Michael Rooney directed the orchestra of no less than sixty of Ireland and Scotland’s finest classical and traditional musicians and the orchestral arrangements for the exclusive 30th Birthday performance of Four Men and a Dog in February 2020 at IMBOLC 2020.
IMBOLC International Music Festival has grown to become one of Ireland’s leading folk and world music festivals. Whilst still firmly rooted in the musical cultures of this island, the festival has grown in depth and breadth and now encompasses music genres ranging from folk, traditional and roots to jazz, contemporary and world music.
Four Men and a Dog burst on the scene in 1990 and since then have become one of the most exciting trad bands in the world. Barking Mad, their debut album, snagged an award for Album of the Year from Folk Roots magazine in 1991, marking the first time that an Irish group had ever won the prize.
They blend an eclectic mix of traditional Irish music with a wide spectrum of other genres, including rap, Southern rock, jazz, blues, bluegrass, polka, country swing, and even salsa and their fiery tune sets are second to none for passion and precision, while the songs are full of surprise – anything from traditional ballads to American folk songs to acoustic rock n’ roll.
They played “The Mountains of Pomeroy” at the end of their performance. “The Mountains of Pomeroy” is the Irish ballad set in mountain range that runs west of the town of Pomeroy in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The love story unfolds in the lyrics. A boy struggles in search of freedom and a girl falls in love with him.
We would like to introduce the beautiful tune by Michael Rooney, the orchestra and Four Men and a Dog with beautiful lyrics of love.
The dawn was breaking bright and fair
The lark sang in the sky
When the maid she bound her golden hair
With a blithe glance in her eye
For who beyond the grey-green wood
Was awaiting her with joy
Oh, who but her gallant Renardine
On the mountains of Pomeroy
An outlawed man in a land forlorn
He scorned to turn and fly
But kept the cause of freedom safe
Upon the mountains high
Full often in the dawning hour
Full oft in the twilight brown
He met the maid in the woodland bower
Where the stream comes rushing down
For they were faithful and in love
No wars could e’er destroy
No tyrants laws chained Renardine
In the Mountains of Pomeroy
“My love,” she said, “I’m so afraid,
For the foeman’s force and you
They’ve tracked you in the lowland plain
And all the valley through
My kinsmen frown when you are named
Your life they would destroy”
“Beware”, they say, “of Renardine
In the Mountains of Pomeroy”
“Fear not, fear not, my love,” he cried
“Fear not the foe for me
No chain shall fall, what e’er betide
On the arm that would be free
Oh, leave your cruel kin and come
When the lark is in the sky
And it’s with my life I will guard you
On the mountains of Pomeroy”
The morn has come, she rose and fled
From her cruel kin and home
And bright the wood and rosy red
And the tumbling torrent’s foam
But the mist came down and the tempest roared
And all around did destroy
And a pale, drowned bride met Renardine,
On the mountains of Pomeroy.
And she was lost, the brave love of Renardine
On the mountains of Pomeroy