On Saturday night, March 14th, The Veterans in a New Field held a rousing launch party for our new CD; ‘Hurrah for the Union!’ at the Inquiring Mind Bookstore, 65 Partition Street, Saugerties, NY 12477 where our books and CDs are on sale. Our playlist included many songs that would have been sung by the soldiers of the Irish Brigade during the Civil War at their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and, as well, told their stories. The songs we performed included:
THE ROSE OF TRALEE
Reflecting the history of the Irish who in the service of England had fought all over the world and how many of them came to America and served in the Union and Southern armies.
WE’LL FIGHT FOR UNCLE SAM
By H.D. Marsan;, wherein a poor immigrant goes from a menial task to being a soldier and how the trained Irish combat vets have a warning for England
To the tune of the Maid of Fife, the song tells the tale of how the ironclad had New York roots having been launched at Brooklyn, with the armor rolled at Troy and most work done in the Hudson Valley
That tells the story of the rising of the United Irishmen in 1798, a revolt influenced by both the American and the French revolutions. Bill Payne sang this song and for the first time was accompanied by Kevin Karashay on our new traditional snare drum.
Many Scots served all over the world for England and many served in our Civil War as well, and they all loved this song. It goes back to 1690s when William Douglas of the Royal Scots fell in love with Anna, the daughter of the baronet of Maxwellton, who opposed their marriage because Douglas was a Jacobite; favoring Scottish Independance. Dale Welwood delivered this sad, sweet song as one of her signature solos.
A few years back, RJ and Bill were travelling through County Kildare in Ireland when it occurred to them that we could compose and perform a song about a young Irish immigrant quarry worker here in Saugerties who decides he would rather be a soldier for the Union. The song tells a powerful story to the tune of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’.
COURTIN’ THE KITCHEN
This rollicking song dates from the early 19th century in Dublin and tells the tale of young man’s quest for romance; the results of which could have encouraged to run away and join the Army.
And we presented a number of other songs well-known and loved by the troops during the War.
CLEAR THE TRACK
Our debut performance of this crusading song for Emancipation of enslaved people by the Hutchinson family of NH, who toured from 1840s onward and were ardent Abolitionists. Featured was Kevin Umhey on the harmonica replicating the sound of the speeding train of Emancipation.
WE ARE COMING FATHER ABRAHAM
In 1862 more troops were needed to support the cause of the Union. This inspiring song was written by Northern Abolitionist Quaker, James Sloan Gibbons. This was another debut performance by the Veterans in a New Field
The evening was rounded out by our performance by our standards, Lincoln and Liberty, to the tune of the old Irish song; Rosin the Beau, Marching through Georgia, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp The Boys are Marching, and the signature song of our new CD; Battle Cry of Freedom.
All had a great night and a great prelude to St. Patrick’s Day. We are planning another free concert in observance of next month’s 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, possibly at the same venue. So, stay tuned for further information. Meanwhile; La le Padraig Siochan! to you and yours.
The Veterans in a New Field.