Our Thanks to Eamonn Campbell for his help in the production of this album, to Des Moore, the members of the RTE Orchestra and to Mick Clerkin for the wine and cheese.
I don't know whether or not you've seen an emigrant cry when leaving home, or his or her family, but it's the saddest tear that can be shed. We don't need the pity of the politicians, nor his crocodile tears. Oró, Oró … I wrote these words after seeing it all my life.
IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU
Coming home is the warmest gift a human can get from life. Meeting friends and talking of their exploits. Knowing you're safe at last. Smiling faces. This song is just that.
SWEET AND GENTLE LOVE
This song is a song I love to sing when I get a jar! The hard road of the Shy man or girl lost in the never ending twist of regret. The lonely road of the broken heart.
The miner's life is a young man's dream, like the mine itself. Me was put there by the hard hand of the working man; he watched the mine grow, and with it the town. Now the mine is dead, but he refuses to let go and the money has gone, like always, with the bosses.
DIDN'T IT RAIN
The mist falls silently and pure, needles from heaven to take the dirt from the air. It falls cleaning everything in its path; insects, animals, rivers, fish, flowers, trees, grass and man himself. Everything looks fresh after the rains. It leaves sparkling jewels everywhere.
NORTH BY NORTH
The jobs are gone; we must move on. But there's nowhere to go. Depression and Poverty are everywhere. Moving families, leaving friends. Sweet sad mystery of life, how can we survive without work? Where can we find you? North by north.
MARY AND ME
Dream on of the good life, meeting the sun, but alas never to be. Sweet giver of hope Let me lay beside you and dream. We remember. Some of us caught the sun; Mary and me didn't.
CAMPFIRE IN THE DARK
The travelling people of Ireland, like the red Indians of the USA. We now know what we are and are very lucky we didn't fall into the trap of being numbered. It's a hard life, but it's ours. Tolerated, but never accepted.
I walk in silence by her tiny feet
To take primroses where my father sleeps
I think of her while I stand and weep
Her poor heart buried there so deep.
For my mother, Nora. Love her. Miss her.
IF I DON'T BRING YOU FLOWERS
Although you're not always with me, you're always on my mind. It's a lovely song of doubt; of loving without overdrive; of forgetting to share your feelings. But love has a way of making it all work out. So remember the flowers!
CRY OF THE CELTS
I sat down to play a few tunes on the uillean pipes and I found myself in the Highlands of Scotland with Roy Williamson. Needless to say we had a mighty session! But then I came to and found my pal was gone.
A MAN OF OUR TIMES
This song is of a hero, or is it? Dev was a hero to all the old folk of the nation. But was he? Who was he? Did the brave men perish in 1916 so we could all have an equal chance, and if so why are we still so unsettled? We have, after all, changed the face of the world, so why couldn't we do it at home? Why?
The loving heart of a man for the lady who shares his life. How deep can it go? For ever and ever. Here it is immortalised in a pure song of love. A love that will be there when time itself has gone, and after that. What a beauty we have to share.
SONG FOR THE FOX
So much has been taken from the animal world. So much cruelty given back. How can we hope to say sorry? They've been our closest friends and our truest since man began. Yet we go and maim and beat them. The pity of it all. To kill and take the life of one so shy must be the greatest mortal sin of nature. Maidrin Rua.
Alex Campbell, what a great lad you were with the heart of a true Celt. We were both under the influence of home sickness, but we Celts get home sick when we're at home. I'll never drink again! How often have you said that one, sham? Mother!! The devil's horns are in that pint son! I hope so Ma. The last one was full of collars. Not a sin in it. Slan. Ceoil Agus sonas.