Song Premiere: John Doyle, "The Rambler from Clare"

by Henry Carrigan (@henry.carrigan), Folk Alley

John Doyle The Ramber From Clare Folk Alley Premiere Stacie Huckaba
photo: Stacie Huckeba

Sprightly guitar picking frolic under and around nimble fiddle bowings in John Doyle’s “The Rambler from Clare,” the first single from his new album The Path of Stones, out on May 1, 2020, from Compass Records. While the tune opens sparsely, it launches quickly into a jaunty gamboling roundabout, mimicking the story of the song’s hero, who rambles from his home in County Clare first to neighboring villages and eventually to America. Along the way, the Rambler from Clare enlists in the army, courts “young Sally McGee," deserts her and the army, is arrested and jailed, is freed by his brothers, and sets forth from his native land with memories of his darlin’ Sally McGee. As the song reels to its close, he sets sail with a fair wind and a wish from his countrymen that joy goes with him.

According to Doyle, “The Rambler from Clare” is "A fantastic song from the 1798 rebellion about a roving rake who eventually joins the United Irishman during the 1798 rebellion. The Year of the French. In the song, the rambler from Clare eventually escapes to America. I honestly cannot remember where I heard this song first. I changed the melody a little from the original. Some say this is a Northern song and the ‘Clare’ they speak of are townlands in Co. Tyrone, but I tend to believe it’s a Co. Clare song. The lyrics can be found in Colm Ó Lochlainn’s ‘More Irish street Ballads’."

The Path of Stones
is Doyle’s third solo album, a follow up to 2011’s Shadow and Light. The album, whose title was inspired by a poem by William Butler Yeats (“He mourns for a change that has come upon him and his beloved and longs for the end of the world”), features 11 tracks written by Doyle, and feature his mesmerizing guitar work and riveting lyrical storytelling. Special guests include Rick Epping, Cathy Jordan, John McCusker, Mike McGoldrick, and Duncan Wickel. The enchanting “The Rambler from Clare” promises that The Path of Stones will deliver lively and delightful Irish music from one of its very best composers and players.



"The Rambler from Clare" from The Path of Stones is available for pre-order now: HERE

Upcoming tour dates

Fri-Mon, 3/13-3/16: Nashville, TN - Music City Irish Festival (John Doyle and Mike McGoldrick)

Sat, 3/ 28: Louisville, KY- Homefront Radio, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church

Wed-Sun, 4/1-4/5: Pigeon Forge, TN - Dollywood

Thus-Mon, 4/16-20: Pigeon Forge, TN - Dollywood

Sun, 5/3: Brittany, France - Toucouleur Cafe Festival (John Doyle and Mike McGoldrick)

Sat, 5/20: Cumberland, RI - Blackstone River Theatre Festival (John Doyle and Mick McAuley)

Mon - Fri, 7/6- 7/10: Woodstock, NY - Richard Thompson’s Frets and Refrains Guitar Camp

Sun-Fri, 7/12-7/17: Asheville, NC - Swannannoa Gathering

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