The songs in this collection were recorded over a three month period in 1968. They come mainly from the singing of Tommy McCabe, from the townland of Nart Co.Monaghan. Some additional songs were provided by members of his extended family. Kathleen Duffy and Annie Gavin. Tommy passed away on Christmas Day 1971. Over the subsequent years I have visited the McCabe family on many occasions, in the same old farmhouse, recording their memories of their father, his companions and the times he lived in.
These conversations, along with Tommy’s own stories, form a significant part of the book and are a valuable insight into the life of a man of many parts. Tommy was a singer, a musician, a bandsman, a composer, an actor, a dancer, a farmer, a builder, a thatcher and a general handyman. He would be so pleased that the songs he sang are being kept alive in the tradition and made available to a wider audience.
Fergus Woods was born in Newry Co.Down but has lived most of his life in Belfast. A retired teacher, he sings traditional songs and has a special interest in singing the songs which make up this Monaghan collection. His involvement in folk music- as a performer, organizer and listener- dates back to the 1960’s. He currently co-hosts the website Belfastfolk.co.uk