album cover The Boys of the Lough (1973)

[Trailer LER 2086]

Recorded and produced by Bill Leader

Artist : The Boys of the Lough

Dick Gaughan : Vocal, Guitar
Aly Bain : Fiddle
Robin Morton : Vocal, Concertina, Bodhran
Cathal McConnell : Vocal, Flute, Whistle

Track Notes

The Boys of the Lough / Slanty Gart

The first is Irish, the second a Shetland version of a Scots tune, thus establishing the three identities within the band.

In Praise of John Magee (Trad)

Sung by Robin and Cathal, this is about a curious Irish method of divorce common in older times.

Wedding March from Unst / The Bride's a Bonny Thing / Sleep Sound i' da Moarnin

Shetland Tunes

songtext Farewell to Whisky (Trad)

If memory serves, I believe I learned this from the singing of Christine Hendry who was one of the residents at the St Andrews Folk Club. The guitar was tuned to DADEAE.

Old Joe's Jig; Last Night's Joy; The Granny in the Corner

Bunch of Irish tunes.

The Old Oak Tree (Trad)

Sung by Robin

Caoineadh Eoghain Rua; The Nine Points of Roguery; Docherty's reel; Flowing tide

The lament for Owen Roe O'Neill followed by one of the great reels then a couple of tunes from the great Donegal fiddle player, John Docherty.

songtext Andrew Lammie (Trad)

Also known as Mill O Tifty's Annie. I can't remember now where I learned this from and I also can't remember how the guitar was tuned as I haven't sung it since.

Sheebeg and Sheemore; The Boy in the Gap; McMahon's Reel

Some more Irish tunes.

Jackson and Jane (Trad)

Song about a talking horse - could only be Irish!

The Shaalds of Foulla; Garster's Dream; The Brig

Shetland tunes.

Historical Footnote

Recorded in Cecil Sharp House, London, July 1972

celtic knotwork

In 1966 or early 1967, Morris McPhillips, Phil Taylor and myself, decided to start a folksong club called the Edinburgh Folk Centre, with more ideals and enthusiasm than sense.

Among the people we booked during its short life was a trio from Northern Ireland comprising Robin Morton, Cathal McConnell and Tommy Gunn known informally as the Boys of the Lough. Shortly after this, Robin moved to Edinburgh to complete his doctorate at Edinburgh University and met up with Aly Bain who had moved from Shetland and was by then in a duo with Mike Whellans, a fine singer/guitarist from Lauder, a very high-energy combination.

celtic knotwork

In 1969 I moved to Devon/Cornwall for 6 months, back to Edinburgh for 18 months, then in 1971 moved to London (see No More Forever for more about that). Just before the release of No More Forever in April 1972, Mike left the band and I was asked to replace him. I did and we recorded this album in June then went to the USA on tour in August.

It became clear pretty soon that a great deal of flying would be involved for the band and I had a phobia about it so left again in early 1973.

celtic knotwork

At the time of writing this, the master tapes of this album appear to be in the possession of CM Distribution, England. As is the case with most of the vintage recordings they own, they do not seem interested in releasing it so I believe it is currently unavailable. Their address is Hookstone Park, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG2 7DB England. Tel: (+44) 01423 888979 Fax: 01423 885761 and I believe their email address is

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