'The Fighting Irish' is an oft-heard phrase and there's a good reason for this. Whether on the sports field, in a dancehall or at a wake, the Irish have always shown a willingness to enter into a bout of fisty-cuffs at the drop of a hat! And in more serious fights, the Irish have regularly proven their unwillingness to lie down in the face of tyranny and superior force when trying to achieve an independent Irish nation. Many of the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice for their ideals are remembered in several of the fine ballads in this book - ballads so fine as to encourage others to take up the struggle where their forefathers failed. In this book you have all you need, to play and sing some of the greatest Irish fighting songs ever written - the lyrics, guitar chords and simple music score. Also included are many stories and backgrounds to the songs - the composers, historical contexts, geographical references and incidents which inspired the songs - and also a CD with the first verse and/or chorus of each song. This book is suitable for those who wish to learn to sing or accompany these great Irish fighting songs, from total beginners to accomplished musicians. The guitar chord shapes of all chords used in the book are included at the beginning of the book and there are three separate indices: (1) Index by song title (2) Index by CD track and (3) Index by first line. If the reader can't read music, the accompanying CD will provide clear details of the melody of each song. The book is lavishly illustrated with colour photographs of various aspects of Irish life, places and culture and many of the images directly relate to the individual songs, giving a visual and well as an aural flavour to the contents.
Robert Gogan was born in Dublin and through his formative years enjoyed listening to the music of such artists as The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners, Count John McCormack and indeed almost anybody singing Irish songs. He gradually took a greater interest in music and studied in the College of Music for several years. He now plays the banjo, guitar, bodhran and keyboards and frequently performs at venues throughout County Mayo, where he now lives with his wife, Anne Realising that Irish ballads were receiving less and less exposure in Ireland, Gogan feared that these fine songs - once the lifeblood of Irish people at home and abroad - might be heading for extinction. With this in mind he decided to produce a series of Irish ballad books in a very 'user-friendly' format and in attractive full colour presentations. He produced four volumes in the 1990's - 130 Great Irish BalladsA , 50 Great Irish Love SongsA , 50 Great Irish Fighting SongsA and 50 Great Irish Drinking SongsA . He is currently working on other music projects with a view to cultivating renewed interest in Irish ballads and traditional music, both at home and abroad.