Stephen McPhilemy’s new album of Irish songs
I love to sing with my tour members when leading tours through Ireland, it’s one of the essentials of my guiding style and one of my favourite tools for teaching Irish history (people often remember a song better than a long history story!).
So I’ve compiled an album of songs that I love to sing with my international guests while driving all over the scenic roads of Ireland. These Irish songs of rebellion and romance keep spirits high on long scenic bus journeys and help me to teach the history of Ireland through the joy of song!
I’ve enjoyed some great singalongs with over 200 Rick Steves tour groups! Great craic. I even had the chance to teach 100 of my fellow tour-guides a little bit about the 1916 Rising in the middle of the legendary annual guide party in Rick’s home in Edmonds, near Seattle!
My Album ‘Songs for the Road’ costs the same as a pint of Guinness and a sausage roll, and will help support my work.
Go Raibh mile maith agat – a thousand thank yous
Stephen G McPhilemy
(‘G’ is for Gerard, my middle name. Named after my Tyrone Dad!)
3 FREE downloads for you to enjoy
Here are 3 free samples for you to enjoy with my warm compliments.
For the full Lyrics of all 14 songs (and a Patrick Pearse poem!) click here
Stephens note: A powerful rebel song with powerful lyrics, written by Bobby Sands who later died on hunger strike. The imagery is stark, the melody haunting, the message defiant. The tune is from the ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ by Gordon Lighfoot. I sang this once at a tour-guide party in Rick Steves house, it had quite the impact. The Foyle is in river in historic Derry, where I happily lived for 20 years. As I sat on the balcony of my nice waterfront apartment watching the Foyle flow by, I often thought of previous generations of Derry men fighting and resisting as they were bundled onto ships bound for hard labour in the British penal colonies of Australia. I wanted my guests to spare a thought for them too. A great song for the road. Ps “Weans” is Derry slang for little children, comes from saying “wee ones” very fast. Only in Derry (where everything is affectionately described as ‘wee’) can you have ‘wee weans’, which means wee wee ones 🙂
Stephens note: Such a great song to signify the end a memorable tour of Ireland or even a wonderful meal with a group of guests. Quite famous these days because of the fine rendition by superstar Ed Sheeran, an English man with strong Irish family connections and affections. When US General Martin Dempsey retired as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (so therefore the most powerful soldier in the world!) he sang this song in front of all the gathered dignitaries. His clan are from Donegal, so are mine, that filled me with pride.
Stephens note: A sunny day, driving around Ireland; keeping the bus between the ditches, passing green fields, chilled-out sheep, Norman castles, stone walls, colourful towns, friendly faces, happy international visitors all singing along. Sheer bliss
Thank you to Donogh Hennessy and his studio in Dingle for the help and guidance. Go Raibh mile maith agat
As a Rick Steves tour-guide for 20 years I was delighted and proud to see ‘Songs for the Road’ recommended as “pick of the week” in the Rick Steves Guides Marketplace!