Review by "TIOCFAIDH AR LA" Fanzine.
Pádraig Mór - The Green & The Gold
Pádraig Mór, Glasgow’s original republican balladeer, has put together a compilation of classic songs on this CD. Indeed many will also know him as the front man of the popular Glasgow rebel band Saoirse and more recently from his stints playing bass and adding occasional vocals with Shebeen. However, Pat is a class act in his own right and this CD goes a long way to demonstrating the man’s musical talent and versatility. He not only sings, he also plays a variety of instruments as well. From bass and guitar to mandolin and whistles; the result is impressive. He is ably assisted by the haunting violin playing of Julie H who also helps out with some backing vocals on selected tracks. In addition, the equally versatile Glasgow-Irish musician Sean Lyons lends a hand on a couple of songs as well.
There’s an excellent rendition of Bik McFarlane’s tribute to Bobby Sands – Song for Marcella. In fact I don’t think I’ve heard a better arrangement of this song since the original recording by Bik and Cruncher. It’s Pat’s delivery of a song that is most impressive. His vocals are crisp and clear and the voice is very much in the mould of the very best traditional ballad singers such as Christy Moore, Derek Warfield & Gerry O’Glacain, but like each of these Pat has developed his own style.
I don’t think there’s a bad song on this album – It’s the kind of CD that would do a never-ending loop on the car stereo and it’s one of those albums that you can play loud and not upset the neighbours. I would highly recommend that you add this to your rebel music collection.
The tracks included are: Ballad of Martin (Doco) Doherty; Kelly The Boy From Killane; Grace; Clonoe Ambush; Ireland Unfree; Song For Marcella; Crossmaglen; Boston Snows; Helicopter Song; Athenry/Garvaghy Road; Shoot To Kill The Policy; Pardon Me For Smiling; Dying Rebel; Ballad of Ray McCreesh.
On the sleeve notes Pat also thoughtfully provides a brief explanation/history of each of the songs. Another nice touch is that Pádraig has dedicated the album to the memory of one of the finest republicans of this generation that Glasgow has produced - Thomas “Boydo” Boylan.
Hopefully we’ll have some of these CD’s for sale on the stall at the TAL Nights in Glasgow and watch this space for details about ordering them direct from the fanzine in the near future.
Reviewed by Talman
Based upon the final letters written by Pádraig Pearse to his mother & brother Willie whilst awaiting execution in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916.
The 2nd verse shows that Pádraig believed his brother, although having fought beside him in the GPO (General Post Office), would eventually be released from prison by the british authorities as he had not been one of the rebellion's leaders. However & simply because of the part played by his elder sibling in the Rising, Willie too was brutally shot to death by british firing squad on the 4th May 1916, the day after Pádraig's execution.
Pádraig Pearse Willie Pearse
Dearest mother I am writing just to say I wont be home
There's something that I have to do & I must do alone
They took me & they put me in this lonely prison cell
Tonight my thoughts are with you as I bid my last farewell
So say goodbye to Margaret, Mary-Brigid & Micéal
I have no words to tell you how much I'll miss you all
And though I may not show it you know I loved you well
So in my final letter I will bid my last farewell
Dearest brother wont you take good care of all the folks for me
Go home to Rathfarnham on the day they set you free
I was happy when you stood by me in all that we'd been through
No one could ever have so true a brother such as you
Dearest mother it's so very sad but now we have to part
To understand the reasons would trouble your poor heart
I told you since I was a boy it was my destiny
To die a true brave soldier so that one day you'd be free
Irish Citizen's Army Volunteers on the roof of Liberty Hall