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We Stick Together (The Sullivans) Released 10th Nov

Posted on 2 Nov 2022

Earlier this year I was at the Buffalo Irish Festival and had a blast playing lots of music and meeting some great acts including the Steel City Rovers and The Spain Brothers and even played some hurling. Before we left myself and The Byrne Brothers (super-talented family band) went to see The Sullivans naval vessel DD537 which is now docked in Buffalo.

Shamrock on the Deck of USS The Sullivans DD537

Shamrock on the Deck of USS The Sullivans DD537

We were intrigued by the painting of a Shamrock on the deck and knew there must be an Irish connection. While we were aboard getting a tour, the unique story of the Sullivans Brothers was told to us, how Iowa brothers  joined the navy in WW2 after Pearl Harbor, how they stuck together and served together on the Juneau and all went down together too. Tragic. Tommy (The Byrne Father!) said “Enda I feel a song coming on!” (Thanks Tommy!) and by the time I got back to Michigan I had a chorus.

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I did my research then and the song took shape. It turned into a sea shanty and felt right sung acapella. I got some feedback from Paul and Shane in the Buffalo Naval Park which helped ensure that I had the story right.

The Sullivans at Sunset with buffalo Skyway

The Sullivans at Sunset with buffalo Skyway

When recording it I did multiple overdubs to make it feel like the 5 brothers singing but somehow that just wasn’t working so I went back to acapella, which is what you’ll hear on the recording. I had the good fortune to be able to share the song at The Milwaukee and Michigan Irish Music Festivals thereafter. Someday it’d be magic to hear a group of brothers singing it!

The 13th of November is the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the Juneau, the ship the Sullivans served on, so I am releasing it just before as it seems a  commemorative occasion to do so.

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Now available on Bandcamp

8 responses to “We Stick Together (The Sullivans) Released 10th Nov”

  1. Tamara Visser says:

    I had the pleasure of hearing this in Milwaukee. Being from the Waterloo area the home of the Sullivan brothers I find this a wonderful tribute to them.

  2. Lynne says:

    Very cool, Enda! We were so happy to have you in Buffalo this summer, and not only did you visit Niagara Falls, but you saw the USS Sullivans. It’s a haunting story, and a great topic for a song. If you can come back next year, there is an Irish Famine Memorial nearby. Buffalo has a large Irish population from waves of immigration during the famine. (BTW, I was the lady at the CD table that spoke with you about the high rise hotels on the Canadian side of the Falls that are altering the wind patterns and making the mist hover instead of dissipating away…)

    • enda says:

      Hi Lynne! I remember you telling me about that. As I came up to the falls 15mile away I could see the plume of mist rising into the air. If I make it back next year I’ll have the Irish Famine Memorial on my list definitely! Thanks again for the volunteer work you did at the festival! Enda

  3. Dennis DamonYour Name says:

    Waterloo, IA, the home of the Brothers has a terrific Irish Fest every August (25000 attendees over three days) and a great Veteran’s Museum named after them?. Perhaps you could play the song there!

    • enda says:

      Hi Denis, That would be amazing. Music has taken me many places in my life and I hope Iowa is now inevitable! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Suzy Goulet says:

    Wow, can’t wait to hear your “Sullivan” sea shanty.
    My Sullivan’s (cousins) are seamen also. They fished and continue to fish on the Bering Sea. The elder Sullivan has a fish camp on the backside of Kodiak Island. Can’t wait to hear your song and share it with him.

    • enda says:

      Thanks for that Suzy. A dangerous profession I believe. I used to watch that show deadliest catch, though I’m sure the real thing is tougher still. I hope they enjoy the song. Thanks for the comment!

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