I was sitting around in a local pub with a musician friend of mine and we got discussing some music he was thinking of putting down on a cd. Now I love discussing the ins and outs of what goes through an artists head, musically that is, but the thing he was most interested in was a poem he wanted to include. So this got me thinking of some famous Irish songs that include Irish poetry and the massive impact Irish poetry has on the feel of the song or cd.
Irish poetry in Irish Song
- The first song that comes to mind is the song about Irish Patriot Michael Collins appropriately titled “Michael” by Johnny McEvoy which has a moving set of prose to add power to an already powerful rebel song. I once heard an Irish born rugby player belt this out from the bar, intro and song done flawlessly, and to put it in American form, He was awesome.
- One of my favorite pieces of Irish music is the the Lonely Boatman by Finbar Furey and the Furey Brothers. I’m not sure if its the Irish poetry, the sea, the ship, or the boatman that captures my heart. Now that I think of it, the more likely reason I love this song is that I’m a sucker for a slow air.
- There are times when an artist recites a poem and you would swear he is singing especially when he is a legend of Irish music Luke Kelly. Thank God for youtube and this rendition of Luke Kelly’s Irish Poetry.
For What Died the Sons of Róisín
- My favorite version of the parting glass which includes the poem “Forever in your debt” by Kirk Jones, a beautiful haunting, yet hopeful tune.
For those not conversant in the Irish language here is the English translation;
With thanks to those who blew the wind
and those who sailed the ship,
We sailed it tight against the tide
and I shall be forever in your debt.
- And as it is the day after election day in my part of the world we’ll end with a poetic rendition from the Woletones and their tribute to the founding fathers and patriots who fought and died for the independence of The United States.
Please add your favorite song that has Irish poetry included, or perhaps a favorite verse of an Irish poem that has been put to music and let others know the richness of Irish poetry.