It Was Mighty : CD #1

By Various Artists

Added by Kenny .

  1. The Jolly Tinker
  2. Bonnie Kate
  3. The Boys Of Ballisodare
  4. The Copperplate
  5. Paddy Taylor’s
  6. The Cabin Hunter
  7. With Kitty I’ll Go
  8. Pat Hanley’s No. 1
    Pat Hanley’s No. 2
  9. Nan Landers’
  10. The Irish Girl
    The College Groves
    Jenny Picking Cockles
  11. Doherty’s
  12. Danny McNiff’s
    Farewell To Whiskey
  13. The Streams In The Valley
  14. The Beauty Spot
  15. Poll Ha’penny
  16. Bryan O’Lynn
    The Maid In The Meadow
  17. The Girl That Broke My Heart
    Dick Cosgrove’s
  18. The Copperplate
    The Bunch Of Keys
  19. St. Ruth’s Bush
    Paddy Kelly’s Favourite
  20. Wallop The Spot
    The Tongs By The Fire
  21. The Red Haired Boy
  22. The Cliffs Of Moher
  23. The Cuckoo’s Nest
  24. Tralee Gaol
  25. The Pipe On The Hob
  26. Munster Buttermilk
  27. The West Wind
    Sean Reid’s Fancy
  28. The Humours Of Scarriff
  29. The Galway Rambler
    The London Lasses
  30. The Rose In The Heather
    The Gold Ring
    The Maid On The Green
    Saddle The Pony
  31. The Boys Of The Lough
  32. The Liffey Banks
    The Shaskeen
  33. When We Were Drinking
  34. The Old Bush
    The Chicago

Nineteen comments

Re: It Was Mighty

As far as I’m concerned, Christmas has come early. I got an email from “Topic” records in London midweek, informing me that they are releasing 2 triple CDs of archive recordings of Irish music played in London. They arrived this morning and I’m enjoying listening to them right now, although it’s going to take a while to get through them all. This is only the first CD of 3 in the series - so far I’ve heard music from Michael Gorman, Paddy Taylor, Jimmy Power, Bobby Casey and Martin Byrnes. It’s great also to discover new musicians whom I’d never heard of before - eg, flute players Gerry Wimsey and Danny Niff, melodeon player Nan Landers.
I’ll post a list of “who plays what” later. The CDs are also accompanied by a booklet with photos and biographies of the players - over 90 pages !

- “TSCD679T ”It was mighty!“ In the early 1950s, some of the most talented young traditional musicians from rural Ireland found themselves in London, working on building sites and in heavy construction, away from home, but among hundreds of people like them. Music was played in pubs and dance halls and, for a decade or two, almost every night of the week, Camden Town, Fulham and neighbouring boroughs were buzzing. Many of the early pioneers of this music, great artists by any reckoning, are represented here, captured at the peak of their powers”. -

I suggest you get over to “Topic’s” website and, as they say in London, “ ’ave a butchers” 🙂

Re: It Was Mighty

Hi Kenny - Got my copies (of “It Was Mighty” and “It Was Great Altogether”) a few days ago, but today (Sat. 5th March ’16) is the first chance I’ve had to listen to them. Working my way through Mighty just now, and there’s a hell of a lot of great stuff. The notes by Reg Hall are superb as well: informative and well researched. Hope to comment more later once I’ve digested this feast.

Re: It Was Mighty

I’d love to get my own copies of both “It Was Mighty” and “It Was Great Altogether,” but I’ll be deeper in debt and sleepless! Well, I was actually almost sleepless a couple of days ago, looking through all the names of musicians on Topic Records website.

Also available from Amazon:

"A new 3CD set featuring a total of more than 100 vital performances by, among others: Michael Gorman, Bobby Casey, Martin Byrnes, Julia Clifford, Jimmy Power, Nan Landers, Vincent Griffin, Edmond Murphy and Tommy McCarthy. Compiled and researched by Dr. Reg Hall, the acknowledged expert in this field, “It was mighty!” is a superb addition to the widely acclaimed Voice of the People series.

Some of the most talented young traditional musicians from rural Ireland found themselves in London in the 1950s, working on the buildings and in heavy construction, away from home, but among hundreds of people like themselves. Music was played in pubs and dance halls and, for a decade or two almost every night of the week, Camden Town, Fulham and neighbouring boroughs were buzzing. Even as far as the outer suburbs, in some back-street pub or other, there was great music to be found, that is, if you knew where to look for it. Beyond the gaze of mainstream society and unknown to the media, promotion was solely by word of mouth among the Irish themselves. This three-CD collection of rare recordings gives us a very privileged view of a unique community who lived this music. Here are some great musicians, some great tunes, and great warmth and humanity. At the time, it was often said, that there was much better Irish music to be heard in London than in Ireland. An overstatement, of course, but there was certainly more of it to be heard in London than anywhere else in the world. A companion three-CD album, “It was great altogether!” The Continuing Tradition of Irish Music in London, Topic TSCD680T, brings the story up to the present time."

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Thanks for saving me the work Kenny. 😉 I’d have left these till later as my connection to and understanding of the Irish music scene in London is minimal. More great compilations from the much appreciated hard work of Reg Hall.

