UK, 1976, Irish folk

Andy Irvine & Paul BradyAndy Irvine & Paul Brady

This version of “Arthur McBride” is one of the most beautiful trad folk renditions I’ve ever heard, and it’s definitely the best version of that particular song I’ve ever heard. It was worth these two artists collaborating on this album just for the opportunity of this song existing. The album opens with acoustic fire striking from horse hooves, and then moves to some distant, misty shore where the sounds of the bouzouki charm the listener as we hear a tale of love evoking classical Greek imagery with the names of Phoebus and Cupid. Then it’s on to a dance-off Irish hootenanny instrumental. Then on to some sappy, sentimental ruminations. Basically, this album runs the gamut of themes, but one theme that binds them all together is soldiering, with its attendant loneliness as well as its glory.

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