Four Green Fields – A Tribute to Tommy Makem

God Bless You Tommy Makem

I recorded Four Green Fields in 1989 at Marist College when our group The Frobisher Bay Volunteers was documenting our repetoire of Irish Songs. 

In my youtube account, user bobjohnson1945 you’ll find 40 great songs.

I’m still singing Irish but not as much.  This week at the jam at my home I hope to get a few sung.

It was a great disappointment to lose all the Clancey’s and Tommy Makem this last few years.  Makem was so smooth and yet had an intensity and emotional connection that was magnetic.  His song Four Green Fields will be around a long time.

It is good to have peace in Ireland.  Cathy and I visited in 1987 or 88 and we found ourselves in a couple of situations where guns were drawn.  One took place when we entered the North and the checkpoint police pointed loaded AK 47’s – not sure they were AK’s but they were the biggest things I’d ever seen – at both of us.  We had a station wagon and innocently and naively covered our luggage in the rear, not a good idea when bombs were being driven to the North by car.

In Belleek we stayed with a friend, Tommy Burns in his Inn, The Hotel Carlton,(he gave us a fishing cottage for our stay) and walked in Belleek in the evening.  We bumped into a patrol of six or so soldiers, three on each side of the street, all pointing rifles at the rooftops and alleys defending against snipers.  It was not a good way to live.

In  Enniskillen   we could not park on the street; it was illegal to leave your car unattended.  A few days after we left this beautiful town, a car bomb exploded and killed 11 people.

I cannot imagine what it was like to live with this constant threat.   It is good to have peace.

We made friends with Leo Keohane in Shannon and I’d be much obliged if someone could contact him and ask him to send me mail:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.


Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 4:02 am  Comments (2)  

Go Lassie Go – St. Patricks Day Great Song

Happy St. Patricks Day

This is a video from the 1989 recording session at Marist College by the Frobisher Bay Volunteers; I’m proud to say I was a member.  I’m the younger guy on the left.

Check this out, it has 8800 views.


Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 3:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Farewell My Darlings to play on WVLT

Thanks to Steve Shelton for playing my song Farewell My Darlings on his show this Tueday, March 16, 2010 at 10 PM on  The link is:

Steve and I have known each other quite a while and my business is one of the sponsors of The Bluegrass Hour.

Here’s a preview of the song:

Steve was good enough to record me in his studio.  He has a lot of patience.

Tallmansville was the scene of a mine accident that took 12 lives, a 13th miner surviving.  My song describes the disaster in personal terms for the families.


Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 2:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Jam at my home

Cathy and I are hosting two Jams

Bluegrass Acoustic Only: Wednesday March 17, 2010 at 6 pm.  Sandwiches and coffee

Open Jam: Bluegrass, folk, Irish, or country.  Electric base or guitar fine.  Friday March 19, 2010.  Sandwiches and coffee.

It is good to restart these jams.  It’s been a long time.

Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment to Play “Farewell My Darlings” an Original Song I wrote 2 yrs. ago

I’m delighted to say that WVLT will be playing my original song, Farewell My Darlings, this Tuesday Evening, March 16, 2001, during the Bluegrass Hour.  Be sure to listen on-line at:

I wrote this song shortly after the Tallmanville mining disaster in West Virginia.   Hope you like it. 

Here is the song Steve Shelton recorded in his studio.

or download it with this URL.  

Farewell My Darling Reveb – Bob Johnson – Steve Shelton – bluegrass

Hey, if you want to jam this week my wife and I will be holding two jams.  On Wednesday 3-16-10 its an acoustic bluegrass jam at 6 pm. 

An open jam on Friday night at 6 has more flexibility for players and singers.  Both start at 6 pm.

Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 12:52 am  Leave a Comment