Various Artists - Goitse A Thaisce (A Compilation Of Irish Music Vol. 1) (Vinyl LP)

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The idea for this record came from an extended period of time living back in my family home in the west of Ireland. Here, I found myself in the midst of a vast, mountainous landscape, a place that vividly recalled my childhood memories of old Irish traditional music. This experience sparked a need to immerse myself in the tradition once again. Trad was my first musical love over any other, so it feels very gratifying to put together this compilation. Every tune on this record holds a special place in my heart. Whether it’s by lifelong heroes such as The Bothy Band or Planxty, family friends like Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh or Emer Mayock, or by contemporary artists pushing the boundaries of the tradition like Lisa O’Neill or Ye Vagabonds, these songs have soundtracked my life thus far. If this record can introduce just one person to the world of Irish music, then it has served its purpose. The tradition has so much depth and richness to it, and I urge you to please delve into it with an open heart. The title of the record roughly translates to “come here my darling,” which is the sentiment I feel when I hear these tunes. Hopefully they can bring about that same feeling for you.
- Tom Coll - Skinty Records / Fontaines DC

“Dublin in the rain is mine.” In the video for “Big” by the band Fontaines DC, a child skips and struts along the market in Moore Street. “A pregnant city with a Catholic mind”, he lipsynchs to the voice of the band’s frontman Grian Chatten. The band’s music is hard-driving post-punk, but its sensibility is very specifically Irish — from the evocations of the city that gives the band its geographic appellation to Chatten’s voice, not remotely mid-Atlantic.

Recently the band’s drummer, Tom Coll, found himself spending a lot of time in his childhood home in County Mayo, in the far west of Ireland, a “vast, mountainous landscape, a place that vividly recalled my childhood memories of old Irish traditional music”, and contemplating the rural traditions to which his band are forging an updated urban counterpart. He took the opportunity to compile 11 of his favourite traditional songs, old and new, into this limited-run compilation.

The historical roots of the songs run deep. The earliest recording here is of Joe Heaney, a Connemara sean-nós singer who died in 1984, singing “Oro, Se Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile”. But the song recalls the 16th-century chieftain and pirate Grace O’Malley; the welcome it extends to her imagined homecoming made the song popular during the war of independence and thereafter. Paul Brady sings his 1970s version of “Arthur McBride”, a song that originated in the 1840s, in which the narrator and his cousin get into an altercation with an (English) recruiting sergeant and corporal and a drummer boy that ends with the Irishmen beating the soldiers, throwing their swords in the sea and using the drum as a football. Lisa O’Neill, much more recently, performs “The Factory Girl” — whose narrator brushes off a rich suitor with the reflection that “love and temptation are our ruination” — after the singing of Margaret Barry, with harmonies from Radie Peat of Lankum.

As well as the songs there are powerful instrumental performances. Planxty perform the waltz “Sí Bheag, Sí Mhor”, the first composition of the blind harper Turlough O’Carolan, Liam O’Flynn’s uilleann pipes a-skirl. The Bothy Band (formed by Dónal Lunny after he left Planxty) charge through “Martin Wynn’s” and “The Longford Tinker”, Tommy Peoples’s fiddle to the fore. The album ends with The Dubliners’ song of farewell, “The Parting Glass”, Ronnie Drew biting down hard on the consonants, stern enough to ward off any sentimentality. “Goitse A Thaisce” means, roughly, “come here, darling” — and as an introduction to the tradition, this invitation is well worth accepting.

By: Financial Times

1. Martin Wynn's / The Longford Tinker - The Bothy Band
2. Arthur McBride - Andy Irvine & Paul Brady
3. Apples In Winter - Dervish
4. Bacach Shíol Andaí - Ye Vagabonds
5. Farewell To Whalley Range - Sharon Shannon / Mike McGoldrick / Jim Murray / Dezi Donnelly
6. Sí Bheag, Sí Mhor - Planxty
7. Oro, Se Do Bheatha 'Bhaile - Joe Heaney
8. Méiltí Cheann Dubhrann / Cloch Na Ceithre Mhíle - Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Frankie Kennedy
9. Joihn Doherty's / Charlie McKernon's / The Antrim Rose - Emer Mayock
10. The Factory Girl - Lisa O'Neill
11. The Parting Glass - The Dubliners.


Goitse A Thaisce – (A Compilation of Irish Music Volume One) Skinty Records TPR004 curated by Tom Coll. This is a limited edition run of 1000 records to be released on heavyweight 180g vinyl only.