Harbour of Tears

Released: 15 January 1996
Recorded: 1994-1995
Length: 62:14
Label: Camel Productions
Producer: Andy Latimer

Harbour of Tears is a studio concept album by English progressive rock band Camel. It tells the story of an Irish family who are painfully separated as their young ones depart to the United States to seek a better future. Released in 1996, it was their twelfth studio album.

Title and lyrics

Band vocalist and guitarist Andrew Latimer learned that the last sight of Ireland his grandmother’s family would have seen was Cóbh Harbour, a deep water port that witnessed the fracturing of thousands of families as their sons and daughters departed towards America. Thus the album was titled as the common alias of the port, ‘Harbour of Tears’.

Track listing

All songs written by Susan Hoover and Andy Latimer, except where noted.

  1. “Irish Air” (Traditional Gaelic) – 0:57
  2. “Irish Air” (Instrumental Reprise) (Latimer) – 1:57
  3. “Harbour of Tears” – 3:13
  4. “Cobh” (Latimer) – 0:51
  5. “Send Home the Slates” – 4:23
  6. “Under the Moon” (Latimer) – 1:16
  7. “Watching the Bobbins” – 7:14
  8. “Generations” (Latimer) – 1:02
  9. “Eyes of Ireland” – 3:09
  10. “Running from Paradise” (Latimer) – 5:21
  11. “End of the Day” – 2:29
  12. “Coming of Age” (Latimer) – 7:22
  13. “The Hour Candle (A Song for My Father)” (Latimer) – 23:00

Personnel

  • Andy Latimer – Guitars, Flute, Keyboards, Vocals, Penny Whistle
  • Colin Bass – Bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Mickey Simmonds – Keyboards

Additional musicians

  • John Xepoleas – Drums
  • David Paton – Bass, lead vocals on “Send Home the Slates”
  • Mae McKenna – A Capella vocal on “Irish Air”
  • Neil Panton – Oboe, Soprano sax
  • Barry Phillips – Cello
  • John Burton – French horn
  • Karen Bentley – Violin
  • Anita Stoneham – Violin

Other credits

  • Mixed by Andy Latimer and Colin Bass
  • Sleeve design by Jon Storey

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Spirit of the Water Website by Steve Marsden.
Thanks to Ben Bardens, Wikipedia, Ofir Zwebner, Shane Carlson, numerous other fans and of course the Band itself!