Someday, I’m going to catalogue the responses I get from people when they learn that I taught myself to speak Irish. I don’t imagine there are many languages that elicit such a range of reactions: from obnoxious (people who just have to demonstrate their “Stage Oirish” brogue) to perplexed (“They have their own language?”). The… Continue reading Singing in Irish: yes – it’s a language
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… Continue reading Fureys take mother’s advice
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… Continue reading Kate Bush turns to Irish novelist James Joyce
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… Continue reading Irish composers honoured by new music academy
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… Continue reading Did Wild Rover have a raunchy English cousin?