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Marc Gunn | Happy Songs of Death (The Wake)

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United States - Louisiana

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Folk: Celtic Folk World: Celtic Moods: Mood: Fun
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Happy Songs of Death (The Wake)

by Marc Gunn

It's Irish. A joyful juxtaposition of the morbid and the comic that celebrates murder ballads, the Black Death and life through death.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Isn't It Grand, Boys?
4:01 $0.99
2. Won't You Come with Me?
2:23 $0.99
3. Twa Corbies
3:04 $0.99
4. Clementine Blues
4:49 $0.99
5. Johnny Jump Up
3:46 FREE
6. Jug of Punch
2:23 $0.99
7. Red, Red and Black
2:18 $0.99
8. Whiskey, You're the Devil
2:39 $0.99
9. High Jeannie High
2:12 $0.99
10. Rosin the Bow
2:55 $0.99
11. Foggy Dew
4:01 $0.99
12. Waxies Dargle
2:13 $0.99
13. I'll Drink from Dusk 'Til Dawn
3:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In memory of Michael Younger.

"Happy Songs of Death" is a joyful juxtaposition of the morbid and the comic that celebrates murder ballads, the Black Death and starving to death. Celtic songs, American songs - and notably several of Marc Gunn's original compositions all affirm that death is just the other side of life! Artists through the centuries have found inspiration in these same themes. Join Marc Gunn in a fresh look at all things mortal.
"Life does not cease to be funny when people die anymore than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." - G. B. Shaw
This album began many years ago when I was introduced to the music of Italian musician Angelo Branduardi. He had a delightful little song called "La Pulce D'Acqua". One day, I decided to translate it and found out the title meant "the flea of the water". Intriguing, I thought. So I tried translating more and a wild idea came to me. This song was about the Black Death!

In fact, it wasn't, according to some Italian friends who actually understood the meaning of it. I was disappointed by that, but thought it would be cool to write an upbeat song about death. Then while chatting with Andrew McKee, my former bandmate with the Brobdingnagian Bards, the title arose--Happy Songs of Death. It took me four years or so for the album to come about, but here it is.

The songs are an upbeat mix of traditional folk songs and original songs about death. There are murder ballads, people rising from the dead, war, my own song inspired by the Black Death, and a general celebration of the dead.

I was so excited about this album that I had TWO CD covers designed for it. One by Ingrid Houwers who desiged by Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers CDs and the other by Nikki O'Shea who designed my What Color Is Your Dragon? CD and the Bards Comic.

Produced by Ari Koinuma, www.hashimusic.com
Graphics by Ingrid Houwers, www.imbascreations.com
and Nikki O'Shea, www.dragonpressgraphics.com



to write a review


Happy Songs of Death
Love this CD! Anything Marc Gunn does is magicial and very creative! The song the Foggy Dew has an interesting twist, blues/jazz! What a concept with a traditional song! A song about the Black Death! Red, Red and Black is one of my favorite songs of the album. It not really seem like a song about a catastrophic event in history! It is very bouncy and "happy" sounding. Marc Gunn has talent and this cd showcases that talent. There are no words to describe the talent of this artist. But, if I had to use words, awesome, magically, creative, sincere, heart felt, and WOW!

Ivan Sack

Great Celtic Music
This is (as weird as it may sound) a fun album I have been listening to it continuously since I purchased it (specifically for Johnny Jump up) and have yet to tire of any of it! Thanks Marc for recording these bloody fine songs, I will enjoy them for many a year to come.


Good CD
A celebration of death in a funny and fun way, as you look at life.

Dennis Comeaux

An incredibly original take on the unpleasant subject of death
I have been listening to this work for a while now and I have come to realize that Marc put a significant amount of research into this album. There are scores of Irish songs about death and I really think that this CD captures the best of them and they are played in Marc's original and memorable style along with the robust vocals that Marc has been given by God.

He truly outdid himself with this album. Well thought out, quality recording, and definitely well played and sung.


happy songs...
Crows, knives and dead men, they keep me company hearing this CD full of scary but funny stories, in a perfect irish style. All served with the beautiful voice of Marc Gunn and the particular sound of his instrument.
Three of these "happy songs" are originally composed by him in his unique style and going round the web you can even find an amusing video of "Won't you come with me" with a special appearance of Marc.
An easy and funny CD to listen to.

Martine Pauwels

So far my favorite
I'm not the kind of person to go bragging about it in lots of words. Let me just say: listen and let the songs speak for themselves. My favorites are "Twa Corbies" and "Waxies Dargle", since I am a lot into traditional music, but I never expected myself to get into the bluesy "Foggy Dew" and "Clementine Blues". Also the new song "Red Red and Black" is great. It opens my view on things. This is my favorite album from my favorite artist so far. Seeing him perform live in Ireland really ade my day
To me this album can be a bit double, since I always had this strange bound with death. Also lucky number 13 is in for the tracks on it. Love them all, eventough might have spooked Marc a bit with pointing some things out.