Pete St John is a songwriter whose work is steeped in city of Dublin and its endless array of characters from times gone by.
For example, one of his most popular songs is The Mero. It’s about an old Dublin cinema, long since gone and the characters who used to go there.
This is how St John explained the background to the song in a note on his website:
“The Mero was an old cinema at Mary Street in downtown Dublin in the 1940s – 1950s. The characters like Jonny 40 Coats and Bang Bang were street people of that era, a more gentle and simple time. And while we queued up in the street for the cheap afternoon seats (called Woodeners), we would jokingly jeer and taunt ‘The Characters’ who happened to pass by.
“Many of the people in the song are now gone and forgotten, but not by me! They were a vital part of my childhood in the ‘Rare Ould Times in Dublin’!
The song is a little social diary of the times but even today the memories of ‘The Mero’ days are still with me big time. Thanks to everyone who was interested enough to ask about the song.”
Award winning champion of songwriters’ rights
As well as being a prolific song writer, St John has also worked to promote the work of other song writers.
Keith Donald, Chairman of the Irish Music Rights Organisation, said: “Not only is Pete an amazingly gifted songwriter, but he’s also done a lot of charity work for a number of different causes and has enthusiastically espoused the interests of Irish songwriters behind the scenes.
At one stage he fronted the Songwriters’ Association during a very crucial period in the eighties and nineties, very ably lobbying the relevant organisations and representing the interests of Irish songwriters.”
St John has won numerous song writing awards from music and cultural organisations all across the world. In 2009, the Variety Club of Ireland presented him with its first ever Gold Heart Award for his outstanding contribution to Irish poetry and song.
St John still lives in Dublin where he continues to write and perform.
You can find out more about Pete St John and his work on his official website.