#OTD in 1861 – Birth of poet and songwriter, Patrick McCall, in Dublin.

Known mostly as the author of lyrics for popular ballads: ‘Follow me up to Carlow’, “The Boys of Wexford”, ‘Boolavogue’ and ‘Kelly the Boy from Killanne’. He was assisted in putting the Wexford ballads, dealing with the 1798 Rising, to music by Arthur Warren Darley using traditional Irish airs. His surname is one of the […]

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#OTD in 1852 – Death of popular poet and editor of Irish Melodies, Thomas Moore, who was born in Dublin.

Poet, singer, entertainer and songwriter, Thomas Moore, dies at the age of 72. Best remembered for the lyrics of ‘The Minstrel Boy’ and ‘The Last Rose of Summer’. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron’s memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was often referred to as ‘Anacreon Moore’. Moore was […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Birth of artist and musician, Phil Coulter, in Co Derry.

Coulter’s father, also called Phil, encouraged music in the house. He played the fiddle whilst his wife played the upright piano. The younger Coulter recalls this piano, made by Challen, as ‘the most important piece of furniture in the house’. ‘I always stayed away from the fiddle, having inflicted enough pain on my family with […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Birth of poet and playwright, Brendan Behan, in Dublin.

Much of Brendan Behan’s work was autobiographical, showcasing working class, Republican Dublin. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish writers and poets of all time. Born in Dublin into a republican family, he became a member of the IRA’s youth organisation Fianna Éireann at the age of fourteen. However, there was also […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Birth of singer/songwriter, Liam Reilly, in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Liam Reilly is an Irish singer/songwriter and a member of the popular Irish rock band Bagatelle. After receiving an offer from Gus Dudgeon (Elton John’s producer, now deceased) Reilly began a solo career. It didn’t gain much popularity but he wrote some of Bagatelle’s most popular songs during this time such as ‘Somewhere In Europe’. Reilly […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Birth of Ralph McTell in England. Best known for his song ‘Streets of London’, which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world, and for his tale of Irish emigration, ‘From Clare to Here’.

One of the great storytellers, Ralph McTell, known for his virtuoso guitar style, is primarily a prolific and gifted songwriter. With a style that invites you into a unique world, he weaves a narrative that is both significant and poignant. Ralph made his debut in 1968 with the album ‘Eight Frames a Second’ and in […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Death of Peadar Kearney, writer of the Irish National Anthem, ‘A Soldier’s Song’.

Peadar Kearney was born at 68 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin in 1883, he often walked along Gardiner Street to the Custom House and along the Quays. His father was from Louth and his mother was originally from Meath. He was educated at the Model School, Schoolhouse Lane and St Joseph’s Christian Brothers School in Fairview, […]

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#OTD in 1959 – Birth of musician, Gavin Friday, in Dublin.

Birth of Gavin Friday (born Fionán Martin Hanvey) in Dublin. He is a singer and songwriter, composer, actor and painter and founder of post-punk band The Virgin Prunes. Friday was born in Dublin and grew up in Ballygall a neighbourhood located on Dublin’s Northside located between Finglas and Glasnevin where he went to school. When […]

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#OTD in 1971 – Birth of musician, singer and songwriter, Dolores O’Riordan, in Co Limerick.

Dolores O’Riordan led The Cranberries to worldwide success and fame for 13 years before the band took a hiatus in 2003. Her first solo album Are You Listening? was released in May 2007. Her second solo album No Baggage was released in August 2009. Her first solo album Are You Listening? was released in May […]

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#OTD in 1935 – Birth of Liam Clancy, of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem fame.

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem shot to fame after appearing with his brothers on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961. Scheduled to perform two songs, they were forced to extend their appearance when the show’s headliner cancelled. The following year they sold out audiences. After the Clancy brothers stopped touring / broke up, Liam […]

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