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Boreen: Enchanted Ways

Boreen: Enchanted Ways (LC 4672)

Enchanted Ways

LC 4672 (CD, Germany, 1997)

Produced by Boreen 1997;
Recorded and mixed by Jan Grohmann-Falke Groh PA & Licht, Bendestorf February 1997;
Mastered by Jochen Hinsch Audio Mastering Hamburg;
Cover & Typo: Heike Prange;
Photography: Jane O'Brien

Ulrich Klüber, Gregor Griegoleit, Jane O'Brien, Heike Prange, Reinhard “Zuchi” ZuchMusicians

Jane O'Brien: vocals, bodhrán, triangle;
Reinhard “Zuchi” Zuch: vocals, guitar, cittern;
Ulrich Klüber: uilleann pipes, tin whistle, vocals;
Gregor Griegoleit: button accordion, flute, tin whistle, mouth harp, vocals;
Heike Prange: fiddle, viola, bones, vocals

with guest:
Thomas Breckheimer: harp


  1. The Dusty Miller / The Glen Road to Carrick (2.55)
  2. The Blacksmith (Roud 816) (5.23)
  3. Peoples' Jigs (3.31)
  4. The Dutchman / The Trip to Cullenstown (6.40)
  5. In the Town of Ballabay (2.21)
  6. The Nameless Child / An Meantán Gorm (4.05)
  7. The Spike Island Lasses / Jenny Picking Cockles / The Ivy Leaf (4.37)
  8. My Lagan Love (Roud 1418) (3.47)
  9. Cajun Two-Step / The Coast of Austria (3.39)
  10. Crazy Man Michael (4.45)
  11. Padraig O'Keeffe's / Eileen O'Riordan's / Going to the Well for Water (3.23)
  12. The Cat She Went A-Hunting (3.42)

Sleeve Notes and Texts

“Boreens” are enchanted ways throughout Ireland. You will find them everywhere off the mainroads. Be it an old green road, be it a lane leading to some fields or a ruined home, a by-way leading up some mountain, or a track along some rugged sea-shore, a lane into a forest or a trail along a river... Whrerever they are, they have some things in common: magic, wilderness and music! Walking down a boreen you will surely meet the Little Folk with their songs and tunes, represented by the chirping of small birds, the sound of little streams nearby or the breaking of the waves on the seashore... Many a tune was composed while walking along a boreen, no wonder; what better inspiration could you get? The group Boreen is committed to haunting old and new songs, slow airs and fast dance tunes...

The Dusty Miller / The Glen Road to Carrick

(single jig and reel) trad. arr. Boreen

The single or slip jig starting this set is an unusual version of the Dusty Miller learned from Tommy Keane. The second tune is a great Donegal reel closely related to the Chorus reel, which can be found in O'Neill's book, and is even closer to the so called Chorus jig in Ryan's Mammoth Collection.

The Blacksmith

(song) trad. arr. Boreen & Thomas Breckheimer

A song from the old tradition. Blacksmiths of this kind are fairly rare nowadays, as far as the profession is concerned, however when talking about men in general there are still plenty of them around.

Peoples' Jigs

(jigs) trad. arr. Boreen

Two jigs associated with the playing of Tommy and Siobhán Peoples. Some parts of the first one are similar to one of the many “King of the Pipers” jigs. The second is sometimes known as Eileen Flannagan, and it probably has other names.

The Dutchman / The Trip to Cullenstown

(song and reel) Michael P. Smith / Phil Murphy arr. Boreen

This song was made popular by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy. It is followed by a reel composed by the late Phil Murphy, a harmonica player from County Wexford.

The Dutchman's not the kind of man
To keep his thumb jammed in the dam
That holds his dreams in
But that's a secret only Margaret knows
When Amsterdam is golden
In the morning Margaret brings him breakfast
She believes him
He thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snow
He's mad as he can be
But Margaret only sees that sometimes
Sometimes she sees
Her unborn children in his eyes

Chorus (after each verse):
Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuiderzee
Long ago I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me

The Dutchman still wears wooden shoes
His cap and coat are patched with love
That Margaret sewed in
Sometimes he thinks he's still in Rotterdam
He watches tug boats down canals
And calls out to them when he thinks
He knows the captain
Till Margaret comes to take him home again
Through unforgiving streets
That trip him though she holds his arms
Sometimes he thinks that he's alone
And calls her name

The windmills swirl the winter in
She winds his muffler tighter
They sit in the kitchen
And the tea with whiskey keeps away the dew
He sees her for a moment
Calls her name
She makes his bed up
Humming some old love song
She learned it when the tune was very new
He hums a line or two
They hum together in the night
The Dutchman falls asleep and Margret blows the candle out

In the Town of Ballabay

(song) By Tommy Makem c. Keady Music (Ireland), T. Makem arr. Boreen

The story of an early feminist from the town of Ballybay. We have interspersed it with the first part of “Miss McLeods” reel.

