How America Saved Irish Music

by Marc Gunn & Jamie Haeuser

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    The Irish diaspora shared Irish music with the world. America saved traditional Irish music and fused it with new life based on American rhythm and culture.

    Includes unlimited streaming of How America Saved Irish Music via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

The Irish diaspora of the 19th century sent millions of Irish families to America. Settling in New York, Boston and New Orleans, the immigrants brought Irish music with them. Combining with other folk traditions and sustained by Irish cultural organizations across the country, Irish and Celtic music thrives in America.

Two original songs are based on the construction of the New Basin Canal in New Orleans, where something between 5,000 and 20,000 Irish workers dies of yellow fever. “Leaving of Liverpool” references the fact that the cheapest way to get to America was on a ship that brought cotton to England, and immigrants back to New Orleans. “Stor Mo Chroi” refers to the pattern of Irish men finding work abroad, leaving families behind. Other songs reflect Gunns and Drums’ bluesy spin on everything from anti-war songs to folk songs from Provence.

credits

released January 22, 2014

Marc Gunn: autoharp and vocals; Jamie Haeuser: vocals and bodhran

We would like to offer special thanks to the following people for the incredible generosity for making this album happen: Bryan Muller, Kris Dobie, Stanley Berry, Bob Withers

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about

Marc Gunn Birmingham, Alabama

Marc Gunn is a rhythm and folk musician inspired by Celtic culture, science fiction, fantasy, and cats. He breathes new life into the autoharp, which continues to surprise musical veterans and fans a like for it’s unique sound and spirited energy. It’s like a satirical jam session between The Clancy Brothers and Weird Al Yankovic. It’s Celtic music, the traditional and the twisted. ... more

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Track Name: O Stor O Chroi
A stor mo chroi when you're far away
From the home you will soon be leaving
It's many's the time by night and by day
When your heart will be sorely grieving
For the stranger's land may be bright and fair
Rich in it's treasures golden
But you'll pine I know for days long long ago
And the one that is never olden
A stor mo chroi in the stranger's land
There is plenty of wealth and wailing
Where gems adorn the great and the grand
Where the faces with hunger paling

When the road it is tiresome and hard to tread
And the lights of their cities blind you
Oh turn a stor to Erin's shore
And the one that you leave behind you
A stor mo chroi when the evening mist
Over mountain and sea is falling
Oh turn a stor and then you list
And maybe you will hear me calling
For the sound of a voice you will surely miss
Somebody speedily returning
A rune a rune won't you come back soon
To the one that will always love you
Track Name: Star of the County Down
Near to Banbridge Town, in the County Down
One morning last July,
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen,
And she smiled as she passed me by;
Well, she looked so sweet from her two bare feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair;
Such a coaxing elf, sure I shook myself
To make sure I was really there.

From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay,
And from Galway to Dublin town,
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.
As she onward sped, sure I shook my head
And I looked with a feeling rare.
Then I said, says I, to a passer-by,
"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"
Well, he smiled at me, and with pride says he,
"That's the gem of old Ireland's crown,
She's young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann,
She's the Star of the County Down."

Well I've traveled a bit, but ne'er was hit
Since my roving career began;
Then fair and square I surrendered there
To the charms of young Rose McCann.
I'd a heart to let and no tenant yet
Did I see in shawl or gown,
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the Star of the County Down.

At the harvest fair, I'll be surely there
And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
With my shoes shone bright, and my hat cocked right
For a smile from my nut-brown Rose.
No pipe I'll smoke, and no horse I'll yoke
Though with rust my plow turns brown,
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the Star of the County Down.
Track Name: Gypsy Rover
A gypsy rover came over the hill
Down through the valley so shady.
He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady.

Ah-dee-doo-ah-dee-doo-dah-day
Ah-dee-doo-ah-dee-day-dee
He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady.

She left her father's castle gate.
She left her own fine lover.
She left her servants and her state
To follow her gypsy rover.

She left behind her velvet gown
And shoes of Spanish leather
They whistled and they sang 'till the green woods rang
As they rode off together

Last night, she slept on a goose feather bed
With silken sheets for cover
Tonight she'll sleep on the cold, cold ground
Beside her gyspy lover

Her father saddled up his fastest stead
And roamed the valley all over.
Sought his daughter at great speed
And the whistlin' gypsy rover.

