The Rocky Road to Dublin

I’ve been listening to a lot of Irish Traditional music recently, and one of my favorites is the “Rocky Road to Dublin“. It’s a 19th century music hall tune, per Wikipedia, and concerns the adventures of an Irishman who travels away from home to find work. He’s heartbroken, and his belongings are stolen; eventually he takes ship to Liverpool (the captain makes him travel with the pigs), where he gets into a fight with the locals who make fun of him and of Ireland. It’s a regular catalog of misfortunes; but at the end a bunch of Galway boys see him losing the fight and come and give him a hand, which I suppose is a happy ending.

Here’s a recording by the Dubliners, in best traditional pub band style:

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And here’s a slightly less raucous version by the High Kings:

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Whack-fol-lol-de-ra!

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  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Those were great. I don’t know if this is as good as those, but check out The Chieftans and The Rolling Stones getting together to play that. The Stones’ electric guitars mesh nicely with the flute and violins of The Cheiftans:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzY9D01RE24

    • Will Duquette

      I love the Chieftains, and there are some great tracks on _The Long Dark Veil_, including one that lets Mick Jagger bring out his country music voice; but this one in particular I find jarring. I’m not sure why; I just know that every time it comes up on Pandora I’ve thought, “What’s all that noise while the Chieftains are singing?”

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Yeah, it’s either so subtle that I miss the musical integration between the two bands or it’s not complete. I can’t quite make up my mind. The long musical tail I guess provides a climax to the tension that’s built up, but either I miss the climax given my lack of musical knowledge or someone did’t think it through.

        • Will Duquette

          _The Long Black Veil_, of course, not _The Long Dark Veil_. Sigh.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            I didn’t even notice your mistake. I have the CD myself, and you’re right, it’s quite enjoyable.


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