Coole Park
2010-03-04
Traditional, Arranged by Aaron Solomon

Story

A medley of traditional Irish tunes (Old Hag, You Have Killed Me/ Whelan’s Jig/ Peter O’Byrne’s Fancy) that build like an approaching Celtic army. The vocals at the end remind us how the Celts used to stick decapitated heads onto their fences in the belief that the heads would scream whenever enemies came near. Eist!
Coole Park
2010-03-04
Traditional, Arranged by Aaron Solomon

Story

“Enniskillen” is a large town in Northern Ireland. A “dragoon” is a mounted infantry soldier. Many Irish soldiers fought in Spain during the Peninsular War (1808-1814) against Napoleon and the French Empire.

Lyrics

    Well, Our troop was made ready at the dawn of the day,
    From lovely Enniskillen they were marching us away.
    They put us then on board a ship to cross the raging main,
    To fight in bloody battle in the sunny land of Spain.
 
    Chorus:
         Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while,
         And all around the borders of Erin's green isle,
         And when the war is over we'll return in full bloom,
         And we'll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons.
 
    Oh Spain it is a gallant land where wine and ale flow free.
    There’s a lot of lovely women there to dandle on your knee,
    And often in a tavern there we'd make the rafters ring
    When every soldier in the house would raise his glass and sing:
    
    Well we fought for Ireland's glory there and many a man did fall,
    From musket and from bayonet and from thundering cannon ball,
    And many a foeman we laid low, amid the battle throng,
    And as we prepared for action you would often hear this song:
 
    Well now the fighting's over and for home we have set sail.
    Our flag above this lofty ship is fluttering in the gale.
    They've given us a pension, boys, of fourpence each a day,
    And when we reach Enniskillen never more we'll have to say:
Coole Park
2010-03-04
Lori Ference, Aaron Solomon

Lyrics

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000191 EndHTML:0000004240 StartFragment:0000002397 EndFragment:0000004204 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/lori/Downloads/WATER JOURNEYS LINER NOTES.doc

Watching, waiting for something to arrive

Upstream, downstream

Standing on the side

Behind me is the house I’ve built

From the ground to the sky

Where would I go if I had to decide?

 

Inside these doors on well-worn floors

Sit pieces of my past

All my furniture

That was made to last

My home’s familiar but is it getting stale?

Comfort and security can also be a jail.

 

Stop looking back

You have to move on

If you look back you’re chained to your past so break the chains.

Stop looking back

You have to move on

See where the river bends and go there

Go there

Coole Park
2010-03-04
Traditional, Arranged by Aaron Solomon

Story

A couple of traditional Irish tunes done in an untraditional way.

Coole Park
2010-03-04
Lori Ference, Aaron Solomon

Story

Story Summary

The Empress of Ireland was a Canadian Pacific ocean liner.  While sailing down the St. Lawrence River on May 29th, 1914, sometime after 2 AM, she collided with another ship, the Norwegian collier Storstad.  The Empress sank in 14 minutes.  Out of 1477 passengers and crew they lost 1012 people, 8 more than were lost on the Titanic.  This was Canada's deadliest maritime disaster.  Possibly because it happened two years after the Titanic went down and two months before World War 1 started, the tragedy of the Empress of Ireland seems to get buried in this eventful historical period and is too often forgotten.

Writer's Notes

One day Aaron played part of a little tune that he'd composed and asked if I'd like to put lyrics to it. Often when he does this, I will start to get images in my head or a theme will come to me. This little tune had me thinking of the story of the Titanic. Sometime thereafter, Aaron had a dream where he was a young woman on an ocean liner, living out little personal dramas that really didn’t matter once I found myself drowning in the water and watching the ship sink. 

A few weeks after Aaron's dream, I spotted an interesting image of an ocean liner on an National Film Board catalogue beside the description of a documentary about "The Empress of Ireland"

This became my introduction to this relatively unknown, yet great Canadian disaster story. It was as if the spirits of those who had lost their lives had reached out to us to share their story with a wider audience via music.

Surely, many who have watched James Cameron's "Titanic"  were gripped by the soundtrack and may even remember the lively Irish tune played below deck in the wee hours before the ship collided with the iceberg.  There is something haunting about the fullness of life expressed in this tune considering what happened thereafter. 

And, it is this sort of fullness that I felt when I first heard Aaron's musical idea for this song. Thus, I hungrily digested books about the Empress of Ireland story to expand upon the lyrical ideas that were coming to me.  After I'd researched the story, the lyrics came in a weekend, flowing through me as if I was only responsible for taking notes. 

