Tag Archives: Andy Irvine

The indomitable spirit of Mother Jones

Some time back, Ana the Imp posted a blog on MyT entitled ‘Obama and the Deer Hunters’, contrasting ‘un-American’ ‘liberals and socialists’ with the kind of blue-collar individualists who ‘built America’ and are instinctively hostile to the state … epitomized by the steelworker-soldiers of The Deer Hunter.

In a comment, I said ‘It seems that some people, for ideological reasons, would like to tear out whole chapters of the American story … such as the “deer hunter” class fighting not the state as such, but big business that was backed by the forces of the state.’

Around that time I went to an Andy Irvine concert, and he sang a new song he’d written called ‘The Spirit of Mother Jones’. Mother Jones was an interesting character, and personified the struggle of the ‘little person’ for fair play that was a big part of what made America the greatest country in the world. Continue reading


Filed under Biography, Politics, Uncategorized

Andy and the Fleadh

Last night my wife and I went to see Andy Irvine in the Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff … wonderful. Andy, now 68 years of age, is one of the true greats not only of Irish but of world folk music, and a witty raconteur to boot. He is also a gentleman … when I emailed him this morning to compliment him on the show, he emailed back promptly to thank me and say how much he enjoyed it.

Andy is an admirer of Woody Guthrie (‘Never Tire of the Road’ is a tribute to Woody), and his music, as well as drawing on Eastern European influences, touches on themes of Americana to which I alluded on Ana’s blog on MyT the other night. I’ll draw these out in another post when I have a chance.

I first heard Andy’s music when he was a member of Planxty, the seminal Irish traditional band, in the 1970s. As it happens, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the annual festival of traditional Irish music, is taking place in Cavan town at the moment … we went there after the concert to pick up our son, who was working as a barman.

Thousands of people have converged on the town from all over Ireland, continental Europe, Britain and the USA; as well as the competitive element there is live music in all the pubs and on the street (weather permitting). It’s worth €25 million to the local economy. We plan to spend a few hours there tomorrow and listen to some good music.


Filed under Ireland, Music