The Wild Irish Roses
Fill Yer Boots, Man!
Margaret Thatcher’s Death Song leads off the new Wild Irish Roses album,
Fill Yer Boots, Man!. the first of five originals by Michael. The bell tolls for the Prime Minister of England who presided over the IRA hunger strikers in the 80’s.
Seven Drunken Englishmen may be the first song of its kind where the Irishman is sober and the English lads at the bar are inebriated.
Michael commissioned songs from his daughters and Evelyn-Marie
delivered two- Dancing Widowed Fool and Blind Marianne. Both ballads have a theme of women living hard lives and paying the price. Josephine contributed the second song on the album the 6/8 time Haunting Highland Laddie, a tale of a piper who drunkenly fell from a castle tower and will haunt you to your grave- unless you pay him in pints of beer!
For this album a special 4 foot diameter (48”!!) bodhran was produced by Stephen Gara for the band. Called a Bodhran Mohr (Great Drum), it directly led to the creation of the song Bodhran Mohr. You can hear it booming throughout this song and several others, noteably Whiskey in the Jar and Muirshin Durkin.
There are two non-traditional cover songs, Fields of Athenry (Pete St. John) and One More Time (The Clash). One More Time features Penelope on the cello.
Viola and cello harmonize on If I Have Your Love, a first for the band as Penelope begins to master cello.
The Dying Soldier, also known as When I was on Horseback, a trad song features Josie and Evelyn-Marie playing dueling violas in the haunting instrumental break.
Three acapella songs close out the album, performed by the four ladies, Kristina, Josie, Evelyn-Marie and Penelope. The first, The Snow That Melts the Soonest, is as least as old as 1821 when it first appeared in print- gleaned from a Newcastle street singer and is sung solo by Evelyn –Marie. My Johnny Was a Shoemaker and My Bonnie are traditional songs of the sea so old that their origins are unknown, although Bonnie Prince Charlie seems to be the subject of the latter.
A very special Christmas song is included as a bonus at the album’s end. Christmas in Kingston, a sordid tale of lost love and redemption set in the former state capital of NY. Its rousing chorus of “It’s Christmas in Kingston You Basterds, Every Junkie and Whore will be saved” is sure to make it a holiday favorite.
Where did the Wild Irish Roses come from ? Mom and Dad founded Brooklyn, NY’s post-punk The Astro-Zombies in the 90’s. In the 2000’s they were in The Brian Wilson Shock Treatment who released 8 albums over ten years (2000-2010).
PO BOX 1058 , New Paltz , NY 12561