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Songs to entertain the Irish Elders

JulieF 23 Feb 06 - 09:06 AM
Morticia 23 Feb 06 - 09:14 AM
JulieF 23 Feb 06 - 09:26 AM
Big Mick 23 Feb 06 - 09:31 AM
Kara 23 Feb 06 - 09:32 AM
Emma B 23 Feb 06 - 09:39 AM
JulieF 23 Feb 06 - 09:42 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 06 - 09:43 AM
JulieF 23 Feb 06 - 09:44 AM
Snuffy 23 Feb 06 - 09:47 AM
JulieF 23 Feb 06 - 09:53 AM
Kara 23 Feb 06 - 10:57 AM
JulieF 24 Feb 06 - 09:21 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 24 Feb 06 - 09:52 AM
JulieF 24 Feb 06 - 09:59 AM
Den 24 Feb 06 - 10:35 AM
sian, west wales 24 Feb 06 - 10:45 AM
ard mhacha 24 Feb 06 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,JTT 24 Feb 06 - 01:45 PM
Grab 24 Feb 06 - 02:07 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 24 Feb 06 - 02:13 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 24 Feb 06 - 02:16 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 06 - 03:37 PM
Kaleea 24 Feb 06 - 05:13 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Feb 06 - 05:39 PM
ard mhacha 25 Feb 06 - 06:45 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 25 Feb 06 - 02:43 PM
GUEST 25 Feb 06 - 07:00 PM
GUEST 25 Feb 06 - 07:06 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Feb 06 - 05:34 AM
JulieF 26 Feb 06 - 09:53 AM
GUEST 26 Feb 06 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,25 Feb 06 - 07:00 PM 26 Feb 06 - 02:16 PM
Noreen 26 Feb 06 - 06:58 PM
GUEST 26 Feb 06 - 08:47 PM
Beer 26 Feb 06 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Feb 06 - 10:22 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Feb 06 - 05:18 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Feb 06 - 07:58 AM
Beer 27 Feb 06 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Jim I 27 Feb 06 - 07:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Feb 06 - 08:08 PM
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Subject: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:06 AM

Its that time of year again and I've got a gig entertaining at the Irish Elders Sheffield St Pat's lunch. ( Two of them this time - lunches not elders).

I found that it has to be at least two to one chorus to non-chorus and its not a good place to try and do anything they don't know. The main problem I have is that I didn't learn these songs at my mother's knee , although I can get away with throwing a couple of very well known Scottish ones in - the success of the Skye boat song rather threw me last year. I think I'm probably missing some of the obvious ones.

So please throw some songs at me.

J


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Morticia
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:14 AM

what do you have so far, so we know not to repeat?


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:26 AM

Let's see

Star of the County Down
Fields of Athenry
Black Velvet Band
I'ld tell me ma
Love is Teasing
Molly Malone
Whiskey in the Jar
Ild Take you home Kathleen ( If I can get it right this year)
Dublin in the rare old time
The wild rover
Dirty old town
The Galway Shawl ( if the bloke how normally sings it isn't there)
leaving of Liverpool
The Green fields of France (?)
Clare to here (If I can pitch it and its sound OK unaccompanied)

Scottish

Skye Boat song
Wild Mountain Tyme (Yes I know that could be in the above list)

non - Chrous
Carrickfergus
Down by the Sally Gardens
The Town I Loved so Well.


As I said I've got quite a few but I can't help thinking I'm missing something that they might really enjoy.

Thanks
J


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:31 AM

That is a very good list. I have found that the old music hall songs go well with this crowd (assuming from the name of the group that it is senior citizens). I have found that "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" seems to go over big every time. Not one of my favorites, but I am not there for me.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Kara
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:32 AM

Hi Julie
How about
I wish I was back home in Derry, is always good for a sing along
Spencel Hill.
and Danny Boy. (or is that going a touch to far)?

Kara


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Emma B
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:39 AM

Some Percy French?

The Mountains of Mourne
Are Ye Right There, Michael?


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:42 AM

I might give when Irish eyes are smiling a go- as you say you're not doing for yourself and its good for me to do different things once a year.

