The West Clare Railway
Composed by Martin ‘Junior’ Crehan.
<<…Round and round we go,
each time I hear you say:
This is the rhythm of the night
The night, oh yeah
The rhythm of the night
This is the rhythm of my life
My life, oh yeah
The rhythm of my life…>>
There’s a bit of that song in the second part, isn’t there! :-)
First heard on a Mick O’Brien CD.
It shows groovy tunes don’t have to be crazy-groovy!
Easy to play and easier still to remember!
I like the winding feeling in it and if you play it a more staccato or 4/4 way (as opposed to 2/2) you get that train on the track feel most definitely!
"the West Clare Railway" refers to the golden age of public transport in Ireland… (A 100 years have since passed, alas!)
The Great Southern & Western connected at Ennis with the West Clare which skirted the Burren, going as far north as Ennistimon and took you to Kilkee or Kilrush through 11 other stops including Miltown Malbey. Imagine that, festival goers!
At least that’s what I gather from a 1906 map of the ‘near maximum extent ’ of the network.
I guess most of the still Irish-speaking travellers would have gone East, though, down to Limerick or Cork. It might have been the first and last Irish train journey for a lot of people in those days.
… or perhaps not that easy to play if you want to put rolls on the long c’s in.
Alternatively it can be played in b, where the only f# of the tune becomes g#.
on May Morning Dew, Mick O’Brien plays it as part of a really nice set, he leaves the drones ("D") on while chantering in "A dorian"…
See Bobby Casey’s (a reel in D) https://thesession.org/tunes/270 for similar 1st part contour.
The poem that goes along with it
"When going to Ennis one day by train, the sounds I heard activated the brain;
The wheels on the rails gave me a note, and "The West Clare Railway" was the tune I wrote.
Are you right there Junior, are you right? Will you have the tune composed before the night?
Sure it all depends on whether you can put the notes together, And you might now Junior, so you might!"
Re: The West Clare Railway
^ The man lived and breathed trad. It’s amazing how he could hear a train and a tune would be born in his head!