Only what you feel is real … the rest is for dreams and legends. There are no tired songs … just tired singers … The soul of the city is in its people's pride of place, and its voice is in the "party pieces" sung at their gatherings lor the sheer joy of singing. Dublin is celebrating its 1000th Birthday in '88, and I hope some of my songs and stories will find a place in the festivities. The character and characters of my home town are very much alive in our modern city, where the old and new blend in a secret way that is Ireland. The talents and sincerity of one of our country's best ballad groups, namely Chisel, has given a new vibrant element to some of my songs. Rare oul times are a part of being Irish, and Dublin is our nation's capital city with more than a million souls to live, love and enjoy our way of life. Relax and listen to Chisel … and remember … only what you feel is real... so feel good … Raised on songs and stories I was lucky that Dublin was blessed with good singers and better storytellers … May the next thousand years be as bountiful.
… Dublin is inchoate Like a great ongoing Poem I carry it around with me It's home!
Pete St. John '86
A lost canal, A magical pub, free drink … And time to enjoy it Madigan's Lock is the dream of everyone who has ever opened their minds and hearts to the unattainable. Sailing forth on Dublin's Grand Canal there is every chance maybe the cynics were wrong … Ah! them lovely pints!!...
One of Ireland's true heroines of the early nineteenth century whose days were visited by tragedy and great personal suffering. A friend of the Irish rebel Robert Emmett, she lived on through the terrors of jail and beatings to show a brand of patriotism without parallel in her times.
A loser, a boozer. But still a man. Born to a traveller's family Danny lived with rejection and double standards all his life. Finding solace in the alcoholic mists he ages before his time and sees his dignity slip away on the backstreets of Dublin … We all know Danny Farrell...
THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY
The English Queen's agent, Charles Trevelyan, came to Ireland to oversee relief work during the Potato Famine of the 1840s. In Dublin he ordered Indian corn from America. It was ill-advised, for its hard kernel was virtually indestructible. Inedible. It was useless. Michael from Athenry was a victim of another man's dream...
A beautiful young seamstress whose charms are as natural as a Raytown Springtime … Love, marriage and happy ever afters … And why not, where love conquers all.
MARY - ARE YOU THERE?
A young carpenter plans to win the heart of Mary, a beautiful woman of the Dublin Liberties area. The lady's rich merchant background is a problem, but who knows? … They say Jaysus was a carpenter.
THE RARE OUL'TIMES
A song of hope and understanding about the passing of a trade and its tale of loss and sense of loneliness. Seán Dempsey believed 'you could spend a fortune but never spend a trade" … he was wrong. Even Dublin changed!
ROSE UP IN MOORE STREET
A song of tribute to a Dublin lady who pursued her trade of street dealer in flowers and vegetables in Moore Street. Stately, witty, feminine … we loved her...
WHEN MARGARET WAS ELEVEN
The horror of war seen thru' the eyes of a young Dublin child. A father, whose trade is soldiering, returns physically unscathed from the wars only to have paid the highest price of all...
The Workers' ferry it was called. A little boat that transported the people across the River Liffey for a small fee. Time and tide waits for no man. Time ran out on the ferry … jobs were lost and a way of life came to an end. Makes you wonder does progress know what it's doing?
An old one-legged soldier turned Dublin street beggar. Full of spirit and good intentions he survives on the promise of tomorrow and a few jars.
Going from Dublin to Belfast in pursuit of a friendship … The friendship of two Irish immigrants forged in the wasteland of a Canadian winter... But McClory is a parable … a story of two men and two cultures … as well as two cities ...