The Lark In The Clear Air

By Various Artists

  1. Gillan’s Apples
    The Ship In Full Sail
  2. The Shaskeen
    Kitty Goes A-Milking
    The Hunter’s House
  3. The Coolin
  4. The Boys Of The Lough
    The Trip To Durrow
  5. Give Me Your Hand
  6. Banish Misfortune
  7. The Maid Behind The Bar
  8. Dunphy’s
    The Derry
  9. St. Anne’s
  10. The Blackbird
  11. The Spalpeen’s Lament
  12. Miss McLeod
    The Flowers Of Edinburgh
  13. The Foxhunter’s
  14. The Skylark
    Tie The Bonnet
    The Sailor’s Bonnet
  15. The Rolling Wave
  16. The Lark In The Clear Air
  17. Tobin’s Favourite
  18. Cherish The Ladies
    Father O’Flynn

Eight comments

The Lark in the Clear Air

“This record comprises song airs and dance tunes played on modest instruments such as would fit in your pocket.”

1974 TOPIC 12TS230 stereo

John Doonan - Whistle & Piccolo
Paddy Moran - Flute
John Wright - Jew’s Harp
Noel Pepper - Mouth Organ
Paddy Neylan - Spoons (Producer Tony Engle says in his sleeve notes, of Paddy - “I met him in ‘The Favourite’ (North London Pub) and have seen him neither before nor since” - so he’s probably out the back, wrapped around a bicycle!!)

My first melody instrument was the Jews Harp & I took great comfort from the fact that someone had gone to all the bother of making an LP of it & other ‘lesser instruments’.

What shall I say - an interesting & unusual LP!

Sorry, forgot to mention John’s brothers Dave & Mike, who also play Jews Harps on this LP

The Lark in The Clear Air

Noel Pepper lived in south London and was a stalwart of the south London branch of Comhaltas when it was held at The Spread Eagle pub in Wandsworth in the late 60s early 70s.
The Spread Eagle was a Young’s pub, right by the brewery, on the one way system. I don’t know if the pub has changed it’s name or even if it’s still there, but like many other pubs, it has its place in the history of Irish music in London.

Murf - Is ‘The Favourite’ pub still in existance & if so, do they still have ITM there?

The Lark in the Clear Air

No, it was knocked down quite recently to make way for Arsenal’s new stadium.
But there hadn’t been music there for several years and I don’t think it was even operating as a pub in recent years

Re: The Lark In The Clear Air

I’m really enjoying this album now. I like Doonan’s flute playing, which is also on his album “At the Feis.” The Jew’s harp is interesting… its sound is nothing like the Welsh harp which I’m more accustomed to listening to. There are times on this recording where I feel it sounds too harsh and doesn’t quite fit with the flute… but overall it’s nice.

Re: The Lark In The Clear Air

This album is one of my absolute favorites… I really like the “philosophy” behind it.
John, Dave and Michael Wright really are masters of their instruments. John sadly died back in 2013 but Micheal still continues to play his jew’s harps and has recently published a landmark book on the subject “The jews-harp in Britain and Ireland” (2015, published by SOAS).

You can listen to the album on Spotify:

Or on Youtube (but there is 1 track missing):

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