Darby O'Gill,
Christmas Teaser
(self-produced, 2002)

The only Darby O'Gill I ever heard of before was a stage Irish concoction of Walt Disney's a few decades ago, in a tale of leprechauns and romance. This CD, by the band Darby O'Gill, is called a Christmas Teaser and it will certainly tease you as we approach the festive season.

It opens with "Hallelujah," but not the Bach version. This one is from the pen of Leonard Cohen and, while Bach is more associated with Christmas, this one is possibly more realistic and appropriate to many people. They follow this in a much lighter vein with the traditional tale of "Miss Fogharty's Christmas Cake," which would "kill a man twice just for eating a slice." The tale is a comic opera in the style of "Phil the Fluter" and "Finnegan's Wake." The more traditional view of Christmas comes through on the track "Christmas Comes But once a Year."

There is a very interesting Scottish dialect track that you may need a dictionary for, and also a nice spoken piece featuring that spoilsport who's always trying to prove that St. Nick is only a commercial. The short -- too short -- CD (just six tracks) ends with Robbie Burns' "Auld Lang Syne." Don't switch off too soon or you will miss the unlisted and slightly irreverent bonus track -- you have been warned.

This is a lovely little album that would add a number of essential elements -- fun, laughs, sentimentality and cynicism -- to any Christmas celebration.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 13 December 2003

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