
    16. Here on this Island - Glen Breen
    17. An Ode to Newfoundland - Jim Joyce
    18. Newfoundland Forever - Dawn Trainor
    19. The Final Breath - Corey Tetford
    20. We Will Remain - Shane Mahoney

Notes

Much of the guitar work has been performed by Paul Hiscock. Glen Hiscock has contributed with fiddle. Jason has added in bass, bazouki, mandolin, and a bunch of other instruments. Fergus has helped out with bodhrán, concertina, and banjo as well as writing and arranging several melodies. Jim Payne and Glen Breen played guitar on their pieces. John Bishop will do some whistle and low whistle. Others who have added some instrumental work include Sean McCann and Bob Hallett.

The album will be produced under Jim Payne's Sing Song label and will be distributed throughout Canada, Newfoundland, via the Downhomer, and through Sing Song's US and European networks.

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A Crowd of Bold Sharemen
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  • A Crowd of Bold Sharemen
    • 2002 - SS-020210 CD

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  • Track List:
    1. The Sealer's Ball
    2. Blow The Wind Westerly
    3. Doubles: Payne's Choice/Old Boney/The Bluebird
    4. When We Was Boys
    5. The Gay Gunners
    6. Reels: Hound's Tune/The Four Sisters/Susannah Perry's Tune
    7. Captains and Ships
    8. Where Do The Capelin Go?
    9. Feller From Fortune/Auntie Mary
    10. And A Crowd of Bold Sharemen
    11. Singles: MicMac Square Dance Tune/Off Go Those St. John's Girls/Stan Pickett's Tune

  • A Crowd of Bold Sharemen
    • Colin Carrigan: Fiddle, Vocal
    • Fergus O'Byrne: Bodhrán, Banjo, Concertina, Vocal
    • Jim Payne: Guitar, 4-Stop Accordions, Mandolin, Vocal
    • Gerry Strong: Whistles, Flute, Vocal
    • Graham Wells: 2-Row Accordion, Bodhrán, Vocal
  • Credits
    • Produced by Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne
    • Recorded at AudioLab Studios, St. John's, Newfoundland, April/May, August/September, 2002.
    • Engineered by Mark Neary.
    • Mixed by Mark Neary, Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne.
    • Layout and Design: Colin Carrigan
    • Cover Concept: Jim Payne and Colin Carrigan
    • Band photos: Colin Carrigan and Fergus O'Byrne
    • Cover photo: Seal Cove, White Bay by Kaya Payne
    • Inside cover photo: Coachman's Cove, Baie Verte Peninsula by Kaya Payne
    • Inside back photo: Colin Carrigan
    • Back cover photo: Photographer unknown, courtesy of Hugh and Rose Lemesurier
    • All titles traditional except: "A Crowd of Bold Sharemen" by John Campbell Mitchell (PD), "The Gay Gunners" by Peter Leonard (PD), "The Four Sisters" by Carrigan/Wells/Walsh ┬ęSOCAN, and "Where do the Capelin Go?" by Jim Payne ┬ęSOCAN.
    • All arrangements by the band and Mark Neary.
    • Thanks to Ann Anderson, Irene Brown, Fergus Brown O'Byrne, Cairo, Che, Marilyn Dawe, David Francey, Beth Girdler, Gracie, Jake, Henry John Keel, Marx, Mark Neary, Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, Nigel, Bridget Noonan, Kaya Payne, Linda Russell, Judy Stamp, St. John's Folk Arts Council, Shari, Allison and Katherine Strong, Glen Tilley, Des Walsh, Don Walsh, Elaine and Graham Wells Sr., Janine Williams.
    • © SingSong Inc. 2002.

Notes

The Sealers' Ball: This song is probably better known in Newfoundland by the first line of the chorus; "Be ya much of a hand aboard a vessel?" It's the story of a couple of young fellows who get in off a sealing vessel with a few dollars in their pocket, get into the rum and make fools of themselves by getting into a racket over a woman. She, evidently being too sensible for either one of them and unimpressed by their macho antics, leaves them to their nonsense and goes on her merry way.

Blow The Wind Westerly: Fergus learned this song from the repertoire of Charlotte Decker of Parson's Pond, as published in Kenneth Peacock's Songs of the Newfoundland Outports. It's a rare thing; a Newfoundland song about sea creatures and no one trying to catch them.

Payne's Choice/Old Boney/The Bluebird: Three jigs learned from the late legendary Newfoundland fiddler Rufus Guinchard, the first and last of which he learned from Uncle John Peter Payne. Old Boney was the name of a dog owned by Jack Brophy, a good friend of Rufus's when they were boys in the early part of the last century in Daniel's Harbour on Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula.

When We Was Boys: Prior to the start of a concert at the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse, Jim met and struck up a conversation with Henry John Keel, a local octagenarian who described the bustling scene around Bonavista Harbour when he was a lad, and lamented the changes over the years that culminated with the moratorium on the northern cod fishery. Ironically, Bonavista is the place where John Cabot is reputed to have landed in the new world and could catch fish in abundance merely by lowering baskets over the side of his boat. Replaying the conversation in his head while driving back up the spectacularly beautiful eastern side of the Bonavista Peninsula, Jim took Mr. Keel's story and put it in rhyme.

