In the Eighties a friend gave me a pile of cassettes of Christy Moore albums, and we used to listen to them in the car, when we first got a car. It reminds me of driving round Scotland in an old Lada estate in the days of cheap petrol (of all the cars I've ever driven, Lada estates were my favourite, but that's another story). I've listened to him on and off for years since, for the words as much as the music. When I first had a go at the guitar, songs I'd heard him sing were the first 3 and 4 chord songs I had a go at: Jimmy MacCarthy's Ride On, in particular (are the lyrics of that song a conscious reference to Yeat's epithaph?). For many of those years, my in-laws had strong Irish connections, and the things he sings about resonated with the things they talked about. Most poignantly, my then father-in-law, Paddy, had, as a child, known some of the people named in Christy's musical Spanish Civil War Memorial, Viva la Quince Brigada.
The song I've embedded here, though, is probably my favourite. The lyrics put over an idea which could be over-complicated as simply and directly as possible. For me, it's one of the most thoughtful songs going.
5 years ago