Traditional Irish Music
This Songwriters Showcase is a new collaboration with the legendary Christy Moore. Providing an outlet for composers and writers is an essential goal of Tradconnect and it is hoped that this showcase will highlight some great new writers and performers. We are honored to have Christy listening to this material and giving his support.
Other recording artists that follow this campaign may pick up on some of this new material and possibly record it. Submitted songs must be in the folk and ballad tradition. Songs should be presented a cappella or with as little as possible in the way of background accompaniment. The use of a single instrument such as guitar or piano would be preferable to full band backing.
Christy Moore for his part, is excited by the prospect of discovering some great new material and will be listening to all the submissions. He has also kindly offered an award of €500 for a song and writer that stands out. While we have a desire to uncover songs that deal with "modern day emigration" we will accept all songs in the folk and ballad tradition as set out in the link below.
To submit a song read this article where we set out some basic guidelines. A closing date for entries has not yet been set, so check back for updates.
Song # 41 - Tim O' Leary / I Leave on the Light
The song is titled "I Leave on the Light" and it was written recently with emigration in mind. It draws from my own experience with the deep sadness which comes with the emigration of loved ones and especially from the experience of my late father. When I was 10 years old in 1982 my brother who was then in his early 20s was forced to leave home and head for England to find work. I still remember the night he left and have never forgotten how it effected my father. I had never seen him so heartbroken as when he walked out into the dark night to hide his tears. When friends around me leave for better shores today it has a deep effect on me which I feel is directly connected to that night in my childhood.
I am a father myself today with five wonderful children and I can't bare to think of them leaving in this way. Lets hope that things improve at home so there is no need for such sorrow. I am 42 years old and live in West Cork where I was born and raised. I am a Singer Songwriter along with my wife Fiona. I hope you like the song, the sound quality is not brilliant as it is recorded live with a tablet/camera. It is however clear and simple, I Leave on the Light.
Song # 42 - Fintan Woods / Farewell to Thee
Hello my names Fintan Woods, I'm 25, from Armagh and I would like to submit a song I wrote into the Songwriters Showcase. I wrote this song about 3 years ago when I was forced to move like many others in search of better prospects and this song tells the story about that, with a little bit of romance involved.
I moved to London to train as a teacher and I am currently still working here in a primary school. I wrote this song with just myself and a guitar and didn't do much with it for a few years other than play it at a few sessions and party's. Then last year the band I play with when I am in Ireland, O'Hanlons Horsebox, recorded an original EP and we decided to record this as our first song. Since then the song has been played on leading Canadian Radio Station CBC and we played it live on Canadian Free Press TV during the bands appearance at the Folklorama Festival in Winnipeg. The only recorded version available is from the Bands EP which has a bit more of a kick up the arse than just myself on the guitar! Thank you for your time and for listening to my song.
Song # 43 - Pete Mullineaux / The End of the World
Pete Mullineaux is a songwriter and poet living in Galway. At age 13 his poem ‘Harvest Festival’ was published in an anthology Poetry & Song (Macmillan) and recorded on Argo Records alongside music by Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger – an early welcome to the ballad tradition! While living in London he played in a band called The Resisters, then went solo aka Pete Zero, winning the City of London poetry/song competition with an anti-war song ‘Disposable Tissues’. His most recent collection of poetry, Session (Salmon publishing) is about Irish traditional music and musicians. For a number of years he’s been doing educational work around global issues, especially with children – many of whom are new to Ireland.
This song The End of the World is built around a phrase I heard used by refugees new to Ireland. It also links to the many tragedies at sea involving desperate migrants. The ‘Push-Pull’ hook that appears through the song actually comes from a sociological term describing the background factors that lead to migration – push when you’re forced out, pull when you follow the lure and hope of a better life. Often of course the two overlap and are inseparable.
Song # 44 - Michael Burns / Little News From Dunamore
I'm a Geordie of Irish heritage. I've lived in Manchester for 30 years or so, and my songs (and tunes) reflect my North Eastern/ Irish and Mancunian influences. Many of my songs deal with questions of exile and of immigration and emigration (I teach English to adult newcomers to Britain, and relate to their experience through that of my Irish forebears).
'Little News from Dunamore' is drawn from letters written from Dunamore, Co Tyrone to Larksville Pennslyvania, in the winter of 1879 - 80, the Little Famine. The letters, from the area of Ireland that my mothers family came from, were kindly sent to me by a lady in California, whose ancestor had been the recipients of the letters.
Song # 45 - Tina McKevitt / Camden
I wrote this song after hearing a radio programme about elderly Irish men living in a London hostel (Arlington House, Camden) which got me thinking about how someone might find himself in such a situation. This subject resonates with me because my father emigrated from Ireland and worked very hard as a construction worker. He's been retired many years now, but that's not stopped him working.
I can't remember a time when I didn't sing! I gained a love of unaccompanied singing in an Irish style from Dad and three of his brothers but my mother’s (English) family also enjoyed a good sing-song, particularly music hall and ‘popular’ songs. Between 2007 and 2012 I played in a duo with multi-instrumentalist Matt Hegarty (who plays guitar on "Camden") and in 2012 guitarist Nick Selwood joined us to form "bungalow bliss”. When I'm performing solo I sing a range of traditional and contemporary material (including some of my own songs), a capella or accompanied by guitar or piano accordion.
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