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Album Review

The Irish tradition of drinking songs is not one that dwells on the problems of over-indulgence, as the liner notes point out. This compilation presents 16 mostly exuberant 1960s tracks by two of the most famous Celtic folk bands, the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers. Although "Whiskey in the Jar," the tale of a bold highwayman (known these days largely thanks to Thin Lizzy and Metallica!), isn't exactly a drinking song, the rest of the songs capture the informal, lively essence of Irish pub music. Drink is celebrated for bringing out swaggering braggadocio, teary-eyed farewells (at closing time, doubtless), and not least humor. There's much good-natured fun in these charming tunes with their evocative lyrics and catchy choruses made even more pleasant by the artists' superb musicianship and arranging skills. "Whiskey you're the divil," proclaims one song, but then adds, "Whiskey you're my darling drunk or sober." That about sums up the party atmosphere.


Formed: Cork, Ireland

Genre: World

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The Clancy Brothers are a family of singing Irish expatriates who have been important figures in re-popularizing their native music in North America and are still among the most internationally renowned Irish folk bands. Some even credit the...
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Irish Drinking Songs, The Clancy Brothers
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