I had forgotten about back home in Derry - Thanks Kara

As for Danny boy. Well two years ago when I was still very wet behind the ears I stood up and sang Danny Boy for this lot and they all got very emotional. Apparently it was sung to the group each time one of them died which you might imagine was reasonably frequent. I was completely mortified and it amused certain musicians for a long, long time.   Consequently , I never do Danny Boy unless I'm specifically asked ( preferably by many people with a written disclaimer)

Thanks again


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:43 AM

On Raglan Road
Mountains of Mourne
Galway Bay
My heart's tonight in Ireland.

Wild Rover..if they're up for a spot of table banging.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:44 AM

Sorry Emma - cross posted

Yes - The Mountains of Mourne is an idea - the last line is the refrain isn't it so they could join in with that.

J


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:47 AM

Galway Bay
Mountains of Mourne
Finnegan's Wake
Red is the Rose/Loch Lomond
The Rising of the Moon
Kelly the Boy from Killane
The Foggy Dew
The Spanish Lady

to name but a few, and .... anything ever recorded by the Dubliners (or Josef Locke)


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:53 AM

Now I thought about Red is the Rose but I can't sing it, it always comes out as Loch Lommond with all the proper words !   When I started hanging around with the Irish in Sheffield I found that they had all the tunes I knew but they insisted on singing the wrong words. :-)


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Kara
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 10:57 AM

Well I would never do danny boy without a disclaimer either, but I just thought you might heve been more game then me.

I did one new years eve when fronting a Breton Rock band decide the ideal way to open the set would be an unaccompanied rendering of Ould langsign (or however you spell it) believing that everyone would join in. But no one in Brittany has ever heard of ould Langsign so I had to do the whole thing on my own while people looked at me like I was a wee bit perculiar.

Oh well you live and learn don't you.

Kara


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 09:21 AM

You have my sympathy Kara - I would tend to assume that everyone knew Auld Lang Syne as well.   I'm always amazed at what people do know and what they don't. You think you've got something really obscure and they all join in with gusto ( ususally doing a slightly different version), you think you'ld treat them to a well known song and no one shows the least bit of recognition.   I am still waiting for someone to claim that one of my own songs was sung by their grandparents.   Saying that I once sang a tune back to a friend and it turned out that he had written it.

I don't think its gameness that keeps me from singing Danny boy - its the memory of a roomfull of over emotional, over seventy year olds.

Thanks everyone for you help once again.

J


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 09:52 AM

"I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls" is a great favourite among that age group here (I live in Ireland), and although it's officially an opera aria, it's sung so often that it's nearly become a folk song, and it suits simple accompaniment quite well. It was composed by a Dublin man, which may be part of the reason for its popularity. Since I don't see it in the DigiTrad I'll put the lyrics at the bottom - there are only two verses. It has a sing-along-able repeated refrain line that a lot of them are bound to remember, and it's very easy to pick up if it's new to anyone.

I strongly second the suggestion of Percy French, especially the comic ones. Are Ye Right There Michael is a standout, with a great rousing sway-along (as well as sing-along) chorus; and there's also "The Pretty and The Plain" (sometimes known as McBreen's Heiffer). "Michael" is in the DigiTrad, and I posted the lyrics to "McBreen" in a thread of the same name (?? I think). One of the clones kindly did a LyricsAdd thing, so it's lurking in the Cat's belly somewhere.

What a great-sounding gig!


I DREAMT I DWELT IN MARBLE HALLS

Michael Balfe (1808-1870)
From "The Bohemian Girl"

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
With vassals and serfs at my side
And of all who assembled within those walls
That I was the hope and the pride
I had riches too great to count [and] could boast
Of a high ancestral name
But I also dreamt, which pleased me most
That you loved me still the same
That you loved me, loved me still the same
That you loved me, loved me still the same

I dreamt that suitors sought my hand
That knights upon bended knee
With vows no maiden heart could withstand
Did pledge their faith to me
I dreamt that one of that noble host
Came forth my hand to claim
But I also dreamt, which pleased me most
That you loved me still the same
That you loved me, loved me still the same
That you loved me, loved me still the same


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 09:59 AM

Hi Bonnie

Those ones are completely new to me - so perhaps something to learn for next year - can manage the odd operatic sounding bit occasionally. Any ideas on who may have recorded any of these ?

Thanks
J


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Den
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:35 AM

I find the song Sweet Sixteen goes down well with the old folks as done by the Furey's. Not sure of its origins but they seem to love it.

