1. Home In Ireland Theme
2. The Boys of Belfast
3. Ireland Boys Hurrah
4. The Dear Little Shamrock Shore
5. The Deep Blue Sea
6. The Boys of Killybegs
7. Let The Toast Go Round
8. The Irish Rover
9. Maggie - Foster & Allen, Solo
11. Dunluce Castle
12. Brady of Strabane
13. Gracehill Fair
14. A Long Time Ago
15. I Will Go A-Rovin'
16. Rose of Mooncoin - Foster & Allen, Solo
17. Reels (1. Doon Reel, 2. Sheehan's Reel, 3. Musical Priest, 4. Brennan's Reel)
18. The Dublin Pub Crawl
19. The Black Velvet Band
20. When The Wife Is Mad
21. The Girls Of Derry
22. Reels (1. Big John's Reel 2. The Mountain Thrush 3. O'Reilly's Greyhound)
23. Dunne Song - Cathal McConnell, Solo
24. The Rambling Boys of Pleasure
25. The Unicorn
26. The Dark Island & Mason's Apron
27. Wasn't That A Party
28. Drunken Sailor
29. Instrumental (1.The Tulla Reel, 2. Dick Gossip's Reel)
30. I'll Return
Plus Interviews with the Band!
"Imagine a world without music; each day would be dreary and long,
And the Irish would suffer in silence without the sweet lilt of a song;
And if we d no songs for the singin or music that makes the heart throb,
Then all the dear old Irish Rovers would each have to find a new job."
As he finishes, a grinning George gives a helpless little shrug of the shoulders as if to say, Sorry, I can t help myself, folks, even after all these years. The much-loved cheeky little leprechauntype character, Twerp, that he used to play in the Rovers massively popular Canadian TV series of the 1970 s, is still there. That s me, he says. Always inclined to be a wee bit flippant and frivolous.
The Home in Ireland DVD/TV special was shown across the USand Canada on several national and regional TV stations this past year and was a big hit with the viewers. Apparently it s already generating a renewed interest in Ireland, which should see more visitors heading over to the Emerald Isle. It s basically The Irish Rovers Coming Home; , George says, because this is our home, for all of us.
The Irish Rovers have had a huge following in North America for well over forty years, since George was in his teens, in fact and they are delighted they now have a new and welcome fan base back home in Ireland. This is reflected in the line up on the CD/DVD: filmed entirely in Ireland. There are interviews with theband that also include special appearances by Foster and Allen, the Gerry O'Connor Band, Cathal McConnell and The Gavin Doherty Dancers. Founding members, George Millar and Wilcil McDowell still perform the majority of song writing and management duties for the band, which plans to tour again through Australia,New Zealand, Canada, the US and Ireland, before they retire.
But who are the Irish Rovers anyway, this group that even in the 1960 s and 70 s could call on the biggest names in the business to be guests on their TV series? Their story began in Ontario in 1963, when the 16 year old George Millar, from Ballymena, Co. Antrim, and 23 year old Jim Ferguson from Belfast, both recent immigrants, met in Toronto at an Irish function. They sang together until dawn, and so the seed was sown. George s cousin, Joe Millar, arrived in Canada the following year and was recruited as soon as he stepped off the plane. After a number of successful performances in Ontario, the trio, now calling themselves The Irish Rovers, made their way to Calgary, Alberta, to join forces with George s brother, Will.
That move to western Canada led on almost immediately to another major step for the boys. My brother,Will, was presenting a children s TV show called Just 4 Fun in Calgary, said George. We went on the show with him and sang, Whiskey You re the Devil, and there were these little five year olds sitting on the floor in front of us. Of course the switchboards lit up with people going, Please don t be putting those songs in our children s ears, and that sort of thing.
The hilarity of the moment isn t lost on George today as he recalled the group s less than auspicious start in the business. But then, neither is the fact that soon enough they would become Canada s top entertainers on stage and TV, big with little kids and adults alike. --Aidan O'Hara, Irish Music Magazine, Dublin