In the Home of my Ancestors

by Gavin O'Loghlen & Cotters Bequest

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about

Following the birth of my daughter I began researching my family history. I discovered that in 1854 my paternal great great grandfather Michael O'Loghlen left County Clare, Ireland to sail to Port Adelaide, South Australia after the potato famine of the 1840s. Eleven years later my maternal great grandfather John Henry Cahill made the same voyage. This album is an attempt by one Australian to understand their homes, history and hopes whilst in the land of my Ancestors.

Gavin O'Loghlen

credits

released September 17, 1997

Gavin O'Loghlen : Acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars, electric guitars, drums, bass, bodhran, percussion, Prophet 5, Moog, ARP Axxe and Odyssey, Hammond organ, grand piano, vocoders, programming, highland pipes, small pipes, low and tin whistles, vocals
Angelee Theodoros : Cello, lead vocals
Stephanie Graeber : Violin
Anne Dormer : Fretless bass, vocals
Suzannah Graeber : Violin
Harry Theodoros : Accordion, vocals
Jack Brennan : Northumbrian pipes, uilleann pipes
Anthony Wilson : Didjeridu
Jacqui Yeo : Vocals
Malachy O'Reilly : Voice
Cáit Wallace :Gaelic translations
Artwork by Anne Dormer

tags

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all rights reserved

about

Gavin O'Loghlen & Cotters Bequest Australia

Cotters Bequest is a seven piece progressive Celtic band playing 28 instruments including Highland, Uilleann, Northumbrian and Scottish smallpipes, Irish whistles, violin, cello and accordion wrapped in layers of acoustic and electric guitars, vintage keyboards and rich vocal harmonies.

In the style of "a Celtic King Crimson..a Pink Floyd with bagpipes.. with a sprinkling of Peter Gabriel."
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Track Name: An Bhoireann - (The Burren)
An Bhoireann - (The Burren)
(Irish Gaelic language)

Flease de speartha liath (cuir - bainfear mas cuirfear)
brat baisti ró fhuar (cuir - bainfear mas cuirfear)
susa chré bhocht tanaí fós - fós tháinig siad - ag treabh
is le toil bua.

D'eitrigh carraig crua (cuir - bainfear mas cuirfear)
i bhfoscadh faoi chlocha (cuir - bainfear mas cuirfear)
chuir an chre scainte fós - fós thainig siad - le hór
is duil sa tiarnas.

Caught 'tween the heaven and the sea
you must dance to the piper and the tune.
On, on you watch as each holds sway
and they dance on the sad face of the moon

Caoineadh na bpaisti (cuir - bainfear mas cuirfear)
fuil is dúnmharú (cuir - bainfear mas cuirfear)
do chuir sibh na hocrai fós - fós thainig siad - le claiomh
is caointe cráite.

Caught 'tween the heaven and the sea
you must dance to the piper and the tune.
On, on you watch as each holds sway
and they dance on the sad face of the moon

(English Translation)

A garland of grey skies (sow - they will reap all they sow)
a mantle of too cold rain (sow - they will reap all they sow)
a blanket of poor thin soil still - still they came ploughing
with the will to win.

Furrowed the hard rock (sow - they will reap all they sow)
sheltered under stones (sow - they will reap all they sow)
planted the scanty soil still - still they came - with gold
and the will to rule.

The crying of the children (sow - they will reap all they sow)
the blood and the murder (sow - they will reap all they sow)
you buried the hungry still - still they came - with swords
and desolate crying.
Track Name: Carraig an Chaistil - (The Rock of Cashel)
Carraig an Chaistil - (The Rock of Cashel)
(Irish Gaelic language)

Ar nós aisling d'eirigh siad is thuit ag rince 'sna lasracha
ag canadh don báisteach canadh draoithe, sean cluichí
claiomh na nGall go hárd léan géar na bpáisti
Brian Ború chun troda is báis crón an rí ní raibh i ndán

Ar nós aisling d'eirigh siad is thuit mánaigh ar maidin
ag freagairt an ghlaoi 'sioladh creidimh na Roimhe
mainistir dóite sios scris chróin le cinn cruinn
aisling is clocha briste ach, nach agamsa atá an sceal.

(English Translation)

And like a dream - they rose and fell - dancing in the flames
chanting to the rain Druid songs and pagan games.
Viking sword held high bitter anguish of the children
Brian Boru to fight and die the crown of the King was not to be.

And like a dream - they rose and fell - monks in the morning
answering the call sowing the faith of Rome - to all.
Monasteries burnt down crowns destroyed by Roundheads
broken dreams and broken stones - but what a story I have.
Track Name: The Two Donkeys of Sliabh na hEalbha
When she was only seventeen my mother was a beauty queen
sought fame and fortune , so she ran away.
But somewhere west in County Clare
she stopped to rest and then and there
she met a young man and just had to stay.

(Irish Gaelic language)

Da asail i mbun an tsleibhe
Da asail i mbun an lae
Ar Sliabh Elbha inniu
and we're here to stay.

(English Translation)

Two donkeys rule the mountain
Two donkeys save the day
on Sliabh Elbha today

So some months later I was born into this barn we called a home
the birth was easy, but the times were hard.
As I grew older, we grew poor with farming rocks and little more
two pigs, two donkeys and an old grey mare.

(Irish Gaelic language)

Da asail i mbun an tsleibhe
Da asail i mbun an lae
Ar Sliabh Elbha inniu
and we're here to stay.

