The Road Across the Hills

from The Road Across the Hills by Gráinne Brady

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The Fair at Strabane/Beyond the Sea

Barely a teenager, Dermod (MacGill) set off from home to the hiring fair in Strabane, Tyrone. After working as a labourer in several farms across Ulster, he decided to travel to Scotland to seek his fortune. A group of workers from Glenmornan were going to harvest potatoes on a farm in Renfrewshire and he joined up with them in Derry to get the boat.


‘Neath silver skies with silence shod,
Engirdled by the Milky Way,
And set with stars of brightest ray,
As fits the far-off paths of God,

I’ve slept with them; in lonely lands,
Ere came the city vomit thence
To take the house and claim the fence
Built with the toil of calloused,

I’ve wrought with them; where gin shops smell,
And stagnant models smut the town,
I’ve shared their plaints when out and down –
My brothers, don’t I know them well!

I’ve begged with them from door to door,
And thought unutterable things
Of lands where courtiers and where kings
Still grind the faces of the poor.


from The Road Across the Hills, released February 22, 2019
Music composed by Gráinne Brady with 'A Navvy's Philosophy' by Patrick MacGill

Gráinne Brady – fiddle
Andrew Waite – piano accordion
Innes White – guitar
Steve Forman – percussion

Jack Houston – spoken word


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Gráinne Brady Glasgow, UK

Gráinne Brady is a Glasgow based fiddle player and composer, originally from Co. Cavan, Ireland.

"Irish/Scottish and contemporary influences infuse Brady’s vibrant rhythms and rich lyrical patterns, illuminating peaks and troughs of the emigrant experience and the extremities of poverty. Arrangements evoke both adversity and lively inner strength." Bryony Hegarty, RnR Magazine 5*****
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