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Anne Byrne Fiona and Shane

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Published on Feb 17, 2008

What a shame that this wonderful LP is not out on CD! The cover is so beautiful it's unreal, itself enough reason for a re-release.
I found I Chose the Green in a pile of discarded Irish LPs years ago at a thrift shop in Manhattan. There were two copies of it, a UK mono original, played to death and sounding awful, and an American Stereo re- release in not bad shape which is playing here. The original owner
evidently loved it enough to wear out one copy and buy another.
The original has a few extra tracks-- one a Dylan cover, and sounded very like America's best 60's folk music. I sent a tape to a radio DJ Bob Fass on WBAI.org and he played the entire tape, asking his audience to call in and try to identify the singer. It mostly reminded people of Joan Baez's "achingly pure soprano" or Carolyn Hester's, but when Anne sang Mary Hamilton, we heard "Yestreen there were four Marys", not "Last night there were four Marys." Since this song belongs to Anne's heritage, not Joan Baez's, and we felt the presence of the real thing. I sent another tape to an Irish DJ at a Catholic University who only plays Irish music and he said he knew of Anne from a compilation LP. He played Come by the Hills and praised her fine voice.
Her ethereal folk soprano never sounded more bell clear,more ghostly than when echoing in the wind of Fiona and Shane, my favorite on the album. I can't find any other covers of this song, and it will always make us think of the lovely Anne Byrne, Won't somebody please release this extraordinary, well-loved LP on CD?

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