The Gay Gunners: This song was composed by Peter Leonard, also known around Placentia Bay as Peter the Poet, who made a lot of songs about life in the bay during the early-to mid-twentieth century. It's the story of two fellows who go hunting sea birds without taking the necessary precautions of being prepared for all eventualities when out in an open boat on the wild North Atlantic. Thinking they know their business, they take no food or water and promptly get lost in the fog. Happily, they make their way home safely with nothing more than embarrassment to show for their day's outing, but their folly was the subject of a good-natured ribbing from the pen of Peter Leonard. Sea birds are still a valuable source of fresh meat for many families in rural Newfoundland. Jim got the song from Newfoundland poet, singer and fiddler Des Walsh, who had compiled a collection of Peter Leonard's songs.

Hounds Tune/The Four Sisters/Susannah Perry's Tune: A lively set of step tunes, the first and last of which are again from the repertoire of Rufus Guinchard. The Four Sisters was composed one night by Colin and Graham along with Mike Walsh and named for the row of houses on Temperance Street in St. John's where Colin lives. They are a lovely set of four stone houses built by Samuel Garrett, the stonemason who built Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, where Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless signal on December 1, 1901. The houses were built for each of his four daughters.

Captains and Ships: An excellent description of the St. John's waterfront circa 1913, when the ships were gearing up to go to the ice for the seal hunt. In those days the waterfront consisted of finger piers which is why so many ships could tie up in the short distance between Harvey's and Bowring's wharves. Many of these ships and their captains were well known around Newfoundland since they were active in other coastal trade around the island and in Labrador when they weren't prosecuting the seal fishery.

Where Do The Capelin Go?: The capelin that used to be so plentiful on the beaches of Newfoundland in late spring and early summer have been getting smaller, arriving later and in fewer numbers in recent years. As a crucial link in the food chain for all the larger fish, capelin are an important bio-indicator that we ignore at our peril. Human arrogance refuses to accept the fact that we are just one more animal in the zoo, no more or less important than the rest of them. Jim made this song to illustrate the point that people who live by and from the ocean are as much a part of the ocean environment as the creatures who live within it.

Feller From Fortune/Auntie Mary: Our take on a pair of perennial Newfoundland favourites. They started out as instrumental dance tunes but acquired Lyrics when gob musicians who provided music for dances got tired of diddling and composed on the spot Lyrics to accompany the dances.

And A Crowd of Bold Sharemen: Composed by John Campbell Mitchell of Little Bay Islands (where Gerry's family comes from) Notre Dame Bay around 1915. Mitchell was one of the sharemen who signed on to the fishing voyage on the understanding that they would all share in the profits to be made from the processing of cod livers, a nice little bonus after the rigours of a late spring fishery. The skipper reneged on the agreement and unrest ensued aboard the boat. The livers were rendered into cod liver oil, a spoonful of which was standard issue to Newfoundland children at the start of the school day up until a generation ago. Imagine our delight when it was finally produced in capsule form. Incidentally, although the band takes its name from this song, it's purely a coincidence that this band would be singing about livers.

MicMac Square Dance Tune/Off Go Those St. John's Girls/Stan Pickett's Tune: Great tunes for a square set, the first one we learned from the late Minnie White, who sadly passed away in December, 2001, at age 85 after an illustrious accordion playing career. Growing up in St. Alban's, Baie d'Espoir, she learned this tune from traveling across the bay to the MiqMaw community of Conne River. Colin and Gerry had the second tune, and the third one was learned from our very good friend and excellent accordion player, Stan Pickett, who brought a lot of great tunes into St. John's with him from his beloved Fair Island, Bonavista Bay.

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How Good Is Me Life!
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  • How Good Is Me Life!
    • 2007 - Singsong 02 08798 CD
      • with Jim Payne

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  • Track List:
    1. Two Jinkers
    2. Anchors Away, Love
    3. Waltz Around the Cape (Jim Payne)
    4. The Trawlin' Trade (John Conolly)
    5. The River Driver's Lament
    6. The Liverpool Pilot
    7. Welcome Home My Sailor
    8. Carroll Bán (John Keegan Casey)
    9. Sailors By Choice (Angus Stewart)
    10. My Bonny Blue Eyed Jane
    11. Crockeryware
    12. How Good Is Me Life (Jim Payne)
    13. Mom and Dad's Jigs (Jim Payne)

  • Musicians
    • Jim Payne: vocals, guitar, accordions, mandola, and tenor banjo
    • Fergus O'Byrne: vocal, guitar, concertina, 5-string banjo and bodhrán
  • Credits
    • All titles traditional unless otherwise noted
    • All arrangements by Jim Payne, Fergus O'Byrne and Mark Neary.
    • Recorded at Great Big Studios, St. John's, Newfoundland, April-June, 2007
    • Engineered by Mark Neary
    • Mixed by Mark Neary, Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne
    • Additional technical support by Spencer Crewe
    • Mastered by George Graves at The Lacquer Channel
    • Photos of Jim and Fergus by Ned Pratt. Photos of Fogo Island by Jim Payne
    • Produced by Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne for SingSong Inc.
    • Thanks to Robert Buck, Donna Butt, Spencer Crewe, Gail Fearin, Colleen Field of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University, Fred's Records, Great Big Sea, Doreen McCarthy, O'Brien's Music Store, Harold Payne, Ned Pratt, Rising Tide Theatre, Darlene Terry, Shirley Terry, Angus Stewart, Gordon Webber, our families and friends, and all the people who have been so generous in passing along the traditional songs, music, and stories to us over the years.
    • Dedicated to the memories of
      • Dermot O'Reilly (1943-2007)
      • Alma Payne (1909-2005)
      • Arthur Payne (1936-2006)
      • and Bruce Warr (1928-2006)

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