Can I get there by Candlelight - An Irish Tribute to David McWilliams
Although nearly all of us instantly recognise songs such as "Days of Pearly Spencer" and "Can I get there by Candlelight" few can put a name to the man who wrote and recorded these tracks. A prodigious and vastly underrated talent, David McWilliams wrote many successful songs for others as well as his own recordings, but more than this, he left an indelible mark on all who had the good fortune to know him. So much so that his best known fellow Irish musicians, put their energies together to record an album of his songs as a lasting tribute to the man.
"After reading an obituary in a local newspaper a short time after David's sudden death, I was struck by the words of an anonymous friend who said, "Once you met David McWilliams he never left you". I didn't have the pleasure of knowing David McWilliams personally (and that is something I regret) but I know that he touched the lives of many people in his lifetime – and not just through his music. Family, friends and fellow musicians have come together on this CD to pay their own personal
tribute to David by singing some of his best loved songs. There is an eclectic mix of material on this recording, encompassing a wide range of musical genre and lyrical themes. Hopefully a new perspective will bring fresh appreciation of someone whose contribution to Irish contemporary music has been sadly overlooked; a truly gifted songwriter whose work demands reappraisal.
Over the past eighteen months I have met many close friends and associates of David who remember him with great affection. It is interesting to note that some of those same friends who played football with him as youngsters all those years ago on the green in the Rectory Estate, were friends until the day he died. He was someone who really knew the true value of friendship.
I would therefore like to dedicate this tribute CD to the memory of David Samuel McWilliams – to his good friends the late John O'Kane and the late Ronnie Holden – and to my own dear friend the late Dominic Gormley, who lost his brave fight for life on Christmas Eve 2005. They all shared one thing in common – they knew the healing power of music. May their song always be sung."
Colin Agnew, chairman of the David McWilliams appreciation society
MEGHAN McWILLIAMS - God and my country
DAVY SLOAN - Three o'clock flamingo street
URSULA BURNS - Can i get there by candlelight
DAWN ALEXANDER - Letter to my love
BRIAN HOUSTON - The days of pearly spencer
HENRY McCULLOUGH - Cross the line
BOB SPEERS - Harlem lady
HANNAH McWILLIAMS - Mexico
ERROL WALSH - You don't have to worry about me
BLACKTHORN - Dusty bluebells
CIARAN MACGOWAN - Twenty golden years ago
MICHAEL ROBINSON - Black velvet
GIL MCWILLIAMS - She was a lady
JACKIE FULLERTON - Blue eyes
THE IRISH ROVERS - The gypsy
CLARKE FULLERTON - You've only been a stranger
DOWN TO EARTH - Mister satisfied
ANTHONY TONER - For Josephine
RICHARD GILPIN - In the early hours of the morning
TOMMY SANDS - An irishman's dream
WILLIE DRENNAN - Spanish hope
GEORGE JONES & PAUL MCNEILLY - Peggy Sue got married