-Lori Ference

Lyrics

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000191 EndHTML:0000006068 StartFragment:0000002401 EndFragment:0000006032 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/lori/Downloads/WATER JOURNEYS LINER NOTES.doc

I had a dream where I was a young woman on an ocean liner, living out little personal dramas that really didn’t matter once I found myself drowning in the water and watching the ship sink.  A few weeks after having the dream, Lori and I read about the Empress of Ireland, a ship that was sunk in the St. Lawrence River by a collision with another ship, the Norwegian Collier Sorstad, on May 29th, 1914.  Sometime after 2AM, the Empress was hit and sank in fourteen minutes.  Out of 1,477 passengers and crew they lost 1, 012 people, eight more than were lost on the Titanic.  This was the deadliest Canadian maritime disaster.  Possibly because it happened two years after the Titanic went down and two months before World War I started, the tragedy of the Empress of Ireland seems to get buried in this eventful historical period and is too often forgotten.

 

Down the St. Lawrence, headed for Liverpool

Lawrence and Mabel hold hands at the rail

Ethel in diamonds, the Salvation Army band

Tiria Townshend on a trip round the world

First class meant brown leather, green velvet, tulipwood

Moose antlers stored in an unwanted bag

Bone china, fine linens, Spanish mahogany

On tufted banquettes dined most esteemed guests

Down on the promenade, Ollie led a sing-a-long

Moon and stars shone on the jubilant crowd

Some still wrote letters, played cards, drank a glass of port

Then all retired for a restful first night

Dreams of reunions, homecomings, honeymoons

Meeting grandchildren, grandparent’s delight

The chief steward had found no problems at hand

The Empress of Ireland made her way to sea.

 

Red to red, green to green

The fog dropped its pall; she ran blind through the night.

A collier sliced Empress, some rose from their beds

A swift wall of water soon buried their heads

Lifeboats for all, no time to fill them

In just fourteen minutes the Empress was gone

One thousand twelve souls she took when she dove

The fog left a green glowing graveyard behind.

Coole Park
2010-03-25
Traditional, music arranged by Aaron Solomon, lyrics by Mike Cross (c) Vic-Ray Publishing (ASCAP)

Story


This is a standard instrumental that people in the folk circles play.  Mike Cross did a great job of putting lyrics to it.

Lyrics

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000191 EndHTML:0000004034 StartFragment:0000002398 EndFragment:0000003998 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/lori/Downloads/WATER JOURNEYS LINER NOTES.doc

It was just the other day the sun wouldn't shine
I was walking down the street not feeling too fine
I saw two old men with a bottle between 'em
This is the song that they were singing

 

Lord preserve us and protect us,
We've been drinking whiskey 'fore breakfast

 

Well I walked on over to where they were sitting
And I couldn't believe how drunk they were getting
I said "old men, have you been drinking long?"
“Long enough to be start singing this song!"

 

Well they passed me the bottle saying, “Take a little sip
And it taste so good that I just couldn't quit
So I had another drink.  Next thing I knew
There were three of us sitting there singing this tune

 

Well, one by one everybody in the town
Heard our ruckus and they came on down
And pretty soon all the streets were ringing
With the sound of the whole town laughing and singing

-Lyrics provided by permission of Vic-Ray Publishing-ASCAP

Coole Park
2010-03-04
Traditional, Arranged by Aaron Solomon

Story

This traditional Irish song is usually sung a capella, but is brought to life with instruments in this lively version.

Lyrics

In the merry month of May, From my home I started,

Left the girls of Tuam, so sad and broken hearted,
Saluted me father dear, Kissed me darlin' mother,
Drank a pint of beer, My grief and tears to smother,
Then off to reap the corn, leave where I was born,
I cut a stout blackthorn To banish ghost and goblin,
In a brand new pair of brogues, Rattlin’ o'er the bogs,
And frightened all the dogs On the rocky road to Dublin.

One, two, three, four five,
Hunt the hare and trodden her
Down the rocky road
And all the ways to Dublin,
Whack-fol-lol-de-ra.

In Mullingar that night, I rested limbs so weary,
Started by daylight, Next mornin',bright and early

Took a drop of the pure, To keep my heart from sinking
That's the Paddy’s cure, Whenever he's on for drinking.
To see the lasses smile, Laughing all the while,
At me curious style, 'Twould set your heart a-bubblin'.
They asked if I was hired, The wages I required,
Till I was almost tired Of the rocky road to Dublin.

In Dublin next arrived, I thought it such a pity,
To be so soon deprived A view of that fine city.
Then I took a stroll All among the quality,
My bundle it was stolen In a neat locality;
Something crossed my mind, Then I looked behind;
No bundle could I find, Upon my stick a wobblin'.
Enquirin' for the rogue, They said me Connacht brogue,
Wasn't much in vogue, On the rocky road to Dublin.

