Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Beer Drinking Favorites CD Review

This compilation of Irish songs is the perfect accompaniment to a day of drinking and dancing (so not just on St. Patrick's Day). This album contains twelve tracks of great Irish music to listen to at home, or on your way to your favorite pub.

"Seven Drunken Nights"

This compilation starts with a version of "Seven Drunken Nights," always a great song to hear on St. Patrick's Day. Most Irish bands cover this song. Gaelic Storm used to hold drinking contests during this song, and the song would last twenty minutes sometimes.

This version by The Kilkenny Brothers, however, is short. So short, in fact, because they left out Sunday night. This version should be titled "Six Drunken Nights." Was the singer so drunk that he forgot about Sunday? Unlikely. The likely story is that this is a family-friendly album, and the seventh night can get a bit dirty. There are several different Sunday night verses, however, and this band could have picked a relatively clean one. Oh well. It's still a cool song, even if this version is anti-climactic.

Irish Reels

The second track is an instrumental. A lively fun Irish tune that should get the folks step-dancing. The second part of it sounds very much like "Muirsheen Durkin," which is also on this album.

The album gets a bit mellower with "Fiddler's Green." This song allows you to stop dancing for a moment, and refill your Guinness or Smithwick's. But hurry, because the next two songs demand dancers.

"Muirsheen Durkin" is a fun tune about a man who no longer wishes to work, and instead wants to go to California to lead a life of leisure. Why not?

"The Wild Rover"

"The Wild Rover" has an audience clapping part that is absent from this studio recording. But when bands perform it live, they expect to hear clapping. Here is when to clap: after "And it's no, nay, never" clap four times (some people do it five times). Then after "No, nay, never, no more," clap twice. And then after "Will I play the wild rover," clap just once. Doing that will impress any of the old drinkers in the bar.

After that song, it's back to a mellow classic with "Black Velvet Band." There are hundreds of versions of this song. The one on this compilation is by The Kilkenny Brothers. This is a great song.

"I'll Tell Me Ma"

"I'll Tell Me Ma" is another fun song that's basically been covered by every Irish band that ever existed. And guess what? There is an audience clapping part in this song too. Basically clap on the counting - three claps on "one, two, three." The version on this compilation - by The Blarney Lads - has the line as "She is courting one, two, three." Some bands sing it as "She is counting one, two, three."

"Cod-Liver Oil" is a really cool song by the best band on the album, Waxies Dargle. Both the male vocalist and the female vocalist have great voices, and they sound wonderful together.
The ninth track is a set of reels - fun instrumental songs that will you have dancing and drinking and spilling beer all over yourself, your partner and the floor. Wonderful music.

"Finnegan's Wake"

This is probably the song that even the most un-Irish of people have heard. When at the bar, if the band plays this song, watch out for flying glasses of whiskey. Seriously.

"Scarce O'Tatties" is a very short instrumental.

This compilation ends with "Many Young Men Of Twenty," a somewhat sad song of men going off to war. It's not exactly a drinking song.

CD Track List

  1. Seven Drunken Nights - The Kilkenny Brothers
  2. Three Young Ladies Drinking Whiskey Before Breakfast - The Irish Ceili Band
  3. Fiddler's Green - The Irish Ceili Band
  4. Muirsheen Durkin - The Blarney Lads
  5. The Wild Rover - The Blarney Lads
  6. Black Velvet Band - The Kilkenny Brothers
  7. I'll Tell Me Ma - The Blarney Lads
  8. Cod-Liver Oil/Coolies - Waxies Dargle
  9. Docherty's Reel/Paddy Ryan's Dream/MacGinnerly's Reel - Waxies Dargle
  10. Finnegan's Wake - Waxies Dargle
  11. Scarce O'Tatties - The Irish Ceili Band
  12. Many Young Men Of Twenty - The Blarney Lads
(Note: I originally posted this review on March 1, 2010 on another site.)

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