Father Jack Production Diary: The Playlist

Well, and that’s the end of the run for Lughnasa. It was fun while it lasted.

I distributed my Opening Night Play Playlist List, for what I believe was the eighteenth time in twelve years. I like it as a tradition, and it seems that the Young Persons in the cast mostly have CD players in their automobiles, so that’s all right. I don’t know what they are being taught about traditions and social norms and the like—and of course I don’t know what the traditions and social norms are for professional theater folk. In the amateur world, while it is certainly not everybody who gives these little gifts at all, many of us do, on either Opening or Closing. Some of my recent favorites have been, let me thing: Groucho Glasses for 39 Steps and adhesive bandages with Shakespeare quotes for Hamlet. Our Lughnasa director gave us each a stick of bright green rock-candy (shamrock candy, she called it), which was fun. Evidently the Barrymores would give apples for Opening Nights, and I have received a few apples in my time from castmates, too. I hope the Young Persons in the cast pick up some sort of habit of giving (small inexpensive) things to the cast and crew. It’s such fun, for one thing, and for another, well, isn’t it terribly nice to be nice?

  1. “Funky Ceili (Bridie’s Song)”, by Black 47
  2. “Irish Rover”, by The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem
  3. “On Horseback”, by Eileen Ivers
  4. “The Waxies Dargle”, by The Dublin City Ramblers
  5. “The Wild Rover”, by The Pogues
  6. “Tomorrow Comes a Day Too Soon”, by Flogging Molly
  7. “The Fields of Athenry”, by Blaggards
  8. “The Humours of Whiskey”, by Tim Lyons
  9. “Fionnghuala”, by The Chieftains
  10. “Seoithin, Seothulo”, by California Revels
  11. “Grandmother’s Eyes”, by Rock, Salt & Nails
  12. “The Frost Is All Over”, by The Chieftains & Punch Brothers
  13. “Culloden’s Harvest”, by Deanta “When I Was On Horseback”, by Steeleye Span
  14. “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”, by Dropkick Murphys
  15. “Mrs. McGrath”, by Bruce Springsteen
  16. “The Old Triangle”, by The Dubliners
  17. “Right All Right”, by Fair Isle Folk
  18. “Scalliwag”, by Gaelic Storm
  19. “Whiskey in The Jar”, by Luke Kelly
  20. “Young Ned of the Hill”, by The Pogues
  21. “Madrin Rua / Tell Me Ma”, by The Tossers
  22. “Drunken Lazy Bastard”, by The Mahones
  23. “John of Dreams”, by Cherish The Ladies
  24. “Parting Glass”, by Ed Sheeran

This Playlist was primarily difficult to whittle down to an hour (in fact it weighs in at 78 minutes) since I was pretty much happy with it at two hours and change. I left off a lot of good stuff, and a lot of stuff that maybe I didn’t like so much but seemed like it ought to be on the disc anyway. No Josef Locke, no “Galway Bay”, no Frank Patterson singing “The Lass of Aughrim”. And primarily what I learned from making the mix is that the Pogues and the Chieftains really are better than any of the other groups at doing what they do—in very nearly every case, their version of a song was superior to any other I could find. It’s not just familiarity, either, I believe, as I honestly was trying to find newly recorded or at least new-to-me sides to include. I think they are (or were) just that good.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

1 thought on “Father Jack Production Diary: The Playlist

  1. Vardibidian Post author

    Oh dear oh dear, an error in my list, there—corrected above, but alas not on the printed and distributed version. One of my test listeners advised that anything Culloden was blatantly Scots and not Irish, however Irish the band, and I replaced that track with a fine Irish tune by an English band, so there.



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