From time immemorial, the balladeer has been the purveyor of words and song to relate the drama of human experience. Today, Danny O’Flaherty is the consummate balladeer, and that has never been better evidenced than in this series of songs that reveal the hardships and struggle of “…ordinary people just like you and me…” in the fight to establish American independence and the creation of the United States of America. We have all seen in our history textbooks in school the words that stood out in bold dark print such as Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere, Bunker Hill, George Washington, Saratoga, Valley Forge, King’s Mountain and Yorktown but the names and places can mean nothing to us unless they are given real meaning, real life, and real evidence of why they should be remembered. True to the balladeer, Danny brings to us that meaning, as well as the spirit, the pathos, and the inspiration of that generation of Americans at the moment of our nation’s founding. Here will we hear the names of Peter Francisco, James Forten, and Molly Pitcher who were among the scores of “…ordinary people just like you and me…” who fought for freedom and liberty, but whose names have never appeared in bold print.
The lyrical line of the music, the imagery of the words, and congruent manner in which the two come together have always been a hallmark of Danny O’Flaherty’s work. Most of these songs are written by Danny and his co-writers, and he uses his talents to express his love of this country, and to share that love and those talents with the rest of us. Some of the songs are contemporary with the period of the American Revolution. In some of the songs, children’s voices appear in the chorus but, make no mistake about it; this is a collection of music worthy of the attention of all ages.
Those who serve in the military today, and their families, will know what this music is about. But for the rest of us, it is right and proper to be reminded that there have been and still are those in this country who have been willing to subject themselves to personal sacrifice, hardship, and uncertainty for those principles that are greater than life itself.
Listen to the songs. let them become a part of your repertoire. Sing them while working and playing and you will have made these songs what they were meant to be – stories about how this counry came to be – by and for “…ordinary people-just like you and me…”
-John Douglas Hall
Spirit of Freedom
Boston Tea Party
Lexington and Concord (Interlude: The White Cockade)