not a member? click here to sign up
The Kildare Boy; The Christy Moore Story
Selected as the Best Irish Male singer at the Meteor Awards 2010, CHRISTY MOORE first emerged as a performer towards the end of the 1960s. Since then, he has become one of the most distinctive and influential voices in Irish music. A magnetic performer, his work variously with Planxty, Moving Hearts and as a solo artist, has been widely acclaimed and he is regarded among his international peers as one of the pre-eminent folk singers.
Niall Stokes, 10 Mar 2010
You have written and sung songs in support of the republican struggle, including your brother Barry’s ‘Section 31’, ‘Armagh Women’ and Bobby Sands’ song ‘Back Home in Derry’ – were you happy with the signing of the Belfast agreement?
I also wrote and still sing ‘The Time Has Come’ and ‘On The Bridge’. I sing two Bobby Sands songs, the one you mention and another called ‘McIlhatton’. It’s worth saying that I sing these songs not because of who wrote them – if they were shite songs I wouldn’t sing them. They are aired frequently because they are both very good songs. What has happened these last ten years has been great. There is a peace up North now; it is a very different place. I know we are entering difficult times, but up North, the last ten years have been very different from the previous thirty.
And does that make the songs seem any less relevant to you now?
Songs come and go, some stay, some fade away – if a song is a good song it will always find relevance.
You’ve written songs from a Republican perspective. Have you ever felt the need to turn things around and look at what was happening in the North from the point of view of a British soldier?
I have. I sang ‘The Dying Soldier’ by Ger Costello. ‘All For The Roses’ was written from the perspective of a young Finglas lad, who joins the British army and dies in the Falklands. It’s a very powerful song from Wally Page: a wonderful writer, underrated in Ireland, you should have him on the cover of your next Hot Press. Here is a verse that might answer your question: “The Blue Bitch sent her squaddies on the water/ Geordie don’t be afraid to die/ In blackened face he dreams of his darlin’ bairns and hinny/ On the watchtower overlookin’ Aughnacloy/ In Long Kesh Tyrone boys are dreaming/ Of making love upon the strand some day/ On the Downtown news comes a Mid Atlantic accent/ Karen Livingstone has just been blown away.”
How important is it for you to have a visual sense of what you are singing?