Sunday, March 17, 2013

Horslips: The Shamrock Shore

Considered to be the first Celtic-rock album, Horslips’ “Happy to Meet – Sorry to Part” is a joy to experience. It is a fitting introduction to a band that evolved from Celtic music to a full-fledged rock band. I got this album as a gift from an office mate back in 1978. Recorded and released in Ireland in 1972, the remainder of the world saw the release of the album with the octagon shaped cover (depicting a concertina) during the next year. In the US, it was issued under license to ATCO Records.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I feature their rendition of “The Shamrock Shore” which is similar musically and somewhat different lyrically to the song about Irish immigration to America called Paddy Green’s Shamrock Shore. Horslips’ rendition has the protagonist going to London – but longing to be home in Ireland.

The song begins with Jim Lockhart on keyboards and then on uilleann pipes. He is then joined by Charles O’Connor on concertina. Although I am not certain who is singing lead, I would venture to say that bassist Barry Devlin sings on this number, as he was the band’s front man. The slide guitar, courtesy of Johnny Fean, adds to the mournful nature of the tune. Although my ancestors left the Shamrock Shore in the 18th century, this song makes me long for their home.

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