Dancing At The Crossroads

by The Crossing

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Gathering at the crossroads was a common occurrence in times past, mostly in the rural parts of Ireland. It was a chance for people to share the joys and burdens of daily life, keep up with the community's news and events, and dance their cares away. This is the spirit of Dancing at the Crossroads. We hope you'll catch a glimpse of this kind of celebration through our music.


released June 1, 1993

Produced by the Crossing. All songs arranged by the Crossing. All songs © Grrr Music/(ASCAP), except for "There Were Roses" by Tommy Sands, © Elm Grove Music.

"Dancing at the Crossroads" was recorded at Tone Zone Recording, Chicago, during the months of November 1991 and March-April 1992. Mixdowns were done in September 1992 and January 1993. Engineering finesse was supplied by Roger Heiss with able assistance from Ed Bialach. Lunch by Marty Phillips.
Cover art by Bruce Bitmead. Photography by Terrence Wheeler. Design by Pat Peterson/Wheatsdesign.



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The Crossing Chicago

The Crossing is a talented group of musicians firmly rooted in the traditional celtic music featuring bagpipes, whistles, fiddle, cello and harp among their many instruments. They blend original songs with traditional Irish and Scottish jigs and reels as well as atmospheric ballads. With their songs they get you thinking while their instrumentals get your feet moving. ... more

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Track Name: The Rigs
I've seen the glow on the sea tonight
How well I know that dreadful sight
With two rigs gone since Tuesday last
I fear the waiting will soon be past

Hush now, baby, it's time to sleep
Let's pray the Lord our souls to keep
Your daddy's still out on the sea
Hush now, darling, and pray with me

Our livelihood was the fishing trade
Me gutting herring, him on the waves
But the catch was less, our needs were more
'Twas hard to be part of the working poor

So the boat was sold, the nets hung out
And he signed on as a roustabout
Coaxing oil from the cold North Sea
To pay the rent and to buy our tea

I'd lie awake like we are tonight
Praying till the dawn's first light
It's been hard these past few years
To live around all the hidden fears

I've seen the glow on the sea tonight
How well I know that dreadful sight
With two rigs gone since Tuesday last
I fear the waiting will soon be past
Track Name: Bold Little Preacher/Morrison's Jig
One fine summer's morning both gallant and gay
A bold little preacher went out on his way
With tracts all in his pockets and Bible in hand
The preacher, the preacher went over the land

He went to the city and when he got there
He met a young man with green dye in his hair
He boldly stepped to him and said, "I suppose
That you're a punk rocker by the looks of your clothes"

"Well, you guesses me right and a wild one I'll claim
My jacket is leather and Rat is my name
Now tell to me, preacher, what is it you fear
The pin in my cheek or the ring in my ear?"

The preacher, he stammered and started to squawk
His words they got stuck in his throat when he talked
His years in the pulpit, they did not prepare
For the day he would talk to a man with green hair

He finally says, "Laddie, naive I might be
But what's to prevent you from being set free?
The angels in heaven and God on His throne
Are calling for you to be one of His own"

"Be off little preacher, now what do you mean?
I'm not in prison, so I must be free
I'm a punk and a rocker and a rebel you see
Be off little preacher, you're bothering me"

We he put on his hat and he bade him farewell
He said "Son, I'm afraid that you're headed for hell
But think on this now before taking that ride
It's surely for you the Lord Jesus has died"

"Come back little preacher, now don't go so fast
Anarchy's prison—you've reached me at last
My dope and my parties are making me ill
Come back little preacher and show me His will"

They fell to their knees and they started to pray
The preacher gained one green-haired brother that day
For what's to be said when it's over and done
The Rat fell in love with Lord Jesus the Son
Track Name: There Were Roses
My song for you this evening is not to make you sad
Or for adding to the sorrows of our troubled northern land
Lately I've been thinking and it just won't leave my mind
I'll tell you of two friends one time who were both good friends of mine

Isaac Scott from Banagh, he lived just across the fields
A great man for the music and the dancing and the reels
McDonald came from South Armagh to court young Alice fair
And we'd often meet on the Ryan Road and laughter filled the air