When first I saw the love light in your eyes
I thought the world held naught but joy for me
And even though we drifted far apart
I never dream but what I dream of thee.

Chorus:
I love you as I've never loved before
Since first I saw you on the village green
Come to me or my dream of love is o'er
I love you as I loved you
When you were sweet,
when you were sweet sixteen.

Last night I dreamt I held your hand in mine
And once again you were my happy bride
I kissed you as I did in Auld Lang Syne
As to the church we wandered side by side

I love you as I never loved before
Sincefirst I met you on the village green
Come to me or my dream of love is O'er
I love you as I loved you,
When you were sweet
When you were sweet sixteen

There may be more to the song than what I've written but that was from memory. Try it out, the old folks I have played it to loved it.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: sian, west wales
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:45 AM

Sweet Forget-me-not is popular in Newfoundland and Ireland. Don't know if your crowd would know it.

siân


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: ard mhacha
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 12:42 PM

Julie F, Brendan O`Dowda recorded all the Percy French songs and almost every Opera diva recorded "Marble Halls", try Joan Sutherlands brilliant recording.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 01:45 PM

I know my love
I know where I'm going
Siúl a Rún
If I Were a Blackbird
Carrickfergus
The Parting Glass
Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go

Careful of I Dreamt I Dwelt, by the way, it's regarded as an unlucky song, as are Green Grow the Rushes, and especially Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Grab
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 02:07 PM

Paddy McGinty's Goat.

If your lungs are up to it, try Rocky Road to Dublin.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 02:13 PM

As Ard Mhacha has pointed out, there are loads of operatic recordings of Marble Halls, either in full-length performances (or excerpts) of Bohemian Girl, or in albums of assorted arias.

But my whole point is, you don't need an operatic voice to sing this song - have a listen to Enya's recorded version of it! It's the sort of thing that suits informal treatment very nicely and is not hard to learn.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 02:16 PM

JTT, why is Marble Halls regarded as unlucky? I've heard it sing countless times here (by the native Irish) and never heard of any superstition associated with it. Can you let us know more?


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 03:37 PM

Mother Machree

When you and I were young, Maggie

one revolutionary song like Black and Tans or Broad Black Brimmer, yes I know they're out of style, that's why just one.

Lanigan's Ball


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Kaleea
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 05:13 PM

My Irish Granny's favorite song was The Rose of Tralee.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 05:39 PM

Ballad of Seth Davey
Step it out Mary
Marie's wedding
Bold Robert Emmett
The Wind that shakes the Barley
Fields of Athenrae
Champion he was a Dandy
Young Ned of the Hill
The Old Alarm Clock
Paddy lay Back
Paddy works on the Railway
The hot Ashphalt


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:45 AM

Bonnie Shaljean, I never heard of the superstition surrounding Marble Halls, but I recall an old friend giving a lovely rendering of the song one night in our Club, he died the next day from a heart attack, well he was 79, so we will give Marble Halls the benefit of the doubt, a true story.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 02:43 PM

I've had occasion to ask the singers around here ("here" is Cork and a couple of people from Limerick) and no one's ever heard of misfortunes associated with this song. I wish JTT would shed a bit more light!


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 07:00 PM

Assuming our original querent is talking about performing for Irish American seniors for St Patrick's Day, rather than Irish seniors living in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day (the list of songs would be dramatically different between the two):

My Wild Irish Rose
Eileen Aroon
Harrigan
Arthur McBride/Bold Robert Emmet (the two are pretty interchangeable)
McNamara's Band
How are Things in Glocca Mora
Did Your Mother Come From Ireland
Erin Go Bragh
Galway Races
Four Leaf Clover
Irish Rover
Sweet Rosie O'Grady
Too-A-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra/Irish Lullaby

My set list would definitely include Danny Boy (it is a top 5 favorite of the current dying generation of Irish Americans), but since you said that one was out of the question because of the circumstances particular to that nursing home, of course not.

But I would never do The Parting Glass at a nursing home. Too sad. Nostalgia is what they want (which is why Danny Boy is usually fine). Keep it light, give 'em what they want. It's what they are paying you for, after all. Not YOUR taste in music, but your ability to perform the songs that conform to THEIR taste in music.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 07:06 PM

Sorry! Just reread the original poster's request--appears she is in Merry Ole, not the colonies.

My bad.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 05:34 AM

"querent" - nice piece of elegant variation in the English prose. Keep it up!


