What happens when traditional Irish musicians living in the U.S. get called to England to play a dance tour? This recording brings you the wild fun and insanity of a romp through England that took us from London to Leeds, then from Cambridge (and the astonishing Molly Dancers) to Lichfield (and the astonishing Lichfield Shrove Tuesday Pankcake Races). Share the joy of the whole tour including the music, the stomping and shouting, a silly song, and more. This album will have you charged up and ready to hit the road with Changeling!
Tracks & Liner Notes
- The Breaking of Omagh Jail. Lyrics trad., melody by Karl Clark Colón, arr. Changeling.
The tune "The Francophobic Frenchman" by Karl Clark Colón and Deborah Clark Colón appears in this song. A good old fashioned jailbreak song by a young wag who asked for a little too much on a first date. Recorded at The Prom in Bristol.
- The Star of the County Down. Trad., arr. Changeling.
An old fashioned love song by a man who swears to give up both bad habits (smoking) and good (working on his farm) until he wins the heart of his own true love. This song goes out to our own Fabien Havas, who loves it and asked for it incessantly during our seven years on the road together. It was a real pleasure to get to play this one for him in during the tour. Recorded at The Prom in Bristol.
- The Funk. Trad., arr. Changeling.
Changeling formed as a response to the experience of hearing some of the classic traditional revival bands like The Battlefield Band, the Boys of the Lough, and Rare Air. The music had all the heady power of rock, and a lot more besides. Changeling has always tried to walk the line the line between the haunting emotional pull of the tradition, and sheer tear-the-roof-off-the-sucker power those early bands had. The Funk marries a traditional reel — "Sligo Maid" — with a funk hook crafted from ideas lifted from Parliament Funkadelic and Aerosmith, done in a ten minute jam band format. This is always a lot of fun to play. Recorded at a contra dance in Alcester.
- The Mountaintop Waltz. By Deborah Clark Colón, arr. Changeling.
A beautiful waltz that Deborah wrote for her brother's wedding. This is a favorite with dance and concert crowds alike. Recorded at a contra dance in Bradford on Avon.
- Love at the Endings. Trad., arr Changeling except for the final tune, "Wissahickon Drive" by Liz Carroll.
A good old-fashioned straight ahead set of Irish reels: the Bristol crowd had the best time with these tunes! Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- The Brewer Laddie. Trad. arr. Changeling.
The story of a young small town brewer who is abandoned by his true love for a city boy. Rather than follow the usual path of heartbreak, the Brewer Laddie finds another girl and lives happily ever after. Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- The Quiet Man. "The Quiet Man" and "The Easy Club Reel" are two tunes that we learned from one of our favorite bands, the legendary Easy Club. Their combination of traditional music and swing continues to inspire us to this day, and it still gets a smile from John Martin (now of the Tannahill Weavers) whenever we bring it up. The reel in the middle is called "Paddy Fahey's" and is traditional. Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- The Morning Dew. Deborah's solo sets are one of the highlights of a Changeling show. This one starts with an air that she composed, followed by "Return to Fingal" and "The Morning Dew." Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- O'er Hamlet. By Adam McNaughtan.
Karl originally learned this song from Martin Carthy. It is a three-verse summary to the tune of "The Mason's Apron" and is certainly the single most dangerous solo song Karl has ever attempted. The legendary Albert Alfonso once mimed suicide on stage while Karl sang this during the Dublin Irish Festival. Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- Hip-Hop Polkas. Trad., arr Changeling, except for "Keep Co-Op" by Deborah Clark Colón and a short quote from "The Theme from Gilligan's Island."
Yes, you read that correctly. Recorded at the Prom in Bristol. A set of playful polkas from Deborah, these tunes are a ton of fun to play. Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- Shane Crossagh. Lyrics trad., music by Karl Clark Colón, arr. Changeling.
A song Shane Crossagh, the Robin Hood of County Derry (who stole from the English and gave to the Irish). Shane Crossagh is a figure of some note in the history of County Derry, and even rated an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland in 1902. Never let it be said that Changeling does not dig hard for its material. Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- Finale. Trad., arr. Changeling.
Just before we finished our night at The Prom, a member of the audience asked us to play a Shetland tune called "Willafjord" that was popular back in the 1990s. To the best of our recollection, we had never played that tune together, and we were about to start our Big Finale, which is the tune we use to make sure that people will want to buy records at the end of the show. What did we do? We played it, and stuck it on to the Big Finale. One of the great joys of being in Changeling is our almost chronic need to do something unplanned during each set, and the whole wonderful crowd at The Prom got into the spirit of it right away. The next tune is the famous "Star of Muenster," with a short quote from "Smoke on the Water" thrown in for fun — leave it to Deborah to come up with that! Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.
- Encore. This wonderful waltz is called "Always with Me" by Joe Hisaishi. We love to say goodnight to all the kind folks who come to listen to our music with this gorgeous tune. This particular recording is one of my favorites: after we finished this tune the wonderful Jim Robb — the magnificent crazy dreamer who made our tour possible — walked up to us and said to us in his characteristic deadpan, "you've done this before." Recorded at the Prom in Bristol.