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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mexican Buena Vista ?
I have extremely mixed views about this recording project. It is ultimately an anti-climax and I doubt if I would harbour these feelings if I had just bought the CD and not this "De Luxe" version.

For starters much of the music is delightful but I started to ask why so many happy songs about such a tragic series of events ? - Paddy Moloney tap dancing away on...
Published on 20 April 2010 by Fergal Woods

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's Egg
Like the lead reviewer, I have mixed feelings about this album. In part however, I accept the blame for this. I read a bit about the album in the press and, as soon as I saw the CD in a record store, I bought it. I was mistakenly under the impression that it was a Ry Cooder project featuring the Chieftains whereas it's actually a Chieftains project featuring Cooder (and...
Published on 30 April 2011 by Dangerous Dave


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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely and Belated CD - Excellent Well Done All,, 11 Mar 2010
This review is from: San Patricio (Audio CD)
A lovely CD and FINALLY a recognition by leading Mexican figures that they were NOT ALONE - European and North American dissenters stood should to shoulder with their ancestors.
All we need now is to recognize the German speaking members of the brigada.

A belated, beautiful and timely collection of a Mexican-Irish melodic mélange. Other reviewers have done an excellent job on the melodies.

For a Historical Synopsis:-
the Brigada San Patricio fought for Mexico against American SLAVE state expansion(1846-48) and also for their religious rights. Of the 900 men (some with experience of the Napoleonic wars in Europe, it is estimated that approximately 30% were German speaking). - see the dvd of the 'film' - 'One Man's Hero' - with : Tom Berenger, Joaquim de Almeida, director: Lance Hool ASIN: 630571889X -

BACKGROUND:-
In Europe Republican governments were replaced by the Napoleonic dictatorship followed by the restored Monarchies (1815).
Post the American war of independence, Article 5 of the Paris treaty (Nov 1782), American democrats had to guarantee the `the rights of confiscated `property' of Loyalist Americans (this included slaves and estates). Although small loyalist farmers lost out, the larger Southern plantations owned by English aristocrats remained. Less than 5% of loyalist left for Europe, Canada or the Caribbean. Little changed from the `Ancienne Regime'

Paddy is wrong in his assertion on the dominating factors.
Slave power continued to be the main economic driving forces in the southern states of the new world.
Within the slave states, non slaveholding whites were barred from important offices and opportunities. With the Missouri line `Dixiland' could only expand west or south.

The Slave States:-
The Mexican constitution's (1824) abolition of slavery, in particular the sale of slaves incensed slave traders. In 1827 President John Adams offered Mexico US$1 Million to buy Tecas, in 1829 President Andrew Jackson tried with an offer of US$5 million but was also rejected.
See also `La Constitución de Apatzingán' by Ernesto de la Torre Villar ISBN 9688371777
Along with delegates Andres Quintana Roo & Carlos Bustamante (1814 - they called for popular sovereignty, republican government, abolition of slavery, equality before the law, representative government, separation of church and state.
Austin and Houston (both of Virginia) were instigators of the Tecas land grab. The addition of Texas to the Union as a SLAVE state, was blocked until the election in 1844 of president Polk.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN THEN:-
After 1815 and the restoration of the European ancienne regimes the 'White Royalist Terror' was unleashed on Republican, Radical Enlightenment, anti monarchic and anti-autocratic church elements. As a consequence many Europeans came to America seeking refuge as the United Irishmen before them - 'United Irishmen, United States' by David Wilson ISBN:0801431751.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) expanded slavery north into Kansas.
In New York slavery was abolished only in 1827 and a re-introduction was attempted again following this act.
Implementation of the `Fugitive Slave act' (1850) along with the need to fix the route of the railways finally provoked the American Civil War

WHY WAS THIS WAR IMPORTANT:-
General Zachariou Taylor (who owned more than 100 slaves in Louisiana & Mississippi) went into Mexico beyond the Neuces river (Corpus Christi).
Lincoln denounced the war in Congress. Thoreau went to jail rather than pay taxes to support it, and Ulysses Grant (who served in Mexico) described it as "the most unjust war ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation". The Catholic Hierarchy more interested in protecting Anglo interests in the period of the legalisation of the Catholic church in England, sent two priests McEvoy (GaelicSpeaker) and Rein (GermanSpeaker) to stem the flow of support for Mexico.
The war was a prelude as many later took different sides in the North American Civil War (1861-65).
Some examples of the correspondence by Grant, Lee, Sherman, Taylor, Scott, Bragg on their personal experiences of the Mexican war prior to the Northern Civil War.

In consolation to the Mexican people, it was Californian gold that allowed Lincoln to subsequently defeat the combined forces of the slavistocracy and European royalty.
The Northern states at that time were the last refuge of the 'Republic of Letters' and the light of the Enlightenment, perilously close to being extinguished.

One of the etymologies of 'Gringo' in Irish folklore is the fact that many Patricios sang the Napoleonic song 'Green grows the Lilio' as they marched thro' Mexico.
One notable United Irishman, Jemmy Hope, still on the run, was interviewed by R. Madden in the 1840's aged in his 80's. I would like to see a film based on his life.
See 'United Irishman: The Autobiography of James Hope' by John Newsinger [Merlin] 0850364965.
Yes Liam, green was also the color of Rainsborough's, the Levellers, Liliburns banner. William Drennan would be proud of you, togha fear !

