So much Irish music and dance emanates from Co. Galway. Sadly, this time around we didn’t catch any sessions. Most – and there were many – didn’t start until late and by 8-ish each evening even if the kids weren’t fading away, we were.
Neither Steve Earle nor Sharon Shannon come from Galway, much less Connemara. But Earle’s Galway Girl bears witness to that vast Irish musical diaspora that has fed so very much into the breadth and depth of North American music.
Bob Fox is a
veteran of the British folk scene. From the English North-East but again, so
many English traditional songs actually aren’t English! His introductory explanation to
the song’s content (lyric below) is fascinating and it’s worth the wait for the
song (which he sings in a slightly different version to the format below).
Near Oranmore in the county Galway
One pleasant evening in the month of may
I spied a damsel she was fair and winsome
Her beauty fairly stole my heart away
She wore no jewels, no costly diamonds
No paint nor powder no, none at all
She wore a bonnet with a ribbon on it
And round her shoulders was a Galway Shawl
As we were walking she kept on talking
Until her cottage came into view
She said "come in sir and meet me father
And play to please him the Foggy Dew"
She sat me down beside the hearthstone
Next to her father who was six feet tall
And soon her mother had the kettle boiling
But I kept on thinking of the Galway shawl
I played The Blackbird, The Stacks of Barley
Rooney's Favourite and the Foggy Dew
She sang each note like an Irish linnet
And the tears came into her eyes of blue
‘Twas early early, all in the morning
I hit the road for oul' Donegal
She said "goodbye" and then she kissed me
And my heart remained with the Galway Shawl
Seaweed on Mannin Beach
Eccentric camera work here, but phenomenal dancing from an open air concert in Galway City in 2011.
Sheep on Mannin Beach
The house from the foot of Errisbeg