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Tim Dennehy Sings the Songs of Sigerson Clifford

The Folk Diary

It quickly becomes obvious that here is one of the great west of Ireland voices with all the qualities that the high art of this tradition demands; light, pure of tone and carefully and highly decorated.

The Irish Post 4.6.05

By any standards Tim Dennehy has done a beautiful presentation of the songs of Sigerson Clifford. MALCOLM ROGERS.

Between The Mountains and The Sea is the latest of five albums from renowned traditional singer songwriter Tim Dennehy accompanied by Garry O'Briain. This album is a tribute to the Cahersiveen writer Sigerson Clifford who dedicated his life to capturing the essence of his native Kerry in stories and verse. With the help of Valentia Island photographer Tony O'Shea, we are taken on a magical journey through the rugged and beautiful Iveragh Peninsula.

The Kerry Christmas Carol:

The Boys of Barr na Sraide:

Between the Mountain and the Sea:

  1. The Kerry Christmas Carol
  2. The Boys of Barr na Sráide
  3. Lenihan's Big Bazaar
  4. The Ballad of the Tinker's Son
  5. 5A. The Old School- song
  6. 5B. The Old School- poem
  7. The Ballad of Johnny Golden
  8. The Boy Remembers His Father
  9. The Races
  10. The Ballad of the Tinker's Daughter
  11. Between the Mountain and the Sea
  12. M. J. MacManus- poem
  13. I am Kerry- poem

Press Reviews

The Irish Post 4.06.05

THIS beautiful production has been in the making for 20 years and has put the enthralling words of one of Ireland's most talented ballad poets to music.

Sigerson Clifford was born in 1913 and christened Edward Bernard Clifford. Aged six he went to live with his mother's father Edward Sigerson and stayed for four years. He never forgot his grandfather's fund of stories when the winter nights were gathering in he would sit with his cronies around the kitchen fire telling tales of weird and ghostly happenings.

Later Sigerson would remember them in a poem "Where the old men thatched their dreams with adjectives".

At school with the Christian Brothers his essays and poems won praise. Schooldays over he joined the civil service where "they chained my bones

to an office stool and my soul to a clock".

In 1985 some months after his death the good people of Cahersiveen decided to honour his memory with a monument built of local stone. The

inscription reads: "Whispering across the half-door of the mind, for always I am Kerry"

In 1973 Tim Dennehy encountered Tim Dwane who had met Sigerson Clifford on several occasions and then he discovered The Ballad Of The Tinker's Daughter in an English book. He put a melody to it and sang it for the first time at the Goilin Singers Club in Dublin.

It was broadcast by Harry Bradshaw on a radio programme The Long Note and since then Between The Mountains And The Sea has been an ongoing project.

This 12-track CD is accompanied with a 48-page booklet giving extensive background on the composer Sigerson Clifford.

The Boys Of Barr na Staide is undoubtedly Singerson's most popular composition and it captures beautifully the essence of Cahersiveen.

The Ballad Of The Tinker's Daughter is a spellbinding story and in the best traditions of the ballad it allows the story to unfold.

I am Kerry is a fitting conclusion to the album as it touches on most of the poet's favourite themes of stories and legends, the wild beauty of south Kerry, youth and old age, and the mental merging of music and rhythm of the place he loved.

This CD is guaranteed to soothe the troubled brow and should have a space on every Kerryman's CD collection.

By any standards Tim Dennehy has done a beautiful presentation of the songs of Sigerson Clifford. MALCOLM ROGERS.

The Folk Diary

It quickly becomes obvious that here is one of the great west of Ireland voices with all the qualities that the high art of this tradition demands;

light, pure of tone and carefully and highly decorated.

Yet, these are not traditional songs that we are listening to; they are all the compositions of the late Sigerson Clifford of Caherisiveen on the Ring of Kerry. He was a poet, ballad and song writer who was rooted in the background and traditions but on this evidence, despite their local settings they have a great universality. From the careful observation of a light piece like "The Races" to the passion of "The Ballad of Johnny Golden" we hear a varied and high quality programme beautifully performed. The highlight of the album is the exquisite "The Boys of Barr Na Sr

Price: £13.99

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