Sleeve Notes (Original LP release)
This collection is meant as a glimpse into the rich tradition of Irish folk music. The songs were collected in many different places throughout Ireland. Many of the songs were recorded at the home of the Makem family in Keady County, Armagh; with the family gathered for many an evening, starting with just a few singers, and ending around 2:00 AM.
In Carrick-on-Suir County, Tipperary, hours were spent by the winter fire exchanging good talk and songs collected from the Robert Clancy family. Most of these songs and rhymes have been sung by generations in and around Carrick-on-Suir. A few exceptions come from friends in other parts of Ireland who knew they were interested in children's songs and supplied them. The recording was done at the home of one of the Clancy's sisters and her husband, Cait and Seán O'Connell. Mrs. Clancy, her nine children, their husbands, wives, and all twenty-one grandchildren helped. They searched their memories and hunted for half-remembered words and tunes. The songs are sung and verses spoken by Bobby Clancy, his sister Peg (Clancy) Power, and many of the grandchildren.
The children who sing and chant on this record are grandchildren of Robert and Joan Clancy. All five of the girls in the Clancy family are married and live in the town of Carrick-on-Suir or nearby countryside. They each have from two to six children whose ages range from one to twenty. Though all of the songs were originally sung unaccompanied, the guitar, harmonica, and tin whistle are now a part of the living tradition. The harp, a traditional instrument in Ireland, is used to accompany one of the songs.
Traditional song in Ireland comes from two distinct backgrounds. Irish and English. Due to the years of close associations, much cross-fertilization has taken place. Both Countries are filled with songs whose origin is in constant dispute. While most of the songs in this collection are predominantly English, the tunes are mainly Irish, or flavored with the particular twist which the Irish put to their music. At the present time, Irish (Gaelic) is taught in all the schools, although for years it was suppressed; however. English is still the language in common usage in the greater part of Ireland.
Bobby Clancy, when he was a child, is said to have been wild and always into mischief. As a young boy he helped deliver messages for his older brothers in the Irish Revolutionary Army. At eighteen he joined the RAF and later traveled to Greece, Africa, America, Italy, France, and England. After spending five years in the U.S., he went home to Carrick and joined his father in the insurance business which he has taken over since his1 father's death. Bobby spends a great deal of his time singing and collecting traditional songs. He has won several awards for his singing at Gaelic Fleadhs throughout Ireland and is loved and respected by many traditional singers and collectors.
Peg Clancy Power, the youngest girl in the Clancy family, is slim with large brown eyes and an infectious smile. Full of life and warm-hearted, she is counted on for all emergencies, and is competent and willing to try anything. Peg is married to Tom Power, who takes care of hide shipments in the local tannery. They have three boys, Kevin, Bobby, and Owen.
Often in the evening, around the fire, the grown-ups will lead a song while the children join in on the chorus. An example of this is to be heard in the beautiful Gaelic song, "O-ROW SHAY DHO VAHA WAL-YEH," led by LORY KIELY, husband of Lis Clancy and father of Lawrence, Siobhan, Eamon and Maura.
Out of this atmosphere of freshness and beauty, the happy mornings, the winter evenings, the loves and tragedies of the people has come a great wealth of songs and music as presented at home with The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem and their families.