Michael Bracken


Songs I



1. Star of The County Down (Trad/Arr Byron)
A traditional folk song from Ulster.

2. Galway Bay (Francis Fahy)
Fahy also wrote The Ould Plaid Shawl and The Queen of Connemara, amongst many others. Read more about him here.

3. The Bard Of Armagh (Trad/Arr Byron)
Another traditional folk song from Ulster.

4. The Town Of Dundalk (Elliot/Byron)
This was originally a two verse poem written by George Elliot from Dundalk. I first heard it recited by Attracta Kane in the Town Hall there a good few years ago. I thought I'd put it to music and decided that it needed a middle verse which I composed myself. In that verse, The Wee House in Anne Street is a pub in Dundalk where my grandfather used to drink and "Martin the barbers" was his shop.

5. (Las Vegas in) The Hills Of Donegal (Pat Gallagher)
This was recorded by the Donegal band "Goats Don't Shave".

6. Put More Turf On The Fire (Seamus Kavanagh)
Kavanagh also wrote "The Rose of Mooncoin" and "Moonlight in Mayo".

7. The Rocks Of Bawn (Trad/Arr Byron)
This is a County Cavan song written in Queen Victoria's reign. It shows that in Ireland, at that time, there was little hope of earning a decent living from the land and explains why 60% of the British Army was Irish!

8. Catch Me If You Can (McDill/?)
I don't know much about this one. I think it's based around a song called "(Turn Out The Light and) Love Me Tonight" by Bob McDill. It was given some different lyrics and recorded by Brendan Shine. I suppose it's a bit out of context with the rest.

9. My Old Sligo Home (M. Maloney)
I first heard this lovely song from the singing of P. J. Murrihy.

10. Follow Me Up To Carlow (Patrick Joseph McCall)
This song is about a battle which took place at Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow in 1580. McCall (1861-1919) was a Dublin merchant and poet. He also wrote "Boolavogue", "Kelly of Killaun" and "Haste to the Wedding". I'm nearly sure that his great granddaughter told me he was born in County Carlow.

11. Back Home In Derry (Sands/Lightfoot)
A poem written by Bobby Sands, put to the air of a Gordon Lightfoot song "The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald" and a chorus added by Christie Moore. (I think?)

12. The Streets Of New York (Liam Reilly)
Liam Reilly, from Dundalk, also wrote "The Flight of Earls", "The Boston Rose", "Summer in Dublin" and many more.

13. Grace (Sean/Frank O'Meara)
A song about Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett. The O'meara brothers also wrote "Meet me at the Pillar" and "My Last Farewell".

Email me with your suggestion for this site or for information!