Avondale Music - Artists - Ryan's Fancy - Songs From The Shows - About The Songs


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Ryan's Fancy: Songs From The Shows
About The Songs

1. The Wild Goose

Vocal: Dermot

We thought it appropriate to open this collection with a Canadian song which to us, at the time, reflected the mood of the great Land of Labrador where some of our earlier shows were filmed.

2. Come Along

Vocal: Denis

A Uist Marching Song, performed on a show that brought us to Washabuck on Cape Breton Island for a fine evening of entertainment provided by a family whose musical roots span several generations in the area.

3. Go To Sea No More

Vocal: Fergus

The dangers and distractions of shore leave often led to misadventure for many a hapless sailor. Sound advice is given in this song to other sea faring men, council that few sailors ever took to heart.

4. The Cliffs Of Baccalieu

Vocal: Denis

Baccalieu is an island approximately two miles off shore at the northern entrance to Conception Bay, Newfoundland. Sailing vessels returning from the Labrador fishery were quite often at the mercy of treacherous winds and turbulent seas so prevalent around this coastline.

5. The Boys Of The Island

Vocal: Dermot

Prince Edward Island proved to be a picturesque setting for several of our television shows. As it has been a farming community for centuries we found many songs that sang the praises and virtues of life on the land.

6. The Ryans And The Pittmans

Vocal: Fergus

In 1971 having lived in Toronto for four years we decided to move to the East Coast and make Newfoundland our home. We were attracted by both the music and the people of Atlantic Canada. One of the first local songs we added to our repertoire was this great classic. We performed it on a show about the islands in Placentia Bay.

7. Farewell To Tarwathie

Vocal: Denis

The themes of many of our episodes dealt with seagoing people and the reality of their leaving home for long periods of time. Whaling voyages were undertaken by thousands of men from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to "the cold coast of Greenland".

8. The Squid Jiggin' Ground

Vocal: Dermot & Fergus

The community of Change Islands, Newfoundland, was the location for the performance of this song. Mr. Art Scammell captures, in colourful detail, the activities involved in harvesting this valuable source of food and bait from the waters of Notre Dame Bay.

9. The Jam On Jerry's Rock

Vocal: Fergus

Wherever men worked in the woods in Atlantic Canada this song, describing one of the greatest dangers facing a riverman involved in the logging industry, would have been a favourite among the shantyboys in the lumber camps. We considered this song an obvious choice when we filmed in the area of St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

10. The Hills Of Glenswilly

Vocal: Denis

There are versions of this song to be found in the repertoires of traditional performers in all of the Atlantic Provinces. "Heritage" was the theme for the show in which this version was performed.

11. As Johnny Went Ploughin'

Vocal: Fergus

In this day and age of "technological wizardry" the art and industry of working the land with horse and plough is practiced by few. For those urbanites contemplating a return to rural life this song offers some sound advice - another gem from Prince Edward Island.

12. The Green Shores Of Fogo

Vocal: Denis

Parts of Fogo Island, off the north East Coast of Newfoundland have very strong ancestral connections to Ireland. This haunting lyric and melody, based on an older Irish love song, is reputed to have been composed by a sailor for his girl friend in Fogo.

13. A Great Big Sea/The Copper Plate Reel

Vocal: Dermot

This jocular song is reputed to describe a tidal surge that occurred as a result of heavy storm conditions during the fall of 1920 in the historic, picturesque town of Bonavista, Newfoundland. Because of the shows we were afforded the wonderful opportunity of visiting many such towns and villages in Newfoundland and throughout the Atlantic Region. The song is followed by The Copper Plate Reel.

14. Come To The Bower

Vocal: Fergus

The historical ties between Newfoundland and Ireland are well documented. We felt that this song was appropriate for a show that celebrated these connections.

15. Fear a'Bheata

Vocal: Dermot

While researching for songs to suit the various themes of the Ryan's Fancy Television shows, we were struck by the wealth of material that was and is still available in archives and other collections throughout Atlantic Canada. We leave you with this old love song that is still a favourite at musical gatherings in Cape Breton.

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