Mark Butler & Joe Lynch | Cara: The Weaving of Poetry and Song

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Folk: Irish Traditional Spoken Word: Storytelling Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Cara: The Weaving of Poetry and Song

by Mark Butler & Joe Lynch

An intimate and intricate weaving of original poetry through classic Irish folk songs, where the poem tells a similar story but with a refreshing look at the premise of the song.
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ruby Dearg / The Travelling People
Joe Lynch & Mark Butler
5:11 $0.99
2. Róisín Dubh / Song for Ireland
Joe Lynch & Mark Butler
6:42 $0.99
3. The Celtic Gods / Only Our Rivers Run Free
Joe Lynch & Mark Butler
3:45 $0.99
4. Emily / Raglan Road
Mark Butler & Joe Lynch
6:47 $0.99
5. Paddy's Gold / Fields of Athenry
Joe Lynch & Mark Butler
7:05 $0.99
6. And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda / Somewhere Over in Iraq
Mark Butler & Joe Lynch
10:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
1. Ruby Dearg / The Travelling People (5:09)
This sad/sweet poem tells the story of an Irish gypsy girl whom I knew in my childhood named Ruby Mears. Ruby had spectacular long red hair, so her people called her ‘Ruby Dearg’ meaning ‘Red Ruby’. The ‘Tinkers’ as we called them in those days had a very tough existence and a high mortality rate and so they did whatever they could to survive. Ruby would dance for money in the town square, and she could dance like a dream. There were some who considered her dance too seductive for public view and she would often be banished to more discrete locations.
Mark sings this stirring tribute to the ‘Freeborn Men of the Travelling People’. The song was written by Ewan McColl and is a splendid acknowledgment to the trials of the travelers and gypsies of Britain and Ireland.
2. Róisín Dubh / Song for Ireland (6:40)
For centuries Róisín Dubh has been used as a metaphor for Ireland. It means Black Rose, suggesting mourning. I wrote this poem whilst hiking along the rugged western coastline of Ireland. I was experiencing deep personal grief at the time and even deeper love. This is dedicated to the inextricable link between love and grief.
Fittingly, Song for Ireland was inspired by a trip Phil and June Colclough took to the Dingle Peninsula in Co Kerry, and written by the couple thereafter. Mark’s beautiful rendition of this song marries perfectly with the poem. The song is still described as a modern classic.

3. Life Waters (The Celtic Gods)/Only Our Rivers (3:39)
The late and great Tommy Makem wrote this wonderful poem describing the contribution that Irish poetry and storytelling has made to modern generations across the world, spanning back thousands of years, and deep into ancient Celtic Folklore.
Mark blends Mickey McConnell’s song ‘Only Our Rivers Run Free’ with the Makem poem in a very harmonious way.

4. Emily / Raglan Road (6:41)
I was working in a road gang with about eighty other men. It was hard work and we were hard enough for it. The only break and balance to our drudgery was when the beautiful ‘smoko-girl’ came into the job to nurture us all. We were all in love with Emily. She was everybody’s sweetheart, sister, mother and all things holy and feminine and she possessed that great, yet subtle power that only a woman knows. I wrote this poem for Emily and when I read it to her tears ran down her lovely face.
The poem ‘Emily’ is married here to Patrick Kavanagh’s song ‘Raglan Road’, originally a poem by the famous Irish poet/author, and published in the Irish Press in 1946 under the title, Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away. It was later set to the melody of an old Irish song called, Fáinne Gael an Lae, which loosely translates as The Dawning of the Day and made famous by the wonderful voice of Luke Kelly. Mark makes a fine fist of the classic song.

5. Paddy’s Gold / The Fields of Athenry (6.58)
This is a story I found some years ago whilst revisiting my homeland. I was driving along the Irish countryside one morning, nonchalantly listening to Radio Éireann, when suddenly my ear caught a fresh Australian accent. A young Australian man was telling the Irish radio host of how he came to Ireland to research his convict ancestor who had been transported to Van Diemen’s Land. The visitor found the old derelict prison, which had housed his ancestor. He also found, scratched deep into a cell wall his ancestor’s name and the date of sailing. The visitor said “The Irishman must have left it there for me to find some two centuries later.”
Mark sings The Fields of Athenry, written by Pete St. John. This Irish folk ballad is set during the Great Irish Famine, and it tells the tragic story of approximately 162,000 people transported to Australia under a zero tolerance scheme between 1788 and 1868. It features a lonesome discourse between a young convict (Michael) who is just about to sail and his grieving bride (Mary) whom he will never see again. It has become the anthem of a generation.

6. Somewhere Over In Iraq/And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (10:12)
I wrote this (Iraq poem) for my youngest son just days after his deployment to Iraq. The poem highlights the opposing views of the pacifist and the warrior. It’s based on a discussion I had had with my sixteen-year old whilst we were visiting a Great War Cemetery in France some four years earlier. In some ways this is a love story, aimed at healing, not only conflict between individuals, but conflict within oneself.
PS. Joey is safe and well.
We blended this poem with the immortal Eric Bogle classic ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’. Bogle’s song deals with the futility and brutality of war in no uncertain way. Mark Butler sings this song with style and grace and much respect to the author. Hats off to you Eric Bogle.
“Honest and Evocative” – Eric Bogle



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