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Fureys take mother’s advice

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I hadn’t realised that Irish band The Fureys also had their mother to thank for inspiring them to record, When You Were Sweet 16.

I came across the story while browsing YouTube recently.

There’s a rather scratchy video of The Fureys performing the song in the 1980s. In the introduction, Finbar Furey described how they came to record it.

He said that they learnt the song from their father Ted, who was also a very successful musician and an inspiration to his sons.

Kate Bush turns to Irish novelist James Joyce

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Kate Bush
Kate Bush

Singer Kate Bush is to release a new album which will feature lyrics taken from the novel Ulysses by Irish writer James Joyce.

The album is to be called Director’s Cut and will feature new songs alongside older songs recorded in the last 20 years. Some are taken from her albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes which were recorded in the late eighties and early nineties.

All the older tracks are reworked with new vocals and arrangements.

Irish composers honoured by new music academy

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There are several wonderful Irish composers and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve, either at home in Ireland or abroad.

The Irish Music Rights Organisation, known as IMRO, recently set up an academy to help put matters straight and help people get the recognition they deserve.

Now it has chosen its first two candidates to be inducted into the IMRO Academy. They are Bill Whelan and Brendan Graham.

Michael Flatley
Michael Flatley

Whelan wrote Riverdance music

Whelan is the composer of the music for the spectacularly successful Riverdance, the show made famous across the world by Michael Flatley.

Did Wild Rover have a raunchy English cousin?

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Whiskey and wines of the best!
Whiskey and wines of the best!

One of the great fascinations with Irish folk songs is that they almost certainly went through numerous versions, towns and even countries before emerging in the form we know them today.

The Wild Rover is a good example. We’ve already looked at how it may have begun life as an anti-drinking song.

Now I’m grateful to Mike Walton of the Worcester Folk Club in England who’s alerted me to an English song with a similar theme to the Wild Rover, albeit with a raunchier ending.

St Patricks Day Parade, Dublin

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St Patrick's Day Parade, Dublin
St Patrick’s Day Parade, Dublin

The Emerald Isle became a sea of colour as the St Patrick’s Day parades got underway across the country.

We went to Dublin to enjoy the festivities – along with more than half a million other visitors from all over the world.