One hundred and three years ago today, the fisherman Patrick Murphy of Passage West Co. Cork was shot by a local bailiff. To commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2011, Cork singer/songwriter John Spillane composed this ballad. At first the song was about hatred and blame, but as Spillane describes, he worked through that in the writing, and in the end the song is about peace and reconciliation.
The Ballad of Patrick Murphy.
They lived beside the river
At the turning of the tide
They lived beside the river
By the river they lived and they died
Patrick Murphy was a fisherman, and a gentleman, and a good man,
In the town of Passage West,
With a wife and seven children,
And he tended to his nets.
I was looking for version of The Lakes of Pontchartrain to post and so very happy to find this live video recording from just this summer. I wish I could have been at this gathering of talents. And I don’t know a much better example of the tradition than the way the music is shared here between the likes of the wonderful Mary Dillon, John Spillane, and others.
The Lakes of Pontchartrain
It was one fine March morning, I bid New Orleans Adieu
And I took the road to Jackson Town, my fortune to renew
I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain
Which filled my heart with a longing for, the Lakes of Pontchartrain
I stepped on board of a railroad car beneath the morning sun
I rode the rods till evening and I laid me down again
All strangers there no friends to me ’til a dark girl towards me came
And I fell in love with the Creole Girl, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain
I said “Me pretty Creole Girl, me money here’s no good,
If it weren’t for the alligators, I’d sleep out there in the wood”
“You’re welcome here kind stranger, from such sad thoughts refrain”
“For me Mammy welcomes strangers, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain”
Check out this awesome concert on January 22, 2013 as part of the Dublin’s Temple Bar TradFest! Can someone hook a man up with free tickets, flight, and accommodations?
A Stór Mo Chroí- A Musical Gathering
This collective of Singers and Musicians is made up of members of the most progressive and influential traditional groups of the past fifteen years. Combined they represent, Solas, Lunasa, Danu, At First Light,Lumiere, Nomos, Tamalin, Béal Tuinne and The Sharon Shannon Band.
They have performed all over the world and taken part in the award winning series ‘The Transatlantic Sessions’. They have come together to perform a shared repertoire that celebrates their love of storytelling. Through a collection of beautiful love songs, which cover the range from heartfelt loss to unbridled joy, these performers illustrate their importance in the tradition. Each voice and accompaniment captures the essence of the song.
To have a supergroup of both musicians and vocalists performing together will prove a rare treat for fans of both Traditional and Folk music.