Sleeve notes (excerpts)
This album marks the addition of Bob Clancy, who joins his three brothers in celebrating Christmas in song with a group of very unusual and delightful selections of the season. His picture is to the far right on the cover. In case you don't know, the other Clancy lads (l. to r.) are Pat, Tom and Liam. Thank you for your kind attention.
Reviews by Sean McGuinness
This was the first album without Tommy Makem. In his place, we find Bobby Clancy and, although uncredited on the album itself, Finbar and Eddie Furey play and sing (Finbar on uilleann pipes and whistle; Eddie on guitars). Its interesting that it took three people to "replace" Tommy Makem.
This is a truly great album and thankfully it has been released on CD in its entirety. The album cover is terrific. The only complaint about this record is that it is too short. Amazingly enough this album was recorded in the summer of 1969 in London. It almost feels as if it were recorded during a Christmas party.
"Buala Bas", which is a bilingual version of "Jingle Bells" starts the album off with great festivity. Liam's tender version of "Sing We The Virgin Mary" bring us back to the point of the season. "The Holly Tree", a version of "The Holly and the Ivy" is next, followed by "Angels We Have Heard on High."
Both songs were recorded with the brothers trading vocals as they do on most of the songs on this album. An obscure Appalachian version of "The Cherry Tree Carol" entitled "When Joseph Was an Old Man" is next and it is truly great. Side one closes with the festive party song " Christmas In Carrick" (you can hear the Fureys sing on this one). Its great fun.
Side two starts with "Silent Night" and although they don't know the correct words to the second verse, this is a lovely version. Again, you can hear Eddie Furey singing on this one. Another obscure song, "Lovely Far Off City" is next, which is followed by the Scottish song "Christ Child Lullaby", which was translated from Scots Gaelic by Seamus Ennis. "Curroo Curroo", also known as "The Carol of the Birds" is next with Paddy taking the lead. "The Wren Song" closes the album out with more fun and frivolity, including a harmonica interlude, courtesy of Paddy and Bobby, featuring the melody of "The Boys From The County Cork."
A truly great album, which I rate an A.
Reviews Copyright © Sean McGuinness, 2001-2015