This month’s show brims with beautiful thoughts—and gorgeous music—from Cathy Jordan, Laura Cortese, Sam Amidon, Robbie O’Connell, and Karan Casey. We explore the relevance and the importance of old songs. You’ll laugh. You might cry. And if you listen while you run (like I do), you might run an extra mile or two to hear every last minute.


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You’ll hear why Laura  Cortese broke up with Willie:

When I would hear ‘Willie sits at the stable door,’ I’d think I’ve never been to a stable. I’ve ridden a horse like once. The places were so disconnected from someone who’s grown up in the middle of a city.

…And why Cathy Jordan thinks Willie still has something to say today:

I keep getting drawn back to the old ballads. I love the personality of them. I love the stories they carry. There’s a weight in them, you know?

(Like this sweet performance of “The Lover’s Token,” performed here by Cathy and her band Dervish.):

I loved exploring why calling your love a red, red rose can still work, even in a dating app era. And how, in the face of the incredible tide of mass culture that washes over us daily, these old songs still survive. And they withstand variation and innovation, like Sam Amidon’s version of “As I Roved Out”

Thanks for listening and reading. Next month’s show will air on Tuesday July 10th and will explore what’s happened to Irish music as it’s moved from wax cylinders to the World Wide Web. I hope you’ll tune in!

And if you haven’t heard every episode, I hope you’ll listen to the gems you missed:
Episode 01-Trip to Sligo
Episode 00-Introducing Irish Music Stories
Episode 02-Cuppa Tea with Karan Casey
Episode 03-Every Tuesday at Nine
– Episode 04 – Cuppa Tea with McKinneys and McCarthy
– Episode 05 – Handed Down
Episode 06 – The Backer
Episode 07 – The Piper
Episode 08 – Miss McCleod’s Reel at 113
– Episode 09 – Want of Wit
– Episode 10 – Cuppa Tea with Daithi Sproule
– Episode 11 – Return to Sligo
– Episode 12 – Season Two Preview
– Episode 13 – The C-Word
– Episode 14 – Dance Hall Days
– Episode 15 – Heartbeat of Irish Music
– Episode 16 – Pushing all the Right Buttons


Music Heard on IMS Episode 17
all music traditional, unless otherwise indicated

Song: “Lovely Annie,” from Tell You in Earnest
Artists: Matt & Shannon Heaton

Song: “Shanagolden,” from The Thrush in the Storm
Artist: Dervish (Cathy Jordan singing)

Song: “Sabai Sabai,” from Basement Sessions
Artist: Matt Heaton

Song: “Low Hum,” from California Calling
Artist: Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards

Song: “Heartstrings Theme,” from Production Music for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton

Song: “Banks of Red Roses,” from Happy Daze
Artist: Karine Polwart with the Battlefield Band  

Song: “After Hours Theme,” from Production Music for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton

Song: “Jersey City,” from Nic Gareiss & Emma Beaton
Artists: Nic Gareiss & Emma Beaton

Song: “Lily-O” from Lily-O
Artist: Sam Amidon

Tunes: “Jackie Coleman’s Reel” from Music at Matt Molloy’s
Artists: Matt Molloy and company

Song: Streets of Derry” from Bright Sunny South
Artist: Sam Amidon

Song: “Pretty Fair Damsel” from I See the Sign
Artist: Sam Amidon

Song: “The Green Gowned Lass,” from The Thrush in the Storm
Artist: Dervish

Song: “Érin Grá Mo Chroí,” from Midsummer’s Night
Artist: Dervish

Tune: “The Rolling Wave,” from The Thrush in the Storm
Artist: Dervish

Tune: “Celtic Grooves,” from Production Music for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton

Song: “Once There Was a Little Girl” from Children’s Songs and Stories
Artist: Ed McCurdy 

Song: “The Keeper of the Songs,” from Live at WGBH
Artist: Robbie O’Connell 

Song: “The Winning Side,” from The Rights of Man: The Concert for Joseph Doherty
Artists: Robbie O’Connell, Mick Moloney, Jimmy Keane  

Song: “Siúil Arun” AKA Johnny’s Gone for Soldier, from Solas
Artists: Solas

Tune: “Slip Jig Dreams,” from Production Music for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton

Song: “Ae Fond Kiss,” from Ships in the Forest
Artist: Karan Casey

Song: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” from I Am…. Sasha Fierce
Artist: Beyoncé

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you for listening. Thank you to Pat Wilcox, Mike Schock, Billie Neal, and Brian Benscoter for underwriting this episode. Donations help me share this show with everybody.

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