THE GREEN ISLAND — I wrote this song in New York while performing there in the Spring of '87. The multitude of young Irish emigrants in the ballad bars around Woodside, Queens and Frank O'Connor's book on Michael Collins gave inspiration.
JOHNNY JUMP UP — In the 1930's the cider was stored in wooden whiskey casks which had hitherto held good malt whiskey. Of course the cider drew the dormant spirit from the wood and the result, depending on one's consumption, was either delectable or disastrous. Guard Brophy was an amiable sort by all accounts, the 'Railwayman's Bar' is still going strong though the future of the picturesque Youghal railway line lies shamefully in the balance. Written by Tim Jordan and given me by John Lenihan, a workmate.
THE COAL QUAY MARKET — Like Petticoat Lane or Moore Street, this still a much loved and colourful street market where you can buy anything from a needle to an anchor. Tim McCarthy who kept a little clothes shop here gave me the song.
THE FOX AND THE HARE — My good friend John O'Connell of Baile Mhic Ire, Co. Cork gave me this song as he gave songs willingly to collectors and singers over the years. It is likely an English song in origin and is found in Fred Hamer's collection of English folk songs.
THE BOYS OF FAIRHILL — Most authorities credit the great ballad maker Seán O Callaghan with the authorship of the first half and older section of this famous song. Other verses have been duely suffixed over the years in praise of sporting and political personages not least the great Cork hurler: Jimmy Barry Murphy.
DO YOU WANT YOUR OULD LOBBY WASHED DOWN — From the musical hall era and learned from the 'singing fireman', John O Shea. It was the first single record by Stockers Lodge, the rest is history.
NÍL NA LÁ — Is mó leagan dén amhrán seo at´a le fáil ar fuaid na tíre arfaid agus Alabain fresin. Dfoghlaim mé an ceann seo ó Diarmaid Ó Suilleabháin o Chúil Aodha Co. Choreaí Deirtear gur thainig se o Jackie Phaddie O Tuama o Glanlea ar dtuis an sceal.
I KNOW MY LOVE — This a first cousin of the famous international: 'There is a Tavern in the Town'. The dance-hall noticed is most likely the famous spot near the Mardyke in Cork known as St. Francis Hall. Learned from Luke Kelly of the Dubliners.
THE BANTRY GIRL'S LAMENT — The Bantry herein referred to is not the town in Co. Cork but a barony of the Co. Wexford. An anti-war song from the Penninsular wars, it was given to me by Tim Lyons of Co. Clare.
SALONIKA — This and many other far flung battlegrounds of the Great War would have been familiar to the people of Cork as many of their menfolk enlisted with the Munster Fusiliers while they received separation' money from the British Government; thence the disparaging term: 'sepera's'. The 'slackers' were the ones, who for political reasons or otherwise, stayed at home, many joining the Volunteers. My mother gave me a few verses as did many a sold.