“The Thrush in the Straw” comes from the whistle playing of piper, singer, and storyteller Séamus Ennis (1919-1982), who hailed from Jamestown, Finglas, County Dublin. Ennis traveled the length and breadth of Ireland on a bicycle, collecting songs, tunes, and folklore from the people of the country. So prodigious were his efforts that he was known in Conamara as Séamus Mhíle Amhráin, or “Séamus of a Thousand Songs.”
Lough Gowna, which means “Lake of the Calves” in Irish, is located in County Cavan, and the tune that bears its name is from the repertoire of legendary Clare piper Willie Clancy (1918-1973).
Grey: anglo concertina and harmonium; Paddy: guitarThe Thrush in the Straw/The Banks of Lough Gowna