I first heard this song on one of my grandmother’s John McCormack records and have thought of it as an Irish song ever since. In fact, it’s become one of my favorites. But it was written by William Shakespeare Hays, the same American who wrote Mollie Darling. Although there seem to be several tunes that … Continue reading NORA O’NEAL: American Folksong
So it's been awhile since you heard from me, but there's a good reason: after exhaustive edits, critiques, and beta reads, RAINBOW MAN has been published! And here's the lovely cover chosen by my newsletter subscribers: This novel, like my previous ones, is set in the 1880s Arizona Territory. A bit more information on it: … Continue reading RAINBOW MAN is here!
The first time I heard this song, I thought it was Irish in origin, as it has the same appeal. But it was written by William Shakespeare Hayes (1837-1907), a prolific American lyricist who is often compared to Stephen Foster. The more I hear it, the more I love it. You can sing along with … Continue reading MOLLIE DARLIN’, Traditional American Folksong
My Book Place was nice enough to publish an interview I did with them a bit ago... Advice, writing habits, influences, and more about my books is covered. If you have questions they didn't ask, don't hesitate to post them below!
by Percy French (1854-1920) Every once in awhile, authors latch onto a word and it becomes so popular, you virtually can’t get away from it. Lately, one of those words is “petrichor”, meaning the earthy scent of rain that’s fallen on dry soil. Each time I see or hear it, though, it brings this song … Continue reading EILEEN OG: An Irish Song
American folk songs often present both positive and negative facets of life. This traditional lullaby is no exception, as it exemplifies the chasm that exists between the “haves” and “have nots”. The baby fortunate to be born to the manor will have cake for breakfast, while the poor child lies crying, and probably dying, in … Continue reading ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES: An American Folk Song
This song was actually written in 1857 by H. D. Webster & J. P. Webster and, for obvious reasons, became popular with the men on both sides of the Civil War, after which it became a staple of the Old West. You can hear a traditional interpretation by John Hartford with excellent banjo accompaniment here. … Continue reading LORENA: A Song of the Civil War
Harry Stephens, an American cowboy, wrote this song circa 1890, while he was herding wild horses in Canada. While the rest slept, one or two unlucky cowboys always had to stand guard overnight. Called the “night hawk”, this job was one of the worst a cowboy could draw, and they believed the sound of music … Continue reading THE NIGHT HERDING SONG, A Cowboy Tune
A traditional Irish toe-tapper bemoaning the single state, Old Maid in the Garrett introduces an unmarried woman whose fate would probably lead to a dismal life in her brother's attic. She is extolling her virtues and ready to settle for anyone, even “a wee fat man”, as single women were considered a drain on the … Continue reading OLD MAID IN THE GARRETT: An Irish Song
Another song that's featured in my Donovan family series, this song tells the story of a bold highwayman of the 1700s in County Cork who, like Robin Hood, stole from the rich to give to the poor. You can hear a live version of it by The Clancy Brothers here. BRENNAN ON THE MOOR 'Tis … Continue reading BRENNAN ON THE MOOR: An Irish Song