"The Hill Of Tara"

Posted by: Ghostgum

"The Hill Of Tara" - 08/03/19 01:11 AM

https://soundcloud.com/user-427542889/hill-of-tara

This song describes a battle that took place on May 26, 1798 at Tara Hill, Co. Meath, Ireland between United Irishmen and forces loyal to the British Crown.

BIAB Tracks _BLUEGRSM.STY ev 16
~427Bass, Acoustic, Bluegrass Ev 130
~426:Banjo, Bluegrass Ev 130 Rhythm
~431:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Bluegrass Ev 130
~432:Mandolin, Rhythm Bluegrass Ev 130
3191:Mandolin, Soloist, CelticReelAndy Ev 16 110
~428:Fiddle, Rhythm Bluegrass Ev 130
RealDrums=Folk8ths

Like most folk tunes of this type the chord progression very simple (perhaps too much so) but the melody and the instruments (particularly the mandolin solo by Andy Leftwich) add light and shade.

Hill Of Tara (lyrics by Brian Raynor)

In Seventeen-Ninety-Eight there was rebellion
When men of Meath came marching through the night
At Tara’s Hill, five-thousand strong, we gathered
United in our cause, we came to fight
Too many years of quiet desperation
With no escape from grinding poverty
Praying to the Lord for our deliverance
How we longed for life and liberty
How we longed for life and liberty

Knowing not of treachery in Dublin
Our leaders were by worthless men betrayed
We took our stand, prepared ourselves for battle
We stared death in the face, yet unafraid
At dawn we spied the enemy approaching
The yeomen and the fencibles as well
Our muskets were no match for their artillery
And so before their shot and grape we fell
And so before their shot and grape we fell

They pushed us up the hill into the churchyard
Our last stand came at dusk, among the graves
We’d rather spill our blood for life and freedom
Than live another day as someone’s slave.
Too many years of quiet desperation
With no escape from grinding poverty
Praying to the Lord for our deliverance
How we longed for life and liberty

Though freedom was denied us there at Tara
United Irishmen will rise again
They’ll fight for what is right and be victorious
And see our sacrifice was not in vain
And see our sacrifice was not in vain
Posted by: Deryk - PG Music

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/05/19 09:35 AM

Nicely done smile A really interesting source of inspiration - I love the upbeat groove on this, the banjo and mandolin work fantastically together and I thought your vocals were really strong on this one. Nicely catchy as well.

Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Rustyspoon#

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/05/19 10:41 AM

Nice tune and storytelling! Vocals and production are excellent.
Enjoyed it!

Thank you for sharing!

Misha.
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/05/19 12:50 PM

Having played in several bluegrass bands for many years we felt you did a good job mixing this.
The bluegrass RT's are obviously well performed given the outstanding artists but they can be
a bit difficult to tailor to a given song since bluegrass solos and fills are more melodic that a lot
of folks realize. Your mix of the rhythm and solo mandolin resulted in an authentic sound.

The vocal well presented the image rich lyric. Nice story!

Enjoyed it.

J&B
Posted by: Ghostgum

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/05/19 03:36 PM

Thanks for listening, and for your comments. Back in the 70s I attended several live performances by our local "Country Gospel Bluegrass Band." Bought their one and only LP record and spent many hours listening to their arrangements.
As for the lyrics, once I had assembled the basic facts it took (apart from minor editing) about half an hour to complete. As one would expect, parts of the story too disturbing to share with a general audience have been omitted.
Posted by: MarioD

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/05/19 04:06 PM

Super story telling to a backing track that sounds live. Strong vocals!

Excellent work!
Posted by: dcuny

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/05/19 09:30 PM

Such a happy sound for such a sad subject!

Good job all around - vocals, lyrics, mix.
Posted by: Ghostgum

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/05/19 09:47 PM

Possibly, but having heard The Ballad of the Alamo (Marty Robbins) about 300 times I'm reasonably sure that Hill of Tara is not too "out there." Alamo featured one of the busiest nylon-string guitars I've heard!
Posted by: dcuny

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/06/19 12:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Ghostgum
Possibly, but having heard The Ballad of the Alamo (Marty Robbins) about 300 times I'm reasonably sure that Hill of Tara is not too "out there." Alamo featured one of the busiest nylon-string guitars I've heard!

Sorry, I should have clarified that it wasn't a complaint! Just a bit incongruous, but then, so is the whole idea of setting words to music, if you think about it too much. laugh
Posted by: Ghostgum

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/06/19 12:51 AM

No worries, David. If it's any consolation, my wife agrees with you. I notice some of the 'murder ballads' that were so popular in the 19th century (and revived in the 1960s) were up-tempo too.
Posted by: Hugh2

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/06/19 04:37 PM

Hi Ghostgun,
Unusual to hear a song about my home county!I go walking up on the hill once a week and although its quite low as hills go it has a surprizing panoramic view.Also it has alot of history that predates 1798 most famously St Patrick was brought to the hill by the High King.Great piece of story telling ,composition and arrangement!The church and graveyard are still there and they have only two services a year,one on St Patricks day and one at the start of summer.Well I enjoyed the listen and here is a link if anyone is visiting!urs Hugh proud Meathman!
https://www.discoverireland.ie/Arts-Culture-Heritage/hill-of-tara/9805
Posted by: Rob4580

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/06/19 04:48 PM

Great vocal and mix that carried along by the great story.
Rob4580
Posted by: Ember - PG Music

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/06/19 05:14 PM

Sometimes a simple chord progression has the biggest impact. Congrats on an awesome song. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Jim

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/09/19 10:32 AM

Good story song...
It does seem to have a kindred spirit to the Marty Robbin ballads...
And I enjoyed listening.
Posted by: Will Josef

Re: "The Hill Of Tara" - 08/09/19 04:54 PM

Great story-telling... the music compliments your vocal and story in a good way.

I will not comment on the lyrics... it is a very political and dangerous subject and I know too little to say something useful about this.

Will