In the town of Ballybay there was a lassie dwelling
I knew her very well and her story's worth a-telling
Her father kept a still and he was a good distiller
But when she took to the drink but the “divil” wouldn't fill her

Chorus (after each verse):
With me ring a ding a dong
A ring a ding a daddy o
A ring a ding a dong
Whack for the daddy o

Oh she had a wooden leg that was hollow down the middle
She used to tie a string in it and play it like a fiddle
She fiddled in the hall she fiddled in the alley-way
She didn't give a damn she had to fiddle anyway

Oh she said she couldn't dance unless she had her wellies on
But when she had them on she could dance as well as anyone
She wouldn't go to bed unless she had her shimmy on
And when she had it on she could go as quick as anyone

She had lovers by the score, every Tom and Dick and Harry
She was courtin' night and day But still she wouldn't marry
And then she fell in love with the fella with the stammer
When he tried to run away she hit him with a hammer

She had children up the stairs, she had children in the byre
And another ten or twelve sitting roaring by the fire
She fed them on potatoes and on soup she made with nettles
And of lumps of hairy bacon that she boiled up in the kettle

Oh she led a sheltered life eating porridge and black pudding
And she terrorised her man until he died right sudden -
And when the husband died she was feeling very sorry
So she rolled him in a bag and she threw him in the quarry

The Nameless Child / An Meantán Gorm

(slow air and jig) Ulrich Klüber / Gregor Griegoleit arr. Boreen & Thomas Breckheimer

Ulrich did not have a name for his slow air, so it was christened “The Nameless Child”. The song of blue tits visiting Gregor's balcony gave him the inspiration for his jig.

The Spike Island Lasses / Jenny Picking Cockles / The Ivy Leaf

(reels) trad. arr. Boreen

Spike Island is a small island in the mouth of the Lee. The second reel is a standard, very popular among pipers. The final reel is a northern version of the tune learned from the playing of Tara Diamond and P.J. Crotty. On a German production, Micho Russell's version was named “I will leave” (!)

My Lagan Love

(song) trad. arr. Boreen & Thomas Breckheimer

And old but still moving song, with a lovely melody and a slow chase through the depths of Irish musical moods.

Where Lagan streams sing lullaby
There blows a lily fair
The twilight gleam is in her eye
And the dawn is on her hair
But like a love-sick lenanshee
She has my heart in thrall
No life I own nor liberty
For love is lord of all

And often when the beetle's horn
Hath lulled her eyes to sleep
I steal up to her sheiling lorn
And through the dooring peep
There by the cricket's singing stone
She stirs the bog-wood fire
And hums in sweet sad undertones
The song of heart's desire

Her welcome like her love for me
Is from the heart within
Her warm kiss is felicity
That knows no taint nor sin
When she was only very small
Her gentle mother died
But true love keeps her memory warm
By Lagan's silver side

Cajun Two-Step / The Coast of Austria

(two-step and reel) trad. arr. Boreen / Sean Ryan, arr. Boreen

Gregor got the first tune of this set from a recording by Nathan Abshire and his Pine Grove Boys. The reel following was composed by Sean Ryan the great tin whistle player from Galway. There must be more to Austria than you would think!

Crazy Man Michael

(song) Richard Thompson arr. Boreen

A song about visions interfering with reality, sung by Zuchi

Padraig O'Keeffe's / Eileen O'Riordan's / Going to the Well for Water

(slide) trad. arr. Boreen

Some slides, like Polkas, have many names, others have none. The first one has plenty, i.e. Denis Murphy's, Julia Clifford's etc. The third one is also known as “The Kaiser”.

The Cat She Went A-Hunting

S. Condell, arr. Boreen & Thomas Breckheimer

This song by Sonny Condell and “Scullion” was first recorded in the 70's and has been a favourite of Jane's ever since. We've combined it with a jig called “The Creel of Turf”.

The cat she went a-hunting and found the barn a-blazing
In fact she's come a-calling, a-calling, a-calling
Wake up farm boys! The barn is burning down!

Chorus (after each verse):
And the cat she's got to hide herself behind the rat she's eating
So as not to show a smirk and maybe get a beating
The farmer slips on his dungarees and he falls down the stairs

The rats came out in their hundreds and the cat she caught a-plenty
She's got the artful dodger, the dodger, the dodger
She spied him in the burning hay the barn is burning down!

The fire brigade is coming and frying chicken singing
And we'll be sitting on boiled eggs, on boiled eggs, on boiled eggs
So open the cage and hose us down we may get a dozen a day

The roof is starting to crumble, sparks fly up in the night sky
The dogs are wearing their tails down, their tails down, their tails down
The boys have made a chain in the yard and they're passing the pails along

The cat she went a-hunting and found the barn a-blazing
In fact she's come a-calling, a-calling, a-calling
Wake up farm boys! The barn is burning down!


Die lang ersehnte Boreen-CD Enchanted Ways ist endlich fertig geworden. Sehr ansprechend ist schon das Coverbild von Heike Prange, eine wolkenverhangene Landschaft mit einem schmalen Feldweg (gälisch “Boreen”).

Der Titel Enchanted Ways zu deutsch “Bezaubernde Wege”, zeigt die musikalische Stilrichtung an - der Zuhörer soll von den zarten Harfenklängen und Slow Airs auf den uilleann Piles verzaubert werden. Die Lieder, bis auf Crazy Man Michael, (Reinhard Zuch) alle von Jane O'Brien gesungen, sind mal sanfte Balladen wie The Blacksmith, das ich vorher von Planxty kannte (aber die Boreen-Version gefällt mir noch besser), dann aber auch deftige Songs wie The Town of Ballabay, wo die Frau ihren Liebhaber mit dem Hammer schlägt, als er weglaufen will, und auch wilde und komische Lieder wie The Cat She Went A-Hunting, von der Katze, die im brennenden Heuschober Ratten fängt, während der Bauer die Treppe runterfällt.

Resümee: Die schönste CD, die ich in diesem Jahr gehört habe.

Wilhelm Zimmer, Hamburger Folk-Magazin, Mai/Juni 1997