He came at last to a mansion fine
Down by the river Claydee.
And there was music and there was wine
For the gypsy and his lady.

"He is no gypsy, my Father," she cried
"but Lord of these lands all over.
And I shall stay 'til my dying day
with my whistlin' gypsy rover."
Track Name: Men of New Basin Canal
We came to find a bit of land
Land our fathers never had
No land we found but only death
From fever, the yellow jack
The yellow jack, one day you’re up
The next you’re in the grave
A grave they call New Basin Canal
For us six miles of pain

Chorus:
Heave ho, boyo, it’s dig and death
Heave ho, God help us all

O‘Hanlan was the first to fall
Then down went Mike O’Shea
The boss called up and down the line
For men to bear away
The men who fell, hundreds a day
Shakin’ like a Mayo gale
Too few there were to dig the trench
Too few to bear away.

Why is it Erin’s sons are called
When slaves they cannot spare
When earth and water must be moved
To make the rich man’s share
From lake to river to move the goods
That make the rich men more
we fall, we fall time and again
And none to hear our prayer

But we will rise, somehow, sometime
To rule those who rule us
We’ll fight to o’ercome the loss
so many of Ireland’s best
Many will die but most will live
Will live to make our mark
New Orleans own of Ireland born
Men of New Basin Canal
Track Name: Bridget's Prayer
Oh, Michael, please don’t go today
You’re shakin’ like a leaf
We will make do, o stor, maron
We will make do somehow
I’ve washing in, I can do more
Just don’t go back, I pray
It’s death my darlin’ one, I know
It’s death in that new canal

I pray, in holy Bridget’s name
I pray, God help us all

My babies need their father here
My babies need you so
Please don’t go back, I know that you
Will fall if go you do
I can find work, I’ll sew and wash
‘Till bloody my fingers are
Just don’t go back, oh, stor maron
It’s death in that new canal

Oh, Michael love, I cannot live
Without you, dearest heart
Find other work, I care not what
Find anything but that
I cannot stand to see you fall
Like our friends before have done
Too many widows made too young
It’s death in that new canal
Track Name: Black Velvet Band
In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprenticed in trade I was bound
And many's the hour of sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town
Till bad misfortune befell me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band

Her eyes they shone like the diamond
You'd think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band

As I was out strolling down broadway
Not intending to go very far
I met with a frolicksome damsel
Applying her trade in a bar
Well a watch she took from a customer
And she slipped it right into my hand
Then the Watch came and put me in prison
Bad luck to the black velvet band

Before judge and jury next morning
For our trial I had to appear
The judge, he said, "My young fellow,
The case against you is quite clear.
Well seven years is your sentence.
You're going to Van Dieman's Land.
Far away from your friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band."

So come all you jolly young fellows
I'd have you take warning by me
Whenever you're out on the liquor
Beware of the pretty colleen
For she'll fill you with whiskey and porter
Until You're not able to stand
And the very next thing that you notice
You've landed in Van Dieman's Land
Track Name: Streets of Laredo/Bard of Armagh
As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a poor cowboy, all wrapped in white linen
All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay.

"I see by your outfit, that you are a cowboy."
These words he did say as I slowly passed by.
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story,
For I'm shot in the chest, and today I must die."

"'Twas once in the saddle I used to go dashing,
'Twas once in the saddle I used to go gay.
First down to Rosie's, and then to the card-house,
Got shot in the chest, and I'm dying today."

"Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
And play the dead march as you carry me along;
Take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong."



Oh list' to the tale of a poor Irish harper,
And scorn not the strains of his old withered hands,
But remember those fingers, they once could move sharper,
To raise up the memory of his dear native land.

At a fair or a wake I could twist my shillelagh,
Or trip through a jig with my brogues bound with straw.
And all the pretty colleen around me assembled,
Loved bold Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh.

