||Songs from Ireland
Although I had always enjoyed, what one today (1998) calls Celtic music, from childhood, it wasn't until 1964 that I first got seriously involved in "Irish Music". (I deliberately put the term Irish Music in quotes because over a musical lifetime I've come to the conclusion that Irish Music covers any song that has ever been sung by an Irishman or Irishwoman). It is to one certain Paddy Lynch, a great friend, a Dubliner and fellow Petty Officer that I have an eternal debt. Whilst on a promotion course in H.M.S. Collingwood in 1964 he introduced me to The Clancy Brothers
, dancing with chairs, throwing chairs at each other and in short all the Irish fun things along with some quite serious drinking and deep ongoing discussions of Irish history and the state of affairs in Ireland.
Over the years I've admired the The Dubliners
but cannot quite get along with the more modern groups because it seems to me that the emphasis has shifted away from lyrics to making nice instrumental pieces, fine for dancing perhaps, but decidedly not my thing. Gimme the lyrics!
As you browse through the various footnotes, you will find Soodlums mentioned no end of times. I don't want to give the impression that this reference is the ultimate, it isn't by a long shot, but it's a fine low-budget source of 200 mostly "Irish" lyrics for the practical musician.
I've briefly checked out the lyric links and generally speaking with a few exceptions the lyrics are pretty much as I sing them. Of course there are an astronomic number of variations and versions of both the songs and their titles. Brian Kelly
used to drive me barmy on this topic for whenever I or someone else mentioned or introduced a new song he would launch into hour-long lecture on some obscure version.
Geoff Grainger, Bremen-Vegesack, October 1998