In the Home of my Ancestors

by Gavin O'Loghlen & Cotters Bequest

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1.
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.
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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.
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Clogháns 03:33
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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!
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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!
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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.
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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.
11.
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.
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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 .........

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

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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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