From the recording The Road Out of Town
The title of Susan's composition "The Eighth of August" came in reaction to an argument that was taking place on an Irish music list-serve about the tune "The Eighth of January." Various Celto-centric factions were claiming the title must have come from one of various events in Ireland's history which had taken place on or near January 8th. When someone dared suggest that the tune might not actually be Irish, since it is known in America as "The Battle of New Orleans" (which just happened to have been fought on January 8, 1814), the argument only got louder. On the off chance that future musicians ever wonder what happened on August 8th, the answer is: nothing. Susan wrote the tune one August afternoon while hanging around a campground waiting for the Oak Grove Music Festival to start.
"O'Farrell's Welcome to Limerick," one of our favorite examples of an 18th century slip-jig, came from O'Farrell's Collection of Tunes for the Irish or Union Pipes, published in 1794.17 A slightly abbreviated version of the tune has remained a session standard, though it is usually known by one of its later monikers, "An Phis Fhliuch" (which has something to do with a wet cat).
"Musical Priest" is a variation of "Lord Kelly's Reel," supposedly a composition of Thomas Alexander Erskine, 6th Earl of Kelly (1732-1781). Though it is unlikely that they ever met, Erskine and O'Farrell were contemporaries. However, that has nothing to do with why we put these two tunes together. This set was conceived for the sole purpose of allowing Dave to have a drum break, during which he demonstrates that it is actually possible to make a smooth rhythmic transition from 9/8 to 4/4 (kids, do not try this at home).