SOTW: “Mrs McGrath” Live at The Celtic Fox – Topeka, KS

“Mrs McGrath” from my performance at The Celtic Fox in downtown Topeka, KS, on the 30th June 2017.

I cleaned up the audio a bit, because it had a bit of clipping. The gain ended up a little hot, so I’m updating my pre-show checklist for live recordings.

This is one of my favourite rowdy songs. I love Mrs McGrath’s picante sassiness in the face of her son’s maiming. There are many songs lamenting or outright berating the belligerents of the Peninsular War, but the forlorn parent cycle –including “Mrs McGrath”, “My Son John”, and “My Son Tim”- delivers a quick shot of both humour or haunting sadness. Most songs I know from the Napoleonic wars have more death in lieu of the maiming found in these songs.

“Mrs McGrath”, though definitely an anti-war song, was a popular marching song among the Irish fighters in the years leading up to the Easter Monday Uprising of 1916.

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