An Irish brother and sister team, from Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Peg and Bobby Clancy have been singing together for four years. They have recorded for Radio Eireann and the BBC, have appeared on Telefis Eireann and can be heard on two albums released by Tradition Records.
PEG has recorded an unaccompanied album of traditional Irish songs for Folk Legacy. Besides caring for her husband and three children, Peg's time is well filled in directing and acting in local theatrical productions. In 1961 she received the best actress award at the Cork Drama Festival. She is currently a resident artist on Telefis Eireann's production "Ballad Session."
BOBBY on the other hand has been collecting songs and singing at fleadhanna cheoil (Irish music festivals) where he has won several awards during the past nine years. In 1962 he appeared on Telefis Eireann on programmes entitled "Bobby Clancy Sings."
Soon after, he toured the United States and Canada appearing in concerts, clubs and on television. Since his return to Ireland he has been appearing with Peg throughout the country and also on the weekly "Ballad Session" on Irish Television (Telefis Eireann.)
LOWLANDS LOW — This is a song we learned in school. It deals with the area of Dunmore East in County Waterford in the days of the "Wild Geese," when patriots who, to avoid persecution, had to flee to many parts of Europe. Additional verses have been added by ourselves.
COULTER'S CANDY (ALI BALI) — This is a Glasgow street song. It could be called one of the first singing 'commercials.' The tale, we heard, related how a man named Coulter decided to boost his sales by singing about his wares through the streets of Glasgow, much as a towncrier called the hours. The second verse was composed by Jimmie McGregor of Glasgow.
CAPTAIN FREANEY — Some say this Irishman is a Wicklowman; others claim from County Wexford. As all highwaymen from the time of Robin Hood have been looked on as heroes, Freaney is no exception.
MRS. McGRATH —
"Then up comes Ted without any legs,
And in their place there were two wooden pegs … "
Sounds gruesome, doesn't it? But with the passing of time a more humorous attitude has evolved towards anti-war songs. This one dates from the period of the Crimean War, and this particular version is a family favourite.
THE QUIET LAND OF ERIN — You would have to look far and wide before you could find a more poetic image of Ireland than is expressed in this song. We heard this sung by Mary O'Hara.
PAPER OF PINS — Heaven only knows how many versions of this riddle-song are in existence! Anyway, this is the Irish version we have known since childhood.
FARE THEE WELL THEE MORMOND BRAES — One of the more popular Scottish folk-songs, we heard it sung at the Edinburgh Festival a few years ago. We couldn't quite recall all the verses—so we added some of our own!
STREAMS OF BUNCLODY — A traditional song of the people of County Wexford. The origin is unknown to us but it can be found in Colm O'Loughlin's "Irish Street Ballads."
RATTLIN' BOG — Try singing this song.. It's fun … and a good test for your memory!
FAIR AND TENDER LADIES — This American ballad was collected in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. It appears in many collections including Cecil Sharpe who claims it is of English origin.
SANTY ANA — A ballad of the California Goldrush days, a version was collected by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax. We learned our version from Odetta.
THE BEGGAR MAN — We love this song. Set to an old Irish air, it jogs along at a happy pace making us wish that we could all follow the carefree life depicted.
Peg and Bobby Clancy