Tag Archives: Luke Kelly



On Sunday, Pauline, Susanna and I went to a service at Virginia College – part of its 50th anniversary events – to commemorate former pupils and staff who had passed on. At one point the school choir sang the old Kinks song ‘Days’. In that setting it was very emotional, for me at least. Continue reading



Filed under Death, Memories, Music

Sean’s music 8 … Irish ballads

Sean was always exposed to Irish music as well as rock, reggae, etc. … in the ‘music’ folder of his computer profile, along with Radiohead, Oasis, and all the rest, can be found The Dubliners. He knew that these songs were part of his identity and his culture, and those things were important to him – he also just happened to like them. They chimed with his own Irishness.

When Sean was around 10 he developed a love for Planxty … I remember him trying to sing ‘Follow Me Up to Carlow’ exactly like Christy Moore, with somewhat unusual results. We encouraged him to try to find his own singing voice.

He continued to like Planxty all his life … we listened to the Well Below the Valley CD in the car quite recently. He also liked The Pogues and, especially, the Dubliners – he was a great admirer of both Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly as singers, and they embodied a certain spirit of fun and freedom with which he identified. Both Drew and Kelly, sadly, have passed on, like Sean. Continue reading


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Music

Kavanagh, Kelly and Raglan Road

The Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh (1904–67) came from a small-farming background in Co. Monaghan and settled in Dublin, where he became part of the impecunious but garrulous mid-century literary scene that also featured the likes of Brian O’Nolan (aka Flann O’Brien, Myles na Gopaleen) and Brendan Behan. Kavanagh’s somewhat cantankerous personality propelled him into various feuds, especially with Behan (my mother, who knew them both, told me of watching Behan chase Kavanagh up O’Connell Street on one occasion). Continue reading


Filed under Ireland, Music, Poems