singer - songwriter

Folk North West magazine says ‘Chris has a voice that compels you to listen…a perceptive wordsmith and more than able guitarist…’ and that was before he teamed up with his daughter Louise Rogan and his pal Brian McGuire to make Fateful Belle.

Louise adds a wonderful and pure singing quality whilst Brian compliments Chris’ guitar work with his sensitive or stirring Mandola.

The hint of irish roots on the album is a product of Chris’ upbringing. When he started playing, Chris loved to sing with his Dad. A firm favourite was Padraig Mac Cumhaill’s ‘Mary of Dungloe’ and as the years passed, Louise started to sing it with her Dad – Chris. Their arrangement is recorded here for the first time.

Of the eleven tracks on the album, six are new original songs, each with their own story to tell and Chris has chosen three more traditional songs that he’s collected along the way. Brian McGuire was pleased to add an arrangement he put together with Chris of his own composition ‘Tyneside Girl’.

Assembled with a love of music, we hope you love it too.

During a holiday to the USA, I found the story of Belle Drewry who, despite having a thing for Bill Gallagher, conspired to end the relationship with the help of a new love, Bill Wheaton. Yet another Bill “Blind Bill” a pal of Bill G sought revenge, but it didn’t go well for him either. Fateful Belle is the true story of Belle Drewry and three Bills in Meeteese, Wyoming, USA.

By Chris Rogan.

Standing Bear was a Ponca Chief and Native American Civil Rights Leader who took on the US Government of 1879. Judge Elmer S Dundy found for his case that “an indian is a person”. The song Standing Bear describes the injustice against his people and points to similar travesties where the stripping of culture is used to erase the memory of a group of people from history, but “our stories linger on in pictures, dance and song”. Standing Bear stood tall. In his lifetime, he had witnessed over five hundred treaties none of which was honoured by the US Government.

By Chris Rogan.

Mary and the Soldier is a traditional song of Mary's peristence in persuing a husband – a soldier – often thought of as a useful step since the rumour was they got fed and paid!

Trad.Arr. Rogan/McGuire.

Mary of Dungloe a song I used to sing with my Dad and now I get to sing it with my daughter. Written in 1936 it tells a familiar story of a no doubt, doting Father.

By Padraig Mac Cumhaill Arr. Rogan/Rogan

Tippin' it up to Nancy is another traditional song with that wonderful twist of infidelity and murder! I love a gobbledygook chorus!

Trad.Arr. Rogan/McGuire

When I twist of 2 facts of the Spanish Armada of 1588 - the wreck of La Trinidad Valancera in Kinnegoe Bay Donegal and Francisco de Cuellar's survival you get Francisco de Cuellar the song. Kinnegoe Bay is near my Dad’s home I Inishowen, Donegal and the site of the wreck of La Trinidad Calancera, but poetic license brings Francisco to this wreck – in reality he was the Captain of the San Pedro that broke formation in the North Sea. Accused of disobedience, he cheated the hangman’s noose when the San Juan de Siciliia foundered on Streedagh Strand, Sligo. Apart from this, the rest is a true reflection of events and perhaps the first record of Post Traumatic Stress.

By Chris Rogan

Tyneside Girl another tale of lost love, but from another part of the world and written by my pal Brian who hails from that neck of the woods and has a thing for counting bridges – he can explain when you see him!

By Brian McGuire arr. McGuire/Rogan

With more fond memories of songs sung for many years, The Galway Shawl, a lovely traditional song of a Donegal Man's lost love, was arranged with Louise as a duet. I understand that the shawl was an indicator that the lass was already lined up for marriage.

Trad.Arr. Chris Rogan

I don’t know how to make a bonus track optional, if it needed to be. I wrote this song about my Dad in 2011, but always felt that my tune following the song, didn’t do justice to his dancing abilities. Then I found the Donegal Reel - so fitting for a Donegal Man, and Brian and I got our heads around playing it and thus it became The Dancer's Song & The Donegal Reel.

By Chris Rogan Arr. Chris Rogan

In the untamed West, men lived and died and seldom saw another person. Where I Can See the Stars tells the true story of Philip Vetter a Mountain Man who became the central character for the film ‘Mountain Man’ with Robert Redford playing his character. Spoiler alert - Hollywood strayed from the facts - Poor Vetter did fight a Bear, but lost, crawled to his cabin and wrote his last words in his own blood.

By Chris Rogan

The tune came later in the day my granddaughter was born, but the lyrics finally captured what I’d felt for quite sometime – that we all ‘borrow’ songs.  A Song Borrowed warmly reflects how a song, be it created or collected, is lent to us to take care of and share - keep singing them!

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Original Artwork by Christine Rogan

Copyright Christine Rogan 2019

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