(English Translation)

Two donkeys rule the mountain
Two donkeys save the day
on Sliabh Elbha today

So Da' he has an idea to solve our being poor
we'll chase the stock to Elva's top and offer a reward
and when the press come streaming in for rustler's tales amd more
they'll pay, and they'll pay and they'll pay......


So Da' he called a meetin', the neighbours came in force
the vote was taken and arrangements made.
Take all the cows and horses, the pigs and goats and sheep
but leave the donkeys 'cause they're too damn cheap.

* * * * *

The months went by and no- one came,
the neighbours all held Da' to blame
the stock had vanished and the banks foreclosed.
The donkeys on the other hand had forged a very happy band
of well fed animals with equity.

Two donkeys joined the union, the E.E.C. and more
creamed every subsidy that they could find.
Two donkeys rule the mountain, two donkeys saved the day
they bought Slieve Elva and they're here to stay
here to stay
here to stay - okay!
Track Name: Ballinskelligs Bay
Ballinskelligs Bay

When the frothel of the Guinness had diminished in the glass
and the trauma of the morning was a faint remembrance
Patrick John O'Loghlen and Michael MacGuinn
had settled down to talk
about their disappointment.

Said Paddy O'Loghlen to Micky MacGuinn
"I've bin doin' some tinking"

Well their cow had come in last at the Lisdoonvarna fair
and big money had been won but it wasn't theirs.
"Walking bag of bones" said the judges report
how to own the fatted calf this would take some more thought.
Said Paddy O'Loghlen to Micky MacGuinn
"We'll be doin' some walkin' "

So they took themselves to the long main street
and they pondered as they wandered along
when right before their eyes shone the neon sign
"Percy Doyle - Your Man for Land".
He could offer them agistment if they paid up front
and the cow went on the truck today
he had two hundred acres of virgin soil lots of water and clean fresh air.

Done !

* * * *

Well twelve months soon passed and the fair was near
and the cow would need to be returned
they had high expectations of their coming prize
wads of punts and more to burn.

So they got themselves a truck from their neighbour Dan
and they set off on a Thursday morn
they were following the map Percy Doyle had said
would lead them to the Promised Land.

So they passed Ennis, Limerick and Castlemaine,
Feaklecally and then Derreen
and there was the cow thin and gaunt and down
on two hundred acres of white beach sand!
Track Name: The Famine Suite : (i) Absentee Landlords 1840
The Famine Suite : (i) Absentee Landlords 1840

A cry in the night, welcome to a cruel world
the Angel of Death on a crowded road
and the baby lies, a lifeless form in a dank and dirty room
a mother crying, sad, forlorn
twelve haunted eyes look on rent is due and the money's gone
welcome to the Cotter's same sad song.

And I've seen these same scenes in a thousand households
and I've heard this same sound like a thousand screams
touched those same cold dead hands....
...... in my dreams

When fate dealt the cards, it was from a crooked deck
the Angel of Wealth held a loaded hand
from a window high in Dublin's best
chat the happy gloating guests
a rotten borough's win has lined the nest
new social rounds to please the wife the chase, the bottle and the pipe
welcome to the Landlord's way of life.

And the social divide's like a yawning chasm
and the same cards are dealt to the same extremes
yet the truth will prevail......
...... in your dreams.
Track Name: The Famine Suite : (ii) Blight 1845
The Famine Suite : (ii) Blight 1845

And in 1841 they thought the war had just been won
they had carved a field once claimed by sheets of rock
And in 1842 they both had come to claim their dues
with a harvest of fresh praties for the pot.

Hearts on fire
brave young lives
Catherine Keane and Michael James
the future is bright.

And in 1844 they both had need to fear no more
they had found a little cottage by a stream
And in 1845 they planted every inch in sight
for the new life soon to join them and their dream.

Warm wet days
harvest raised
blight and canker in the fields
a future destroyed.
Track Name: The Famine Suite : (iii) Winter 1847
The Famine Suite : (iii) Winter 1847

Raining on the rooftops, beating at the door
huddled in the peat haze, frozen fingers thaw
autumns slipping away, winters waiting for our fall.

Harvest lies in tatters, pratie fields in ruins
empty children's bellies singing hungry tunes
and its slipping away feels like hope has left us all.

Ucrach

Hungry

Raining on the rooftops, famine at the door,
hollow eyed, forboding, never ending
shivering in shadows, bodies wrapped in rags,
starving in the silence, no salvation.

Death waits at the doorstep, whispers through the walls
calls his children to him, unrelenting
stolen under darkness, buried under stone
its time to cut the cord, to leave our farms, our homes.
Track Name: The Famine Suite : (v) Cork 1854 - The Voyage
The Famine Suite : (v) Cork 1854 - The Voyage

Like ghosts at dawn we stood on the quay
the mists in the the mountains, the surge of the sea
and the sun lost behind the clouds.

Gone were the gleans, the rinee, the reels
the mist in the mornings, the Cotters, the creels
and the sun lost behind the clouds.

Six months we sailed through tempest and gales
with stars unfamiliar we drifted away
from the land lost behind the clouds.

And in the clear light of morning
there we saw
Terra Australis
our future is born.

* * * * * *

In this land of the vast horizon
searing sun and the smell of sweat
following the plough shear
ever on and on and on and on ...............

From the land of a thousand fathers
through the seas of a million dreams
towards our children's children
we move on and on and on and on .........