Dad was never a big fan of fiddle-dee-dee music. But he thought Irish musicians, including Christy Moore were among the best in the world.
Maybe it was due to all the time he spent in Shandrum Co. Donegal. He was surrounded by “traditional music” so it never became a special thing. It was just something he grew up with.
Many of the family would have been good for a tune, including our cousin Dinny McLaughlin. Dinny is a fiddle showman, singer, composer and a great teacher.
I can’t hold a tune at all! But I started listening to someone who certainly can!
I came across Christy Moore when I was a teenager. I remember the day I was listening to one of Christy’s songs. And Dad’s ears always trained for musical talent pricked up. He listened intently and said “That’s good.”
Several years later, Dad played Christy’s songs often on his radio show. Although after one occasion, the BBC had to apologise. Gerry had played the song, ‘Weekend in Amsterdam’ on his show before lunchtime. There were no beeps! I doubt Dad lost a wink of sleep.
He also had Christy on as a guest several times. They were deeply moving acoustic sessions. And one time, Dad let me sit quietly in the studio during a session in Belfast. It was magical. We also went to see the great man a few times with Dad in Vicar Street in Dublin.
Gerry’s Christy Moore Favourites
The Reel in the Flickering Light
Dad loved this song. I think it reminded him of music sessions in his mother’s house in Shandrum. Not quite dancing at the crossroads, but certainly dancing around the crowded kitchen and having the craic.
I would describe some of Christy’s songs as mystical ballads. They transport you to somewhere else. And you feel this when you hear him singing along with his guitar. Dad felt this too. He would close his eyes, and he would be gone somewhere. And sure, a little romantic interest always helped.
Song of the Wandering Aengus
A beautiful version of the WB Yeats verse from the Ride On album. Another magical song that conjures up vivid and mystical images.
This is the Day (So Do I)
I remember listening to this song with Dad when the 1964-2004 Box set came out around 20 years ago. He was completely transfixed with the music, and sure, why wouldn’t you be?
Someone to Love
This song has a fantastic rhythm; there is something about it, and you can feel the song’s emotion. It’s a powerful, moving ballad.
Dad also loved thinking about the history behind old folk songs. He often picked out specific phrases from songs and told you a whole story about it . This song is full of nuggets. You can imagine his mind working overtime when he used to listen to this.
‘Ride on’ there young Gerry
We found a postcard a lovely note to Dad from Christy Moore. There was an honesty and mutual respect between them. As well as a lot of laughs along the way.
But their shared passion was music. Why not transport yourself on that same journey?