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What The Dubliners really drank back stage…

It’s good to see The Dubliners are still touring regularly and packing large theatres wherever they go.

They played several gigs every month of last year, mainly in venues all over Europe.

Now they’re getting ready for a tour of the UK. They start at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow on February 18th and play another 15 gigs before finishing at the Fringe Theatre at Great Malvern on March 22nd.

How Raglan Road came to be written

The story behind the writing of a song can often be as interesting as the song itself.

Raglan Road is a good example. It was written, of course, by Patrick Kavanagh, and given the lofty themes and the subtlety of the emotions it conveys, it would be natural to assume that it was born out of some lofty literary ideal.

The truth, however, is more mundane and is based upon cabbages and turnips, as revealed by the object of Kavanagh’s love when he wrote Raglan Road.

The death of Gerry Rafferty

Like music fans everywhere I was very saddened to hear of the death of Gerry Rafferty.

I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing him way back in 1978 when I was a music journalist working in Yorkshire.

He was a charming man, totally unassuming and with none of the airs and graces that accompanied many other rock stars who hadn’t even a fraction of his talent.

Oh no…Hitler was a fan of Irish music

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If you like and want to promote Irish music then you will naturally be pleased when it wins favour with prominent people in other countries.

It’s great when the world’s top rock stars want to perform with The Chieftains, or when someone like Bob Dylan describes The Clancy Brothers as heroes. But, somehow, I don’t think many Irish musicians would want the approval of Adolf Hitler.