From there I got away, My spirits never failin'
Landed on the quay Just as the ship was sailin';
Captain at me roared, Said that no room had he,
When I jumped aboard A cabin found for Paddy,
Down among the pigs Skipped some funny rigs,
I danced some hearty jigs, The water round me bubblin',
When off to Holyhead, I wished myself was dead,
Or better far instead On the rocky road to Dublin.

The boys of Liverpool, When we safely landed,
Called meself a fool; I could no longer stand it;
Blood began to boil, Temper I was losin',
Poor old Erin's isle They began abusin',
"Hurrah my soul," sez I, Shillelagh I let fly;
Some Galway boys were by and Saw I was a hobble in,

With a loud hurray, They joined in the affray.
We quickly cleared the way, For the rocky road to Dublin.

Coole Park
2010-03-04
Traditional, Arranged by Aaron Solomon

Story

There have certainly been a lot of claims as to the origin of this tune.  Not adding to these arguments, it's simply a favorite.

Coole Park
2010-03-04
Lori Ference, Aaron Solomon

Story


Feelings of desperation and drama prevail in this modern theatrical rock song.

Lyrics

Sailing on black water and there is no land in sight                       

Blown far off course

Swells swallow sunlight

Whitecaps in all directions

Knuckles white, ropes tight and we’re

Tensing and shuddering

 

Water closing in

Struggling to stay afloat

Will this sea entomb me?

Struggling to stay afloat

 

CHORUS:

Nothing to do but let go

Let go and hang on your life

Nothing to do but let go

Let go and hang on to your life

 

I see a light on a rock

Loneliness subsides

As the flickering light beckons me on

And on and on

And I know wherever I land

I’m better for the journey had.

Coole Park
2010-03-04
Al Parrish

Story

The writer of this song, Al Parrish, reasoned that if pirating was so unprofitable as songs and stories make out, nobody would have bothered trying it at all.  Here’s a song in testament to the pirates and their efforts.

Lyrics

It was June and it was hot, when on board the ship we got
With shot and powder for the guns and a hogshead full of rum
And salt cod to last until the winter squalls
We made for the southwest where the hunting would be best
Where the Spanish ships of trade down with Aztec silver laden
Were the fairest game for gentlemen of fortune

Chorus:

And with tar on our pigtails and blood on our rapiers
We'll fly the skull and crossbones.  By God, we'll take no prisoners
It's hiho away boys, we'll sail from Traighli Bay boys
Hoist the Jolly Roger at the break of day

From up the crowsnest then, called the third mate, Mr. Flynn
"Set the course and hold 'er steady and for action make 'er ready
There's a Spanish merchant off the starbord bow"
We raised the black flag high, fast the Spaniard turned to fly
We followed in her wake until we could overtake
And dismasted her with chain from cannon fired

We pulled up alongside with our grappling hooks and lines
Guns and cutlasses in hand on the gunwales we did stand
Every hand from the Captain to the cabin boy
Saw three dead the chains had flayed, then we raised and crossed our blades
To their mates we gave our best as the sun set in the west
With pikes and swords, pistols, fists and feet

From the darkness till the dawn as the battle raged on
We fought with manly fitness as we meant to leave no witness
We lost Mr. Flynn and one leg from the cabin boy
But with their treasure we retired and we set a canvas fire
Left her sinking to the deep where their silent bones will sleep
And we forged a leg of gold for the cabin boy

It was August and still warm when to Traighli we returned
Fifty-eight days on the main and we've no need to sail again
We've gold and silver more than we could spend
Now half a century has passed and of that crew I am the last
Fifty years I've roamed these docks and when I get a chance to talk
I tell of how I got this golden leg.

And with tar on our pigtails and blood on our rapiers
We flew the skull and crossbones.  By God we took no prisoners
It's “Heigh Ho, Away” boys, we sailed from Traighli Bay boys
Hoist the Jolly Roger at the break of day

Coole Park
2010-03-04
Dave Stone

Story


A Nova Scotia song created as a wistful tribute to an old ship evoking the irretrievable loss felt by her sailors in her dismantlement.

Lyrics

CHORUS:

Lower the sails, lads, lower the sails
And sing sad farewells to her ropes and her rails
And tear down the masts boys, “Up the planks” to the nails
And we’ll sing our goodbyes to the grand days of sail

Pull down the spars boys that lasted the gales
Adieu to the ratlines, the shrouds and the stays
To the jibs and the topsails, the yards and the chains
And say our goodbyes to the grand days of sail

 So haul down the riggings, her sheets and her lines
And roll up the canvas for the very last time
And once ‘round the capstan, then leave it behind
And say our goodbyes to a lady so fine