Search - Michael McCann :: Soldiers' Songs

Soldiers' Songs
Michael McCann
Soldiers' Songs
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

A unique mixture of history and song by combat veteran Mike McCann, this collection covers songs from World Wars I & II, Vietnam, the American and Irish civil wars, the British African Wars and a few Irish rebellions. T...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Michael McCann
Title: Soldiers' Songs
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rego Irish
Original Release Date: 12/1/1996
Release Date: 12/1/1996
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Style: Celtic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 779966008022


Album Description
A unique mixture of history and song by combat veteran Mike McCann, this collection covers songs from World Wars I & II, Vietnam, the American and Irish civil wars, the British African Wars and a few Irish rebellions. Traditional favorites like the "The Minstrel Boy" and "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier" are joined by "The D-Day Dodgers", that satire fired at Lady Astor for her ill-conceived comment about the lads of the British 8th Army fighting in the Italian campaign of World War II. And there's "The Wall", a powerful new song by Tim Murphy about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. "The Rose of No Man's Land" is done as a tribute to McCann's great aunt who served as a nurse on the battlefields of World War I The CD insert contains well-researched background on the songs, placing each in its historical context, making the lyrics come alive. The album was produced by John Whelan, the 7-time All-Ireland accordion champion and recording artist, and features uilleann piper Jerry O'Sullivan, guitarist Pat Kilbride, pianist Kinny Landrum, violinist Lisa Gutkin and John on accordion. Today there is a keen interest in great wars and battles. The Civil War Chronicles, Saving Private Ryan and The History Channel have attracted wide audiences. "Soldiers' Songs" amplifies this interest with music and lyrics which tell powerful stories about these wars and the soldiers who fought them. The CD is proving popular with veterans, history buffs, educators and lovers of folk music.

CD Reviews

"And their ghosts may be heard"
john sprung | Brooklyn, New York | 11/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the movie, "On the Beach," Australia is the last place where man has survived, and it is just a matter of time before the poisonous radiation of a post-nuclear holocaust reaches Down Under. In a tavern, people are cheerfully carrying on as if there is, well, no tomorrow. Amidst the noise and chatter, a group can be raucously heard singing a discordant version of "Waltzing Matilda." When they come to the final stanza, an Irish tenor breaks through, his voice as clear as fresh rain, and sings how the ghost of the swagman may be heard. So it is when Mike McCann sings that same stanza at the end of Eric Bogle's "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" on his wonderful album, "Soldiers' Songs." Mike's lilting tenor voice informs this entire CD with both intelligence and feeling. He never gets ahead of his material, but lets the G'I.'s of his songs speak through him with with an understated eloquence. As a fellow folksinger and Vietnam era veteran, I have long admired songs of the often unsung soldiers and sailors. Key among these recordings are the (sadly out of print) "American G.I. Army Songs" by Oscar Brand and "British Army Songs" by Ewan MacColl. "Soldiers' Songs" forms a valued companion piece with those classics. McCann gives these songs (both old and new) a timeless quality. Close your eyes and you could be sitting around a campfire in civil wartime Virginia listening to "Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier" and "Lorena," and thinking of home and the girl you left behind. "The Rose of No Man's Land," sung in close harmony with his brother, Peter, reminds one of a vaudeville theatre in 1917, and is properly sentimental, but not maudlin. We hear the words of Doughboys echo plaintively through "Christmas in the Trenches" and "The Green Fields of France." The rollicking music hall tempo of "D-Day Dodgers" turns sadly slow and solemn, as the Tommies remind Lady Astor that many of their fellow "dodgers" will forever remain behind in Italy. The ghost of Michael Collins also weighs in from a long ago Irish rebellion. Throughout the album, McCann's ability to alter tempo and mood adds significantly to its quality and the listener's enjoyment. There are other songs as well, and each is well worth your attention. The most modern of the songs is "The Wall," which eulogizes the generation of Vietnam veterans through the metaphor of the black and gold memorial in Washington. It reminds us that our fallen comrades are still "waiting at the wall." Mike McCann's splendid album answers the question of what they are waiting for. They are waiting for remembrance, so that their ghosts may, at long last, be heard. As one old soldiers'song (not on this CD) goes, bless 'em all, and thank Mike McCann for giving them voice. I learned about this album from a co-worker and have since bought one for myself, and others for friends. Treat yourself to one as well, give it a listen, and I suspect you will do the same."
Prepare yourself for a Historic Musical Journey...
Timothy Murphy | 12/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When Michael McCann first contacted me about the possibility of including my song, 'THE WALL' in his proposed CD "SOLDIERS' SONGS", I was admittedly a little skeptical. I'd never met, spoken to, nor heard of Mike, and I was inclined to be protective of my original number. However, his honesty and obvious sincerity soon put my misgivings to rest, and eventually I released the song. What Mike has achieved with this monumental CD is far beyond the norm of a typical first effort: His deep and accurate research of each historic song is underscored by the purely creative production of the entire collection. Michael McCann brings something unique to every number: having paid his dues in Vietnam, and with the clarity of perception only the Combat Veteran knows, he shares his music... and his heart, I think. I highly recommend "SOLDIERS' SONGS" to all - Prepare yourself for a Historical Musical Journey - one that you'll want to take again and again..."
Solid singing, Sincere delivery !
kipkeino68 | Leominster, MA USA | 11/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this cd for one song. I wanted to learn the Irish National anthem (The Soldier's Song). I am quite pleased with the quality of the entire cd. Mr. McCann has a pleasant voice, excellent diction and phrasing. I think the best thing about his singing is his ability to sell the song. You can tell his feelings and emotions in each song are real !!"