Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Christy Moore:One Voice:my life in song

Christy Moore wasn’t thrilled when several different writers approached him about doing his biography several years ago. That got the Irish singer and songwriter thinking that he should do his own, but he wasn’t coming up with a way to do it that worked. One day he started listing all the songs he’d known, written, or sung, and thinking on that he found his way to his on life’s tale. It’s not chronological, and it’s not even, in many places, autobiographical. A memoir of family, life, politics, and music, with all those strands coming to the fore at varied times. The stories behind some of the songs will surprise you, and as with any such book, there are times and placeswhere Moore tells you more than you really want to know. It’s an interesting story, or series of stories, though, whether or not you know anything about Moore, his music, or Irish life over the last five decades, or politics, or the the Troubles. If you don’t now, you’ll come away from One Voice with, indeed, one man’s voice on all these subjects. The writing is structured by song, and the lyrics run alongside the prose text, also leading to connections and contemplations.

from the song The Time Has Come by Christy Moore and Donal Lunny

the time has come to part my love
I’ll leave you now my darling girl
I can no longer stay
My heart like yours is breaking, together we’ll prove strong
The road I take will show the world the suffering that goes on

a song which, although many are not aware of it, came first from the prison hunger strike during the Troubles, during which ten men died. Today, it’s heard most often as a romatic love song. Moore writes: “There are songs that need to be set up and benefit greatly from a good intro. There are songs which I cannot perform without setting a landscape in which they can live. But there are others that are best left completely alone, songs that can touch the hearts and minds without any such embellishment. This is one such song.”

you may also want to see

Music Road: ten songs

Music Road: now playing: Amy Grant: Mosaic

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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