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

@slainte -- we can’t be having you “deeper in debt and sleepless”, however I’m fairly certain you would love these recordings. Now if I bought you them both, it would be me who’d be “deeper in debt and sleepless”, however, you very kindly sent me a CD of flute music about a year ago, so I’m owing you one. You’ve had a look at the musicians playing on these CDs on Topic’s website. [ I will be posting them here soon, but there are 6 CDs in total, each with over 30 tracks ]. Let me know which of the 2 CDs sets you’d prefer, and it will be my pleasure to send you one of them. You’d need to send me your address via a private message through this website.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, Colin and I will be doing a programme dedicated to Irish music on our community radio show on the 16th. We’ll certainly be including music from these CDs on the programme if you want to hear a few tracks in advance, in fact, if you let me know a couple you’d really like to hear, we’ll do our best to accomodate.
All the best, Kenny

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

Track #

1 / 2 - Michael Gorman [ fiddle ]
3 / 4 - Gerry Wimsey [ flute, Clarke’s “C” whistle ]
5 / 6 / 7 / 8 - Paddy Taylor [ flute ]
9 / 10 - Nan Landers [ melodeon ]
11 - Jimmy Power [ fiddle ] , Patsy Goulding [ piano ]
12 / 13 / 14 - Danny McNiff [ flute ]
15 / 16 / 17 - Bobby Casey [ fiddle ]
18 - Mick Gorman [ flute ]
19 - Jimmy Hogan [ accordion ], Bobby Hall [ piano ], Brian Green [ drums ]
20 - Martin Byrnes [ fiddle ]
21 - Paddy Malynn [ accordion ]
22 / 23 - Julia Clifford [ fiddle ]
24 / 25 / 26 - Paddy Breen [ flageolet ]
27 / 28 - Bobby Casey [ fiddle ], Willie Clancy [ uilleann pipes ]
29 / 30 - Martin Byrnes [ fiddle ], Tony Howley [ flute ]
31 - Martin Wynne [ fiddle ]
32 - Martin Wynne [ fiddle ], Michael Gorman [ fiddle ], Bill Rollison [ piano ]
33 - Jimmy Power [ fiddle ], “Clancy” [ flute ], Tommy Maguire [ accordion ], Paddy Furey
[ piano ]
34 / 35 - Bobby Casey [ fiddle ], Willie Clancy [ uilleann pipes ]

“It Was Mighty : CD #1” - tracks ~ recorded by, date

1, 2, 6 - 8, 12 - 14 (w/Sean O’Boyle), 15 & 16, 19, 24 - 28, 34 & 35 ~ recorded by Peter Kennedy, 1952 - 1958

3 & 4 ~ recorded by Janet Kerr, 1972

5, 17, 20, 21, 29 & 30 ~ recorded by Michael Daly, 1957 - 1962

9 & 10 ~ recorded by Dick Landers, mid-1960s

11 ~ recorded by Jimmy Power, 1959

18 ~ recorded by Bill Leader, Reg Hall & Michael Plunkett, 1970

22, 23, 33 ~ recorded by Reg Hall, 1964

31 & 32 ~ HMV recording studio, 1948

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

Kenny, thank you very very much for your kind words.

I’m very sorry, I was just joking and have found a way to buy all these CDs cheaper in this country. Hopefully, I’ll get them in a few weeks.

But I might contact you for the tracks I’d like to hear on your programme. Well, hard to choose!

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

Make sure you remind us of your show nearer the time Kenny, with a link if poss.

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

We owe a great deal to Peter Kennedy, Bill Leader & Reg Hall for having the foresight to preserve this great music. There’s also a load of recordings of sessions & interviews by these three in the British Library sound archives. You could spend the rest of your life listening to the stuff there.

Flute player Danny McNiff was from Co Leitrim who emigrated to London in the early 50s. Here’s a link to an extensive interview with him, over 90 mins, made by Reg Hall in 1989. He talks about the old musicians from back home & also in London. He finishes up with a few tunes on flute & whistle.

Go raibh ma’agat Alan, much appreciated…

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

In reply to “Lazy” above - I played 5 tracks from the 2 CD sets on our local radio programme yesterday for our “St.Patrick’s Day” programme . You can hear Michael Daly & Liam Farrell, Eddie Corcoran & Seamus Tansey and Paddy Breen on flageolet, one after the other from about 10mins in. From about 30 mins you can hear Michael Gorman playing what must be the original version of “Cooley’s Reel”, followed by what I termed “the original ”Duelling Banjos“ - a bit of fun from Margaret Barry and Jimmy Cleary. The programme is available to listen to until next Thursday. Link to the web-page below, use the ”Listen again" facility, and you can use the slide to go to 10 or 30 mins if you don’t want to hear the rest, which is songs apart from the opening and closing tracks :

Hope you all get some good music on St. Patrick’s Day - I intend to.

Notation links

A few corrections to title links above:
5. Paddy Taylor’s hornpipe
7. With Kitty I’ll go (Raghad-sa ’s mo Cheaití) see
9. Nan Landers’ hornpipe (McCarthy’s hornpipe; Roxburgh Castle) See also
12. Doherty’s jig (Drops of brandy) See also
13.2. Farewell to whiskey (Sounds more like “Because he was a bonny lad”)
20.2. Paddy Kelly’s favourite See also
21.2. The tongs by the fire (The basket of turf) See also
22. The red-haired boy. This is a slow air, unrelated to the hornpipe, and possibly not included in The Session.
24. The cuckoo’s nest See also
26. The pipe on the hob See also
27. Munster buttermilk (Bímid ag ól is ag pógadh na mBan) See also
31.2. The gold ring See also


It appears this album has suddenly and randomly disappeared from iTunes. It just vanished from my iTunes library and I don’t see it on the store anymore. The companion CD “It Was Great Altogether” is still there. Does anyone have any info? Thanks.

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

Hi Daniel - if it did indeed disappear, it’s back now, as of 09.55, Sat.9th Dec.2017.
On a related note, if anyone sees this, do you ever get tracks randomly disappearing from your iTunes library ?

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

Kenny, I got it back a few days ago. Very grateful to have this wonderful collection back, but definitely irritated that it disappeared. And yes, I’m familiar with that. I don’t understand it.

Re: It Was Mighty : CD #1

…And it’s gone again! Been that way for a few months. How annoying…