Background Info: Arthur McBride back to "Arthur McBride" Cover Page

Arthur McBride

(Background Info)

EDLIS contributed:

From "Good As I Been To You: The Songs" by John Way ("The Telegraph" #44):

This song was first collected in Limerick in about 1840 (although it possibly originates in Donegal) but is also widely known in Scotland and England. It probably dates from the 18th Century and its full title is "Arthur McBride And The Sergeant." The version Dylan sings on "Good As I Been To You" is the same as Paul Brady's solo acoustic performance on his 1976 album "Andy Irvine, Paul Brady."

Sean Kjartan (Mc)Iversen / Lars-Henrik Folke Ossum posted:

The song's popularity must be credited Paul Brady to some extent, since his version of the song on the album "Welcome here kind stranger" has gone down in history as one of the greatest renditions of any Irish folksong ever to be recorded. The Dylan recordings of the song are true to the Brady version, and differ a lot from any other version of this song (i.e. Planxty version).

The melodyline and words used by Dylan are almost identical to those of Brady's, and the slight alterations are more than likely down to Dylan's recollection of the song as Brady sang it. It is therefore wrong to credit Dylan this song (as we can find it on "Highway 61 Interactive").

Let us be fair and give Paul Brady the credit for this version of "Arthur McBride," and Bob Dylan for bringing it to a broad audience. There is reason to believe that the same goes for "The Lakes Of Ponchatrain," as it can be heard on several tape-recordings.

Tiernan Henry posted:

The version Bob plays he learned from Paul Brady at Slane in 1984. This song appears on "Andy Irvine/Paul Brady," a Mulligan release from about '76 (it's available in the States through Green Linnet). Brady writes about it in the sleeve notes, and this song was the one that people here in Paddyland associated most with Brady. Certainly his shows always wrapped up with "Arthur." Paul went electric in 1981, outraging many of his folk fans (hey! that sounds familiar) though he'd occasionally dust "Arthur" down.

In 1984, Bob wound up the Euro tour at Slane Castle (County Meath, about 35 miles north west of Dublin). Bob asked to meet Brady (he describes Brady as one of the "secret heroes" in the Biograph notes), and then buttonholed the Tyrone man for guitar tunings and arrangements for "Arthur" and "The Lakes of Ponchatrain" (the latter appears on Brady's 1978 album, "Welcome Here Kind Stranger"). Bob's version of "Arthur" is pretty much done the way Brady does it, though Bob's, er, style of playing is slightly less fluid than Brady's.


forward to "Arthur McBride" Tidbits