True Love Knows No Season — In December 1979 I met Noel Shine (whistle) in the Phoenix Pub, Cork, & he sang this song for me shortly before he got sick under the table. It was written by Norman Blake and it's special in that it's the first Cowboy song I've heard in a Cork City pub.
Little Musgrave — I was first drawn to this song by its length. The first verse appealed to me because I too went to Mass to look at girls. I collected it in a book which had no music but I was lucky to collect a tune from Nic Jones album discovered on a field trip through Liam O'Flynn's flat. I first heard the adjoining tune (Paddy Fahy's Reel) in a dressing room in Germany when, having just died the death, Matt played to us and made me forget where I was for 3 minutes 23 seconds.
Kellswater — I learned this from the Sam Henry collection courtesy of John Moulden's fine book SONGS OF THE PEOPLE and it appears to have come originally from one Jim Carmichael of Ballymena, Co. Antrim. The story appears to be that the girl's father did not consider Willie to be a suitable match for his daughter and had him sent away overseas. She waits in the certain knowledge that he will return. John Moulden writes, 'The Kellswater, a tributary of the River Main, rises as the Glenwhinny river on the west slope of Agnews hill which overlooks Larne, and then flows westward through Kells, collecting its name as it goes, and joins the Main about five miles north of Randalstown.' Our congratulations to the hero & heroine of this song for being the sole surviving characters on this album.
Roger O'Hehir — Again we have to thank Sam Henry for this tale. Roger never amounted to much, we fear. He seems to have been best at breaking out of jail. As a petty criminal he was definitely a failure and he even seems fairly relieved himself when faced with the gallows in the last verse.
Johnny of Brady's Lea — This a famous traditional ballad from Scotland that I've known for years. Johnny is evidently an outlaw or at least a man who pays little regard to the game-laws. Despite his mother's warning , he sets out one day to ‘bring the dun deer down'. His dogs & himself feast on the deer to such an extent that they all fall asleep. The foresters are tipped off by an interfering old codger and wound Johnny mortally as he sleeps. Johnny wakes in a rage and kills six of them. The seventh one suffers multiple injuries and is put on his horse to ride out of the forest and tell the news. Johnny Moynihan sings a version called 'Johnny O'Cocklesmuir' where the hero kills six, wounds one and rides off unscathed.
Out On The Ocean or Tierney's Jig — A well-known jig associated with Co. Clare.
Tiocaidh Tu Abhaile Liom — An old jig heard from the playing of the late Willie Clancy & which appears in THE DANCE MUSIC OF WILLIE CLANCY - Pat Mitchell no.21.
The Tailor's Twist — I first heard this tune many years ago from the playing of fiddle player Joe Ryan. One also associates this tune with the piper Tommy Reck.
Untitled Hornpipe — This tune is one of many I have learned from Junior Crehan from Co. Clare. Junior tells me he heard the tune from the late Denis Murphy, Co. Kerry, who brought the tune back from America. Junior had no name for this tune.
The Woman I Never Forgot (Canny's) — Noel & Tony learned this tune from a recording made by the fiddle player Paddy Canny of Tulla, Co. Clare.
The Pullet — Tony learned this tune from Jim O'Connor who plays the flute and comes from Miltown Malbay.
The Ladies' Pantalettes — One of the first tunes I learned form the late Leo Rowsome form whom I had my first lessons on the pipes.