And when Sergeant Death with his cold arms embrace me,
And lulls me to sleep with sweet 'Erin-go-Bragh',
By the side of my Kathleen, my young wife, oh, place me,
Then forget Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh.
Track Name: Whiskey, You're the Devil
Whiskey you're the devil. You're leading me astray
Over hills and mountains and to Amerikay
You’re sweeter, stronger, decenter, you’re spunkier than tea,
Oh, whiskey you’re me darlin’, drunk or so-ber

Oh now brave boys we’re on the march
Off to Portugal and Spain
The drums a-beating, the banners flying
The devil a-home will come tonight

Bridge:
Love fare thee well
With a tither-y-eye, the diddlum the dah
Me tither-y-eye, the diddlum the dah
Me right fol tur-a ladee
Oh, there’s whiskey in the jar

Said the mother, “Do not wrong me
Don’t take me daughter from me
For if you do, I will torment you
And after death the ghost will haunt you”

The French are fighting boldly
Men dying hot and coldly
Give every man a flask of powder
A firelock upon his shoulder
Track Name: Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot
Who's gonna shoe your pretty little foot?
Who's gonna glove your hand?
Who's gonna kiss your red ruby lips?
Who's gonna be your man?

Papa's gonna shoe my pretty little foot,
Mama's gonna glove my hand,
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips,
I don't need no man.

I don't need no man,
I don't need no man,
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips,
I don't need no man.

The longest train I ever did ride,
Was a hundred coaches long,
And the only woman I ever did love,
Was on that train and gone.

On that train and gone, boys,
On that train and gone,
The only woman I ever did love,
Is on that train and gone.
Track Name: Ms. McGraw
"Oh, Mrs. McGraw", the captain said,
"Would you like to make a pirate out of your son, Ted?
With a scarlet cloak and a fine cocked hat,
Oh, Mrs. McGraw wouldn't you like that?"

With me too-rye-yaah
Foddle-diddle-daah
Too-rye, oh-rye, oh-rye-yaah
With me too-rye-yaah
Foddle-diddle-daah
Too-rye, oh-rye, oh-rye-yaah

Now Mrs. McGraw lived on the seashore,
for the space of seven long years or more,
When she spied a ship sailing into the bay,
"It's my son Teddy, would you clear the way."

"Now my dear captain, where have you been?
Have you been out sailin' on the Medit-ter-in?
Have you any news of my son Ted?
Is the poor boy livin' or is he dead?"

Then up the steps Ted, without any legs,
And in their place, there were two wooden pegs.
She kissed him a dozen times or two,
Crying "Holy Moses, it couldn't be you!"

"Now was ya drunk, or was ya blind,
When you left your two fine legs behind?
Or was it out walking upon the sea,
That tore your legs, from the knees away?"

"No, I wasn't drunk, no I wasn't blind,
When I left my two fine legs behind.
But a big cannonball on the fifth of May,
Tore my two fine legs from my knees away."

"Now Teddy, me boy", the old widow cried,
Your two fine legs were your mommy's pride.
The stumps of a tree won't do at all,
Why didn't you run from that big cannonball?"

"All foreign wars, I do profane,
Between Don John and the King of Spain.
I'd rather have my Teddy as he used to be,
Than the King of France and his whole navy!"
Track Name: Leaving of Liverpool
Fare thee well to you, my own true love,
there were many fare thee wells.
I am bound for California,
a place that I know right well.
So fare the well, my own true love,
when I return united we will be.
It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
but my darling when I think of thee.

I am bound on a yankee clipper ship,
Davy Crockett is her name.
And her captain’s name it is Burgess,
and they say that she’s a floating shame.

I sailed with Burgess once before,
and I think I know him well,
If a man’s a sailor he will get along,
if he’s not then he’s sure in Hell.

The ship is in the harbor, love,
and you know I can’t remain,
I know it will be a long long time
before I see you again.

So fare thee well, my own true love,
when I return united we will be.
It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
but my darling when I think of thee.

So fare thee well, my own true love,
when I return united we will be.
It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
but my darling when I think of thee
Track Name: Johnny, I Hardley Knew Ye
While on the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While on the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While on the road to sweet Athy
A stick in me hand and a drop in me eye
A doleful damsel I heard cry,
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and drums and guns
The enemy nearly slew ye
Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

Where are your eyes that look so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that look so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that look so mild
When my poor heart you first beguiled
Why did ye run from me and the child
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

Where are your legs with which ye run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs with which ye run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs with which ye run
When first you learned to carry a gun
Indeed your dancing days are done
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home
All from the island of Sulloon
So low in flesh, so high in bone
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg
Ye're an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
Ye'll be having to put a bowl to beg
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home
All from the island of Ceylon;
So low in the flesh, so high in the boon.
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

Extra lyrics I found:

They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again
But they never will take our sons again
No they never will take our sons again
Johnny I'm swearing to ye.