Link to Living Tradition Homepage





CD sleeve not available
Frank Harte & Donal Lunny "My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte"
Hummingbird Records HDCD0027

There are many Irish songs with references to Napoleon and the wars and battles of that time; this is a double CD that brings many of them together forming a testament in song, to the times, the people and the places.

Donal Lunny is well enough known as both instrumentalist and record producer. On this recording he can be heard on several tracks with telling but restrained accompaniments. Frank Harte is maybe better known and respected among other singers than in the Irish music world in general but this recording is worthy of a wider audience and the highest acclaim. He is a truly great singer, his voice has a distinctive tone and personality and, as ever, he has a fine grip of the phrasing and timing of his chosen material. Whither it be the grander songs like "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris", "Bonny Bunch of Roses" and "Granuaile" or the more poignant, " Dearthairin O Mo Chroi " and "The Wounded Hussar" or the lighter verses of, " My Son Tim " and "Whiskey in the Jar", there is always a firm directness and sureness of style.

There are a total of twenty-six tracks on this recording, the one voice and consistent performance bringing greater focus to the individual themes and subplots of the songs. Much more background information on the songs and Napoleon Bonaparte himself can be found in the fifty-two pages of well-written sleeve notes, which help unlock some of the secrets and codes that lie unwritten between many of these lines of verse. On all fronts though, this is a collection of songs made all the better by the singing of them and Frank Harte is just the very man for the job.

Peter Fairbairn.

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 44 of The Living Tradition magazine.