The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem. From 1961 to 1969 they brought Irish music to the US and to the rest of the world. They were Irish to their souls and had more fun than anyone should ever be allowed to have. When it came to the party after the gig they were also without compare. The stories are legendary; the night in Chicago when they arrived at the hotel via a firetruck. The Clancys and the Kingston Trio were the best of friends and frequent collaborators in parties.
Tommy Makem was the voice of the Clancys for many years. He had a very distinctive baritone voice and it could give you shivers when he sang some of his own songs. This one, Four Green Fields, was written in 1967, and to the Irish is one of the most stirring songs ever written.
I met Tommy once. It was at the WFMA event at the Birchmere in 2001. He had performed that night, in fact, this song is from that night, and was at the after show party standing by himself. Tommy was a lifelong teetotaler and was enjoying a glass of soda water. I had the chance to speak with him and I took it. He was a gracious and gentle man and I’m the better for meeting him.
Tommy Maken died of lung cancer in August of 2007.