The Dylan Nobody Knows: The Clancy Brothers / Restless Farewell

By Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

In the video below Dylan explores for a moment his admiration for traditional Irish music, and this is followed by Liam Clancy telling a story of meeting Bob and going to the White Horse Tavern, which then introduces a version of The Parting Glass followed by the best cover of Restless Farewell ever.

In case you don’t know them, the Clancy Brothers were an incredibly influential Irish folk music ensemble who came to widespread notice and acclaim in the 1960s, taking Irish traditional music in America.  If you are interested in the music that influenced Bob Dylan in the early days, they should most certainly be part of your study.

They were rather oddly known for wearing Aran jumpers – something they complained about as their fame grew, wishing they’d never started wearing clothes that became unbearable under the TV lighting of the era, which threw out a huge amount of heat.  But that was their costume, and they were stuck with it.

They were, in fact, the ensemble that prepared the way for many other Irish groups, most notably the Dubliners.

Unlike some other “brother” ensembles The Clancy Brothers did include three brothers, Paddy, Tom and Liam, along with Tommy Makem, although the ensemble changed over time as Bobby Clancy also joined the group.  Paddy died in 1998.

They worked particularly with traditional Irish ballads, sea shanties and other traditional songs.  Here Restless Farewell, after an introduction from Bob.

Liam also recorded a version in the studio with his son Donal singing

This is Dylan’s cover of the Clancy Brothers own Eileen Aroon

Surprising for how great it is..but also he seems to be wearing a parka!

And The Clancy’s own version

Other articles in the Dylan Nobody Knows series

What else is on the site?

We have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with over 4200 active members.  (Try imagining a place where it is always safe and warm).  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page of this site.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

The index to all the 603 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found on the A to Z page.

If you are interested in Dylan’s work from a particular year or era, your best place to start is Bob Dylan year by year.

On the other hand if you would like to write for this website, or indeed have an idea for a series of articles that the regular writers might want to have a go at, please do drop a line with details of your idea, or if you prefer, a whole article to Tony@schools.co.uk

And please do note our friends at  The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, plus links back to our reviews (which we do appreciate).

 

 

 

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1 Response to The Dylan Nobody Knows: The Clancy Brothers / Restless Farewell

  1. jas says:

    Restless Farewell is one of my very favourites. Such a beauty in Liam Clancy´s rendition! Eileen Aroon is a way back in time for me… Many thanks Aaron and Tony

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