A song with a story has always stirred Liam Clancy's heart "Farewell to Tarwathie", a song about the Whalers from Scotland, who fished the cold seas around Greenland was the original title of this album. Now It comes to us again as "The Dutchman", another powerful song of man in his lonely battle against life.
This album was recorded in Edmonton, Alberta. Out on a lonely expanse in a converted church. Liam found a snug womb in a cold climate and his affection for the subjects of these story songs, is reflected in the warmth of his telling.
Always a great romantic, Liam saw this album as a voyage, with the engineers end musicians as a crew, learning intimate details of each other's lives as the journey unfolded. The choice of songs is Liam's way of opening hie heart.
"The Dutchman" is probably the most moving song Liam has recorded in years, even eclipsing the great "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". Since this original recording, he has re-recorded it "live". All the other stories on this album are natural companions. "Fiddler's Green", "Yarmouth Town". "Farewell to Tarwathie" and "Heave Away" betray Liam's love and respect for men, who make their living in the cruel waters on the seas.
"Spanish is the Loving Tongue", "Streets of London" and "Fare Thee Well" are the songs of loneliness end unrequited love which Liam tells so well. So too is "The Foggy, Foggy Dew".
Now, of course, Liam and Tommy Makem are working as a duo, but as reminder of the time he ploughed a lone furrow, this album is a very honest reflection of Liam Clancy as a wandering balledeer. Happier songs have come from his lips, but cold winds blow and night closes in this is a collection of songs that will touch your soul through the magic of their telling.
The Dutchman —
I learned it from Mike Smith, who wrote it in the dressing room/office/kennel of the "Quiet Knight" in Chicago.
"He thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snows — he's mad as he can be, but Margaret only sees that sometimes,
sometimes she sees her unborn children in his eyes. Let us go to the banks of the ocean"
Farewell To Tarwathie —
"Tho the birds here sing sweetly o'er mountain and dale.
There is no bird in Greenland to sing to the whale."
Yarmouth Town —
"But if with me you want to linger, I'll tie a piece of string all around me finger
And all you've got to do is pull on the string and I'll come down and I'll let you in"
Foggy Foggy Dew —
"I courted her one winter's morn
A Summer day or two
And I often times wished her into my arms
To keep off the Foggy Dew"
Heave Away —
"There's some that's bound for New York town and some that's bound for France
And some that's bound for the Bengal Bay to teach them whales a dance"
Fiddler's Green —
"And I'll play this old squeeze-box as we sail along
With the wind in the riggin' to sing me a song"
Spanish Is the Loving Tongue —
"Still sometimes I've kind of missed her
Since that last sad night I kissed her
Won her heart and lost my own"
My Island —
"Some have islands in the sky, some have islands in the sea
But my islands always here and my dream is to be free
Sail away boy — Sail away"
(Learned from Doug Lapham on an island in the middle of Boston)
Streets Of London —
"She's no time for talking, she just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags"
Fare Thee Well —
"They say that the people are all friendly there
All they'll ask of you is your name"
Time Gentlemen Time —
"Raise your glass to the pleasures that pass Time Gentlemen"