Other References:-
'Los Soldados Irlandeses de Mexico' Hogan ISBN:9687846070, 'United Irishmen, United States' by David Wilson ISBN:0801431751; 'The Rogue's March' ISBN:1574887386, 'Short Killing Affair by Foos ISBN:0807854050,
'Rise of the English Empire in the American South' Gallay ISBN:0300101937, 'Irish Slave Girl' by McCafferty ISBN:014200183X,White Women, Black Men by Martha Hodesh [Yale UP 1997] 0300069707, 0300077505;`Duffy's Cut' ISBN0275987272 &9780275987275; 'Letters on Jackson Edited by B. Leigh ISBN:0548321833 ; 'California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War' by Richards ISBN:030726520X; How the Irish Became White' by Noel Ignatiev ISBN:0415918251 ;'
Colonel Despard: The Life and Death of an English/Irish Jacobin by Clifford C. Conner ISBN-10: 1580970265; Friends of Liberty - the English Democractic Movement by A Goodwin ISBN 0674323394;'United Irishman: The Autobiography of James Hope' by John Newsinger [Merlin] 0850364965; Dissent into Treason - Unitarians, King-Killers and the Society of United Irishmen by Fergus Whelan 9780863224294; Just Like Me by Michael Fallaw 1436385075.
See also Ron Kavana's song entitled "The Men That God Made Mad"
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does not live to expectations, 26 April 2010
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This review is from: San Patricio (Audio CD)
Ry Cooder has been very successful in bringing together different musical genres - see for example the Buena Vista Social Club. Unfortunately the marriage of the Chieftains with the Mexican musicians does not work this time. The main reason for this is that there is common thread between what is included. This is a great shame as he has worked with some of the best Mexican musicians. If you want to hear Lilla Downs, Chavella Vargas et al you should buy one or more of their CDs as the songs included in San Particio are better interpreted in their original. Greta shame!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather good, 15 April 2010
This review is from: San Patricio (Audio CD)
The Chieftains manage to combine Irish and Mexican folk to get an interesting CD. I really like the instrumental songs, but some of the "sung songs" aren't as good. In some cases the singers are way past their prime, and although I understand the nostalgic value of these songs, they are not very pleasant to hear. All in all, I would still recommend it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They've done it - yet again!, 3 April 2010
Let me be up front with the fact that I have been a Chieftains fan since they were formed! This is another of their voyages into other traditions, and it works wonderfully. For me, the art of good fudion is maintain enough of the original characteristics to keep them recogniseable at the same time as synergies are discovered, explored and developed. Don't miss if you like good music by top musicians.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted album, 9 April 2010
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Mrs. S. Middleton (England) - See all my reviews
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The album is informative and the music good although a couple of tracks were not my taste they were clearly authentic to the region.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NICK,NACK,PADDYMEX,JUST BUY,HISSSTORY, 4 July 2010
By 
A. Hussain "atticus" (essex uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: San Patricio (Audio CD)
WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY I HAD MY TEARDUCT,S SUPGICALLY REMOVED,ONLY KIDDING,THE RAW EMOTION IS SO POWERFUL THIS CD IS SO THOUGHT PROVOKING,THIS MUSIC DESPITE ALL THE ADVERSITY, AND THE SADNESS INVOLVED IN THE CONTENT, SHINE,S LIKE A BEACON IN THE NIGHT, BRING ON THE GRAMMY,S I SAY,BEAUTIFUL,BEAUTIFUL,MAKE,S IT ALL WORTHWHILE REALLY, WELL DONE ALL CONCERNED
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical tribute to Irish soldiers fighting a mighty force., 19 April 2010
By 
Mr. John Wheeler "world listener" (Worcestershire,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: San Patricio (Audio CD)
San Patricio by The Chieftains and Ry Cooder.
A lot of thought and research went into this album, filling in a forgotten chapter
of American history.
1847, John Riley and a battalion of Irish immigrants fought with Mexicans struggling against the power of America. America wanted to claim countries and extend its borders.
This album is brilliant as it brings the rich musical sounds of two countries,
Ireland and Mexico together. There are contributions from Lila Downs, Linda Ronstadt, Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains. Spoken word by Liam Neesom.
An album worth listening to.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful album, 10 April 2010
By 
O. Duffy - See all my reviews
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Great celebration of the historical links between Mexico and Ireland. Witty and sensitive fusion of two rich musical heritages.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 7 April 2010
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This review is from: San Patricio (Audio CD)
This is a really good album. The Chieftains and Ry are superb together and better than in some earlier works, the synthesis of Irish with Spanish music is magnificent. I was left emotionally breathless after playing this
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wild mixture, 12 April 2010
By 
Neil M. Hartwell (Cornwall ,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: San Patricio (MP3 Download)
I thought this was another triumph for Ry Cooder, for although he has worked with Tex Mex and Mariarchi music before, this is the first cross-over to feature Irish traditional music and instruments.

Don't expect many jigs and reels though.
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San Patricio
San Patricio by Ry Cooder (Audio CD - 2010)
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