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: JulieF
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 09:53 AM

I love being referred to as a 'querent'. Someone who asks and enquires as they would say where I come from origionally - 'Well ye've got a guid tongue in y're heid' ( even if I can't spell)

Thanks for all the help again.   A couple have come up that I will dust off and several that I should know for when the occasion needs I will learn in the longer term.

The difference in the American List is particularly interesting.   We don't have a problem doing the Parting Glass at all.   I am aware that they want to hear songs they know but they all know these songs much better than I do and some will still sing their party pieces much better than I ever could.   Its actually not a nursing home but a series of lunches for the elderly in Irish Community ( although any elderly person can come). They are organised through the year as a social gathering and there is occssional entertainment.

J


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 01:42 PM

I think it would all depend on whether they are going to dance or not. Too many songs to pick from.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST,25 Feb 06 - 07:00 PM
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 02:16 PM

The American list is pretty typical of what gets played at civic St Patrick's Day celebrations in the US, despite the popular fad traditional Irish music became in the US in the 1990s and early aughts, which is but a faded memory now.

I agree, the differences are quite interesting, and reflect very different cultural histories. The stuff masters and PhD theses are made of, to be sure. One day, the musicians will be performing selections from Riverdance to us seniors both sides the ponds, eh?

The Parting Glass is often performed in bars, but it is also used as a funeral piece for Irish Americans this side the pond, hence my suggestion it isn't appropriate in a nursing home setting here. Whether it would be appropriate at a St Paddy's Day luncheon at the senior center would depend upon the audience too.

Since many of the residents of nursing homes and elder guests at St Paddy's Day luncheons will not be Irish, the "Irishness" of the lyric (for want of a better description of the cultural differences in how the song is viewed in the US vs Ireland and Britain) wouldn't translate well, IMO. In other people's opinion, it might.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Noreen
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 06:58 PM

Pride of Petrovar (Eileen Og)
The Spinning Wheel
Eileen Aroon


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:47 PM

Bejazus, we're fergittin' the whole point of the day!

what's the proper title of the one about how St. Patrick came from decent people?

And for heaven's sake, we've got to have "The Wearin' of the Green"!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Beer
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 09:19 PM

Anything by Isla Grant.
Beer


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 10:22 PM

The Pride of Pimlico.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 05:18 AM

and The soldier's Song - just so they know you've finished.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 07:58 AM

The Bantry Girl's Lament is lovely.No chorus but verses end with a similar line.
Easy And Slow has a chorus that will remind them of their youth.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Beer
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 09:16 AM

Come March 17th, here is a list of the ones I do:
In Search of The rose
Sweet Forget-Me-Not
The Old Accordian Man
Wind That Shakes The corn
The Prisoner Song
A Mother's Love is a Blessing
Black Velvet Band
Mountains of Mourne
Working Man
Welcome Poor Paddy Home
John Williams
Winding Old River
Wasen't that a Party
Waltzing Mathilda
After the Ball Is Over
Lovely Rose of Claire
Spring Comes To Spiddal
Carrighfergus
Wild colonial Boy
Steal Away
Reilly's Daughter
Come By The Hills
MacNamara's band
Spencil Hill
Long Before Your Time
Leaving Tipperary
Donnie Gal
No Change In Me
The Spinning Wheel
Tell My Ma
Hills of Connemara
40 Shades of Green
When Will We Be Marrid
Flight of the Earls
Rose of My Heart
Ireland Over Here
Rich Man's Garden.


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 07:06 PM

Not really anything specific to add but do you know any of the origins of your audience? i.e. which counties they call home?

Lovely Leitrim
Among the Wicklow Hills
Boys of Killybegs (Donegal)
Clare to Here
The Boys from the County Cork
Star of the County Down
The Limerick Rake
The Kerry Dancers (or whatever it's called- theme from "The Quiet Man"
Dublin in the Rare ould Times


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Subject: RE: Songs to entertain the Irish Elders
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 08:08 PM

for waltzes

Black velvet Band
Galway Shawl
Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff
wild rover

place ones are popular
My Donegal shore
The Old Dungarvan Oak
moonlight in Mayo
Slievenammon
Rose of Clare
Mary of Dungloe
Muirsheen Durkin

have a good time on the 17th - wish I was still up to it.


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