Friday, June 18, 2010

Music and hope: Derry

Memory and emotion have run high in Derry with the release of the Saville Report, the result of a twelve year investigation into the events of Bloody Sunday thirty eight years ago. People lay dead on the streets of Derry then, and it is one of the events which deepened the divisions and struggles across the political and personal landscapes of Ireland.

Music has always been a part of the conflict, and the grieving, and the reach for reconciliation. On his album Let the Circle Be Wide Tommy Sands has a song woven from the familiar calls of both sides of the conflict, another one that considers the changes war and anger can bring in a person, a song that asks questions about times for change, and several songs, including the title track, offering hope.

derry walls river face ©kerrydexter
celtic knot derry pavement northern ireland copyright kerry dexter
 harp door derry northern ireland copyright kerry dexter

Several years ago, the BBC did a series of programs in which they invited writers to create songs based on interviews with people involved in certain events and ways of life. Radio Ballads: Northern Ireland contains both songs and spoken word from people with varying perspectives on the events of the last forty years in the north of Ireland.

Cara Dillon had a chart hit with a song Tommy Sands wrote which puts the political struggles into the context everyday life, called There Were Roses.Here is a video of Cara Dillon singing There Were Roses live.

There are other songs of conflict, and of reconciliation, of history, and of hope across the north of Irealnd, among them Sean Tyrell’s The 12th Of July (Lament For The Children)
and Robbie O’Connell’s There Is Hope. When people sing together, there is the possibility of hope.

you may also wish to see

Music Road: patrick season: far from home
Music Road: Reflections with Mary Black
Derry: healing through the arts
and Delicious Baby's Photo Friday, where travelers offer new insights to the world each Friday

this is part of a Lonely Planet Blogsherpa carnival on favourite places, hosted by Anne-Sophie Redisch at
Sophie’s World

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Dominique said...

I love the that some sort of Celtic knot?

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Lora (Tripping with Kids) said...

Great information. Glad you had some music recommendations, I will go check them out.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Alexandra said...

"When people sing together, there is the possibility of hope." We need to all sing together more often. Thanks for this reminder. I will check out the songs and videos.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Kerry Dexter said...

yes, it is. I believe -- though I'll have to look more closely next time I'm there -- that it is what's called a quarternary knot, said to represent eternity by some, the four seasons by others.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous David Bennett said...

Really good music leads - thank you for a post that talks about the positive things in life.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous David of Quillcards Ecards said...

Good to read about the positive music after all the heartache from the past.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Uplifting post. And now I have some interesting music to check out.
Jason (AlpacaSuitcase)

10:46 AM  

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