It has been said by eminent historians, both at home and abroad, that Ireland's greatest export has been its people. When one examines Ireland's troubled past, this comment can be seen to contain a greater degree of truth than might at first be apparent.
Before the infamous Great Famine which tore the country apart in body, soul and mind, the population of Ireland was many times greater than it is now.
But fate, added to our misery by causing vast numbers of our people to take the various emigrant and transportation ships from the land of their heart's desire to the lands of opportunity and survival. Many others as a result of non payment of rent or petty thievery were sent away in "prison ships" to Australia where they served out their sentences.
But before they reached those foreign shores they endured the living hell of overladen and diseased-ridden vessels on dangerous storm-tossed seas.
There is one point on this record when Paddy Reilly reaches back to that era of pain and poverty and expresses with poignancy and heartfelt emotion the plight of those who left the shamrock shore, when in the Fields of Athenry, he sings "Nothing really matters when you're free."
In many ways that line alone sums up the history of Ireland Paddy Reilly's voice is the voice of every emigrant who ever left Ireland in search of a freedom not to be found in their native land.
With his unique voice Paddy Reilly's performance on this album demonstrates quite clearly why he is Ireland's best folk & ballad singer.