Liberty! Liner Notes

We dedicate this recording to the memory of Susan Zimelis, a cherished member of the Society. Many thanks to Larry Luddecke of Straight Up Music for his masterful engineering, great ears, excellent advice, comfy studio, and friendly dog.

1. The Ebenezer / Liberty trad. American

A working chantey making the usual complaints, paired with a popular fiddle tune from the Colonial era.

2. The Ballad of Deborah Samson © 2005 Diane Taraz

The Massachusetts State Heroine enlisted in disguise after the Revolutionary War was officially over, when Tory raids made the army desperate for soldiers. Her steadfast service was rewarded with a military pension, signed by Governor John Hancock in 1792.

3. Castle Island Waltz / Rolling in the Rye Grass © 1998 John Berger/trad. Irish

John named his waltz for a lovely spot near his home in South Boston. Our version of "Rolling" comes from the brother/sister duo Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford of County Kerry, Ireland. We play it as they did, with repeats.

4. The Patent Leather Waltz  © 1994 Lynn Noel

Lynn interviewed former shoe-mill workers in the Merrimac Valley and shaped their memories into this song. They recalled the joy of waltzing on Saturday nights to such favorites as "Golden Slippers." Lynn wasn’t about to argue with the 90-year-old ladies that "Golden Slippers" is not a waltz -- so now it is.

5. Full and By © 1999 Daisy Nell

A ship sailing “full and by” has her sails full and is sailing 'by the wind, her course as close t the wind as possible.

6. The Cape Cod Hornpipe / Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier trad. American and Irish

John unleashes his frailing fingers on two banjo tunes that were born in Ireland and became hits in America.

7. The Sea-Serpent of Cape Ann © 2003 Diane Taraz

Sightings of "His Snakeship," as the newspapers dubbed him, have tailed off since a notable 1817 tour of Gloucester Bay. They say he was as long as a 74-gun warship (on our CD cover).

8. Jacky Tar / Off to California trad. British Isles / trad. Irish

A hornpipe is a sailor's dance named for an ancient instrument. Here are two of our favorites.

9. Lovely Ernestina © 1997 Jim Bean

Jim paints a lovely picture of the grand old Massachusetts State Schooner, who has filled many roles in her long life.

10. The Rosabella trad. English 

A rousing capstan chantey, excellent for gathering the crew and hoisting the anchor.

11. The Jamaica Plain Rag © 1984 Owen Hartford

Owen co-founded the band, which was nameless in 1971 when he and David Rosen played at a church supper in Gloucester. When asked what they were called, David looked at his music stand, saw sheet music for a clog and a hornpipe, and muttered, "We're the, uh, Hornpipe and Clog . . . Society." Whereupon the minister proclaimed, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society!" Since then, some 22 musicians have been members of the Society–and as yet, not a single one from Gloucester.

12. The Lady in Black © 2008 Diane Taraz, with trad. French tune "V'la, l'bon vent" (Come, Fair Wind) 

In January 1862 Melanie Lanier tried to rescue her husband, a Confederate prisoner on Georges Island in Boston Harbor. The escape went awry, and her last request led to her notoriety as the ghost of Fort Warren.

13. Zim's Jig / The Gallowglass / The Tar Road to Sligo © 1996 Sandy Davis / trad. Irish

The first tune honors Susan Zimelis, the band's hammered dulcimer player from 1985 to 1996. As Susan lay dying from leukemia, Sandy inspired friends to gather at her bedside to play the Irish music she loved. Susan brought "The Gallowglass" (an old name for mercenary soldiers) and "The Tar Road to Sligo" to the band.

14. The Constitution Hornpipe / The Constitution & the Guerriere / Hull’s Victory trad. American

This medley includes the famous broadside account of Old Ironsides’ battle (off the coast of Nova Scotia on August 19, 1810) against a British warship with a perplexingly French name that means “the Warrior.” Captain Isaac Hull maneuvered his vessel into the best spot from which to blast away the foe’s mainmast. Huzzah!

To book The Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society, purchase recordings, or join our mailing list, call David "Doc" Rosen at 617-522-7020, or send an email using the form on our Home page.