I recorded this song (vocals, 12-string guitar, keyboard) over the last few weeks. It came to me in an interesting way, with a pathway that began in the 1980s. That was when I first discovered Irish or Celtic folk music. My favorite group was the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem. Their song "Red-haired Mary" became one of my favorites. On the song they mention the town of Dingle in western Ireland. Ever since it was a place I wished to visit.
Years went by without visiting Ireland, but in the mid-2000s, I discovered the music of Éilís Kennedy, an Irish singer who lives in Dingle. I now had another reason to visit the town and John Benny's Pub where she frequently plays. This actually happened in 2011, but I missed her pub appearance by one day (see a related post).
In 2016 Éilís Kennedy released a new album called Westward, recorded in Ireland and the US. With my interest in rivers, I immediately focused on the song "The Elk River Dam." On the album's liner notes, she writes, "I got this song from my friend Rachel Goodman, when we met for coffee in The White Raven Café in Boulder Creek." It has now joined "Red-haired Mary" as one of my favorites.
Here is my version.