There were roses, roses
There were roses
And the tears of the people ran together

Now Isaac he was Protestant, Sean was Catholic-born
But it never made a difference for the friendship it was strong
Sometimes in the evenings when we heard the sound of drums
We said it won't divide us, we always will be one

For the ground our fathers plowed in, the soil it is the same
And the places where we say our prayers they've just got different names
We talked about the friends who'd died, we hoped there'd be no more
It's little did we realize the tragedy in store

It was on a Sunday morning when the awful news came round
Another killing had been done just outside Newry town
We knew that Isaac danced up there, we knew he like the band
When we heard that we was dead we just could not understand

Gathered at the graveside on one cold and rainy day
The minister, he closed his eyes and for no revenge he prayed
All of us who knew him from along the Ryan Road
Bowed our heads and said a prayer for the resting of his soul

Now fear it filled the countryside, there was fear in every home
Late at night a car came prowling round the Ryand Road
A Catholic would be killed tonight to even up the score
Oh God, it's young McDonald that they've taken from the door

"But Isaac was my friend," he cried, he begged them with his tears
But centuries of hatred have ears that cannot hear
And eye for an eye, it was all that filled their minds
And another eye for another eye until everyone is blind

My song for you this evening is not to make you sad
Or for adding to the sorrows of our troubled northern land
But lately I've been thinking and it just won't leave my mind
I'll tell you of two friends one time who were both good friends of mine

Now I don't know where the moral is or where this song should end
But I wonder just how many wars are fought between good friends
And those who give the orders, they are not the ones to die
It's Scott, and McDonald, and the likes of you and I
Track Name: Winter
The wintry wind extends his blast
And hail and rain dost blow
Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snow
While tumbling brown, the burn comes down
And roars from bank to brae
And bird and beast in covert rest
And pass the heartless day

"The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast"
The joyless winter day
Let other fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May
The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul
My griefs it seems to join
The leafless trees my fancy please
Their fate resembles mine!

Through the night, through the night
Through the night and all
Tho' all my strength be sorely spent
And stars do die and fall
To The my King I gladly cling
When black winds howl and blow
When all is done and battle won
Let Christ receive my soul

Thou Pow'r Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfill
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best
Because they are Thy will
Then all I want, (Oh! do Thou grant
This one request of mine!)
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny
Assist me to resign
Track Name: Joseph's Son
Where O where is the carpenter?
O father, where is Joseph's son?
I have looked high, and I have looked low
O tell me where has the carpenter gone?

He's gone, He's gone to walk this wide land
My son, the truth I'll tell to you
He has twelve men to walk beside Him
His Father's will He has gone to do

He traveled north and He traveled south
No food no drink did pass His mouth
For forty days in the the wilderness
Our carpenter did pass His test

He traveled east and He traveled west
O'er mountain high, through valley low
To heal the sick, the deaf and the blinded
To shed His light on our darkened souls

Where O where is the carpenter?
O father where is Joseph's son?
I hear the cry, I see the soldiers
O tell me where has the carpenter gone

He's gone, He's gone to yon green garden
Of His twelve men took all but one
To pray for strength for what lay before Him
Saying, "Not My will but Thine be done"

He's gone, He gone to yon high hill
Gone to where stood crosses three
He cried His last 'neath the blackened sky
And all alone died on the cursed tree

A tomb so deep in stone so cold
Laid there, men thought, no more to see
But just as the sun returns in the morning
He rose from death and He set us free

O where O where is the carpenter?
O father, where is God's own Son?
My son, He's gone where we cannot follow
But He'll return to take us home
Track Name: Ecstasy
Oh when will I see Jesus
And reign with Him above?
And from the flowing fountain
Drink everlasting love

Oh had I wings I would fly away and be at rest
And I'd praise God in His bright abode

Whene'er you meet with troubles
And trials on your way
Then cast your cares on Jesus
And don't forget to pray

Gird on the gospel armor
Of faith and hope and love
And when the combat's ended
He'll carry you above

Oh do not be discouraged
For Jesus is your friend
And if you lack for knowledge
He'll not refuse to lend

Neither will He upbraid you
Though often you request
He'll give you grace to conquer
And take you home to rest