Last September I was back in Ireland for a traditional songwriting competition. Some extra days that I had, I spent looking for old undocumented Irish songs, at which I wasn't very successful this year. But at the impressive ancient Celtic site of Glendalough, co. Wicklow, I met this kind local man, John Holden. After my question for an old local song, he told me about the late Charlie McCoy, who was the local forester and a poet. John told me that Charlie had written many songs to honour his dear friends and when I found out that nobody ever wrote a song about Charlie, I offered John to give it a try and write one to his honour.

It wasn't too difficult to get inspiration from this impressive place with its early Medieval remains of Saint Kevin's monastery and after a pleasant chat with Charlie's son Noel and his wife Caroline, I went back home with copies of his poems and loads of details about his long life, spanning nearly the entire 20th century, including two World Wars. No surprise I couldn't write a short song!

Here is The Ballad Of Charlie McCoy and I hope you like it.


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