Can you name a ballad in Irish about Bill Clinton? This album includes probably the first
one. Bríste Bill is about Mr. Clinton’s trousers. C.J. Haughey does not
escape either and the reference to chandeliers must be left to the listener’s imagination.
Here are ballads about the millennium, the new Cork tunnel, about Mick Barry, the great
bowler and a sardonic swipe at interpretive centres and every sacred cow grazing on
Irish grass. Jimmy Crowley is convinced that there is a place for these post-modern bards
he has recorded here in the national archives.
" Dick Hogan, The Irish Times, 1999
This latest offering from Free State Records, the brainchild of Jimmy Crowley, flies in the
face of the predicable anomie of contemporary Irish music. In the spirit of Free State
Records it is proudly oppositional and goes a long way to restoring the spirit of political
protest and satire which was once the corner stone of the folk revival of the sixties.
There are no big stars here: how could there be when the very raison d’etre of these
people would present a threat to the bland hegemony of Anglo-American culture to which
post-modern Ireland has bought itself into hook, line and sinker. But the artistes here represent
an unbroken line of bardic tradition of great antiquity.
As the title suggest, the album is thematically focused with songs about viagra pills; the sexual
revolution; a lúibín beirte (two-person miniature folk drama) by a bard
from Cúil Aodha: Dónal Ó Liatháin on Bill and Monica’s antics in the
White House observed by two native Irish speaking charladies ,if you please. There’s a song
celebrating the opening of the new Lee Tunnel; a brilliant song by Denis Mc Garry: Two Thousand
Candles which compresses the full gallery of Cork iconography and nostalgia into a few
heart -rending verses - a genuine millennium song there’s a song of tragic loss in today’s
contemporary computer world (Me Floppy, Floppy Drive) and Chandelier Charlie
about the amorous adventures of a much-loved former Taoiseach.
" Free State Press Release