The Sands Family   •   High Hills And Valleys

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  • High Hills And Valleys
    • 1980 - Pläne 88 206 LP (DEU)
  • Side One
    1. Your Daughters and Your Sons (Tom Sands)
    2. The Queen's Song (Colum Sands)
    3. Madam I'm A Darlin' (Trad. Arr. Sands Family)
    4. The Election Song (Colum Sands)
    5. Follower (Seamus Heaney, Ben Sands)
    6. The Cats in The Cradle (Harry Chapin)
    7. A Man Named Armstrong (John Stewart)
  • Side Two
    1. I'm Going Back on The Bicycle (Tom Sands)
    2. Stay Where You Are! & Johnny McIljohn (Jig & Reel) ( Trad., Arr. Sands Family)
    3. The Banks Of The Bann (Trad. Arr. Sands Family)
    4. The Man from Kinsale (Trad. Arr. Sands Family)
    5. Blame the World (Colum Sands)
    6. Sliabh Gallion Braes (Trad. Arr. Sands Family)

  • The Sands Family
    • Tom Sands: Vocals, Guitar, Five-String Banjo
    • Anne Sands: Vocals, Bodhrán
    • Ben Sands: Vocals, Guitar, Mandoline, Whistle
    • Colum Sands: Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle, Concertina, Double Bass
  • Credits
    • Producer: Andreas Keffel
    • Recorded November 1979, Pläne Studio, Dortmund, Germany
    • Cover Design: Ellen Dolezal
    • Foto: Gangolf Dörr
    • Arrangements: Sands Family
  • Other releases include …
    • The Sands Family (1981, DEU)
      • Track: 9 only appears on this 1980 Pläne release.

Sleeve Notes

Your Daughters and Your Sons — A tribute to the people who have worked and suffered to make the world a better place to live in. One such man is a friend of ours called Jim Sherry, an artist and song writer. During the 1950's he had paintings on display in the National Gallery in London but when he was imprisoned for political activities, his paintings were taken down.

The Queen's Song — In 1977 the Queen of England celebrated her twenty fifth Anneiversary as Queen by making a tour of what is left of the British Empire.

Her multi million-pound journey included a trip to Belfast. But she didn't walk in the streets of that tragic city, instead she flew above it in a helicopter and perhaps this shows very clearly the true relationship between kings and queens and people.

Madam I'm A Darlin' — A song which deals, in a very figurative way, with the problems of a young girl married to an old man. It is likely that the marriage was arranged by the man and the parents of the girl, as was not unusual in Ireland in former times. The girl in this song, however, seems to have reached the stage where she is prepared to make her own arrangements.

The Election Song — This song was inspired by an English Politician who was sc conservative that he was thrown out of the Conservative Party in England.

Faced with the danger of losing his seat at Westminster, Enoch Powell, the politician in question, moved house across to Northern Ireland and won the votes of the Unionist Party. He is our representative in Westminster and this song is about him and other politicians who will do anything and promise everything just to get a vote.

* the bureau: the unemployment office. Our hometown of Newry, which is also represented by Powell, has an unemployment rate of 25%.

A Man Named Armstrong — The writer of this song, John Stewart, was a member of the American Folk group, The Kingston Trio. It's a song which questions the value of what is called progress, and which spotlights the poverty in the world while the television cameras spotlight a man called Armstrong.

I'm Going Back on The Bicycle — This is a song written more out of frustration than inspiration, the frustration of rising costs for cars and their upkeep. The last verse is built on the theory that the average car owner in Ireland works one hour to pay for each ten miles which he drives. It is much easier to drive a bicycle at ten miles per hour and certainly much cheaper and healthier.

* so said all the Jones's = "Keeping up with the Jones's" is an expression for trying to be as well off as the neighbours.

The Banks Of The Bann — The river Bann has its source in the Mourne Mountains, not far from where we live. This is not only a love song, it also deals with the problems of a love affair between people of two different classes, see the first two lines of the third verse. However, unlike many Irish love songs, this one has a happy end.

The Man from Kinsale — A fantasy song which shows just how many things can be made out of some herrings. The jig which we play at the end is called "Out in the ocean".

Blame the World — Pollution is normally associated with the more industrial areas of the world but now even Ireland, the green island, has her problems, especially with the plans for the building of a nuclear power station at Carnsore Point. This is a song with a message not only for people who create pollution but also for people who ignore it.

Sliabh Gallion Braes — Sliabh Gallion is a mountain in County Derry in the north of Ireland. Whereas many Irish were forced to emigrate because of lack of food or work, there were also many, like the man in this song who had to emigrate because of the high rents levied on them by English landlords. If the rent wasn't paid in time, the tenant was evicted, that is, thrown out of the house with his few possessions and left to die or emigrate.

The sleeve notes to this album are in German, above is via google translate.