Skip to main content

Ronnie Drew RIP

Ronnie Drew, founder of The Dubliners (once known as the Ronnie Drew Group), died today after a struggle with cancer. Ronnie has left a huge legacy. He inspired musicians from many different quarters and had the love and respect of U2, Sinead O'Connor, The Corrs, The Pogues, Christy Moore and many more. My Dad would listen to him - especially the old rebel songs - on a Saturday night in the Irish pubs in Manchester, as well as listening to him on the Irish radio stations on a Sunday morning. Ronnie's music evokes so much - not least because the music is a poignant reminder of the loss of my Dad - but also of the oral history I grew up with. And of course he wasn't just a singer and musician, he was also a poet, and much of his music referred to Celtic myth and legend. I loved The Dubliner's Whiskey in the Jar as well as Phil Lynott's Thin Lizzy version. There's also The Dubliner's and The Pogues version here. He will be missed. Much of his music and some of his old recorded poetry can be found on YouTube. Tributes are already being posted.

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Good Canary

Forgot to mention that we went to see Good Canary at Kingston's Rose Theatre last week. Star role played by the brilliantly intense Freya Mavor, who plays a speed addict. It's directed by John Malkovich - his UK's theatre directorial debut. Will try and post more about it later.