Sir Tom Jones brings ‘lost Irish music’ back to life

Welsh music legend Sir Tom Jones is the first ever male singer to put his voice to recordings of some Irish music that was almost lost forever.

The Wexford Carols are hundreds of years old and had been lost to history until a group of talented singers and producers brought them back to life.

They have now been recorded by Irish singer Caitríona O’Leary with a host of guest stars from the UK and USA.

Sir Tom Jones speaks about the Wexford Carols

Sir Tom Jones speaks about the Wexford Carols

Sir Tom is delighted to be a part of the project. He told Wales Online: “I have heard of The Wexford Carols, but I had never actually heard one. I knew it was a traditional Irish music, so I knew it was going to be good; it’s Celtic music really.

“Coming from Wales I’m a Celt, anyway, so I thought it would be interesting,” Sir Tom said.

“When I was a child I used to go around houses singing, like children do at Christmas time, and I liked that. . And I used to try and go and sing by myself, because my friends didn’t sing that well,” he said, laughing.

“The Wexford Carols I thought would be interesting. When I looked into it further, that’s when I found about the time in Ireland when things were outlawed. You couldn’t sing and you couldn’t have Mass. There’s a few of the songs refer to that.”

The carols are Irish Christmas songs from the 17th and 18th century. Four time grammy winner Joe Henry produced the collection, which was recorded at Grouse Lodge Studios in County Westmeath.

Sir Tom sings on tracks including Jerusalem Our Happy Home and The Angell Said To Joseph Mil. Other guest singers include Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens.

The Wexford Carols

Sir Tom continued: “I have never really liked to sing a song note for note. That’s why I didn’t get into opera when I was young,” he said.

“I always wanted to be more of a free spirit. So I wanted to bring that, if possible, to the carols. But I didn’t want to wander too far, because the melodies are very important.”

“I think it is the way I sing, the sound of my voice. That’s a nice thing, when you are not known not only for the commercial things you have done.

“That there is substance there; something in your voice and in your interpretation, that can work with these carols.”

Check out the videos below featuring interviews from the artists involved in bringing the project together as well as a sample of the never-before-recorded songs.

Click here to buy the Wexford Carols from iTunes

The Wexford Carols Caitriona’s Research

Tom Jones Interview On Recording The Wexford Carols

Tom Jones – The Angell Said To Joseph Mild feat. Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens and Caitíona O’Leary

Did you know?


Singer songwriter Ed Sheeran performed an Irish language version of his smash single Thinking Out Loud on RTÉ 2fm. It was a great gesture from Sheeran to learn his own song in another language – and his performance came after a classic radio prank. Find out more.

Have you heard about…

A stunning former schoolhouse in Co Sligo was sold in 2017 and turned into a beautiful home. Take a look inside.

What about this…

‘The man who couldn’t be killed’ - firefighter Mike Molloy was an Irish emigrant living in New York in the early 20th century. He was the victim of a consistent series of murder attempts by an insurance fraud gang. Find out more.

Personalised framed prints

Illuminated Letters

Stunning Illuminated Letters based on the ancient Book of Kells

Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish Music bands are Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.