This is one of the most popular Irish folk songs around. It has been recorded by the Dubliners, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, and many, many others.
I have played this song countless times, usually on bodhran and occasionally on guitar, but always backing someone else. In fact, other than supplying backup vocals on the chorus, I had never sung this song until about an hour before I recorded this. I even had to go online to double check some of the lyrics.
This is not a typical Kevin Edward Rose song. I have to admit, I am a little hesitant to post it here. After all, if someone visits this site for the first time and knows nothing about me, this song is going to send a very strange message.
Over the years, I have tried to write “dark” songs, but they usually (and inadvertently) turn out humorous. In this case, I challenged myself to write the darkest song I could possibly write. I think I succeeded.
Ironically, I think this song has the most potential for commercial success of anything I have written. It would be perfect as part of a horror or slasher film soundtrack, or it could be used in a documentary or news program. I need to get busy and make a professional recording of this so I can get it in the right hands.
I presented this song at the Dayton N.S.A.I. (Nashville Songwriters Association, International) workshop a few months ago and was rewarded with a moment of complete silence after I finished. I looked at my audience and noticed several people just sitting there with their mouths open. The general consensus was that it was “creepy, but well written.” After the critique session, I offered to walk any of the females present to their cars, and believe it or not, no one took me up on it.
First of all, I must apologize for not posting last week. I normally record these songs late at night or early in the morning on one of my evenings off from work, but last week I had to fill in for a sick employee on my recording night.
Anyway, now on to Loch Lomond. This is a not-so traditional arrangement of a traditional song. It is one of the better-known folk songs from Scotland, but most people have no idea what the song is about. So, we will now begin today’s history lesson.
After the failed Jacobite Rebellion, which was the attempt of the people of Scotland to gain their independence from England by placing Charles Stuart (AKA Bonnie Prince Charlie) on the throne of Scotland, the victorious English army was faced with a dilemma; What should they do with their Scottish prisoners? If they let all of the prisoners go free, there was nothing to stop them from further rebellion. If they executed all of the prisoners, they would be seen as cruel and unjust, again giving the Scots another reason to rebel.
The solution was to let some of the prisoners go free, thus showing mercy, and to execute the others, thus giving an incentive against further rebellion.
The song, “Loch Lomond”, is a conversation between two prisoners. One would be set free and would go home by taking the high road, which was the “normal” way: i.e.; riding a horse, hopping a boat, etc. The other prisoner faced execution and would be taking the low road, which was the path of the spirit.
[Using my best Jerry Seinfeld voice] A song about gathering herbs? What is up with that?
In the spring of the year, the Celtic folks in days of old would go out and scour the lands looking for flowers, herbs, and leafs that held certain magical properties. They would then take these items to a special place where they would fashion them into a pile or stuff them into a mattress, upon which they would, (how would I say this delicately?) ahem, perform fertility rituals of a most practical nature (wink).
Sometimes you know when you’ve raised your kids right.
My daughter Caitlin had just turned six when we bought our house. We had only been in the new house for a few days when she joined me on the porch swing as I was playing guitar. She said, “I don’t think I’m going to like it here.” I asked her why and she told me,” The kids around here don’t know anything about music. They’ve never heard of Three Jolly Coachmen!”
This is an old Celtic folk song. The first time I remember hearing it (well, part of it anyway) was in the old Jimmy Stewart movie “Take Her, She’s Mine”, where Sandra Dee can be heard singing the very last line of the song.
(c)2001 Kevin Edward Rose All rights reserved.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the Medieval and Renaissance eras. I used to be involved in SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism, and I still attend Renaissance festivals whenever time and budget allow.
As a child, I particularly loved the heroic tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. My favorite adaptation of the Arthurian legends is the John Boorman film “Excalibur”, which was the inspiration for this song.
One night several years ago, my friends Paul McKenna and Steve Keefer and I were sitting on a deck playing guitars. Eventually we started playing the blues. As Paul was playing, something struck me as being a little off.
Besides being a good looking, outgoing guy with more musical talent than most of us can even aspire to, Paul is a successful architect and project manager with a beautiful wife (OK, we all three have beautiful wives, but that’s beside the point), a nice home, and two great kids. I had to ask myself, why was Paul playing the blues?
Welcome to the first installment of my “Song of the Week” feature.
To keep things simple, I decided to do a traditional song this week. I love Celtic music, and this song is one of my favorites.
By the way, I really hate the static image that appears in the player before the video begins. I was actually in a great mood at the time, no matter what my expression seems to say.
Devilishly handsome and incredibly modest, Kevin Edward Rose is a rare talent in a world of.... Wait a minute. I'm being told that I should have someone else write this bio as I may not be sufficiently objective. OK, hang on.
Combine the grit of Lou Reed with the emotional complexity of Loudon Wainwright III and the intimate conviction of Christy Moore, and the result would sound a lot like Kevin Edward Rose. Kevin's music can bring you to laughter and it can bring you to tears, sometimes both in the same song.
It has been said that there are three types of performers in the world. There are so-so performers, there are pretty good performers, and, maybe once in a generation, a performer comes along with an intensity and a magnetism that can only only make the world a better place. Kevin falls into the second category; he's a pretty good performer.
An award-winning amateur winemaker, Kevin is 47 years old and lives in Richmond, Indiana.